I wrote down everything I read and began writing my own first novel...

This blog aimed to contrast what I was reading in in 1975-79 with the same month, week and day, 30 years later in 2005-2009. I'm leaving the blog up in archive mode, blogging in real time on Live Journal--and still writing novels.

Lynne Murray's Live Journal and Bride of the Dead Blog

Friday, August 22, 2008

Where did the summer go?

Wow, I missed more than a month in there. My only excuse is that I've been writing and I've even managed to find some books I enjoyed reading. Well, here goes.

July 2 to August 22, 1988 I read:

The Best Plays of 1975-76
(Otis L. Guernsey, Jr., Ed.)
I especially loved the Alan Ayckbourn's The Norman Conquests. I had seen it on PBS and the tour de force structure fascinated
me. I eventually bought a hardcover copy in order to study it.
wiki on The Norman Conquests

I just found a link with an intro explanation of how Ayckbourne write the triplex of plays. That kind of thing still fascinates me.

Public Trust, Private Lust: Sex, Power & Corruption on Capitol Hill, Marion Clark & Rudy

The Squeal Man, the true story of Mat Bonora, Suburban Homicide Detective by Martin Flusser

Shakespeare & His Playersby Martin Holmes

George Eliot, A Biography
by Rosemary Sprague
Note: has an irritating "for young readers flavor" otherwise okay.

Butley by Simon Gray

Scarlett O'Hara's Younger Sister by Evelyn Keyes

The Other Woman, A Life of Violet TrefusisIncluding Previously Unpublished Correspondence with Vita Sackville-West by Julian Philippe and John Phillips
My note at the time was "Who cares?" I think I'd even forgotten even who this woman was, but I looked her up and this website is kind of interesting.

The Blond Baboon by Jan Willem van de Wetering

The Serial by Cyra McFadden

Recent note - this suburban serial moved across the Golden Gate Bridge when it was continued by Armistead Maupin and became
Tales of the City

The Michigan Murders by Edward Keyes

The Moving Target, from Archer in Hollywood by Ross MacDonald

Children with Emerald Eyes by Mira Rothenberg
note: honest frank and stunningly written, intensely moving

Maigret and the Lover by Simenon

Dickens and Crime by Phillip Collins

Dear Me by Peter Ustinov

The Final Solution, Jack the Ripper by Stephen Knight

Pool of Tears by John Wainwright

The Mask of Merlyn by T.H. White
I can't find this book on the net. Could I have been reading White's The Book of Merlyn that was published in 1977? Probably. Either way, much as I love T.H. White and The Once and Future King, I didn't like and couldn't finish this one.

The Locked Room by Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö

They Went Thataway, a Front Row Kid's Search for His Boyhood Heroes, the Old Time Hollywood Cowboys by James Horowitz

Body Politics, Power, Sex & Nonverbal Communication by Nancy Henley

The West End Horror by Nicholas Meyer

Hunters Point by George Sims

Aupres de Ma Blonde by Nicholas Freeling

A Proper Book of Sexual Folklore by Tristram Potter Coffin

The Redd Foxx Encyclopedia of Black Humor by Redd Foxx & Normal Miller

Cults of Unreason by Dr. Christopher Evans

Scream Quietly or the Neighbors Will Hear by Erin Pizzey

By Persons Unknown, George Jonas & Barbara Miel

July 2 to August 22, 1988 I read:

Witches Grave by Phillip DePoy
Depoy's website with mystery & theater information The Preacher from the Black Lagoon production looks funny.

Queen of Angels by Greg Bear
Greg Bear

Blue Moon (A Night Creature Novel, Book 1) by Lori Handeland
Lori Handeland

The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell
and Dustin Thomason
DaVinci Code style website
I had to smile a little at the website, maybe the Renaissance code thing was similar, but what I enjoyed about The Rule of Four was its measured pace and not-too-intense plot--"will the guys finish their Princeton senior theses and graduate in time? Will they stay in touch after they graduate? Will the proctors catch them playing laser tag in the steam tunnels and expel them?" It had charm but no homicidal, masochistic monks....

The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon
Article about Chabon, Sitka and The Yiddish Policeman's Union
I've been looking forward to reading this for a long time. Chabon's use of language is a pleasure in and of itself.

Monday, August 04, 2008

San Francisco....for fiction's sake

I'm particularly happy to have a new e-book, The 33 Worst Mistakes Writers Make About San Francisco available at
author Holly Lisle's site
in her "Holly Shop, where the Writing Geeks Shop" (gotta love the slogan). Holly believes in paying it forward with her lessons for writers and I'm proud to have two e-books now as part of her "Worst Mistakes Writers Make..." series.

I wanted to write about San Francisco because I've lived here since 1968. I've used the backdrop myself and had reviewers comment that the city seemed like a character in the book. Like many local residents and visitors, I enjoy reading books set in the city, except when writers fail to check the basic details, that drives us crazy--well, crazier. In The 33 Worst Mistakes Writers Make About San Francisco I provide some essential details to help keep writers from making outsider mistakes.

For example, you'll want to know how the physical layout of streets and hills shape life in the city and even influence the weather and the social climate. I hope this book can help writers both to avoid mistakes and also to pick up some of the "only in San Francisco" flavor of the place. There are lots of useful links to changeable things such as bridges and traffic. Anyone who's lived in this crazy city for awhile will understand why I couldn't resist throwing in some other fun stuff, such as who calls it "Frisco", who never will, and how that one little word can get you arrested.

You can also still get my first "Worst Mistakes" e-book, The 33 Worst Mistakes Writers Make About Courtroom Law.
In that e-book, I tried to cram 35 years of experience working in law offices, transcribing police interrogations, watching the legal system in action, while taking note in my spare moments of twists in the law that I could use to lend reality to plotting mystery novels.