Heather's been after me for a while to read Terry Pratchett. But you know me, I won't do something unless it's my own idea. And I'm reasonably certain the Discworld books were recommended to me by coworkers in the 1980s, back in my "I used to read science fiction, but then I grew up" phase. So I've just finished Going Postal and of course it's brilliant. And another period of willful ignorance comes to a close. The upside is that he's been writing these for decades, so I won't be able to burn through them in a week. And there's stamps!Douglas
I've just finished Andrew Wilson's excellent biography of crime writer Patricia Highsmith,Beautiful Shadow.Highsmith, author of Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr Ripley, was a pioneer of telling a murder story from the killer's point of view, and dragged the crime genre from the logic puzzle whodunnit to the psychological whydunnit. She was a bit of a psychological case herself and knew it. She learned to harness her manic-depressive swings and her penchant for brief dominant-submissive love affairs to her writing schedule, getting a book out in each cycle. She drank heavily, had few social skills, hated human nature, disliked women in particular (not the high road to a happy lesbian life) and preferred the company of her pet snails. About those snails:
Her editor at Doubleday, Larry Ashmead, recalls that when Highsmith moved to France in 1967, she told him that she smuggled her pet snails into the country under her breasts. 'You couldn't take live snails into France so she was sneaking them in under her breasts,' he says. "And that wasn't just on one trip--no, she kept going back and forth. She said that she would take six to ten of the creatures under each breast every time she went. And she wasn't joking--she was very serious.' (p.267)
This small corner of the nineteenth century is maintained by any number of volunteer gardeners at Maplelawn on Richmond Road in Westboro. If you're in the near west visit it and leave a donation in the box by the gate.
The Brampton Thunder website has announced the formation of a new senior women's league in the East. As it expects to ice four teams from the GTA, two from Montreal and one from Ottawa, it's pretty obviously the NWHL with a new shoulder patch. It's interesting, though, that the announcement is signed by Sami Jo Small. Is this a case of the players taking the game into their own hands? Are the owners in or out? Do they still plan to the revive the NWHL in '08-'09? Is this all about free agency? Is the EWHL going to be even poorer than the NWHL, or is there a sponsorship deal in the offing? And will the EWHL and WWHL view each other as equals and play off for the Clarkson Cup next spring? I guess I'll have to try to find out. Douglas