Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Holiday Time

This has been a hectic Christmas, with lots of out-of-town guests, a widening pool of flu victims, a Christmas tree that smashed to the ground (breaking several dozen of my favorite ornaments and burying the village at its feet), and sundry other happenings. But we managed to get the tree back up and the village rebuilt, and we're muddling through and still having lots of fun.

These photos were taken with my iPhone, because it's much easier to just snap and email the images, so they're not of the best quality. The two above are of my buffet village, while below are the resurrected tree (bolted and wired to the ceiling) with its village, and a closeup of the village harbor...

Here's hoping your holidays are full of good cheer!

Monday, December 12, 2011

We Have a Title!

So this afternoon I sent my editor a chatty email in which I mulled over some new title ideas, trying to get a feel for what she might like. I included the lovely Michael Drayton poem "Farewell to Love" suggested by HJ, and the possibility of finding something to draw out of it. I talked about maybe using the word "hope," or "blue," or any of the various other suggestions people came up with. As far as I was concerned, the discussion was only just beginning. But within minutes (literally), I had an answer: they loved one of the suggestions so much that they had already made it official!

So I now have a new title, for which I am completely indebted to my blog reader, Essex, who suggested it. Are you ready? The new title is...

What Darkness Brings.

I still like Who Bells the Cat, but I must say that this new title does fit the story wonderfully. I big thank you to everyone for their ideas!

So what do you think?

(The above photo is of Croxden Abbey and is from the blog The Staffordshire Daily Photo.)

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Title Woes

Oh, dear! My working title for Sebastian book number eight, Who Bells the Cat, has just been given a big thumbs down.

Needless to say, I am disappointed. I really, really liked that title. Not only that, but I now have three weeks--in the middle of the holiday season, preparations for a wedding, and all sorts of out-of-town guests arriving--to come up with a new title.

Suggestions are welcomed, encouraged, begged. What's the book about? Well, without giving too much away, the murder victim is a nasty old diamond merchant. Kat's husband--Russell Yates--is accused of the murder. The Hope diamond--which actually once formed part of the French Crown Jewels until its theft during the Revolution--figures prominently. The victim was a devote of magic and dabbled in the black arts.

Oh, and there's a black cat.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Mary "May" Wegmann Burgdorf, May 1912-December 2011

This has been a sad week for my family, as the last of my mother's sisters died. On her ninetieth birthday back in 1992, my Aunt May told me she'd decided she was going to live to be 100 years old. She almost made it.

Aunt May had one of those personalities that specialists say contribute to longevity. Always laughing, happy-go-lucky and upbeat, she never had a mean or nasty word to say about anyone (Full confession: I don't resemble my aunt much). She loved her garden and worked out there every day she could. The picture above was taken just last year. She might have needed a walker to get around, but that didn't stop her.

I know she lived a long, rich life. Yet I can't help but be sad at her passing. She was a great lady, and she will be missed.

When I first moved here to New Orleans not that many years ago, my mother and all eight of her brothers and sisters were still alive. They used to laugh that when they started dying, they'd go like dominoes, and so they have. The only one left now is my Uncle Al, aged 91 1/2.

What an incredible family of strong, opinionated, generous, talented men and women they were.