Book: A Promise Kept

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A Promise Kept
by David Bishop

Story grabs you from the get-go with its sympathetic main character. This may be a cozy mystery, but I see a few shades of Phillip Marlowe in Rick Carnes’ personality. Just a touch, less hard-boiled. An ex-army Captain who’s worked in govt investigations, Carnes doesn’t take any flak or swallow any lies. The story’s fairly clean over all, but one of the suspects has a foul mouth.

This is definitely a more cosy story than Chandlers’ works, no senseless murders, but almost as mystifying. I like it that Carnes works together with the law. Plus, he has Marlowe beat with all the modern technical resources. The “whodunit” was a complete surprise. I liked the Epilogue; it rounded out the story quite nicely. Kudos, Mr Bishop, on a very well written story!

I’m not sure why, but my name seems to have been listed in Amazon’s “BAD ONES” book recently, as the last three reviews I’ve done were rejected almost immediately — even the brief review for an adult coloring book. So I’ll post my reviews here.

That Beautiful Blank Page!

All set for my response to the latest writing prompts:
Ragtag Daily PromptFRESH
Word of the Day ChallengeRESOLUTION
Fandango’s One-Word ChallengeADORN
Your Daily Word ChallengeRENEW

Image by StockSnap — Pixabay

Doesn’t everybody love New Year’s Day? That sense of leaving the past behind — especially past failings — and starting fresh. The blank sheet on which we hope to write this year’s goals –and later adorn the list with check marks for “DONE.”

Be more patient. Reconnect with someone. Lose weight. Be more faithful in posting on the blog. Paint that picture. Finish that book. Renew memberships. De-clutter the house. What are your goals for 2021?

Last week I announced one of my goals: having scrolled through my Amazon account and seeing all the books I either haven’t read yet or read and forgotten, without adding stars or writing a review, I’ve resolved to go through the list and deal with each one before I BUY ONE MORE BOOK. I’m happy to report that I’ve read one and almost finished the second. I deleted the first; it was 3-star Okay, but I’ll never read it again so why let it clutter up my e-reader.

Another goal I’ve been working at: go through my e-mails, check out the ones I haven’t yet opened and delete last year’s unimportant e-mails.

Last night I contemplated giving my blog a fresh new look, so I checked out the themes offered by WordPress. But when all was said and done, I decided to keep the one I have for the time being. Some wise soul once said, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I’ll go with that. I’ll rather adorn my blog with a new Home Page, header and background color.

Although I’ve already erred by leaving a rather political comment on Mr Bump’s blog this morning, I’ve resolved to avoid political discussions and not offer my two-cents’ worth re: same. There are lots of positive things to write about. Politically, the world is going to wrack and to ruin. Do I need to say more on that subject? 😉

Yes, I have a book I want to finish — several, in fact. And ones I want to write. Will this be the year? There’s also my tub of miscellaneous scribblings waiting to be keyed into computer files. And sewing projects to finish.

One of my biggest dreams is to paint. I’ll never do anything beautiful, but even if I can squeeze some paint onto a canvas and swirl it around to resemble some abstract sort of flowers, I’ll be happy. In 2019 I bought a couple of canvases and acrylic paints — but painting didn’t happen. Will this be the year, or will there always be too many other things more pressing?

I’d better quit… My blank page is getting full! Let’s see what all I get checked off in the coming twelve months. 🙂

“I write to be remembered…”

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is WRITE
And maybe if I WRITE fast enough, I can be the first to respond!

All because I’m up in the wee hours — sinus problems just wouldn’t let me rest in peace — so thought I’d see what’s going on in the world. So here’s a little verse that came to mind when I saw the prompt and no responses yet:

By hook or by crook;
I’ll be the first to write in this book.”
This is a slight adaptation of a verse someone wrote in an autograph book of mine years ago. It actually went like this:
“By hook or by crook
I’ll be the last one to write in this book.”
The girl who wrote it signed on the inside back cover, so no one could beat that. 🙂

I wonder how many of you can remember those old autograph books we handed around to our family and friends, asking them to write a verse so we’d have a memory of them for our old age? I’m pretty sure I still have one of mine, dating from about 1963-65. My husband also had one and collected some interesting verses of his own.

The idea was to write some sort of good wishes, a verse, an inspiring quote, a bit of song, and then sign and date your entry. This poem was written by one of Mom’s siblings:

“How nice it is to have a friend
who always plays the game,
knows all the faults that you possess
and loves you just the same.” 

This bit of wisdom, maybe a forerunner of the “How to eat an elephant” line, was given to Bob by his Dad. It’s often encouraged me when I feel overwhelmed by many To-Dos:
“Little and often makes a heap in time.”

Here’s another encouragement my third-grade teacher wrote for me:
“May your life be like a snowflake;
leave a mark, but not a stain.”

Verses could be silly, like these written by two of my friends:
“I saw you in the ocean; I saw you in the sea;
I saw you in the bath-tub. Oops, pardon me!”

And here’s a last, very humble verse to end my post with — and by now I may not even be the first in the queue. 🙂

“Some people write for money,
some people write for fame;
I write to be remembered
so here I’ll sign my name.”

Have a great weekend, everyone!

This Week I’m A Writer

Image: Darkmoon Works — Pixabay

Dear Readers, Friends, Followers, Fellow bloggers,

For a long time I’ve wanted to sit down and actually write. Not just dash off short blog posts and stories, but buckle down and finish various longer projects I’ve started through the years. Trouble is, I’ve been getting stuck in deep ruts. Hitting mental road blocks that crack my windscreen, as it were.

The Bruiser Twins got on my case. Have you heard of them? Why bother? and Who cares? pipe up often to drench my inspiration. I hear the nagging, “You’re lousy at marketing,” and “Nobody wants to read your stuff anyway.” I just have to look on Amazon to see the kind of books that are selling like hotcakes now, but will anyone read the tame (lame?) stories I write? Thankfully, though, I was recently cheered by a letter from a friend afar who said, “I really like your stories.”

I like to write contemporary fiction, but those who know me personally will understand that many times I feel like I’m caught between two quite different worlds. The non-religious society I grew up in has moved quite far along in the new morality since I left and I’m rather out of date. I don’t care for today’s “flawed anti-heroes.” The conservative Christian circle I belong to tends to prefer the golden oldies-style that I’m not very interested in writing.

Mulling this all over yesterday I had a liberating “Eureka” moment. A little voice saying, “You need to finish these projects for yourself, for your own good. Time to stop floundering in what others might want or be buying.”

The chorus of a long-ago song comes to mind, and maybe the message has some validity:
“It’s alright now. I learned my lesson well,
you can’t please everyone so you got to please yourself.”

So I’m going to be SELFISH for the rest of the week and spend my time doing something that will please ME. I’m going to act like a real novelist, whack away at my story into the wee hours, live on fried eggs and toast, drink coffee ’til I’m bleary-eyed — and get something done. Wish me inspiration. 🙂

Image by Engin Akyurt — Pixabay

Meanwhile, I’ll post a few more book reviews here, so you can read about other writers’ works that I think are worth reading.

Weaver of Words, Spinner of Tales

Today I’ll combine my response to the Ragtag Daily Prompt word, SNITCH

Image: Mohamed Hassan — Pixabay

with The Sunday WhirlWordle #484

Object: Use as many words as you can in a story or verse
STORY SPINNER
 
A master at crafting,
 your stories build walls;
 raise up humble dwellings
 and palaces tall.

 I look out the windows
 you've set in your halls – 
 some frames bold and black,
 some narrow, some small.

 I spy this new country
 you've chosen to scrawl,
 this world to discover
 with scenes to enthrall.

 You've thrown up some cities
 and peopled them all,
 each soul with their trial
 and frequent downfall.

 You snitch someone's sweetheart
 misled by some knave;
 throw gallants to lions
 to prove themselves brave.

 I'll read half the night
 drawn into your spin.
 But, wasted next morning,
 I just want to sleep in!