Monday, December 31, 2012

Audio Books

We left Helotes on Dec 19th for a 10-day drive to San Francisco and back.....visiting our youngest daughter for Christmas. The long hours of driving through remote dessert and grasslands were complimented by a series of audio books we had selected for the journey -- authors Danielle Steel, James Lee Burke, Louis L'Amour, Nora Roberts, and William J. Cobb. While the story lines are important, the quality of the reader often makes the story very satisfying or not so satisfying. Not only were the tales interesting, but I always learn more about plot and character development, pacing, details, and other facets of writing from these authors. We checked our audio books out of our local community library which made everything convenient and inexpensive.

We had a wonderful trip and even visited the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers located in Golden Gate Park. The Conservatory received a large grant from the Goldman Foundation to help restore the buildings after storm damage. It was fitting we should visit as the Goldman Environmental Prize awarded to environmental activists is mentioned in my latest novel, Ransomed Earth: An Eco-Thriller.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Children's Story Hour

We discovered a library jewel in the small community of Fulshear, Texas over the last month or so....a fully staffed library with children's story and activity hour!  We took Rheagan to the half hour storytelling and activity session, and stayed for the arts and crafts activity. They have sessions for toddlers and one for older children...very nicely done. It is such a pleasure to find an "old fashioned branch library" (Fort Bend County Library System) with such an array of programs and collections when so many libraries across the nation are closing or reducing programs due to budget cuts.

We immediately became Friends of the Library and look forward to many more visits in the future.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Karenina Done!

I completed reading Anna Karenina about a week ago, then went to see the recently released movie of the same title. This is not a novel to leave alone for a few days and come back to--hard to pick up where you leave off as I discovered over Thanksgiving holidays, family visits, travel, etc. The movie was a bit of a disappointment. Anyone who had not read the book would not have understood what was happening to the characters, the relationship of the characters to each other and the plot. I would prefer a miniseries somewhat along the lines of Lonesome Dove as a more comprehensive film version. Now reading "The Jetty" by co-author's Jan Brandon and Joe Labatt, set in Port Aransas, Texas.