Ash Wednesday, and Carnival is over for yet another year. On the one hand, I am sorry it's all over; as exhausting and frustrating as it may often be, I do enjoy it thoroughly. This morning I feel a bit hungover from it all; the over consumption, the excitement, the crowds, the engaging with people...it's really so much, and so hard to comprehend unless you are completely immersed in it the way we are. Today I have a long day at the office and a late night bar testing; but this is a very short work week (three days!) and before I know it the weekend will be here again. The week after Mardi Gras always feels a bit off as everyone tries to get their bearings and to grasp reality again anyway.
Which means I am going to get back in the saddle and start writing again this week! Happy March 1st!
I also managed to read Donna Andrews' latest Meg Langslow mystery last night, Die Like an Eagle.
"No fair! I wasn't ready!"
I glanced over at the field to see what was going on. My husband, Michael, in his role as assistant coach of the Caerphilly Eagles, was putting one of his players through batting practice. Probably seven-year-old Mason. They all looked alike with their baseball hats or batting helmets pulled low over their faces, but Mason was a good friend of Josh and Jamie, our twins, and I was pretty sure I recognized the voice.
"Mason, I asked you if you were ready before I threw it," Michael said. "You said you were ready."
Constant Reader already should be aware that I am a huge fan of Donna Andrews, and this latest of hers is yet another joyous return for the reader to the wonderful town of Caerphilly (I pronounce it carefully and will not change my mind as to that pronunciation so don't even try), Virginia, and the world populated by her heroine, the amazing Meg Langslow, her husband, their twin sons, their menagerie of animals, and dozens and dozens of relatives and friends. The murder mystery is constructed around the world of 'summerball,' an off-shoot of Little League, and of course Meg's twin sons are playing...which brings Meg into contact with the wretched and vile Biff Brown, who runs Brown Construction Company and also has managed to install himself as league president for Summerball. No one likes Biff--and he is hard to like--and then the night before the big tournament his look-alike half-brother is found murdered in one of Brown Construction's porta-potties, stationed at the baseball field. And since pretty much everyone hates Biff...it's not a stretch to think his look-alike brother was killed by mistake. Entertaining and at times laugh-out-loud funny, this is Donna Andrews at her best--which is saying something.
As I read the book (savoring every word), I realized that one of the reasons I love this series is because the people Andrews populates her town with are good people; the kind you'd like to know. Meg and her mother (and pretty much anyone in town, really) can always depend on their friends and neighbors to pitch in for the good of the town and the townspeople; within minutes of making phone calls they are generally overwhelmed with volunteers and food and so forth. Everyone is basically nice; those who aren't nice and don't change their ways usually end up murdered.
And I kind of like that.
Her next, Gone Gull, will be released in August and is already available for pre-order; I know I've already ordered mine.
I loved all your posts about Carnival - especially the beads you posted on FB.(Jay Mountney here)
I had one of those rabbit hole moments when I read 'Caerphilly' just after St David's Day and wondered why on earth they would be playing baseball in Wales... Then realised the author must have liked the name and adopted it. Or else you have a Caerphilly in US, which wouldn't really surprise me. You can pronounce a US one any way you like!!
Good luck with the settling down to writing. I'm battling real life at the moment and trying to create writing space. Not always easy!