For one thing, I have several draft posts sitting around here, but I haven’t been able to stay focused long enough to finish any of them.
Sam caught some kind of flu-like crud, which Katie and I both caught, of course. Now he seems to be getting it again, which is grossly unfair. Poor bear!
The girl is finally feeling a wee bit better, but she still had a fever last night. We aren’t with my family today, because we’re too worried about getting the twins sick. They’re still so tiny!
I should be stitching. I want to be stitching. Unfortunately, it seems that I need to add a good magnifier to my Ott Lite, and maybe get my eyes checked/glasses changed, too. My eyes go all woggly every time I try to focus on the linen now. Very annoying!
One of the few things I have finished lately is lots of library-enabled reading. That has included Bone of Contention and Chains of Folly by Roberta Gellis, the third and fourth books in her Magdelene la BÃ¢tarde series. Magdelene is a whoremistress in medieval England whose House is registered on the tax rolls an Embroidery shop. She and her women do, in fact, produce and sell fine needlework, but that isn’t their main source of income.
This is one of two series I learned about when I was reading rec.crafts.textiles.needlework. I’m glad, as would have been very unlikely to run across them without the recommendation.
I have something to confess: I am guilty of judging some books by their covers. And if I’d seen Chains of Folly first, without already knowing that Gellis is a good author and I enjoy this particular series, I wouldn’t have had any reason to pick it up for a look. I might have taken it for a textbook edition of something frequently assigned to literature classes (read: boring!), but not the latest volume in a good series by an established, award-winning author. Tor/Forge published the first three, and they were of much higher quality than what Five Star Books has put out.
That Tor/Forge didn’t buy book four tells me that Gellis probably had a contract for a trilogy, but it didn’t sell as well as the publisher hoped, so they weren’t interested in more of that tale. Still, I loved the first two books, and was definitely paying attention to see if there was a third, but didn’t hear that it was actually out until recently. It was published in 2002! I know that Gellis is one of the authors I put in my Amazon “Eyes” list (which seems to have stopped working at some point), and I didn’t hear a thing. I have to wonder if the publisher just didn’t bother to market the book at all.
These days, Gellis is better known for co-authoring fantasy books with Mercedes Lackey. That’s too bad, as her historical fiction is richly detailed and authentic. Lackey’s name has been used to sell so much crap that I just don’t bother any more, even if I like what the co-author has done on her own. Anything Lackey has touched in the last decade, at least, is formulaic and trite. There were some good points in some of her earlier books, which I might even be able to re-read some day — but after the first few trilogies they were just too predictable.
I also read two books by Vicki Pettersson this week, the latest book in Tanya Huff’s Confederation series, and Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen. That last jumped off the new book shelves at me because of the cute name and nice cover. I don’t know that I’ll read anything else by Bowen, but it was an interesting departure for me.
I’ve got several books of poetry and some non-fiction in the mix, as well. I tend to read those in little nibbles, as I like to think about the poems rather than rattle on through them. I’ll share some of that soon.