Monday, February 28, 2011

Mysteries Natural and Fictional

A wild-life mystery is playing itself out on the window sill of my neighbors' house, just across from the window over my kitchen sink The previous owners of the house, apparently years ago, had covered every window with some sort of reflective material--they can see out but no one can see in. The new owners (four years?) have done a marvelous job of redoing the house, but they haven't tackled that awful stuff because it has to be hand-scraped off, inch by inch (I wouldn't do it either!). A dove has become fascinated--it paces back and forth on that window sill for hours each day, occasionally pecking at its reflection. I'm puzzled--is it mating season and the dove thinks that's a bird of another gender? Does it see itself and peck? Susan tells me that she hasn't seen the dove but a cardinal contually pecks at the window of Jay's office--must be the same cardinal that comes to my bird feeder, occasionally with the much less colorful female. The birds are fascinating to watch, even the tiny sparrows who can flutter and spar at each other with great vigor.  But I really want to tell that dove that there's plenty of seed on the ground under the feeder and it should go graze there. My wish:  a caged bird feeder to keep the blasted squirrels away.
I just finished Sophie Kelly's Curiosity Thrilled the Cat--what a hoot. Stars of the show are two cats with unusual powers--one is an attack cat with an addiction to catnip, and the other is a Barry Manilow fan that can materialize through closed doors. But when a music festival and murder hit the tiny town of Maysville Heights, those cats help librarian Kathleen Paulson solve the murder and produce the festival on time. This is everything a cozy mystery should be--charming, funny, whimsical, with just enough suspense to keep you turning the pages. Besides, you'll like the cats and characters so well you won't want to put the book down.
Meantime I'm still formatting and ran into a real glitch today--apparently because I m working on a document created in Word 2003 but have opened it in Word 7, there are formatting problems--the huge problem of dark lines of black dots across the page, clustered in a few parts of the manuscript. Trying to work with it this morning only made it worse, so I called the help desk at TCU and they're researching the problem. Mentime I'm struggling on with those unwanted tabs and practicing the paper on writing historical fiction for young readers that I'll deliver later this week.

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