16 January, 2011

What I'm Reading - Cut to the Quick by Kate Ross

This was my first introduction to Kate Ross' Regency-era Julian Kestrel -- a charming dandy hiding a mysterious past and a complex personality. Ross has created a character with a number of extraordinary attributes which she reveals slowly, layer by layer, drawing the reader into a red herring-laced plot. 

 Kestrel is a typical Regency-type (think Georgette Heyer) figure, but with more intuition, brains and depth of character. He receives an invitation to be best man at the wedding of the future Sir Hugh Fontclair and commoner Maud Craddock. This is odd since he only met Fontclair once previously, when he helped him out of trouble at a gambling house. He has no idea why a virtual stranger would ask him to stand as best man, but welcoming any excuse to escape boredom, he accepts the invitation.

The tension between the soon-to-be in-laws is impossible to miss. It's no secret that Mr. Craddock, Maud's father  and a former Fontclair employee,  is holding something over the Fontclairs' head, but no one is talking. Loathe to get involved in others' personal affairs, Kestrel is happy to just be a guest until he discovers the body of a young woman neatly tucked into his bed.

When Dipper, his pickpocket-turned-valet sidekick is arrested for the murder, Kestrel turns his brain to detection, relying on a craggy country doctor to act as his sounding board for conjectures. 

Cut to the Quick
has everything historical fans crave: a
period setting; a character-driven, intricate plot; and a cast you can't wait to meet again.

04 January, 2011

Senior Texting: IMHO (Is my hearing aid on?)

Since Seniors are texting and tweeting, there appears to be a need for a STC (Senior Texting Code). I wish I could take credit for the ingenious codes below, but I can't --they were forwarded to me by my much older brother. I personally find texting a challenge - my thumbs have a mind of their own - but I try. And some of these sound pretty handy.

ATD: At The Doctor's
BFF: Best Friend Fainted
BTW: Bring The Wheelchair
BYOT: Bring Your Own Teeth
CBM: Covered By Medicare
CUATSC: See You At The Senior Center
DWI: Driving While Incontinent
FWB: Friend With Beta Blockers
FWIW: Forgot Where I Was
FYI: Found Your Insulin
GGPBL: Gotta Go, Pacemaker Battery Low!
GHA: Got Heartburn Again
HGBM: Had Good Bowel Movement
IMHO: Is My Hearing-Aid On?
LMDO: Laughing My Dentures Out
LOL: Living On Lipitor
LWO: Lawrence Welk's On
OMMR: On My Massage Recliner
OMSG: Oh My! Sorry, Gas.
ROFL... CGU: Rolling On The Floor Laughing... And Can't Get Up
SGGP: Sorry, Gotta Go Poop
TTYL: Talk To You Later
WAITT: Who Am I Talking To?
WTFA: Wet The Furniture Again
WTP: Where's The Prunes?
WWNO: Walker Wheels Need Oil

Any one have additions to the list for the benefit of your fellow seniors?

01 January, 2011

Blessings, not Resolutions

New Year's Day -- the time we make that long list of resolutions most of us will never keep despite our best intentions.  This year I've resolved not to resolve.

Rather than a long list of empty good intentions, this year I'm writing down my blessings.  Scratch exercise every day from the list, add completed water-proofing leaky basement -- and it worked.

This year's list is diverse:
  • a year of good health for the entire family
  • celebrating my mother's 90th birthday
  • the safe rescue of all 33 trapped Chilean miners
  • attending Seascape, Mystery 203, and Crime Bake
  • an improving economy
  • seeing my "foster" puppy go to his wonderful "forever" home
  • a friend's first published book - hope for the rest of us .
  • renewing an old friendship after 15 years
  • much needed house repairs complete
  • the Gulf oil spill clean up
  • the slow, but steady recovery of an ill friend (no more dialysis! Yeah!)
  • finishing 50K words of my WIP
  • the safe return of many (but unfortunately, not all) of our young service men and women
  • my many friends, near and far, old and new
  • the promise of another exciting year - 2011
I intend to print out my list will, placing it in a small frame on my desk .  That way, whenever I'm feeling low, defeated, or even angry, I can remind myself of my many, many blessings.  Now that's a good way to start the year!

What's on your list?