Tag Archives: Carrie Vaughn

From Rebecca: My day so far, May 4, 2017

Hi, Joe’s readers. I would have started this blog entry earlier, but I had to wait for Microsoft updates to process. After my husband Darren used the computer this morning, it downloaded updates when he shut it down. When I turned on the computer early in the afternoon, it installed those updates – for an hour and a half! I’m not used to updates taking that long. I read a book for a while, Borderline by Nevada Barr, until Darren started playing a video game, God of War Ascension, and I started watching him.

Darren is still playing while I write this. He is occasionally getting his butt beat but is holding his own. Lots of hand-to-hand combat with a few puzzles here and there. I don’t play many video games myself, though I used to when we first dated and early in our marriage, but I love watching Darren play. Sometimes I can see things that he misses, especially for the puzzles, and then it feels like I am doing it too.

I slept in this morning, since Joe is taking a personal day today and I didn’t have to go into work. (I love being able to do the blog from home!) When I woke up, Darren and I spent some time together. We watched The Price is Right while he ate lunch and I ate breakfast. We watched a bit of the news, then I turned on the computer to do this entry, and then waited for the update.

Later this afternoon, Darren and I will clean the apartment. We clean as we go and keep it tidy for the most part, but every other month or so we do a more thorough job. One will take the kitchen and the other will take the bathroom and vacuuming. It takes about 30 to 45 minutes to do, which isn’t bad. We used to do it every month, but we don’t get to it that often any more. We probably should though.

I will finish the night with the CBS lineup on television and a check on the internet. Everyday at some point I look at the sites Tor.com, John Scalzi’s Whatever blog, Carrie Vaughn’s Filling the Well blog, Facebook, Twitter, and the web comics Questionable Content, Gunnerkrigg Court, and Girls with Slingshots. I look at other sites sometimes, like PBS, but those are my favorites.

So, that’s my day off. Cleaning, blog entry, internet, video game, television, eating, and my sweetie, Darren.

Joe will be back next week with posts. Until then, as Joe would say, take care, enjoy May the Fourth Be With You Day if you are a Star Wars fan, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Top ten list of my favorite authors and series’

I spent all week trying to write a blog entry different than this in my head, but it just did not come together correctly. So I decided to take a page out of Joe’s book and do a top ten list. I wrote a list of some of my favorite authors and picked ten to share with you. All have a book series that I enjoy a lot, and most are mysteries. I don’t have them in any particular order, but I will stick with Joe’s format and give them numbers. Here we go.

#10. Agatha Christie. Main characters in two of her series’ are the spinster named Miss Jane Marple from a small town in England, and the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot living in London. Agatha Christie was the first adult mystery writer I remember reading.

#9. Sue Grafton. Her main character is private investigator Kinsey Millhone. Her books are titled alphabetically, starting in 1982 with “A” is for Alibi, and so far, as of last year, she has reached “W” is for Wasted. I am rereading her series this year and it is like catching up with an old friend. The first few books in the series are a bit dry, but they loosen up as the series goes on.

#8. Dick Francis. Most of his books were not in a series per se, but all of his main characters felt like the same bloke. Dick Francis was a former jockey, and all of his books dealt in the world of horse racing in some way or another. He did have two characters who returned in other books, Sid Halley and Kit Fielding, but most of his characters found themselves in unfamiliar territory and had to fight their way through trouble by their wits and guts. In the last years of his life, he had help from his son Felix in writing his books, and since Dick Francis’ death, Felix has published a few books in the same line as his dad.

#7. Charlaine Harris. She has several series’, most of which I have read. Her most famous series featured Sookie Stackhouse, and was made into a television show called True Blood. I also enjoyed her two series’ that featured the main characters housecleaner with a troubled past Lily Bard, and lightening strike survivor Harper Connelly with her half-brother Tolliver.

#6. Jacqueline Winspear. Her main character is Maisie Dobbs, a psychologist and investigator in London, who was a nurse during World War I and now helps people in the years afterward. The author wrote that she got a lot of inspiration from the experiences of her own family members, who lived through WWI and gave her information about that time. The series does deal a lot with the aftermath of war, and especially the circumstances in this war, and the struggles everyone had in order to recover. A few of the books in the middle of the series do get a bit dark in tone, as Maisie Dobbs drops down in depression and post traumatic stress syndrome. But she gets professional help, and the books gradually get lighter as she recovers. They are written very well, and give a view of a time period that we don’t usually dwell in.

#5. Carrie Vaughn. Her main character is Kitty Norville, who is a werewolf. She has a weekly radio show where she talks about the supernatural, and tries to satisfy her deep curiosity about the unknown life she entered when she became a supernatural creature herself.

#4. C.J. Box. His main character is Joe Pickett, a game warden in Wyoming. Joe is a straight shooter, an honest government agent, who has had to bend the rules on occasion to see justice done. This is also one of the series that both my father and I read, so I feel a special connection to it for that.

#3. Elizabeth Peters. Her main characters are Amelia Peabody and (Radcliff – he hates his first name) Emerson. They are Egyptologists from the 1880s to the 1930s, and solve mysteries as they try to complete their digging seasons in Egypt.

#2. J.D. Robb. Her main characters are Eve Dallas and Rourke. This series is set in the future, where Dallas is a New York City cop and Rourke is a very successful business man. Some of the material can be tough to read as some of it is about sick violent minds, but it is handled with respect and Dallas always gets the bad guy at the end. You may also know this author’s romance novels under the name Nora Roberts.

#1. Janet Evanovich. Her main character is Stephanie Plum, a bounty hunter for her cousin in New Jersey. She is not very good at it, especially at first, but she has gotten slowly better at it as the series continues. The first book in the series was made into the movie One for the Money, which got the spirit of the whole series down right, though the book is a bit darker than the others in the series. Overall the series has a light, slap-stick comedy tone.

I love reading and I love books, so this is a small list of authors that bring me joy and that I would recommend. I hope you also have a list of artists that you enjoy. Have a good day.

: ) #100!!! : )

Greetings, readers. As today’s rather straightforward title implies, this is the 100th blog entry since I began in late December last year. I might not have the tremendous following like writers such as Wil Wheaton, Carrie Vaughn or John Scalzi, but I am only ten months into the blog.

I am most pleased and proud that people have continued to find my writing through search engines on almost every topic I have written about, including the Air Florida crash, the United States Football League, and my father, Professor Joseph John Kockelmans. WordPress has a stats page that I use which shows how many people view each blog post for each day. I especially like the feature that shows how many hits from each country in the world I receive. I have received hits from Russia, Romania, Mexico, Canada, and many other countries, but most of my hits are from the USA.

As most of you know by now, I have tried to stay away from politics or anything controversial. On rare occasions when something has made me good and angry, I will chime out in full force. I was going to write an entry about Romney v. Obama but I think I will wait until after the first couple of debates. Did I mention I loathe talking about politics? I always seem to be wrong.

One of the saddest moments to come along in the Penn State University world in many years was the news about the goings-on of Jerry Sandusky. The trial is over, the football season has begun under Coach Bill O’Brien and the football and academic year is moving forward. Good riddance Mr. Sandusky. I had written a piece titled Tribute to Joseph Vincent Paterno which had to be amended slightly, but I felt to delete it would be inappropriate. The man and his family did so much for this community for so many years.

On the lighter side of my blogging experience were several top ten lists, entries about my cat Keekee, news about my books, as well as a few entries from Rebecca while I was away on holidays or long weekends. {From Rebecca: I have enjoyed doing entries in the blog. Thank you, Joe, for the opportunity to do that.}

Now for ideas yet to come. I’m going to keep all my readers up-to-date on precious kitty-cat, with more pictures of her. Also, I will open up myself more and explore more deeply what makes me tick, and share it with you. This year I felt as though I wanted to be liked. Now it’s time to cut and bleed onto the page and push the envelope, as they say.

With my book signing at Webster’s Bookstore and Cafe this Friday, the work schedule for the week has been altered slightly. Look for another blog entry on Friday, or if not, definitely next Wednesday. Here’s to #101 and beyond.

Have a great day, take care, and happy reading.