Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Absorbing reading and other excuses

No blog tonight, because I've let myself spend the day reading Through the Evil Days, the newest Julia Spencer-Fleming mystery. There's an old philosophy about writing--back to Shakespeare maybe?--that a good story begins with the principle character[s] in a terribly complicated, dark, hopeless situation...and proceeds to get worse by the minute until it seems no solution is possible. Spencer-Fleming has mastered this technique in her Russ Van Allstyne/Clare Fergusson books, and her characters are complicated people drawn to each other by an irresistible attraction. No, this is far from a happy-ever-after love story--the universe throws one complication after another at them, and half the time they're irritated, irritable, irrational. A friend of mine put it well when she said what attracts her to the books is the moral dilemmas and complexities that Russ and Clare face.  Both are military veterans and the survival skills they learned on duty serve them well in the impossible physical situations they get into.
No, I'm not ready to write a review. I'm not even halfway through the book, but I find myself neglecting my own work, desperate to turn to the next page, the next impossibility. So there. That's an excuse for reading all day. It was a cold, cold day but under a brilliantly sunny sky. I ran one errand this morning--amazed at how the sun warmed my car--and then was content to stay in and read, eat a meatloaf sandwich, and nap. Surprised at how cool it was when I went to get Jacob. We did his homework--as usual, he unfocused and me harping (that's literally the word) on paying attention. We differed on the approach to one math problem (I know I am right) so we deferred it to his father.
Betty, Christian, Jacob and I ended the day with a wonderful dinner at a new Mexican restaurant--small, quiet, clean, and terrific food. Lots of fun. Fort Worthians, try Trevino's.


Polly Iyer said...

Sounds like a perfect day, especially the book and the meatloaf sandwich.

Judy Alter said...

I get so hungry for meatloaf sandwiches sometimes. Last weekend I made a whole meatloaf just for me for sandwiches--ended up giving some to my kids but still had lots of sandwiches. So good!