Six Sentence Sunday: Full Metal Librarian XLII (Slippery)

Six Sentence Sunday is open to all writers. Just pick a six sentence passage from anything you’ve written—published, unpublished, whatever—and post it on your blog on Sunday.

Registration for the upcoming Sunday list opens the previous Tuesday evening at 5pm CST. More information is here.

Check out all the talent!


Since everyone asked, here’s the identity of the housebreaker from last week . .  . sort of.

“Is this the same guy as last night?”  I went through his pockets, but he evidently disliked disturbing the fit of his clothes by carrying an ID crystal.

“Yes,” said the Pressman, giving the word a faint hiss.

“I thought he’d be locked up,” I said.   I’d wanted to check the arrest records to see if anyone had been picked up at my address, but doing so would mean another call to Charlie, and I was reluctant to involve him any more than I had. 

“He is,” said the Pressman, “a very . . . slippery individual.”

If you’re wondering who the guy from “last night” is, he first appears on page here, and gets the stuffing beaten out of him between here and here.

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read and/or comment on this story—I really appreciate the encouragement!

On Wednesday, I’m making the drive to the Bouchercon mystery convention in Cleveland Wednesday and I’ll be coming home Sunday—so I don’t know if I’ll be able to participate next week.  But I’m hoping the Internet access at the hotel will allow me to post about the panels and people along the way, if you’re interested.  Last year was a blast!


 Previous Installments:

First ♦ Second ♦ Third ♦ Fourth ♦ Fifth ♦ Sixth
Seventh ♦ Eighth ♦ Ninth ♦ Tenth ♦ Eleventh ♦ Twelfth  ♦ Thirteenth
Fourteenth ♦ Fifteenth ♦ Sixteenth ♦ Seventeenth
Eighteenth ♦ Nineteenth ♦ Twentieth ♦ Twenty-first ♦ Twenty-second
Twenty-third ♦ Twenty-fourth ♦ Twenty-fifth ♦ Twenty-sixth
Twenty-seventh ♦ Twenty-eighth ♦ Twenty-ninth ♦ Thirtieth
Thirty-first ♦ Thirty-second ♦ Thirty-third ♦ Thirty-fourth  ♦ Thirty-fifth
Thirty-sixth ♦Thirty-seventh ♦ Thirty-eighth ♦ Thirty-ninth
Fortieth ♦ Forty-first


Bassoons are Covered

The Breaking Winds are four fantastically talented young women who make me proud to have once been a bassoonist—though I can’t claim to have played anywhere near their level:

Bassoon ensemble arrangements have come a long way, though—in my day, we droned through the Peter Gunn theme by ear, split the air with the first couple bars Rite of Spring, or goofed our way through Sorceror’s Apprentice and thought we were hot stuff.* But now . . .

This Rhapsodizing group is the Butler Bulldog Bassoon Band playing at my alma mater for the 2012 International Double Reed Society Conference. Does my heart proud that there is such a thing under the sun, it does.


*Which, of course, we were.

Twitter Hacked!

My Twitter account was hacked today.

So if you’re one of the several people who received a weird message from me that you’re famous on FaceBook, I didn’t send it and I’m guessing it’s a bad idea to click that link.

I’ve deactivated my account for now—we’ll see what happens later.

Thanks to everyone who warned me!



Random Thursday: Adverbs, Braincrushes, and Callipygian Devices

It’s Random Thursday again, and you know what that means:


Callipygian* Truths

A dear friend who is one of the most body-positive human beings I’ve ever met sent me this:

He also sent this—I know I’ve shared this here once or even twice, but it always makes me laugh, so I’m gonna do it again:

Always Cry Quietly in the Library

Words to live by, and one of the few Tom Lehrer songs I’ve memorized that are acceptable to sing in public:

We’d like to see Janie and her class perform this for the lower grades—can you imagine the sheer volume of ham?

Popcorn and Braincrushes

Last week, Watson and I were trying to figure out what we were going to watch at our next more-or-less-weekly The Kids Finally Fell Asleep, Where’s the Remote Movie Night. Nothing really sounded right—we couldn’t even settle on a genre or a mood—so we decided to leave it up to chance and I went to work with a list of possibilities—whichever one I found first on the library shelves would be it.

Instead, as so often happens, I bumped into a shelving cart on my way to the stacks and sent a DVD case flying. I retrieved it, took at look, thought it had one of the worst movie titles ever, and brought it home.

It wasn’t on the list, but it was clearly the right choice—after the final scene, Watson and I looked at each other and said simultaneously, “Why don’t I own this?”

Simon Pegg is so very often the right choice around here.  Not only because of his undeniable comedic skills and my unrepentant fondness for red-headed men, but also because of scenes like this:

Wow. See?

I’ve never seen Mr. Pegg in a interview or blooper reel where he didn’t seem like a genuinely nice, intelligent guy who loves his job—the implication that I’ve seen several of each is a clear sign of braincrush, if you still need one.

Plus, he saved the day in the last Mission Impossible movie, thus moving him from plucky comic relief to Serious Agent Hero.**  I actually tore my eyes away from Jeremy Renner for a second or two, speaking of impossible missions.

What’s not to like?

And Now, Three Minutes of Rube Goldberg

This one has moments of sheer elegance—I love the hammer and the golf clubs:

(thanks, Kev!)


*Literally, “having shapely hindquarters.”  How can you not love a word like that?

**If you saw his SuperCop performance in Hot Fuzz first, this doesn’t come as a total surprise—except for the “Serious” part.

Poetry Wednesday: Time Problem

My girl came to the study
and said Help me;
I told her I had a time problem
which meant:
I would die for you but I don’t have ten minutes.

(Time Problem by Brenda Hillman)

My time sense has been doing odd things, lately.

I’m in that sort of anxious limbo between drafts, waiting for my betas to offer feedback and making preemptive notes on problems they could find but not daring to make any actual changes in case they don’t.

Time weighs heavy while I drift along, pretending to be absorbed in other projects.*

I’m also trying to get everything done that needs doing at work and home before I leave for Bouchercon next week: updating documents, ordering books, clearing my work desk, cleaning my writing space, answering e-mails, signing off on projects, packing, panicking.**

Time is going very quickly while I rush around like a madwoman, leaving trails of scribbled lists in my wake.

So naturally, when the time came (see what I did there?) to chose some poems for today’s post, I chose accordingly.

A lot of classical poems equate the passing of time, at whatever tempo, with the death of dreams, love, or plain ol’ Death death, and there are several more modern poem that deal with the entire human race rushing over cliffs like headless chickens with lemming-esque priorities, but aside from the irresistible quote at the top of this post,*** I felt I wouldn’t be doing myself or my blood pressure any favors wading through that lot.

So I found a few with more positive outlooks, including the James Whitcomb Riley one I shared last month, which supplies the perfect antidote to that strident voice in the back of my mind that keeps asking, “Haven’t you finished [insert goal here], yet?”

Go ahead and re-read it, if you have the time (HEY-o! Sorry, I’ll stop).  It seems to say that being present in each moment is more rewarding than going at full speed.   This is a tough concept to believe, but he might have a point—serenity isn’t precisely underrated these days, but no one seems to have the time to pursue it . . .

Reagardless, Mary Mapes Dodge has supplied the perfect answer when my children ask me why they aren’t old enough to do what those other kids are doing over there—or when my friends and I start moaning that we’ll never be on those ratzen-fratzen Thirty Under Thirty lists:

Taking Time to Grow
(Mary Mapes Dodge)

‘Mamma! mamma!’ two eaglets cried,
‘To let us fly you’ve never tried.
We want to go outside and play;
We’ll promise not to go away.’
The mother wisely shook her head:
‘No, no, my dears. Not yet,’ she said.

‘But, mother dear,’ they called again,
‘We want to see those things called men,
And all the world so grand and gay,
Papa described the other day.
And – don’t you know? – he told you then
About a little tiny wren,
That flew about so brave and bold,
When it was scarcely four weeks old?’

But still the mother shook her head;
‘No, no, my dears, not yet,’ she said.
‘Before you see the world below,
Far bigger you will have to grow.
There’s time enough to look for men;
And as for wrens – a wren’s a wren.
What if your freedom does come late?
An eaglet can afford to wait.’

And then there’s Thomas Moore, who understands that wasting time isn’t always a waste of time—and, frankly, I wouldn’t have thought the old boy had it in him, but I’m tickled to find out he did:

The Time I’ve Lost in Wooing
(Thomas Moore)

The time I’ve lost in wooing,
In watching and pursuing
The light, that lies
In woman’s eyes,
Has been my heart’s undoing.
Though Wisdom oft has sought me,
I scorn’d the lore she brought me,
My only books
Were woman’s looks,
And folly’s all they’ve taught me.

Her smile when Beauty granted,
I hung with gaze enchanted,
Like him the Sprite,
Whom maids by night
Oft meet in glen that’s haunted.
Like him, too, Beauty won me,
But while her eyes were on me,
If once their ray
Was turn’d away,
Oh! winds could not outrun me.

And are those follies going?
And is my proud heart growing
Too cold or wise
For brilliant eyes
Again to set it glowing?
No, vain, alas! th’ endeavour
From bonds so sweet to sever;
Poor Wisdom’s chance
Against a glance
Is now as weak as ever.

If Thomas Moore has no regrets, why should we?

And for a last reassurance, I offer you a link to Stephen Dunn’s “Poem For People That Are Understandably Too Busy To Read Poetry.”

What have you got to lose?

And now, having calmed my time anxieties, at least for now, I’m off to hit the bank and hunt down some lunch—I was so busy this morning hustling everyone out the door with theirs, I left mine in the fridge . . .

Wow. That didn’t last long.


*To my wonderful, understanding betas: this  isn’t a complaint about your reading speeds at all, this is me being my usual neurotic self.  I can’t tell you how grateful I am for any time you extremely busy people can give my stuff.

**Check that one off the list.

**Brenda Hillman is, among many other things, the Poet Laureate of Real Motherhood, and just because I made that up just now doesn’t mean it isn’t true. “Time Problem” is sort of about helping a kid with math homework and sort of about trying to do everything else that needs to be done and why it’s impossible and why are we doing this and how do we breathe again?  Please read it and then read all her other stuff—you can thank me in the comments.