Place in Mystery Fiction: It Is Everything

Self is closing out 2017 with Tana French, and she is also reading Kelly Creighton’s Bank Hurricane Holiday, a super short story collection set in Northern Ireland.

Place is everything in the writing of these two women. She isn’t finished yet with Creighton’s book (just out from Doire Press) but she finished her first Tana French, earlier today: Broken Harbor. And she’s just started reading The Trespasser.

She’s very late in coming to Tana French, but why. She’s been coming to Ireland for years, if she’d had enough sense, she would have read Ms. French years ago.

Self loves mysteries. She especially loves the mysteries of: Henning Mankell, Morag Joss (only one book), Ruth Rendell, and Karin Fossum.

She thinks her love of mysteries in foreign landscapes began with Peter Hoeg’s mesmerizing Smilla’s Sense of Snow. (And now she writes dystopian fantasy set in snowy landscapes, what a coincidence)

p. 4, The Trespasser:

  • Murder works out of the grounds of Dublin Castle, smack in the heart of town, but our building is tucked away a few corners from the fancy stuff the tourists come to see, and our walls are thick; even the early morning traffic out on Dame Street only makes it through to us as a soft, undemanding hum.

Who doesn’t know Dublin Castle. Tourist mecca. Now, in her mind, Dublin Castle is the home of the Dublin Murder Squad. Love.

On to p. 5.

Stay tuned.

 

 

#amwriting: 18th Century What-Not

The following is an excerpt from an Archbishop ‘s conversation with self’s main character Matias, who is being assigned to one of Spain’s farthest colonies, the Philippines:

“There are a handful of civil servants married to native women who have taken to land management. I would not go so far as to call their efforts industrious. They are respectable but not artistic. It would be tedious to describe them.”

Whenever self re-reads this passage, she just has to go

lol

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Serene: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 29 November 2017

  • Share a visual moment of blissful quiet. –– Ben Huberman, The Daily Post

All pictures below from self’s cottage in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig

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Also, failed to reach her goal of 50k words for NaNoWriMo2017, but her novel-in-progress is up to 281 pp.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Mendocino Art Center, Winter 2018: LANDSCAPES OF THE MIND

Self is teaching a class in Mendocino. First time since Winter 2016. Excited and happy to be back.

Here’s the link.

Registration’s open.

#amreading Travel Writing: Lawrence Durrell on Alexandria

Going ashore in Alexandria is like walking the plank for instantly you feel, not only the plangently Greek city rising before you, but its backcloth of deserts stretching away into the heart of Africa. It is a place for dramatic partings, irrevocable decisions, last thoughts; everyone feels pushed to the extreme, to the end of his bent. People become monks or nuns or voluptuaries or solitaries without a word of warning. As many people simply disappear as overtly die here. The city does nothing.

— Lawrence Durrell in An Alexandria Anthology: Travel Writing Through the Centuries, edited by Michael Haag (Cairo: The American University in Cairo Press)

Transformation: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 22 November 2017

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is TRANSFORMATION.

There are many ways self could choose to interpret that challenge. She could show nature and the changing seasons. She could show people in the process of transforming (costumes, aging, and so forth).

For now, she chooses to focus on the transformation of physical space. The first picture is London’s Chinatown in late October. The second is the Blue Room in Paradiso in Cork.

In the first picture, the Chinese lanterns add a whole different aspect to the street.

In the second, it’s the shadows cast by a floor lamp that transform a simple room into a place of mystery.

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Chinatown, London: Last Week of October 2017

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Paradiso, Cork: Early November, 2017

Other interpretations:

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Third From the Annaghmakerrig Book: Anne Enright

As soon as I walked in, I knew he wanted to touch it.

— Excerpt from Shaft, by Anne Enright

Poetry Saturday: “Trenarren, Autumn 1941”

An excerpt from Trenarren, Autumn 1941

by A. L. Rowse

The thunder-green sea
Brings nearer the Island
On which stood the chapel
Of Michael the Archangel.

Smoke from a chimney
In the V-shaped valley,
The voices of children,
A robin on the bough:

Familiar and cheerful
Domestic noises
Speak of contentment
About me now.

But what is to come?
I ask myself, waiting
In this burial-place
Of my ancient people.


from A. L. Rowse’s collection Poems, Chiefly Cornish (London: Faber and Faber), dedicated to Edward Sackville West, “in our common passion for Cornwall”

Stay tuned.

EXPERIMENTAL: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 15 November 2017

  • This is about “being experimental and choosing a new path.”

— Krista Stevens, The Daily Post

Last week, while wandering around Dublin, self stopped to gawk at the display window of a designer’s studio on Cow’s Lane:

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A Designer’s Shop Window on Cow’s Lane, Dublin: 9 November 2017

Unfortunately, the shop was closed. Self had to content herself with taking pictures.

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Display Window, Cow’s Lane, Dublin: 9 November 2017

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: 2 Ms Anywhere In the Word

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenges are really that: Fun.

Her series, Alphabet With a Twist, is now on the Letter M: To complicate things, you have to have 2 Ms, anywhere in the word.

It took self some assiduous looking, but she finally came up with these two pictures of the Prince Albert Memorial in Hyde Park, from her most recent visit to London, a few weeks ago:

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The Prince Albert Memorial on a Beautiful Day in Hyde Park, London, Late October 2017

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Closer View of The Prince Albert Memorial

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

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