Bold Fortune

fortune favors the bold

Month: April, 2011

On to the next one…or not….

by mollykl

I’m obsessive about checking with author’s blogs and Amazon for “the next one.” There are several series I’m currently reading, and as soon as I’ve finished with one, I’m waiting on pins and needles for the next installment (and, yes, I put the release dates in my planner, and have been known to plan vacation days around book releases).

So it was with great sadness that I discovered, via Facebook of all things, that there are currently no plans for more books in Suzanne Arruda’s Jade del Cameron series. After 6 books, the publisher has decided to decline a seventh. Now the sixth book did tie quite a few things up nicely, so it’s not like I’m left with a cliffhanger, but I will miss the characters.

I’m one of those people who gets emotionally involved with book characters – and I know I’m not the only one. I remember standing in the hall near the time clock at work  with the coffee-bar manager, both of us with tears streaming down our cheeks, as we discussed “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.” When “A wrinkle in time” was made into a movie my friend C e-mailed me with the question, “Who’s playing us?”  meaning the character of Meg Murray. I think until she posed that question it had never occurred to me why I identified so much with Meg, but that just spelled it out. She is me. She is everything awkward that I was for most of my life (or still am).

I also  love characters with traits I admire, or with traits I wish I had. Characters who inspire me to be better, smarter, kinder, more courageous. Zoe Archer needs to write more “Blades of the Rose” adventures, because I want to meet more of them, or at least continue on with London, Bennett and the rest. I downloaded the four books in the series when I was out of work with a hurt leg, and they were a revelation. I’d never really thought myself the “adventure” type, but I just loved the books, and the characters, and have been re-reading…and re-reading… them over and over. How can you not love London, Thalia, Astrid and Gemma? Not to mention Bennet and Catalus and…well, you get the idea.

That’s not to say I don’t also like, or become involved with, characters who let me down. I threw my copy of “Blameless” against the wall at my outrage of Conall’s distrust of his pregnant wife. And that was how the book ended – I had to wait months to see the situation resolved! I am frequently frustrated by the behavior of Nicholas Brisbane and Julia Grey in Deanna Raybourn’s novels, but I’m frustrated because I am actually caught up in their relationship. Even though it’s fictional, their relationship and their marriage is very real and true, in all of its disappointments. People let each other down and disappoint, but you keep reading so that they can redeem themselves. And you in the process.

When Madeline L’Engle died C wrote me a short e-mail simply saying, ‘Can’t talk about it” and I understood. It’s selfish to say, but as sad as I was for her death, I realized that most of my sadness was for myself. I’d never know what happens to Poly. What college does she go to, what field does she enter, how does everything that happened to her in her young life affect the rest of her life? Does she get a happily every after? Does anybody?

And perhaps that’s the key. Is it the happily every after we’re after? Husband J would probably argue no, but I think it is, and I think that’s why we keep reading. We need to know that Harry’s really ok. That despite class differences Julia and Nicholas defy odds. That Maisie will come out stronger from her post-traumatic stress. That Blay and Qhuinn will really have their HEA. That Sebastian and Hero will find happiness.

I want to know “what happens next.”

WRITER

by mollykl

When we moved to our new house we got rid of cable, which I have to say that I don’t miss, except for baseball. Because of my job I really can’t watch much tv at night anyway – going to bed at 7 does that.  And, really, there hasn’t been much I want to watch. But I discovered “Castle” on Hulu, and now I’m hooked. The story is always great, the show makes me laugh (Castle wears a flak jacket that reads “WRITER”) and I can only figure out “whodunnit” about half the time.

It’s my “ad day afternoon” indulgence. Cup of coffee (which I need after having been up since 2 a.m.), our ridiculously comfy couch and the latest episode of Castle and I’m good. Ok, in part, it could be because of Nathan Fillion. I loved “Firefly”, and “Castle” has just enough snarky, funny lines to remind me of that. Oh, and there are the “Firefly” references that keep sneaking in. (In one scene Castle speaks Chinese and when Beckett questions it he says it’s “from a tv show he used to love”).

The characters are just this side of cliches, but for some reason it works – even the daughter, who is the MOST unrealistic teenaged fictional character I’ve ever witnessed. Geez, I was a good girl in high school, but she’s just unbelievable. It’s over the top and stylish and I don’t know what I’d be more likely to kill for : Castle’s apartment or Beckett’s wardrobe.

The best laid plans..oh you know the rest..

by mollykl

I had plans for today. It’s the last day of my vacation and my birthday so I’d planned to spend some completely frivolous time. There was to be trashy novels, good food, cocktails…the works. Instead, I had a sick kid this weekend, and didn’t want to send him in to school in case it returned. So son J and I had the day together.

First we went for a walk to the river where we kept an eye out for jackrabbits and deer (no to both). Then we read a story (did you know that the pronghorn antelope is the second fastest animal in the world – second only to the cheetah?), and hit the bird store for more food for the feeders. After that it was time for a new tatoo (for him) and a nap (for both of us). The afternoon was all about cookies- toffee chip bar cookies, in which something went very, very wrong and they ended up flat and very greasy. I think I might have put too much butter in. Don’t get me wrong, we still ate them. After that he got to watch Thomas while I put on the i-pod and listened to the Now Show and AC/DC and made jambalaya.  I still got my cocktail, a White Lady, and got to enjoy it before taking a shower.

It was a beautiful sunny day and I got to spend it with one of my two favorite guys, so all in all I’m not sorry that my plans went astray.

Chocolate bon-mots

by mollykl

Despite having taken humanities and new testament classes in college I’ve realized that the most helpful philosophical bon mots I’ve come across have all been from Dove Chocolate wrappers. They’re concise, non-judgmental, and they apply in nearly all situations.

So here is my newly formed philosophy of life, in  11 sentences:

“Happiness never decreases by being shared. Be little naughty with your nice. Ignite your sense of adventure. Remember the simple pleasures in life. The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate. Feed your sense of anticipation.  Stir your sense of pleasure. Be playful with your love. Enjoy the childhood joys of winter. Indulge your sense of enjoyment. Feel free to be yourself. Life is good. “

Red v Blue

by mollykl

9-6. First win of the season, but it’s the one that counts.

Hey! There’s real writing in my trashy novel! Where did that come from?

by mollykl

It’s my vacation, and while I do have “serious” (inject serious face here) books to read, I also have some completely escapist volumes to plow through as well. Except…well, I picked up the latest one and much to my suprise…there was actual character development! And..and… a well crafted plot. It actually looks like the author cut out sex scenes so that she could…wait for it…develop the story. Dear god in heaven what is going on here!

After publishing 8 books in a series it is a truth universally acknowledged (yeah, I just plagiarized Jane Austen) that your books are supposed to get worse as you start phoning it in for the paycheck, assuming that the fans will never notice. In part I understand and sympathize. Publishing deadlines must become stressful, and fans clamoring for a next installment, while mildly ego-boosting, must also be intimidating. The desire to just throw some words on a page has got to come into play from time to time. And because I’d already considered all this, I wasn’t expecting greatness. Don’t get me wrong…this isn’t George Elliot. Actually, George Elliot bores me to tears (though I did like “Mill on the floss” some twenty-odd years ago). But I was pleasantly surprised at the depth of character development and the insight.

It’s nice to be surprised, by a book and an author. It’s also comforting to know that a bestselling author still has the ability to do that – that they’re still a real writer and they’re still paying attention, to their characters and their story.

In praise of pinstripes

by mollykl

In honor of opening day, or rather of opening weekend, we got to wear jerseys to work. Very few people did, but I, of course, wore my #33 Red Sox jersey. My friend R came in, just as I was leaving, and the front end got the rare view of a Yankee fan and a Red Sox fan hugging. (It’s ok, we threatened each other a minute later).

Despite all the grief I give R over the life choices she’s made to support the Yankees (and I blame her parents), I’m really not all that anti-Yankee. They just make an easy target. After all, what’s life without a little competition? In fact, what’s life without a little antagonism? Don’t our challenges define us? And what, or who better, to challenge us than an arch-enemy?

Granted, I’m a Cold War baby. The Soviet Union didn’t actually come apart till my senior year of college, so I still have this image of them as being an all-powerful menace. In the seventies and eighties it seemed to me (as a child, which is probably a hell of lot more perceptive than an adult) that America was defined not so much by what we stood for, but by who our “enemy” was. We were not “them.” Yeah, well, that doesn’t actually provide a definition.

But sometimes having that clear image what you are “not” helps you focus on what you “are”. Take away everything superfluous or unwanted, and there you are, so to speak.

I am not “not a Yankee fan”. I am a Red Sox fan. As for everything else, well, I’m working on it.