I finished this book yesterday. It is a nice, light read about a 30-something woman who runs away from her manipulative, philandering husband in New York to become a working student at a dressage barn in North Carolina. It is written with a wry sense of humor (the ubiquitous Jack Russell terriers were hysterical) and the characters are spot on – for almost each and every one, I thought “I’ve met/know that person.” Her portrayal of life on a horse farm was also dead on. Since she states in her biography that she’s divorced, and her protagonist’s name is also Judy, I wondered how much was autobiographical. Although the author touches on themes of family (her relationship with her sister and various mother-daughter relationships) and friendship bonds between women, the book is first and foremost a romance novel. Judy has to find herself before she can find her man (which is a good thing). There are some risqué parts, but nothing explicit. Readers younger than 30 will likely enjoy the horsey backdrop and the foreign working students at the dressage barn, but may lack the life experience to really get the rest of it. If you’re looking for a light, “beach read” book in a horsey setting, this is a good one. You can find out more about the author at her website.
I am not a huge fan of fireworks. Perhaps it’s the childhood memories of either being bitten to death by mosquitoes, no matter how much Off! we sprayed on, or sitting in the car to get away from them and suffocating. Still, we all went last night to Katy Mills mall, camp chairs in hand, and watched the fireworks. It had cooled down a lot (frightening that 86°F = “cooled down a lot”) and there was a nice breeze. The kids were so excited. My daughter did the thing with her hands where she holds them about shoulder level and stretches out all of her fingers. My son shrieked with delight every time one went off. That made it well worth the getting there an hour early for a good spot and sitting in traffic for half an hour afterward.
I have mostly recovered; I think the 2 days in the hospital on a KCl drip did me a lot of good, even if they never did figure out what was causing the high fever.
I am either currently reading or have in my reading stack: Get Known Before the Book Deal by Christina Katz; Inkheart by Cornelia Funke; Inkspell by Cornelia Funke; Horseplay by Judy Singer.
There is an interesting site that one of my CG friends found: Pitchtopia. The idea is that writers post pitches for their work and agents/editors read the pitches and respond to ideas they like. Sounds like a nice idea, but I’m not sure how they’re going to attract said agents/editors. From what I hear, they are already drowning in work and/or submissions, so they probably aren’t that interested in going out to look for more submissions. Just my theory. Perhaps it will work fabulously. Another interesting concept, freshly imported from Japan, is the cell phone novel. Novel is serialized in 140 character (or less) segments. Two English language sites mentioned in The Writer magazine are QuillPill and TextNovel. Apparently Harlequin is getting in on the act, with their Harlequin On the Go subscription service for cell phones.
Finally, if you haven’t seen this blog, it is amazing and hysterical: Cakewrecks. Sometimes, pictures of really incredible cakes are posted (“Sunday Sweets”). Most times, unintentionally funny, bizarre or just disturbing cake photos abound.
I was looking at WAHM’s (Work At Home Moms) website yesterday. Wanted to see if they had any writing jobs listed. I was looking at the forum topics and I came across “Sales: Romance Companies,” with no fewer than 14 listings. Romance companies? Do they deliver chocolate and roses with a personalized poem or something? No. They are like Mary Kay parties, except instead of makeup, “marital aids” and “adult novelties” are the featured items. I had a quick flash of my kids getting into that sort of inventory and using a couple of “marital aids” to sword fight. Okay, how about let’s go to Writer Mama, shall we? Gotta get that image out of my head (shuddering).
The kids and I went to Petsmart today to get some aquarium filter cartridges. We came home with the cartridges AND a red claw crab. Because I didn’t already have enough to take care of. Later, I was out watering potted plants and a Brown Anole hatchling leapt out of the foliage and started licking water off the leaves and trunk of the little tree I was watering. Poor little guy. I know he’s an invasive exotic. But still. I haven’t wanted to release the toadlet/froglets because I don’t think they have a chance of survival in this drought + heat wave. Rain dance, anyone?