Blog Archive

French Obsession #6 - A belated trip to Paris



It is already the first of September and time to link a post to the French Obsession. I am doing a shorter post than I did for August. I was lucky to find these photos at all. Here are just three black and white pictures from a trip that my maternal grandmother (=mormor) and I made to Paris when I was a teenager. The first photo shows my grandmother standing not too far away from the Eifle Tower. You may notice that she has her arm in a plaster cast. This trip almost was canceled because of her broken arm. But Mormor was very determined. In hinsight, it was probably good that she took the trip while she was still able to move about.

That broken arm was just the beginning of what was to become osteoporosis. And at that time, it wasn't taken that seriously. Eventually the bones in her spine pinched the nerves to her arms and she lost the use of her hands. She had constant headaches and other pain and discomfort in the last years of her life.

In this next picture with the two of us standing in front of the palace at Versailles, she is cleverly hiding her plaster cast-arm behind my back.

I think this trip qualifies as a French Obsession for several reasons. Originally it was my great-grandmother's obsession. She wanted to travel to Paris from Sweden with her only daughter, my grandmother/mormor, right after World War I. But this trip had to be cancelled because Mormor became ill with something and at that time there were no extra vitamins or antibiotics to help cure her. She was too weak to travel.



Long after her mother had passed away, my grandmother/mormor still had not made her trip to Paris, inspite of taking evening classes in French. But when I came along, she finally took that trip to Paris with me!

Best wishes,
Anna

First Commenter:
Duni of
Lovely Purses



To see more posts for the French Obsession please go to Le Chateau des fleurs by Frenchy

Photobucket

Thursday September 2nd, 2010
A little 'Pee-Ess':


I apologise for letting my grandmother's fragile bones take up so much space on this short post. The point of this story is that Mormor and I had a very good time. It turned out to be one of the few trips that we made together.

Paris is the capital of this incredible country, France, that has a long history, and a culture that has influenced the rest of the world in countless ways. I forgot to say what we did! We visited Versailles, yes, but we also when to the Lourves, where we saw, among many other important paintings, Leonardo DaVinci's Mona Lisa! We had coffee and pastries at different sidewalk cafés, walked along the Seine and visited a wonderful small museum that had medieval tapestries, Musee du Cluny. And we went shopping! We looked at this department store, the name of which escapes me now. Everything was so different and so BEAUTIFUL!

I can't remember if it was on our way to or from France, that we also stopped and looked at, among other amazing and beautiful things, tulips, in Holland. Mormor loved gardening. So we liked Holland too. But so far, I haven't found a meme called 'The Dutch Obsession'. So to all of you wonderful folks in the Netherlands, let me know if you have a meme called that and I'll write a post for that too.

Mormor did what she could to help, guide and inspire me. I learned so much from her. Maybe I don't need to say this. But I'll say it anyway. I really miss Mormor.

G is for Gold - Mrs. Denise Nesbitt's abc-Wednesday, Round 7 - G



'G' is for Gold



Anna's Adornments is a jewellery blog. What G-word is the first that comes to mind when you think of jewellery? You guessed it! Gold! I don't even need to open the dictionary to find this week's G-word.



Russian Orthodox gold icon depicting the Mother of God,
St Iver and St Alexis , Moscow, Russia, 19th century.
Photo source.

Unfortunately, I don't have any items that are made of gold in my online shops right now. (I wish.)


Yellow gold nuggets
(Photo source: Only Gold)

Sometimes I dream about working with real gold; going to goldsmith's school and learning how to work with real gold and making jewellery out of real gold. It would be nice. So what am I going to do for this post?

Gold in goldpan, Alaska
(Photo source)

Write an ode to gold? Not quite. More like a quick history of gold. (Well, actually I did write a poem about gold; but it is so bad that I simply cannot use it here.) This post will just have to be a little 'jewellery-education' post; Precious Metals 101:

Neckring from Mone, 400 A.D

Gold is the oldest metal, generally known to mankind, and has been found in many different places around the world. Gold has therefore always been valued by all peoples from earliest times to this day.

Gold has always been appreciated for its brilliance and permanance. It does not change, corrode or tarnish.



Iron and copper may have advanced progress and technology, but gold was there first. It is easy to mine and work with compared to other metals that are found in ore bodies that make smelting difficult. Gold is found in an almost pure form that was easy for ancient people with primitive metods, to make into ornaments and later coins.

The first money was gold. Coins, that were stamped into lumps of 63% gold and 27% silver were produced by Lydian merchants around 700 B.C. (Source: Gold Only. Read more about the history of gold here.)



If I cannot show any pieces of my own jewellery made with real gold, I can at least show a design with something that is gold-coloured and also a G-word: GLASS!


These gold-coloured silver-lined glass beads shine like gold. (Compare the gold wedding bands on my finger with the gold-coloured glass beads.)





And why not make some soft stretch bangels with an opposite pattern: gold with just a few black beads?






Thanks for visiting!
Best wishes,
Anna

First Commenter:
Ann of
Ann's Snap Edit & Scrap




To visit more ABC-Wednesday, round 7- G-posts, please visit this site.





Patricia Rockwell’s Virtual Book Tour for Sounds of Murder: Anna asks some questions



Anna: I have read Patricia Rockwell's mystery, Sounds of Murder, and am very pleased that she is here today to talk about her book. Thank you so much for visiting Anna's Adornments, Patricia. Normally, this is a blog about the craft of jewellery-making, but today we get to learn about the craft of writing and think about reading, and what pleasure a really good book can give. Why is your novel called a 'cozy' and 'an acoustic mystery'? I've heard of the term 'cozy' before, but not 'an acoustic mystery'.

Patricia Rockwell: Anna, thank you for inviting me to your blog to discuss my new cozy mystery, Sounds of Murder. My book is a cozy mystery, actually I’ve labeled it “an acoustic mystery” because my heroine, Pamela Barnes, is a psychology professor who studies sound and conducts research using acoustic technology. When one of her colleagues is murdered, she resolves to find the killer using an accidentally made recording of the actual murder. As she analyzes the sounds on the murder tape, she is unaware that the murderer is becoming suspicious of her activities and plotting to stop her.

Anna: That must be something new. I have never heard of that before. Let's go back to the term 'cozy' for a minute.

I have been thinking a lot about what a cozy is compared to a suspense novel. Your profile says that you like Dean Koontz' novels. I have read several of them, like Midnight; they are real 'page-turners', but often so horribly gruesome and graphic. By definition a cozy should let the crime be committed between chapters. What does a cozy like Sounds of Murder offer the reader instead of the blood and gore of other kinds of novels like suspense and crime novels?


Sara Cat admires Cozette, the Cozy Cat Press - cat

Patricia Rockwell: Anna, I like your observation that in cozies, crimes occur “between” chapters. That is definitely how my book Sounds of Murder is and--truly--how I generally like all murder mysteries that I read to be. I don’t care to actually read anything bloody or gory or anything overly graphic or violent. I’m guessing that most cozy readers feel the same way; that’s why they like cozies. For me, the thrill of a cozy is in the detecting, in the figuring things out aspect. What makes the detective suspect one person over another? What are the clues? How does one clue connect to another? What does a particular clue tell the detective? These are all questions that I find fascinating and that I want to have answered when I read a mystery.



Anna: If I may speak as a reader, I know exactly when, where and how I got interested in reading mysteries. It was January 26th, 2007. An accident with one of the children forced me to wait around in a hospital for about 18 hours, first in the emergncy room, then in an intensive care unit and then finally all night on the children's ward. I got a little something to eat but had nothing to read to pass the time. It would have been a great comfort to have had Sounds of Murder to read at that time. I had already seen enough blood for one day, so I would not have liked to have to read a gruesome suspense novel. The warmth in your cozy mystery would have felt like having a friend there with me. I really enjoyed reading it now.
There are a lot of people who, for different reasons could be helped by having the companionship of a really good book, like Sounds of Murder.
That was just a thought. Now I would like to talk about anything that you think is important about your novel. The importance of language and word-play? The role of humour in your cozy. The importance of building a world--the academic world of the university--in which your characters play out their roles.

Patricia Rockwell: As you can probably guess, being a former teacher, language and word-play are important to me. I’ve tried to use language in my cozy that is true to life--that is, that sounds like my characters would speak. Also, I try to write with an informal style; I want the language of my book to make my reader feel as if we are just having a conversation.

Humor is also important to me, but it has to be humor that develops naturally from the characters and the situations. One of my favorite humorous segments in Sounds of Murder is a scene at a restaurant, where my main character Pamela and her two best friends go on a Friday night to enjoy themselves and have a few drinks. They get quite relaxed and the jibes and ribaldry begin to roll. This was a really fun scene to write because I was able to incorporate a lot of the humor that I recalled from similar outings with female friends of mine.

Building the academic world in which the story takes place was actually one of the easier chores for me in writing Sounds of Murder. I spent most of my life teaching at a college or university so I have a lot of experiences on which to draw--and a lot of my colleagues--particularly those who were interesting characters--have found their way into Sounds of Murder.
Bold


Anna: Another thought: How are you going to write several novels with this same protagonist? Do you already have outlines for coming novels with her?

Patricia Rockwell: You’re not the first person to ask this. One critic pondered whether it would be possible for Pamela to solve any more crimes using acoustic technology. That is, just how many criminals leave sound clues when they commit murder? Actually, given my interest and background in sound and acoustics, I really believe there is no end to the number of stories that can use the acoustic mystery theme. In my second mystery, which will be out next year, the murder of a radio station disk jockey is heard on air, but no one witnesses it in person and the police are stymied. Pamela, my amateur sleuth, is asked to assist the police by listening to the audio tape of the murder to see if she can determine anything about the killer. That book is completely finished. I’m planning a third mystery that involves a married man who leaves a voice mail message for his mistress and who is subsequently found murdered. Pamela will be asked to assist the police by analyzing the voice mail tape. As I see it, as long as murderers or criminals make noises or speak, Pamela Barnes will be able to continue solving her acoustic mysteries.



Anna: Can you tell us something about how you write? Do you have a routine?


Patricia Rockwell: Actually, I wrote Sounds of Murder last November during the NaNoWriMo challenge. If you or your readers don’t know about NaNoWriMo, it stands for National Novel Writing Month, and it’s an event that occurs every November, when aspiring writers promise to write every day diligently until they reach 50,000 or the end of their novel--whichever comes first. I decided to try it because I thought it would motivate me to get my book finished. I really think it helped me because it forced me to write every day. I resolved to finish a chapter each day and as I had outlined 30 chapters for my book and there are 30 days in November, it worked out perfectly.

Anna: That is amazing! I have done NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month and looked at NaNoWriMo, and wondered if I should try it. And you really did it!

You say you worked from an outline. Did you follow it closely?

Patricia Rockwell: I didn’t know when I started what would work for me. It was my first novel. I usually outlined academic papers so I figured I would outline my novel and I created a fairly complex outline. It changed a lot as I progressed but I found it helped me keep on track. For my second book, my outline wasn’t nearly as complicated. I guess I had figured out what worked best for me and I knew the depth of outline that I would need in advance.

Anna: Well, whatever you did, it really did work, because I think your pacing and timing are perfect. You must have a good perception of when you have said enough and need to go on to something else. Do you do a lot of editing and rewriting?


Patricia Rockwell: Oh, my, yes. I learned that from my academic writing. I learned that if I didn’t edit my own work, an editor or a peer reviewer would. I am ruthless on my own writing. I chop out entire chapters without batting an eyelash. I figure I have to be this way. I always told my students the importance of editing one’s own work--writing and rewriting and then rewriting some more. I don’t think students ever really realize the extent and the amount of editing and rewriting that professors do with their own academic writing; they just assume those published works just sort of float out of our brains. It’s anything but true. I was used to editing and rewriting, so, yes, I did a lot of it for Sounds of Murder, and I will probably continue to do massive amounts of editing of anything I write in the future.


I hope these responses answer your questions. It’s really been fun responding to your individual requests. Thank you so much, Anna, for hosting my virtual book tour and supporting my cozy mystery Sounds of Murder.

Anna: The pleasure is all mine! I can't wait to read the next book! And now I would like to extend an invitation to all who have read this interview to leave comments and/or ask more questions of Dr. Rockwell, as she has promised to respond in the comment box today. Because of the different time-zones around the world, it may go slowly, but let's give it a try! Don't be shy! If there is something you would like to ask Patricia Rockwell, please write it in the comment box.

If you have not followed the interviews that Dr. Rockwell did before this one you may want to read them first before asking your questions. Please find the links below:

Best wishes to all,

Anna

First Commenter:

Pricilla of

The Maaaaa of Pricilla


Here are links to the previous interviews in Patricia Rockwell's Virtual Book Tour:


1. Wednesday August 25th - Lori's Reading Corner

2. Thursday August 26th - Lola's Diner

3. Friday August 27th - Grab A book From Our Stack

4. Sunday August 29th - New Book Blogger


Here are links to reviews of Sounds of Murder:

¤ 'Mac', Martha A. Cheves, of A Book and A Dish reviewed Patricia Rockwell's cozy on June 9th - Please click here

¤ Betty Gelean's Review 07/30/2010 by ReviewTheBook.com Please click here.


Visit Patricia Rockwell's blogs:





This Week With Entrecard - August 23rd to 29th, 2010

We have company tomorrow!

Please come back and read the interview with
Patricia Rockwell
about her new cozy & publishing company.
Monday, August 30th!!



------

Thank you for advertising with me on my Entrecard-widget
from August 23rd to 29th, 2010. Please visit these fine sites:

Monday, August 23rd - The Modern Mom



Tuesday, August 24th - Meow Diaries

Meow Diaries

Wednesday, August 25th - Mariuca's Perfume Gallery

MPG

Thursday, August 26th - Pictures of a Bygone Era


Friday, August 27
th - Vintage Fun for All



Saturday August 28th -
Sara Cat writes / Sara Katt skriver



Sunday August 29th - The Red Cat Society



Best wishes,
Anna

First Commenter:

Ann of
Ann's Snap Edit & Scrap






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