Fiction

A spooktacular reading list!

Halloween is kind of a big deal in my family.  Or, I should say, my husband loves Halloween, my kids have caught the bug and I’m basically along for the ride.  (And maybe for the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, but I digress.)

Our Halloween costumes from 2010.  I really can't take any credit on this one - the Mii designs are courtesy of my talented hubby.
Our Halloween costumes from 2010. I really can’t take any credit on this one – the Mii designs are courtesy of my talented hubby.

But while dreaming up the perfect costume is not my strong suit, I love reading anything that’s spooky.  So if you’re looking for a good read that’s holiday appropriate, here’s a trio of choices:

“The Historian” by Elizabeth Kostova – Vlad Tepes, the bloodthirsty prince of Wallachia who ultimately influenced Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”, is a historical figure.  But Kostova’s book goes beyond that and imagines a world where a group of scholars are tracking the historical Dracula, who just happens to still be alive.

“‘Salem’s Lot” by Stephen King – My love for Stephen King is pretty well documented, but this is a book that I revisit on a yearly basis.  Again, a story that’s told in the vampire tradition, but this 1975 novel only hints at King’s brilliance in storytelling.

“Wait Till Helen Comes” by Mary Downing Hahn – OK, so disclosure on this one.  When I dropped my eldest off at preschool this AM, I had three books all lined up in my head for suggestions.  When I sat down to write this blog post, the third choice disappeared into the ether.  So, I went to Goodreads and looked through some of their suggestions.  And I’m glad I did – I had forgotten about Ms. Hahn’s book for middle schoolers.  This book terrified me when I was a kid (it was published in 1986.)  I think I’m going to need to dig up my copy again.

Happy reading!  And Happy Halloween!

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Friday Fare, Internet Articles, Random, Uncategorized

Friday Fare: 10/28/16

Friday Fare is where I post links to the random articles that have resonated with me during the week. Sometimes they make me smarter, sometimes they make me hungry … sometimes they have to do with writing and sometimes they are just plain random.

My love for Sturgill Simpson is chronicled in the posts of this blog, but this article is just reason #1,129 that I really admire him.

Anyone else sick of the election?  Me too.  So while this is political, it’s just a post of memes chronicling the bromance between President Obama and Vice President Biden.  I laughed.  Hard.

I’m also an unabashed Ina Garten fan.  And since her latest cookbook just came out, the Interwebs have been full of adoring screeds about Ms. Garten and her adorable husband Jeffrey.  To say that I’ve been gorging on these articles is an understatement.  See here.  And here.

And ahem.  Tolkien.

***

Listening to: The Prairie Home Companion (TPHC) was INCREDIBLE.  And I was introduced to the music of two new-to-me musicians.  Sarah Jarosz and Anais Mitchell.  TPHC is good at posting links of their recent shows – the show that my husband and I attended is on YouTube.  Definitely worth a watch!

Reading:  I think this pretty much sums up my week.  (Spoiler alert:  Read ’em both in about 24 hours.)

Hmm. What to read first? #amreading #cookbook #fiction #andeverythinginbetween

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Fiction Update:  I’m keepin’ on …

Enjoy the weekend!

Friday Fare, Internet Articles, Random, Uncategorized

Friday Fare: 10/21/16

Friday Fare is where I post links to the random articles that have resonated with me during the week. Sometimes they make me smarter, sometimes they make me hungry … sometimes they have to do with writing and sometimes they are just plain random.

I don’t run, but I liked this piece from She Reads and this advice that pertains to running and writing:  “Run the downhill parts. Pick the low-hanging fruit. Write the easy chapter. … Let yourself see a bit of progress.”

My love for Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston is well documented on this blog.  Strand Magazine recently published the authors’ 10 writing tips.

This was a fun, recent read from Washington Post about a couple who have found their dream home in a rumored Cold War-era safe house.

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Listening to: This particular week is going to be bookended by concerts.  And that, my friends, is a wonderful thing.  On Sunday, I went to the State Theatre in Minneapolis with a dear friend to watch Gordon Lightfoot.  Mr. Lightfoot will never have the butterscotch and bourbon voice he had in the 1970s, but the man just has that glint … it was great to sit and listen to the legendary troubadour.  So that was Sunday.  On Saturday, my husband and I are going up to St. Paul to check out the new host of Prairie Home Companion.  I cannot wait – one of the guests is Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats.  (<– I just like typing that.)  Between that and Chris Thile, I think my mind is in for a treat.

Reading:  Work has been a little crazy lately.

Fiction Update:  Work has been a little crazy lately … HOWEVER.  This weekend is going to be a kid free weekend.  I think I should be able to get about 6-8 hours over the weekend to get some work done on Dragonfly.

Enjoy the weekend!

Friday Fare, Internet Articles, Random, Uncategorized

Friday Fare: 10/7/16

Friday Fare is where I post links to the random articles that have resonated with me during the week. Sometimes they make me smarter, sometimes they make me hungry … sometimes they have to do with writing and sometimes they are just plain random.

I only have one article to share this week.  A recipe that’s so ridiculously accessible and simple that as much as I think I can tweak it, it’s already near perfection.  And shocker – it involves kale, but bear with me:  Kale and White Bean Stew.  Make it.  Revel in the fact that fall is fleeting.

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Listening to: In the grand scheme of things, I’m not listening to anything that’s totally tilting my world on its axis right now.  But in terms of what’s playing right now: Tori Amos “Little Earthquakes.”  (Side note:  At best, I’m a casual Tori Amos fan, but in reality, I’ve seen her three times in concert.  I’m pretty proud of that random statistic.)

Reading:  I slammed down Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child’s “The Crimson Shore” down in about four hours.  Imagine, if you will, a frat boy bonging a beer … that’s how I felt shortly after finishing the final page shortly before midnight after cracking the book shortly after my sons’ bedtime.  The book was tasty.  (And somewhere, the little voice in my head that was alarmed that I wasn’t reading whispered “You still got it!”)

^^I don’t recommend speed reading. In fact, it’s why I typically re-read many of my books and honestly, I feel sometimes that it has impacted how I write.  But, I’m the mother of two toddlers.  I’m working under multiple deadlines.  Sometimes, I cannot put a book down.  And in those times, it’s great to read fast. 

Fiction Update:  A couple more chapters and I’m going to be done with the sh*tty first draft of “Dragonfly”.  I didn’t make my September goal, but I’m proud of what I accomplished.  Then time to edit “After Life.”  Still trying to wrap my head around what that’s going to look like and what I hope to accomplish.

Enjoy the weekend!