Sunday, July 16, 2006

Virtual Press Conference Replies: Part One

Thank you to those who posted some questions yesterday during my Virtual Press Conference. I'll be answering all of them over the next few days or weeks (and comments are still open on yesterday's post if anyone wants to add any more), but for today I'm going to start with Cate's questions because she was the first to raise her hand and jump in front of the mike. Cate asked: What magazines do you regularly read? Not as many as I used to and nothing that unusual! But let's see... ~"Quilting Arts" (eye candy and an occasional useful "how-to" article) ~"Quilter's Newsletter Magazine" (too traditional; I'm dropping this one when my current subscription expires) ~"American Quilter" (also too traditional, but it comes with membership in the American Quilt Society) ~"New Zealand Quilter" (love seeing what quilters in a different part of the world are up to!) ~"Taste of Home" (I love to read recipes, although I rarely follow them) ~"Ladies' Home Journal" (bleah; impulse buy when it was cheap; I'm dropping this one too) ~"More" (lifestyle mag geared toward women over 40; somewhat interesting) Uummm...I think that's all the ones I subscribe to and read (or at least skim) regularly. Anything else is an occasional newsstand buy. What are you reading right now? "Mysteria" - It's a book of short stories (or novellas maybe? I'm never sure when one becomes the other!) by four different authors. They all take place in the same town and the main characters in some stories show up as secondary characters in others. It's a sort of paranormal romantic comedy. Pure fluff, but entertaining fluff so far. Last book you couldn't get into? I've already given it away and I forget the name, but it was something by Patricia Cornwall where she was supposedly going to approach the mystery of who Jack the Ripper might have been by reexamining remaining documents and evidence using modern investigative and forensic knowledge and techniques. I thought the premise sounded fascinating, but I found the book unreadable. It was choppy, poorly organized, poorly written and edited - a big disappointment. Last book that you absolutely loved? "The Secret Life of Bees." I wish I'd read it ages ago instead of being put off by the hype. Favorite genre? I truly don't have a single favorite. I like mysteries of all kinds, fantasy novels (time travel is a particular favorite theme), some sci-fi, some romance (especially romantic comedy - those books that remind me of the old screwball comedy movies from the '30's and '40's), some general fiction (those that have a Southern "flavor" are a particular favorite of mine). The theme that runs through my favorites across genre lines is character development. I like books where the characters seem real - where they seem like people I might like to know...or to avoid. I want to get so caught up in the characters and their lives that when the book ends I feel a little like some friends just moved away. In a perfect world I want both character and plot, of course, but given a choice between a book that's light on plot but with believable and interesting characters, or tightly plotted but with one-dimensional characters the writer moves around the story like dolls, I'll take the former every time. Thanks for the questions, Cate. I liked them! I hope you enjoyed reading the answers. Today's Daily Art Thang is a photo I took of the sunset yesterday. I thought the colors were so sweet they almost looked fake. This hasn't been Photoshopped to death (although I cropped it). This is what it really looked like: "Sunset Stripes" (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window) PS...Did y'all notice the new blog look? I worked way too long on that yesterday. Heh. Update I just saw where Deborah said my sidebar fell to the bottom for her - is it that way for everyone? I checked out the page on both my desktop and J's laptop in Firefox and IE and for me the page is loading properly, but if the sidebar is dropping out for everyone, I need to go back to the drawing board! (If it's dropping to the bottom for you, maybe you could tell me what browser you're using and what screen resolution if you know?)