Saturday, August 1, 2009

North of Arcadia

Yeah, I'm back from Louisiana as those of you who follow me on Twitter or read my Facebook know. I miss it already - life is everywhere there, it seems, and it's hard not to like a place where egrets are thick as sparrows and robins are here in Georgia. At times, sitting outside, there was so much activity it was distracting. It seemed like I was always spotting a new species of bird or watching the fiddler crabs walk on bank, things like that. And gators.

picture (C) 2009 by Jim Gavin's Wife

That one's a twelve-footer, by the way. I know because I wrestled it.

I mostly hung out in the bayou of coastal Louisiana doing nothing except smoking, drinking and reading, and didn't talk to a human being for about four days, which is my idea of heaven. Sort of like where Kirk ends up in Star Trek: Generations except I didn't need to chop any firewood. But then the wife wanted to do some things so we went on a swamp tour. If ever you're down that way, check out Munson's swamp tours, they're great. Our tour guide, "Pop", was about nine-thousand years old and fluent in Cajun French. He didn't talk much but when he did he always had something interesting to say about life on the bayou. They say he lived out there by himself for years, but he said he was from Thibodaux. I guess both could have been true.

I didn't write a word while I was there, even though I planned for it. But that's okay. I wasn't really expecting to. "Writer's retreats" usually seem to involve anything but writing. Don't ask me why. For me, though, it was because while I can always make time to write, it seems like every time I pick up a book something happens that needs my attention and I have to put it down again. That's fine, I have a great wife, a troublesome house and three dogs that are always up to no good. So I expect that. And I can always pick the book back up later. But it does slow me down a lot. So the chance to just sit and read with no chance of distraction was great.

I ended up reading about a book a day, so that means I'll have some good fodder for book reviews coming down the pike. I read a lot of PJF (that's Phillip Jose Farmer for those of you not cool enough to grok pulp writers whose names were turned into acronyms), but I don't know that I'd really want to review those books - I read book two of the Riverworld series and the first two of the World of Tiers series - if only because they don't really need me to review them. Sort of like how I read Brian Keene's Dark Hollow the other day. I thought it was pretty good but when I considered doing a review I figured at this point people need a review of that book like they need another hole in their head. Maybe if it had been his newest it would've been one thing. Same thing with PJF. Everyone knows about Riverworld so I don't know that I'll bother. World of Tiers I might do since it seems like people haven't heard of that one as much.

I also read:

Almost Midnight by Martin Caidin - this is pretty much a cinch for a post since Caidin is a forgotten men's adventure author.

Cracksman on Velvet by Francis Selwyn is another I'll probably do since I liked it and I don't think this guy is that well known here in America - he's still active in the UK, I've heard.

and I started on John Maxim's Time Out of Mind, which is a not-bad 80s supernatural thriller. You may have heard of him from the Bannerman series. It's not very pulpy and more your typical mass-market doorstop of a book, which John Maxim was writing while John Grisham was still in law school. All respect but I don't know that that's what this blog is about.

And when I got back, I hit Book Nook's bargain bin again and came up with a lot more good stuff - the rest of PJF's World of Tiers series, book four of Riverworld (though for some reason 3 is hard to find), and a lot of crime/thriller fiction that looks good. In fact I think I'll do some reading right now and get back to you.

(By the way, you may noticed I've added "reactions" to the blog. For those who don't feel like leaving a comment, you can now just check a box. I ditched Google's lame options and hopefully these are good. Let me know if you'd like anything different. Unfortunately more than this breaks the tables so recommend what you'd like replaced.)

1 comment:

  1. I'd ditch the truly magnum option in exchange for something with more accessibility like "on fire and wrapped in bacon"