Friday, July 29, 2011

Live Simply, Live Well.

Today at the Stiletto Gang, I share my recent impressions about the power of paring down.

Monday, July 25, 2011

What happens when you listen to audiobook Disk 2 before Disk 1?

Nothing really. Which I found remarkable.

I'd never read The Devil Wears Prada (Lauren Weisberger) or seen the film, but plenty of my girlfriends have loved it, so when I saw the audiobook at the library, I picked it up. Rachel Leigh Cook did a fabulous job narrating and I was completely immersed in the story when Disk 1 ended and I reached for Disk 2, which turned out to be the real Disk 1.


Had I really just jumped into a novel partway through and not noticed?

Yes. Thank you, library patron who borrowed this audiobook before me.

I struggled with how to handle it. Put in Disk 1 and catch up on what I'd missed in the opening chapters? Or stay in the flow and go forward with Disk 3?

I went on to Disk 3.

The remainder of the book was as entertaining as I'd hoped and I had no trouble following along. When it ended, I went back and played Disk 1, finding that it didn't reveal anything I should have known to enjoy the rest of the story. The mistake actually reminded me of something I often hear in writing circles, which is that many of us open the action in our novels too soon. In fact, with Dead Lift, one of my critique partners told me to open the book with Chapter 4. That is the scene that now appears as Chapter 1 in the published copy.

My audiobook gaffe was amusing. I learned two things: Read the labels on audiobooks. And I want to rent this movie. :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Book Buzz: Dead Man's Switch by Tammy Kaehler

Tammy Kaehler delivers a solid debut with Dead Man's Switch, featuring racecar driving protagonist Kate Reilly. The story opens when Kate gets a much needed chance to accelerate her racing career after veteran driver Wade Becker turns up suspiciously dead just days before the American Le Mans Series finale.

Kate isn't a total rookie. She's shown her driving skill in earlier races and has made herself available for this one, hoping to score an invitation to drive. Granted, she didn't expect her invitation to come because another racer turned up dead. But, like her grandad always says, beggars can't be choosers.

Turns out, the racing community isn't full of hugs and brotherly love. Plenty of racers on the circuit are jealous. Did Kate sleep her way into the Corvette's driver's seat? Maybe she killed Wade to get a shot at the big league? Rumors fly around the track about as fast as the cars. Kate has to keep her thinking clear and focus. She has a car to learn, a track to learn, and a team to learn . . . all in four days, when she'll finally get her chance to drive in the spotlight, *if* she can keep a persistent police detective off her back.

Dead Man's Switch is a great pick for fans of strong female protagonists, amateur sleuths, all things racing, and those who like to be first to find promising new mystery authors. Two thumbs up! Vrooom.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The "Heeeyyy! Whatcha doin'?" call

I never liked those calls.

You know, the ones where somebody calls you up for no reason in particular. When I answer my phone, I expect 1) news or 2) a request.
Example of #1: "There's a hurricane coming!"
Example of #2: "Will you help me avoid my mother-in-law?"

Calls like these serve a purpose and have a natural ending point.

The "Heeyyy! Whatcha doin'?" phone call doesn't work for me because I have a job and three kids and one of those things is usually what I'm doing, plus I'm not confident that the awkward phone call is ever going to end, and I'm never clear about why it's happening.

Much like this particular blog post.

And for that, I'm sorry. But tonight I realized that I haven't posted here for two months and felt compelled to do a check-in call, even though it's kinda lame.

There's no hurricane coming. At least not to Houston. We haven't had rain for about six hundred years . . .

And, yes. Of course I'll shield you from your mother-in-law.

I'll also try not to let the blog get this dusty again. I hope everyone is doing well and ready to enjoy the holiday weekend.

Happy 4th!