Friday, June 15, 2012

Afternoon Delight

Just have time for a quickie post, but I wanted to share the finished cover for my novel. This is the cover without the logo in case I cannot convince Jerry that my book will do his business good.

This cover, as are several other covers, is due to the very talented Michael R. Reighn, who does beautiful work and puts up with my futzing around with things. I give him a little grief and he gives me beautiful covers.

I would also like to mention that Among Men is the sequel to Among Women and is the 2nd book in a series about Pearl Caldwell and her misadventures. If you want to be up to date, read Among Women first, so you'll be ready for the big showdown.

Thank is all. Disperse.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Every word you say

I feel sorry for Frasier Crane. He had a cranky day because of all the rain and he said so, but the whole of Seattle was angry at him for telling a woman to change her life, get a new job, a different apartment, get a hobby, make friends, find a boyfriend, or move out of town. Everyone picked up the move out of town and bashed poor Frasier until he had to agree to appear at a charity event for a Catholic hospital. Big mistake.

While in the bathroom getting rid of the butterflies in his stomach, Father Mike tells the audience that the bishop, who was supposed to introduce Frasier, is lost at sea. Frasier comes in late without hearing about the bishop, and begins telling his jokes, to no avail. He continues to alienate everyone.

That's the thing about situations like that. It doesn't always matter what you say or how you say it because someone, and often a lot of someones, are bound to pick up on one small item and beat you over the head with it and blame you while they're doing it. After all, it's your fault no matter what you do.

The torches have been lit and the pitchforks are out and no one is going to stop the mob now. They have it in their heads that you are the devil and nothing will do but having you on a spit over a hot fire while they cheer.

It's the same the world over because of the people and that herd mentality. You're entitled to your opinion as long as it doesn't conflict with the prevailing opinion. You're entitled to your life until someone decides that you've lived it too long without being punished for enjoying it. When it comes down to it, you're entitled to bear the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune because you make such a nice target.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not having a bad day, but I do understand how poor Frasier felt. I've been there. I usually walk away, except for those times that I've had enough bashing and decide it's time for me to speak out. It's always a chancy act, speaking out, because someone is bound to get angry and take offense, even if all you said was that pink bunnies aren't natural. Get used to it. No matter what you say or how you say it, no matter how eloquent you are, you're going to rub someone (a lot of someones) the wrong way. Keep the running shoes handy and the car idling so you can make a quick getaway. You'll need them.

Remember. You're entitled to your opinion as long as it doesn't conflict with anyone else's. Try that one on for size.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Review: The Magicians by Lev Grossman

A discontented, talented, but unfocused Harry Potter goes to college – sort of.

Julia walks best friends Quentin and James to a college interview and leaves them at the door. Inside, Quentin and James find their interviewer dead and call 911. One of the paramedics, a beautiful woman, hands Quentin a manila envelope with his name on it and inside he finds a copy of a sixth Fillory novel, one that was never published, and a piece of paper that the wind snatches out of his hands. He chases the paper along the cold Brooklyn streets and ends up struggling through a hedge into a sun-washed green expanse of lawn. Quentin has arrived at Brakebills College of Magic. His life will never be the same.

Quentin Coldwater, amateur magician, wanders into a world where magic is not practiced sleight of hand but real, magic that can be measured by physics and science. As a young man who keeps looking for the next best thing and finding he already has it and yet looking still, Quentin Coldwater is a wimp with occasional flashes of gumption and passion. He floats along on the tides of life waiting, always waiting, in Lev Grossman’s The Magicians. He is no Harry Potter. There is no doom hanging over his head and no powerful dark wizard to battle – yet.

Quentin is a complex, facile and infuriatingly frustrating character that walks numbly through a world of possibility and beauty never satisfied with what he has. He is not willing to plumb the depths of his intelligence and ability. Still, Quentin is mesmerizing, and The Magicians is an intricate and complex story with a simple theme: Be careful what you wish because you are about to get it.

Grossman is no less frustrating because he deliberately leaves the tag ends of information dangling. That is not to say that The Magicians or Grossman are disappointing—quite the reverse. Lev Grossman is a wizard of words and worlds deftly weaving a spell with familiar tools. The story is familiar: A youth trembling on the verge of adulthood unsure of the worth of learning and his path. It’s a situation many young adults raised on a diet of fantasy and Dungeons & Dragons face in the 21st century.

If you’re expecting a more adult version of Harry Potter, you’re out of luck. If, however, you’re willing to follow wimps and slackers sharing moments of brilliant insight and brutal honesty between bouts of drunkenness, fights, magic and sex, The Magicians is where you’ll find it. You won’t be disappointed. You’ll leave Grossman’s tightly crafted world with a growing sense of wonder and a question: What is Quentin’s discipline?