Reading The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton

I don’t do a lot of traditional book reviews and this isn’t going to be one of them, I guess, more like thoughts on the book while explaining why I think it’s so great. Maybe that is a traditional review. Whatever. It’s morning and I’m not awake yet.

So I’m re-reading the ENTIRE Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series from book one to infinity because I last stopped reading the series at book 13 (or something, can’t remember) and got into other things and then Laurell K. Hamilton’s Merry Gentry series.

By the time I wanted to pick the Anita books up again I’d forgotten half of what happened and knew I needed to start from the very beginning to get the full immersive experience.

I picked up Guilty Pleasures back in January and I was going to try to finish all of them by the end of this year. Seeing as it’s already August and I’ve just started book 4, I probably won’t.

But I wanted to talk about what I’ve read so far, specifically in the context of how art imitates life and how I connected with the second book in the Anita Blake series, The Laughing Corpse.

Trigger warning: Don’t read below the cut if you don’t want spoilers or expositions on violence, gore, and rape in literature.

Continue reading “Reading The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton”

A-Bomb Anniversary

“On August 6 in 1945, the a-bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. I was a fourteen year old student. But I didn’t go to school. Instead. I worked in a factory.”

So writes Yasuhiko Shigemoto at the end of his second haiku collection, commemorating the bombing of Hiroshima 74 years ago.

The poems within are devastating, haunting, and viscerally beautiful.

This is why poetry exists.

Don’t forget.

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A-Bomb Dome photo credit

Complicated

(Note: This was a phone conversation. I collect books, Mr. J collects guns. We’d listened to the audiobook last year and this year finished the audiobook of Wise Man’s Fear. It took me forever to convince Mr. J that he would like it.)

Mr. J: I bought another copy of The Name of the Wind.

Me: Did you get the 10th anniversary edition or the illustrated edition?

Mr. J: I don’t know. It’s a book.

Me: Does it say “illustrated” on the cover?

Mr. J: I don’t know, it has pictures on it.

Me: That doesn’t help me. Does it say “illustrated?”

Mr. J: It has words on it.

Me: What words?

Mr. J: I don’t remember I didn’t look at the cover.

Me: How could you not look at the cover?

Mr. J: Books are complicated. Guns are easier.

Me: (laughs) I’m putting that on a t-shirt for you.

Vacation: The Hemingway House

Last week I got back from vacation with Mr. J in Key West, Florida. And of course I dragged him to the Hemingway Home and Museum. Even though his typewriters, writing space, and the tour explaining all the drama were all amazing, the cats were the best part. The cat cemetery was also adorable. Here are a few photos of the cats we saw.

Bird Watching Beginner: Spark Bird

It’s hard for me to find hobbies I like. I’ve tried music, knitting, polymer clay, yoga (I know, I know, it’s a lifestyle). Nothing really captivates my attention or soothes for very long. Although, I am determined to learn guitar BECAUSE.

But I am a writer and writing, for me, is both a job and a hobby. I write when I’m not at my “day job” and I take writing very seriously. I strive for the best book covers, the best edits, the best stories I can tell. But the buck stops there. I’m not interested in making online courses, freelance editing, or implementing marketing strategies to sell more books. Or sell anything. I don’t want to sell you anything.

I have maybe 5 friends. One of them is my husband so he doesn’t really count but he’s my best friend so he does. And I like it that way. I don’t socialize, I don’t GO OUT and do things unless I’m with my mom or by myself and usually that’s just to walk around the neighborhood and take pictures of flowers. Or hiking. Beyond the day job, walking around sometimes, and writing, I don’t do anything (except read, watch TV, and play with the cats. very important).

A tiny part of me wants to change that. So I’m trying to find other hobbies to participate in so my brain doesn’t liquify.

Today I saw a bird I didn’t recognize. We get lots of cardinals, robins, and blue jays in our backyard but so far the most exotic bird I’ve seen here at home is the Brown-headed Cowbird. When I lived in Alabama there were Crows and Seagulls. And the occasional brown finch-like bird that is probably not a finch but I can’t be bothered to look up right now (House Finch).

This bird had black and white wings and a red throat. At first I thought it was a woodpecker of some kind because the coloring was right but the pattern on its back was slightly off and it had a cardinal’s beak. Not a woodpecker. I looked it up and found its name: Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

It’s my spark bird.

I learned about spark birds in Anna Russell’s Talk of the Town segment “Field Trip” in The New Yorker.

I did some research and discovered the works of Jason Ward and Lesley the Bird Nerd.

So now I really like bird watching. Mr. J bought me a pair of really nice Nikon binoculars.