Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A theory recanted and some thoughts on indexing

Last night I whined that I wasn't liking the novel I was reading, principally because it had a male narrator, and I thought it was a gender problem. As soon as I walked away from the computer, I realized I really enjoy J. A. Jance's Beaumont series, narrated by a male police detective in Seattle. And I really don't like Stephanie Plum, even though every other reader I know is wildly enthusiastic about Janet Evanovich's series. So I've decided it's not a gender problem--it's the voice of the narrator. If the narrator is not someone I can identify with with, someone I'd like to sit and have coffee or a glass of wine with, then I'm not much interested in a whole book told in that voice. Fortunately there are a lot of cozy mysteries narrated by people I really like. I'm ready a Cleo Coyle Coffeehouse Mystery tonight, and I really like Claire Cosi, who knows way to much about fine coffee, espresso, latte, and how to make them. I gave up on The Hearse You Came In On, with apologies to the author. Maybe I'll see if my brother will read it.
We were ice-bound today. Well, it turned out it really wasn't that bad--wet in the morning and cold but not freezing, pretty dry in the afternoon, enough so that I got my garbage carts down my slanted driveway when I didn't think I could. But TCU was closed, so I slept late, fiddled around the house and finally got around to the day's chore about ten in the morning. I compiled an index of recipes for my cookbook, which turned out to be less dull than I expected and in fact a fascinating exercise. I broke the index into categories--breakfast, bread, casseroles, meat, poultry, and so on. That seemed logical to me. But where, for instance, do you put chopped liver (I got the excellent recipe from Carshon's deli)--in appetizers, well it is and it isn't; meat dishes, well not exactly that either. I've had it as an appetizer and also in a sandwich or even as the main course for lunch. And cheese sandwich souffle? Is it a casserole? I didn't have enough dishes for an egg and cheese category, so I put it in casseroles. And Jean convinced me to take some of the recipes--chili, beef and beans, and sloppy joe--out of casserole and put them in meat dishes. All in all, it was a puzzle but fun. It's done and off to the editor now. The proofed (twice) pages are ready to go back too, and I'll mail them tomorrow, if the world isn't frozen. Predictions are for a low of 27 tonight, and the streets are now wet, so the outlook isn't great. But it will get up to 44 tomorrow afternoon, and the world should go back to normal.
I spent the evening doing income tax stuff, which I really really dread. I don't have a calculator, so I use the one on the computer. Of course, there's no paper trail, so you can't trace what you've done--but when it showed I'd spent over $24,000 on utilities, I knew I needed to start over. I had already separated expenses into categories, but today the accountant's tax info form arrived, so I started on it and got most of the way through. But I know I need to go back and plug in holes, etc. But not tonight. Right now, I'm going to read some more about Claire Cosi and her coffeehouse.

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