Friday, April 27, 2007

Why I Love Bookstores

Okay, yeah, there's the whole thing with books being there. All kinds, shapes and sizes. The hardbacks, paperbacks, spiral bound, glue-bound, big print, tiny print, blank books. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry. Books for adults, books for kids, books for "Young Adults," books for artists, computer programmers, motorcycle mechanics and gardeners. All kinds of books for all kinds of readers. And that's a biggie, but there are other reasons why I love bookstores.

Like the fact that I can browse for hours, thumbing through whatever book my hand lands on and nobody will ever come up and ask "are you finding everything okay?" Well, they might at an indie, but NOBODY bugs you at a B&N or a Borders, and I love this. And when I do want some help, the staff are almost always super nice and helpful - 98% of the time, the other 2% I chalk up to PMS or other personal problems that I don't really need to know about.

The smell is wonderful. Libraries are cool, but nothing smells quite like a clean bookstore filled with tons of new books. Especially if they have a coffee shop co-located in it. The scents of coffee and chocolate and new paper trips a little switch in my brain that makes me think of worlds of words and ideas to explore. Pure heaven.

Another nice thing about the B&N's are the tables and chairs scattered throughout the store - not just in the cafe. How cool is it to settle in and read a few pages of a brand new book? Doesn't really matter if you've bought the book yet, you can still get comfy and take some time to figure out if it's really what you want. Again, nobody says "boo" about it.

I'm not an indiscriminate lover of bookstores. There is a used bookstore in town that I just can't go into. My husband loves it, but I can't stand the claustrophobia of 7 ft. tall stacks of books crammed in way too tight. I have this irrational fear of getting too deep into the store and having the bookshelves collapse on top of me. Oh, and I don't like the way the store smells. Sorry, but give me a well-lit, clean, comfy and reasonably spacious bookstore and I'm happy. Stick me inside a poorly lit, overcrowded space that smells funky and watch me fa-reek. Can't do it. Don't wanna, ain't gonna.

Still, there's no other place on earth I love quite like a good bookstore. And I'm so very, very grateful to have them around.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Good Stuff - Suspicious Circumstances

So here's the scoop. I've read a bunch o' books that I've liked and I've been meaning to talk about them. So now I get to stop "meaning to" and actually do it. First up is Sandra Ruttan's debut, Suspicious Circumstances.

I gotta say, I'm not normally a big fan of police procedurals. This book is not your typical procedural, though. There's not an alcoholic, divorced cop with anger/PTSD/oh-god-I've-lost-my-partner issues to be found. Thank god. What you will find is a journalist who's willing to put principles before headlines (hey, this is fiction! Okay, there are some principled journalists out there in the real world, but you know what I mean), and a cop who's an actual human being. What?! Can you do that?! Well, yeah, that's exactly what author Ruttan has done. Again, thank god.

While Suspicious Circumstances has plenty of nasty crimes to keep you hooked, the real meat of the story lies in the relationship between journalist Lara Kelly and Detective Tymen Farraday. I'm not talking Harlequin Romance stylie relationship, I'm talking about the real deal kinda relationship. Plenty of spark, intelligence, and the back and forth dance of growing trust and understanding.

So...I'm not going to go all spoiler-ific here. I'll just say that if you're looking for a police procedural that has plenty of darkness and a healthy dose of heart to go along with a head-snapping series of twists, then you'll probably dig this book. Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing what Ruttan comes up with next. Should be veddy interesting.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Sundogs Sucked, But I Still Love Hockey!

Well, they did. We lost 8-2 to New Mexico tonight. On the plus side, it's the first year for this minor league hockey team (the Sundogs, not NM) & they made the play-offs! There's another game on Saturday. Don't know if we'll make it, but I hope they do better than they did tonight.

I just love this game. It moves fast, players get mad and have fights (lots o' padding means I don't worry too much about anyone getting seriously hurt), and it's a bizarrely graceful game. LOVE it! Plus, it's an excuse to yell a lot and do stupid dances. I dig the catharsis. Bad day at the office/computer/whatever? Go to a hockey game. Trust me, you'll feel a lot better afterwards. Even if your team loses.

Monday, April 16, 2007

If Bambi Was a Mule Deer...

then she and her mommie were in my backyard yesterday afternoon. Here's the baby through the slats of the deck.

The older doe knocked over the gnome (go figure...even the deer don't like garden gnomes).

The dogs went bezerk-o. The deer were smart enough to know the mutts couldn't touch 'em, but kept an eye on the humans staring at them through the sliding glass doors. Guess we didn't spook 'em too badly, 'cause they showed up again this morning. This time they brought friends. Nothing like waking up at o'dark-thirty with crazed dogs and five does in our tiny backyard. Beautiful, even if I wasn't happy about getting woken up early. I love living here!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Nap Time!

Mmmm, sleep...

Got the Debut Dagger submission finished and sent off last night. Completely worn out, but I feel good about the work I accomplished. I learned a ton in the process and am ready (after a long nap!) to put some of that new knowledge into action. Writing the synopsis for the contest was a first. Yes, it was sucktastic and difficult. Still, it forced me to get clear on what the bare bones of the story are. Sucktastic, but ultimately beneficial.

Big kudos to everyone who submitted and massive thanks to all who gave me feedback and encouragement during the past few weeks.

Got some reading to do, then back to writing. My poor blog has been so neglected! I'll work on that...swear!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Bad Day to Be A (Chocolate) Bunny

Thanks to Juanita for sending me this...