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Posts Tagged ‘DEVICES AND DESIRES

Books, Documentaries, Reviews: Patricia Cornwell’s PREDATOR

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Books, Documentaries, Reviews:  January 24, 2014

Patricia Cornwell’s Predator

I downloaded and listened to this book from our Maine Library System.

I thought I’d try out a Cornwell as I’d heard off and on over the years that her books were good and are centered around a very cool woman forensic scientist, Kate Scarpetta.

Remember that I’d just finished P.D. James’ Devices and Desires and thoroughly enjoyed it.

After James, the Cornwell is a real letdown.

The characters seem really stereotypical, for one thing.  For another, much of the “plot” revolved around being inside the bad person’s head while perfectly horrible, terrible, scary, gory, inhumane acts took place–and all from a the always-very-rare serial killer.  Or, inside the victim’s head while they are being tortured.

Who on earth would want those kinds of images in their heads?

James kills people and has them do insane things all right.  But the Cornwell is different.  The experience felt very voyeuristic, and, frankly, not at all interesting.  Just…gory.  The story made me feel…dirty.

There is nothing of James’ elegance, or depth, or attention to the nuances of people in all their complexity.

It’s probably unfair to damn a writer from one book–especially when there are so many here from this writer–but I won’t go back to this well until I totally run out of other books to enjoy.

I worry about the United States with all its engagement with these kinds of stories…over and over and over again–and especially when they are visual as with television/movies.

And, good heavens!  The Grimm Fairy Tales certainly are…grim.   There’s plenty of blood.  But Cornwell and all the forensic shows are something different yet again.  There’s something here that does not just create express horror at what all a twisted person can do, but which, instead, begins to inure one to what should remain terrible.  In this process, the boundaries just get pushed further and further into the truly…rare and terrible.

Written by louisaenright

January 24, 2014 at 1:42 pm

Turkey Tracks: Friday Night Update

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Turkey Tracks:  January 17, 2014

Friday Night Update

It’s 4:04 p.m., and it is not pitch dark yet.

But, soon.

And, soon, spring will come, too, as the days are growing longer.

We have been having a January thaw for the past week.  We can see green grass again, and there is still lettuce in my cold frame.  Imagine that…  Beneath all that snow…

I HAVE TO ORDER SEEDS!

The chickens are laying again.  Rosie, the Copper Black Maran, laid her first egg since, I don’t know, October?  The Americaunas molted in the fall and started laying again a few weeks ago.  They are, once again, looking posh with all their new feathers.  Beauty, who is so ugly I called her Beauty, laid all winter–though the shell to her eggs is very thin.  She is so friendly and sweet.

The Diva, who I think is Queeny, is in the kitchen, resting, healing (one hopes).  Her neck still looks pretty bad, but her eyes are bright, and she’s eating.

The brother of my friend Linda, who house sits for me and cleans, was standing beneath the edge of a roof with lots of ice on it.  A slab broke loose and hurt his arm, side, and leg and broke his foot.  Last Tuesday, in the middle of our January thaw, Linda went to get into her minivan, slipped on hidden ice next to the van.  Her face is all bruised, and she broke her wrist.  She drove herself to the emergency room.

Of course she was not looking for ice; everything had melted off.  And that’s when the ice is the most treacherous.  When you think it’s gone.  Now she and her brother visit each other, each nursing a broken bone, and laugh wryly.

I talk to her every few days to see if she needs anything and to remind her to go slowly.  The loss of income is very serious for her, of course, and I will pay her same as always, work or no work.  She is so good to me in so many ways–I can’t even begin to tell you all she did for me when John was so sick and how she has cared for me this past year.

Today I went to Belfast (about 40 minutes north) to the big Coop for ground chicken for the dogs and green things for me.  AND to pick up this amazing herbal powder from Dr. Herzig, a holistic vet, that keeps Miss Reynolds Georgia bright and busy tailed.  She thinks she’s a puppy again, which is great since twice now I have been sure she was not going to live through the night.  For about three months this summer I had to gently force feed her.   Anyway, it was nice to get out a bit.

Celtic Solstice:  I put on the white border yesterday.  And got one triangle border on when I realized that I had TWO blocks with the orange going the wrong way.  Mercy!  I took the rows apart and turned the blocks, and the job was easier than I had expected.  When I finish here, I’m going to make a cup of tea and put on the other three borders.  Tomorrow I’m going to a big quilt fabric sale to get some green or blue to finish this amazing quilt.  And, the backing and binding.  There are so many seams that I do not want to piece blocks for the back.  It will be so hard to quilt if I do.

“Sails Up and Flags Flying,” the bright orange quilt,  is loaded onto Lucy the longarm, and the great yellow thread has come in the mail.  So….  Tomorrow, maybe…

Here’s a block to remind you…

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And one of the really fun things I’ve learned from Bonnie Hunter is to take the time to “swirl” your seams on the backside of a block as it cuts down on bulk when it’s time to quilt the layers.  See the little tiny squares in the middle of each block–that “swirling” means two layers of bulk, not four.  Bonnie has detailed instructions under the four-patch unit “clue” of Celtic Solstice on her quiltville.com blog.  Look for the “Celtic Solstic” mystery information.

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I have been hand-sewing blocks for this great quilt–pictures below–from Material Obsession 2 by Kathy Doughty and Sarah Fielke, both from Australia.  I have not decided which layout to use yet.

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I am kind of leaning toward the second one, but maybe making it a bit bigger.  I have almost finished two blocks and have cut out pieces for the third and chosen fabric for a bunch more.  I am getting obsessed with the beauty of these blocks.  I’ll take some pictures tomorrow.

BUT, if I do the first layout, it might make a great quilt for the red guest bedroom…

Who knows?  It’s a work in progress…  And I’m just having fun.

It’s dark now.  I’m going now to lock up the chickens, fix dinner (stuffed green peppers and baked squash), make a cuppa, and sew.  And to listen to what is likely the final part of P.D. James’ Devices and Desires, which has been wonderful, wonderful.  James is a master of murder mysteries.  This book is so full and rich and so full of depth.

Tonight after watching two Castle episodes from season 2–which is really all about watching Nathan Fillion whose Firefly series got cancelled way, way too soon (Josh Whedon, and  the movie Serenity kind of finished off that series)–I’ll read another big chunk of Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, which I’m really enjoying.

And, oh my gosh!, when checking spelling for Fillion, I realized he’s also in Buffy the Vampire Slayer just a bit, which Josh Wheden also did!!!  I’ve always wanted to check out that tv series…ever since Julie Powell wrote Julie and Julia (from her blog about Julie cooking her way through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking) and spoke of her delight in Buffy…

If you don’t have dog-eared volumes of Child’s Mastering the Art of…, you might want to get at least the first one and cook around it a bit.

Life is so full of wonderful surprises some times…

Turkey Tracks: January Thaw!

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Turkey Tracks:  January 12, 2014

(I don’t know why some recent posts are not separating paragraphs…  Sorry…)

 

January Thaw!

It’s a January thaw!
It’s 50 degrees!
We can see grass in the snow paths again, and the chickens came out of their coop/cage and are re-exploring the yard.  There is all sorts of talking and crowing and clucking and general delight going on in the yard.
Today’s job was to retrieve TWO glass bowls that the chickens have dragged to the back end of the cage.  The chickens, in their boredom and hunger for different foods, literally lick those bowls clean and drag them around.  Did you know that chickens have tiny little tongues?
Until today, I could not reach them from the front end of the cage with the crab net.  Or poke a broom handle through the chicken wire to push them forward from the back end as the tarps were knee deep in snow.  I’m going to try the very tall tree/limb cutter which has a curved saw on the top–and if that does not work, will try to life the tarps at the back end.
I NEED those bowls to continue feeding the chickens things like warm mash, leftovers, meat and milk, and so forth.
Well!  The tree saw was too tall to wedge into the flap/gap between the coop and the cage.  I finally got the bowls with a leaf rake–the longest one I had.  The tines kept collapsing, but patience and effort was rewarded, and I gradually was able to turn each bowl over and over until I could reach it with the thick pole I use to prop open the coop roof.  Yeah!!!!  I am easily amused, apparently.
Meanwhile, the rooster herded his girls up together next to the house and told them I was an extremely dangerous intruder into their space.  He is so cute and has come into his own.  He crows all the time now.  I’ll try to get some pictures of him soon, but we are getting more weather coming in over the next few days.
Last night I sewed the fifth row of seven of Celtic Solstice.  It’s so pretty.  Only I sewed one of the units upside down, which threw off the pattern.  I took the offending block out of the row, fixed the unit, and resewed the row together.   Now I had TWO blocks upside down.  I took it all apart and fixed both units and resewed and QUIT for the night, thinking I would finish the rows today.  But I have not yet, and I’m not quite sure where the day has gotten to.
I have downloaded another audio book:  P.D. James’s DEVICES AND DESIRES.  Oh my gosh!  There is a mini-series of this book:
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There is something so seductive about having someone read a story to you while you sew.  I finished BEST OF WOMEN’S SHORT STORIES, Vol. 1, William J. Locke, yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it.  There were a number of stories I read in school, like Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” and it was a pleasure to hear them dramatized.
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I spent some time yesterday going through ALL the 1200 titles of the audio books as the search engine is not great on this system.  I found so many books I will love to hear and made lists of the same.  I thought a mystery would be fun for a change.