Sep. 2nd, 2015

hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
We did have an interval of really lovely weather last week, timed for my birthday, so I went for a 7-mile hike on our local little mountain - the second of that length and type in a week, since we'd done Maryland Heights at Harper's Ferry five days before. (These are seriously little mountains, so to make it 7 miles one has to go back the long way after climbing to the summit, or in the Harper's Ferry case, walk into town for ice cream afterwards.) In between we had a weekend in Staunton, VA, saw two plays (Antony and Cleopatra and The Winter's Tale) at the American Shakespeare Center, ate some good food, and visited Polyface Farm for a tour by Joel Salatin himself. So that was nice. Today I went out early to water at the community garden (just trying to keep my fall greens alive now - it hasn't rained in about a month) and am not intending to spend much time outside otherwise. We may possibly get a thunderstorm and some cooler weather on Friday. (By cooler I mean lower than the 90s.) Summer can be done anytime.

My birthday was last Wednesday, and happily grand jury was canceled, hence the hike. It's also canceled today, and I am already excused for the next three weeks, so who knows when I'll get back there. Probably it will become more regular as summer vacations (of lawyers, not criminals) fade into the background.

I am excused because I'm traveling! (Well, next week because I have a meeting, but then travel.) I will be going on a Big Midwest Adventure, ending up at a conference on the Iowa/Nebraska border, and on the way visiting [ profile] penwiper26 - can't believe we will finally meet in person after being friends for so many years!! My intent is to tweet the Adventure, which hopefully I'll live up to. I am @ericahsmith if you want to follow me (normally I do not post much, but really I will try).

Perhaps some writing will get done on the trek, but for the moment I have accepted that it's just not happening for me, and I'm doing final edits on Not Time's Fool instead. I need to write some blog posts, too - have one sort of planned on hurting one's characters, which I started thinking about during the whole cellulitis thing.

Still reading a fair amount. I've had a whiplash-y experience with Morag Joss, who wrote a nice three-book mystery series in the oughts and then dropped it for Rendell-ish psychological thrillers, which (I have read two) are very good but also thoroughly depressing. And I am having a hard time forgiving her for leaving her cellist-detective Sara Selkirk hanging in a difficult personal position - I mean, I'm usually all for authors writing what they want to write and not pandering to my personal taste (as if they should know it), but I really hope she goes back someday to tell us what happens.

The series/trilogy/exercise-in-frustration was reminding me (not because of the left-hanging bit, but because of the character relationships) of Julia Spencer-Fleming's mysteries - cellist instead of Episcopalian priest, Bath instead of upstate New York, but both of them fall for a married police detective, and both have that tendency to leap without looking into danger and detection. It's made me think about what some of you out there call a "competence kink" - I don't think I have that, exactly, but I do like characters who are good at what they do. The question becomes, though, do they have to be good at other things? and what are those things? - does a world-class cellist fail at competence because she sometimes has to be rescued from her ill-thought attempts at cornering criminals, or a caring priest who also pilots helicopters because she doesn't meditate first before driving into danger? For me, it seems to come down to psychological plausibility and consistency, so if someone is established as having impulsive reactions in certain areas or on certain triggers, it doesn't bother me if they act on those reactions even if the actions are a bit stupid. That said, stupid characters will get on my nerves after a while, and so will Mary Sue-like levels of competence. Sara Selkirk does flirt with both those things, so perhaps one more book to resolve the personal crisis would do me, really.

Having a total TV vacation aside from occasional dips into Leverage. The question is, will I keep watching Sleepy Hollow this fall or not? Haven't decided. Should also note for those who have been considering watching that Person of Interest seasons 1-3 is now available on Netflix.

Best wishes to all!

June 2016

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