Rainy day mix

  • Bergman

    Obituary Blues: My Facebook authors page contains a mix of arts and writing news and reviews. Today there are three obits on it and that’s enough to make one feel the blues strong and steady. Michael Lang, 77, Woodstock co-creator; Director Peter Bogdanovich, 82, “The Last Picture show” and other films; Marilyn Bergman, 93, Oscar-winning lyricist of “The Way We were”; and then, too, on my main news feed, Sidney Portier (“They call me Mr. Tibbs.”)

  • Book cover for WildKristin Hannah:  While the subject of Wild was compelling for anyone interested in psychology, I was disappointed in this early novel, believing that Hannah hadn’t really come into her own in nailing down her style and voice. The feel-good ending falls into the characters’ laps without insufficient foundation and the author discounted her own childhood disabilties specialist by having her look up autism on the Internet. As I said in my Depot Cafe Blog, I think Hannah did this as a means of telling her readers about autism without thinking about the fact that a specialist wouldn’t be looking for onfo online that she would already know.
  • Our 2006 Buick: Ever since the glovebox latch broke off, our challenge has been finding ways to keep the door closed tightly enough to keep the small light inside from draining the battery.  Apparently, one must take the glovebox door off to get the lightbulb out. Had the car on the trickle charger most of yesterday and last night to re-charge the battery. This is becoming a hassle.
  • 711 Ocean Drive Poster.jpg711 Ocean Drive: My wife and I watch a lot of noir movies on TV and this one fit the bill last night. I liked the big shoot-out ending at Hoover Dam (still called Boulder Dam in the film) because I visited the dam when I was young and the scenes in the movie matched my memories of the tour. Apparently, when the film came out, Columbia Pictures said that gangsters were so angry about the film giving away their secrets that the production company had to take out special insurance politices on the primary stars (Edmond O’Brien and Joanne Dru) to keep them safe. The Turner Classic Movies (TCM) host said that notion was probably a PR stunt.
  • 2022: I’m not yet convinced this is going to be a good year. The COVID arguments continue and more and more people are saying the U.S. is on the verge of another civil war. That’s rather unsettling. I feel sorry for today’s kids growing up with that idea hanging over their heads along with worrying about whether the schools are going to be open this week.

-Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbel is the author of the mystery/thriller “Conjure Woman’s Cat,” in which a conjure woman fights the KKK in a small Florida town.

‘Firefly Lane’ by Kristin Hannah

Best I can tell, we really escaped 2020 and are now slogging our way through 2021. If this true, then I’m 12 years behind the times reading Firefly Lane.

It’s a well-written story about two schoolgirls who, though opposites in many ways, become close friends and make a pact to remain best friends forever. One  (Tully) becomes a rich and famous news anchor. The other (Kate), who showed a lot of promise as a writer, ended up having a busy family life as a stay-at-home mom.

There’s a lot of realistic push-me/pull-you between Tully and Kate because their lives unfold quite differently, leading to differences of style and opinion, including the question of whether or not Kate is overprotective when it comes to her daughter. Tully and the daughter think so.

If you read Hannah’s afterword, you probably understood why she ended the book as she did. She handled it well. Nonetheless, I didn’t like it. I saw it as adding insult to injury insofar as Kate’s role in the story was concerned. Kate’s life was rather that of the Biblical Job and the ending made her a tragic character rather than a gracefully aging mother contentedly watching her children grow into adults partly in spite of Tully and because of Tully.

Worth reading,  but it needed something different and less predictable in the final chapters. I haven’t watched any episodes of the Netflix series.

Malcolm

Some readers wanted a bombastic ending to “Sarabande.” I chose a minimalist approach that reflected, in my view, who the character was and how she had changed.

Potpourri for March 14

Potpourri is a mixture of dried, naturally fragrant plant materials, used to provide a gentle natural scent, commonly in residential settings. It is often placed in a decorative bowl. – Wikipedia

Actually, potpourri makes me sneeze, so I never saw the attraction. However, as always, my potpourri posts are unscented. So, if you sneeze while reading this, it means you haven’t dusted your house for a while.

  • My publisher tells me that production of the Fate’s Arrows audiobook is on schedule and sounds great. As I slowly work my way through Weeping Wall, my novel in progress, it’s nice to see something new en route to Amazon.
  • The male, short hair, black-and-white kitty who has adopted us after being dropped off on our country road by some nefarious person is slowly working his way into our hearts.  Were refuse to name him until we have a chance to take him to the vet to be checked out. Right now, he is simply OC, for outside kitty. Our inside kitties are curious but aren’t above hissing at him when we open the front door.
  • Other than sore shoulders, no apparent side effects from our first Moderna COVID shot. Nice to have that out of the way. Maybe we’ll be able to visit the granddaughters in Maryland this year since COVID cancelled last year’s planned trip.
  • I’m finally getting around to reading Kristin Hannah’s Firefly Lane. My nightstand is always overflowing and my wish list on Amazon is infinite. It’s a nice change of pace from John Hart’s The Unwilling. Being an old-fashioned sort of person, I’ve always preferred the term “firefly” to “lightning bug.” 
  • My GP has kept my prescriptions in place even though I haven’t seen him for a while. I said I thought doctors’ offices were dangerous for people my age until I had my COVID vaccinations. Fortunately, he agreed.
  • On a bit of a political note, I’m really getting tired of turning on the news and seeing that there’s more unrest in Portland and elsewhere. We have much to do to fix everything that’s broken, but it will take time. The violence from those riding the protestors’ coattails isn’t helping.
  • It’s time to change my Facebook cover photo. So, in hopes of seeing some springtime weather soon, here’s the new picture compliments of NPS Glacier National Park:

Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of paranormal, magical realism, and contemporary fantasy short stories and novels.