In Which Our Heroine Has One More Left

7 October 2004

I woke up at 4:30. I did not get out of bed. I woke up again at 5:00. I did not get out of bed. But at 5:45, I finally decided it was time to wake up and smell the pulla, which I bought yesterday at Sisu. I have a book to finish.

The world has been turning, as I write this book. The world has been going on. My aunt Pat died, and I found out about it yesterday morning. She was old, and she had Alzheimer's, and we expected it, and it is still hard, and we will still miss her a lot. A lot, a lot.

On the brighter side of the turning world, Anna Leslie was safely born, not quite six pounds and dark haired, and Erica and Dan are understandably delighted with her arrival, and we're very glad to see her, even in photographic form.

I finished The Steerswoman's Road and am looking forward to its sequels in a bit. I also read Laurie R. King's A Letter of Mary. It went quickly, but I was disappointed.

The first problem I had with A Letter of Mary was the conceit. I had a hard time believing in Sherlock Holmes alive and well and married in 1923. Given that, though, I had a hard time believing that the character I was reading was him. Sherlock Holmes may have been the perfect detective, but he was by no means a perfect character. But King's Holmes is like the girly fanfic version of Doyle's Holmes. King's Holmes makes a decent Mary Sue love interest. King's Holmes has all the edges smoothed down, and while the first two books in the series might have shown how he got there, I'm not sure I would have found it more believable -- or palatable.

The other large problem I had is that if you bring in an interesting element -- a letter purported to be from Mary Magdalen! -- I'd really like it to be more than "plot-fueling device that never really gets dealt with in itself." Especially if it's the title item and one can be forgiven thinking it's, y'know, worth thinking about.

I also read most of Betsy Byars's The Summer of the Swans for contract work. It's one of those books I avoided as a child because it exuded suckiness, and I basically feel that way 100 pages in (out of 130). A girl learns to appreciate herself and her family, including her disabled brother. How heart-warming. Let me take a miss on that one. But they're giving me money, so I'll finish reading it and write reasonably about it and her other stuff. I have a new pet peeve phrase from reading this book, though. It's silly, but here it is: "[Person] blinked [his/her] eyes." Oh, yes? As opposed to blinking her nose? Or perhaps he blinked someone else's eyes? That's what blinking means. We have that word to refer to one's eyes, one's own eyes. Honestly.

Good lunch with C.J. yesterday, good coffee with Stella and Roo. Sisu was all right, but I'd rather drive a bit further and get to Taste of Scandinavia, where they have more than three Scando things on the menu. (Even more than three Finnish things.) Still, the mini-pulla was good. My mouth tastes like cardamom and pearl sugar. I'm ready to go on this thing.

One more chapter.

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