Greeting Cards Should Be a Place for Short Stories

Greeting cards are tangible, timeless, and show appreciation. Regardless if the greeting cards arrive early or late (for Christmas, New Year’s Day, St. Valentine’s Day, a birthday, or any other day), they’re an illustrated message that express all of the human emotions, such as serious or humorous affection, goodwill, gratitude, sympathy, or other sentiments. In … Read more

What’s In a Book?

I woke up at 2:30am the other night and couldn’t fall back asleep. This happens every once in a while when I have too much on my mind. I used to toss and turn and get frustrated, angry – sometimes blaming my husband as he would lie there dreaming. He’d taken the blankets or elbowed … Read more

The Short and Shorter of It–Part 2

Continuing my exploration of this thick volume full of lovely murders, Bill Pronzini, a superb writer, with a book on my Best 100 Mysteries list, wrote a lyrical love note to the railroad. Pronzini has edited short stories himself, and is the author of the two wonderful Gun In Cheek books about the worst in crime fiction–or best, depending on how you define it. He and his wife, Marcia Muller, are responsible for a huge catalog of  quality work. So I wasn’t surprised to find him within the pages, not once, but several times, alone, or with a writing partner. Sweet Fever  is narrated by an old man who describes he and his grandson’s love of watching the train come through the tunnel at Chigger Mountain.

“The moon was so bright you could see the melons lying in Feride Johnson’s patch over on the left, and the rail tracks had a sleek oiled look coming out of the tunnel mouth and leading off towards the Sabreville yards a mile up the line. On the far side of the tracks, the woods and the run-down shacks that used to be a hobo jungle before the country sheriff closed it off thirty years back had them a silvery cast, like they was all coated in winter frost.”

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I Never Read a Book Twice!

Do you? Life is too damn short! I need to move on to the next book, then the next, and on and on. To go back and reread something is almost against my religion, or  life force. Unfortunately, since creating my Best Mysteries of All Time list, I’ve had to re-read bits and pieces, and … Read more

The Best Books Of All Time

I asked myself, what does that mean? The best books of all time? Best fiction? Best nonfiction? Both? From what time frame–the beginning of time–do cave drawings count? Books–are plays included, how about poems, religious tomes, children’s books, what languages, the questions were endless, with no definitive answer. The lists I saw ranged from strict … Read more