Just got back from Real City about half an hour ago. While we were in DC last week, it became abundantly clear that my old cell phone was on its last legs and needed to be replaced/upgraded. Mrs. M did a little searching, and found someone on
IWillMurderYou.com Craigslist who was parting with a phone like hers for a very reasonable price. She arranged a meet, and I tagged along because 1) it was gonna be my phone, and 2) the whole murder thing. After a bloodshed-free transaction, we picked up a few odds and ends and made our way back to Mondoville. So meanwhile…
I’m working on a new story for an anthology I’ll tell you about once it’s safely accepted, and I guess my timing is pretty good, as I have other writer stuff coming up. One week from today, I’ll be on a panel about short stories at Mystery in the Midlands, Columbia’s first conference for crime writers and readers. The Palmetto Chapter of Sisters in Crime and the Southeast Chapter of MWA are sponsoring the day-long event, and it’s going to be a lot of fun. To see the program or register, go here!
Meanwhile, I’m also pleased to report that I’ll be on a panel at Bouchercon on Saturday, 8 Sep at noon. Our topic will be “Writers Who Rock — The Intersection of Music and Crime Fiction”, and my co-panelists will include Nadine Nettmann, S.W. Lauden, and Rex Weiner. The more-than-capable Paul Charles will be moderating. Requests for “Free Bird” will be met with strappado. Also, since Mr. Lauden and I are drummers, questions should be kept in monosyllabic vocabulary.
I engaged in the literary equivalent of a visit to an old friend this week, re-reading The Harp and the Blade, by John Myers Myers. The book is something of a historical adventure (set in a version of France around AD 950) with a slight fantastic element (a brief appearance from a priest/wizard of some sort), and was written in 1941, but was reissued in the early 80s, after Myers had developed a cult audience with Silverlock and (to a much lesser extent) The Moon’s Fire-Eating Daughter. I also found out he wrote three Westerns in the 50s and 60s, and a collection of poetry. I may have to chase some of those down.
It’s not a great book, but it’s a good one — a fun read, and exciting enough, and it’s interesting in that the ending, though a little downbeat, left room for the viewpoint character to have a series. It’s also interesting to see Myers’s fascination with verse forms, which will come out more strongly in his later fantastic fiction. All in all, it made for a pleasant evening, and what’s wrong with that?
While I was getting my new phone tweaked this afternoon, the store PA system was playing Boston’s “More Than a Feeling.” A good enough song, of course, but as I stood there, it occurred to me that it came out in 1976, making it 42 years old. Nothing wrong with that, either — I still think 1966 was rock’s greatest year. But as I stood there, I tried to imagine someone standing in a store in 1976, and listening to Benny Goodman’s “Moonglow,” the biggest hit of 1934. And it’s a very nice piece of music, but I can’t help wondering if shoppers would have found it to be out of place in ’76, and whether it’s odd that most of us don’t think that way about “More Than a Feeling.”
And meanwhile, I would have been tickled to hear another hit from 1934 this afternoon, so I’ll share it with you as I close this installment. Again, it’s Benny Goodman, with “Bugle Call Rag.” This version, from 1936, is the oldest one I can find online at the moment, but I’ll count on your forbearance.
See you soon!