"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

More Scary Stuff

We had no visitors for trick-or-treat last night. Today I'm generously treating myself to the leftover candy.

Halloween may be past, and All Saints Day here, but I'm finding creepy, scary stuff--the weird and the wonderful--everywhere I look.

Here's the cover for my first cousin's first novel, A Good and Happy Child from the Shaye Areheart imprint at Random House. Scary, isn't it? Appropriately so, as the novel deals with possible demonic possession.

Here's a condensed blurb about him and it:

A GOOD AND HAPPY CHILD is part thriller, part mystery, with a supernatural element. It opens in a New York therapist’s office, where 30-year-old George Davies is seeking help for a unique problem: He can’t bring himself to hold his newborn son...He's forced to question exactly what happened in his small Southern university hometown twenty years before when, in the wake of his father’s mysterious and unexpected death, he began to experience ominous visions...Were these visions just the product of a grief-stricken child’s overactive imagination? Symptoms of mental illness? Or was George possessed by a darker, more malevolent force? Smart, suspenseful, and darkly beautiful, A GOOD AND HAPPY CHILD is a literary novel in the spirit of books by Donna Tartt and Carol Goodman.

Justin Evans, once a film scout for Paramount Pictures, is now a strategy executive at the media giant VNU, and has previously worked in business development at the New York Times. This is his first novel.

I'm very excited for him, and oh, so proud. His wife is a NY literary agent, his parents are authors. His cousin (me!) is an author. My dad's first cousin is publishing a biography this month. Two members of my immediate family are at work on novels. Not too shabby. There's no mistaking what we mean by "the family business"!

The next occurence sounds scary, but really isn't. This morning I was in the sunroom with the girls when I noticed a wee something scurrying along the side of the house--not a chipmunk! A small rat. A pretty little rat, with pale grey-brown fur and a dear little furred tail. (I'm rather fond of rodents, as evidenced by my inviting any chance-met chipmunk in peril to move into my abode for rehabilitation.) Some years ago we spied a creature that our local wildlife biologist described as "a rare native rat"--we were dead chuffed but never saw one again. According to my research, this is another Eastern wood rat.

If one has a resident rat, far better that it should be rare and native. None of your Norway or black rats for me, thank you very much!

A short while later, I noticed this interesting excavation in one of my gardens. Presumably it's a rat hole. The chipmunks don't usually go in for this type of massive construction. I love the little trail to the hole opening.

The next thing isn't scary, but it's devilishly red--a dragonfly.

Perhaps not scary, I expected it, but it was definitely weird waking up to find myself all over today's papers--in our candidate team ad, my individual profile in the Voters' Guide, and in the local weekly, too.

Not the least scary, our weather is blissfully warm and sunny. We're having some repairs made to the facade of the Lodge, and the contractor delivered a very long board--I can't remember the correct name. Because the Chap is now working in an office environment, and I'm the homebody, and it's such a perfect day for it, I volunteered to paint said board. My painting technique is doubtless not the finest, but the long white board is now Porter green. And I'm not.

But there's a big, looming scary thing--an abrupt change in the weather. Tomorrow brings cold and rain--and sleet.

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