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.

 

 

#amwritinghistoricalfiction: The English Arrive on Isla del Fuego

p. 243 of self’s novel-in-progress:

An English officer stands on the beach, waiting at attention. Matias gapes.

“England has attacked Spain, sir,” the man announces. “We have 5,000 soldiers in Manila. Colonel Chisholm.”

So Long, NaNoWriMo2017, #stillwriting

Today self spent the whole day writing. Well, she spent all of yesterday writing as well. And the day before that. And the day before that. And . . .

Actually, the only times she hasn’t been writing in November are when she’s been on an airport or an airplane (pretty often, actually, in November, and lest she forget to mention — Aer Lingus sent her from Dublin to Cork, in a three-hour taxi ride because of a cancelled flight from Heathrow, on Nov. 2)

She did not, of course, do 50k words. But she never expected to anyway.

What she has as of today are 282 pages of a novel-in-progress, and she knows pretty much how she wants it to end.

She even thought of a cool-sounding title for her manuscript, a few days ago:

Blue Water, Distant Shores

Sooo fan-ta-ma-tas-tic. She got the idea yesterday. She likes to think she wouldn’t have gotten there if she hadn’t spent so much time working up to 282 pages. Two years ago, this idea was 60 pages which she forced up to 80 pages so she could go to Banff Writers Studio. And she’s had such problems with confidence (because it’s 18th century, and she’s never written a novel before, and she set it in Spain, which she’s only been to once in her whole life). But, slow and steady, and BIG BIG thanks to the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig for giving her that space and that peace and that determination to finish her book.

And she is so happy right now. Incredible.

Stay tuned.

 

#folklorethursday: Ringing the bell at the Bajnath Temple, Himachal Pradesh

Ring the bell and make a wish!

That, at least, is what self was told.

Himachal Pradesh, India, 2012.

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.

Fifth From the Annaghmakerrig Book: Anne Haverty

I used to be quite a normal fellow.

— from One Day As a Tiger by Anne Haverty

Fourth From the Annaghmakerrig Book: Vona Groarke

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Excerpt from Maize, by Vona Groarke:

The Faber Castells ripen in your hand.
You’ve been drawing since breakfast:
sky after sky, face after face, but something
in yours says they’re not quite right.

#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 2: Pamela de Brî, Studio # 4

At the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig: Because art is all about TRANSFORMATION:

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First, the Empty Studio, the Blank Walls

And then:

Pam’s Last Day at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre

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