Friday, November 30, 2012

Overheard #222

“The best you can do is be yourself.”

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Travels with Jeremy

Tomorrow Jeremy and I leave for Boston for his first audition. Fingers crossed! We’ll come home long enough to do homework and laundry, respectively, then then head to St. Paul for audition number two. These are exciting times. 

Blog posts may be sparse for the next couple weeks. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Code Name Verity

Code Name Verity

by Elizabeth Wein

Hyperion, 2012

This is easily the most extraordinary book I’ve read this year. And yet it’s difficult to write about it without giving the story away, and I want everyone to experience it as I did, fresh and without bias.

Code Name Verity is the story of two young women during WWII. One was a pilot, the other a spy, and they were best friends. The spy was captured by the Gestapo. While this book is not overly graphic, it does not pull punches. The Nazis are sadistic torturers and yet they are fully developed characters with secret weaknesses, love for their children and personal dreams. The first half of the book is told by Verity, the spy, and Kitty Hawk, the pilot, tells the remainder. These characters remain in my thoughts.

This is a book for anyone with an interest in Scheherazade, Peter Pan, unreliable narrators or simply fine writing.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


I used the flash on this picture, then darkened the exposure. The effect is a little strange.

braided vines

The palette in Michigan is brown and gray.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Overheard #221

"You never want to swear in a biker bar."

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Jeremy received this work of art at a music lesson.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Spy Pigeon

Even though my spy novel is dead in the water, I still enjoy reading books and articles about espionage. During World War II, the Allies used pigeons to take aerial photographs (miniature aluminum cameras were strapped to the birds’ chests) and to carry messages. Pigeons fly home, so each bird could only be used for one-way transmission. Pigeons in cages equipped with small parachutes were dropped behind enemy lines where resistance fighters tied messages to their legs and sent them back.

Recently, the skeleton of a pigeon was found in an unused chimney in Britain. Apparently this tiny agent had stopped to rest and was overcome by fumes. The tube containing the encoded message is still intact and has been sent to Bletchley Park for deciphering. I hope they figure out what it says.   

More Spy Stuff:

I’m currently reading Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, and have marveled at it so far. I may write more about this book when I finish. 

For spies gone bad, Spying In America by Michael J. Sulick sounds like a well-researched and interesting non-fiction work.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Overheard #220

"Rock and roll is about having a good time."

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


It’s November, and several of my writing friends have been reporting word counts for NaNoWriMo on facebook and logging their progress online. As much as I applaud their efforts, this year, like every year, I just said no to NaNo. Somehow NaNoWriMo never fits with my writing schedule. Plus, I worry that if I tried to achieve 1667 words each day, I’d end up with nothing useful.

Last week, I cut 8,000 words (4 chapters) from my manuscript. It had to be done. The novel had veered in the wrong direction and become foundered in meaningless details. Now, it can be finished. One of my facebook friends suggested the term NaNoCutMo. That’s for me. Sometimes the closest exit is behind you.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Since It's National Metal Day

Some pictures of Chaotic Paradise's show at Uli's Haus of Rock on 11/8/2012
These photos as well as the ones of the Fourth Dan Test were taken by my husband.