Friday, August 30, 2013

The Penny Farthing

Here's a gent from India's era, with his penny farthing bicycle:

I feel the urge to get India up on one of these.  Per Wikipedia, the name comes from the British coins 'penny' and 'farthing' (duh).  From the side, the bicycle looks like a penny leading a farthing.  

You'd think these are just a quaint reminder of our past, but some people still dig 'em.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Work, Work, Work

I've been doing quite a bit of that lately.  TC and I have decided to do all the maintenance projects around the house that we have put off for five years.  That's bad enough, but the people who lived here before us did nothing around here, so we have their maintenance to do, as well.  This week, I have used a cool product called "Howard's" which makes oak cabinets and trim look brand new.  I've done the stairs and the kitchen cabinets.  We've painted one bathroom and we've prepped a second for painting.

In the middle of this burst of domesticity, I took a day off to visit my mother.  I've also written 8,000 words this week.  And I've edited the digital novella India Black in the City of Light.  That was an easy task; I seem to have done a rather thorough job of cleaning up the ms before sending it off to my publisher last May.  I did have to remind the copy editor that in previous India stories we have used "Bulldog" rather than "Bull Dog" for India's revolver.  Either seems to be correct, but for the sake of consistency, we should stick with one.  And to my horror I discovered that I had used the word "memorandums."  Sheesh.  What was I thinking?

Next week:  At least 10,000 words, paint the second bathroom, prep TC's office for painting.  Yikes.

This picture is a total fake.  It would be more realistic if they were covered in paint and shouting at each other.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Another Master Gone

Another of the greats has passed.  It was announced today that Elmore Leonard has died, aged 87.

He was a prolific author and an exceptional prose stylist.  If you're a writer, it's worth revisiting his "10 Rules for Writing" on a frequent basis.

Monday, August 19, 2013

India vs. Carol: Who is Smarter?'

Apparently, India.  From HuffPo, this article says:

"Our technology may be getting smarter, but a provocative new study suggests human intelligence is on the decline. In fact, it indicates that "Westerners have lost 14 I.Q. points on average since the Victorian Era."

And the reason for this:

"...the fact that women of high intelligence tend to have fewer children than do women of lower intelligence." 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Writers Being Honest

I had high expectations when I heard about this article.  Unfortunately, the quotes from various writers were not nearly as funny as I had hoped, with the exception of this one:

"I am the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and Fries."

Stephen King

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Back Problems

I used to have them, until I bought a small recliner and put it in my office.  Now I sit in the chair and write on my laptop.  I look like this:

Monday, August 12, 2013

Interesting Women: Kate Field

I have a confession:  I don't relate well to feminists.  Far too much time is spent on trying to shame men into behaving differently.  Imagine the results if that much energy was devoted to realizing one's potential.  That's why I'm drawn to women like Kate Field, actress, writer, journalist and world traveler.  And she did it all during the Victorian Age.  Bravo, Kate!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Elizabeth Peters

Sad news today:  Barbara Mertz has died.  

Under the name of Elizabeth Peters she wrote one of my favorite historical mystery series.  I adore her Amelia Peabody novels.  The Vicky Bliss series is also very good.  She was a real titan in the field.  I always feel sad when a writer I have read and enjoyed for years departs this earth.  I'll miss her.

Burlesque, Anyone?

I don't know much about burlesque, except that in comparison to today's versions of adult entertainment, it seems downright tame.  One of burlesque's most notable women has died, and garnered a spot on the Telegraph's obituary page.  R.I.P., Dixie Evans.

Monday, August 5, 2013

That Dizzy

A new biography of Benjamin Disraeli, India's friend and employer, has just been published.

Dizzy was quite the character.  Here's what the reviewer in The Economist has to say about him:  An admirer of Byron, he became a romantic and a dandy.  He wore velvet coats and silk stockings and sashes and ribbons.  He partied hard and became indebted; in 1840 he owed 20,000 pounds, around $3,000,000 today.

It's hard to invent characters this colorful, and who needs to when Dizzy is at hand?

Friday, August 2, 2013

India in Paris

  The cover art for India Black in the City of Light has been added to the Amazon page.  Here 'tis:

Sorry, I don't have a high resolution image.  As the post's title indicates, this short story is set in Paris, with French and India exchanging a Russian spy for one of Britain's.  It's a standalone, so there's no need to read it before the fourth book. 

If you've purchased India Black and the Rajah's Ruby, you may want to refresh your memory by reading it before The Gentleman Thief comes out in February.  Have a good weekend.