Thursday, August 5, 2010

long time no post

Actually, in addition to writing my own things, I have been reading a lot. At the WIWA conference, I was in a chat house with Jamie Ford, author of The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. I had read it a few weeks before and really liked it. It's set in Seattle , in both present day and WWII, and is a wonderfully descriptive look at the 1940's & the internment camps.
I just read Sharyn McCrumb's latest ballad novel, The Devil Amongst the Lawyers, which, thought it wasn't her best, was certainly worth reading. I like the feeling in these books, the sense of place and the otherworldly aspects.
The Empire of the Summer Moon is an excellent nonfiction book, about the Commanche war chief, Quanah Parker. I've decided I have to have a copy of it, so I can reread it. Not only is it as exciting as a novel, and very well written, part of it contains information about my own family. My father was born in Anadarko, Oklahoma, and Quanah Parker was his godfather. A great uncle married a Caddo woman, and is featured in the part about Quanah's coming into the reservation. Quanah's mother was a kidnapped white girl, who was taken away from the Commanches by whites after she gave birth to two boys and a girl. She went unwillingly and died not long after that.
Right now I'm reading one of Kate Atkinson's early books, Emotionally Weird. I found her first book, Behind the Scenes at the Museum when I had left the book I was reading in my hotel room and faced a long flight from London to Seattle without anything to read. Any bibliomaniac knows that's one of the circles of Hell. I went into a bookstore at Heathrow, went to the sale books and found Behind the Scenes, bought it and was gifted with one of the shortest flights of my life, thanks to Kate Atkinson.
My own writing is going well-at least I'll be sending chapters to an agent and an editor I met at the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference. I was a finalist in the Historical Novel Division but didn't place. Meeting competitors in the same genre was fun-from very nice to downright sharky!

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