The Happy Dance and What I’ve Been Reading…

After a couple of weeks of not having a working computer, I’m doing the happy dance of a woman who now owns a Gateway 1.5TB hard drive, 8G memory, Windows Home Premium 64 bit, desk top computer with a 2 year warranty. It’s a lot like dancing in the rain after a lengthy drought and I can speak with authority on this as I’ve lived in the desert for the past 30 years.

There’s nothing like a dependable computer to bring joy to a writer’s life. Okay, maybe it’s not as good as a big fat royalty check, but it runs a close second. It’s seriously awesome. I now have an extra hour in my day because I no longer have to wait forever for my computer to boot-up while 60 different programs (we tried to turn them off and they wouldn’t listen) are fighting for top billing. No more unexplained shut-downs, or freezing or NOT RESPONDING, NOT RESPONDING, NOT RESPONDING. No more INSTALLATION FAILED. No more disappearing text or photos. Best of all, I don’t have to listen to my husband say, “You know, if you had a MAC this wouldn’t be happening.” (I don’t get it. Why do MAC owners think that everyone should own one?)

Buying a new computer took an unexpected hit on the budget, but it’s solved the delimma of what my husband is getting me for my birthday. And Mother’s Day. I don’t mind. We’ve had years when paying our income taxes was my birthday present. This is much better.

 What did I do during my 2 week hiatus? Initially, I whined about the things I wasn’t able to do like writing, editing, blogging, emails, Facebook, Twitter and yada, yada, but since that wasn’t a particularly productive way to spend my time, I made myself stop.  I organized my notes for novels I plan to write and read some of the books I’ve downloaded on my Kindle. Here are a few that I particularly enjoyed.

Out of Time by Deborah Truscott   Kathleen Findlay’s life is a mess. Her husband is an unfaithful jerk, she wants to leave him but is having a hard time making herself take that next step. When her uncle dies and leaves her a Revolutionary-era home, she decides to put the house up for sale and use the profits to start a new life with her children. But her life takes an unexpected turn after she finds an 18th century English soldier (who is quite upset to learn that they have lost the war) in her garden shed. It was a fun read. My only criticisms–too much road and travel description and the last chapter didn’t need to be there.

Death of Kings: A Novel by Bernard Cornwell  Blood, sweat and testosterone rule in this story about Uhtred of Bebbanburg and his adventures in 9th century England while he plots to win back his rightful Bebbanburg estate from the uncle who stole it from him. I’m always a sucker for warriors on a battlefield and I have to admit that I find Uhtred’s barbarian attitude pretty interesting. He’s a seriously flawed hero you can’t help cheering for.

Heartbreak Trail by Shirley Kennedy  In 1860, young Bostonian Lucy Schneider, her husband and fanatically religious brother-in-law, leave on a wagon train bound for California. It’s an okay love story (hubby gets knocked off  pretty quickly) but also a fascinating account of what it was like to travel across the country in a covered wagon.

  The Nell Sweeney series by P.B. Ryan. I can’t say enough about this series. Unless you can function well on very little sleep, it isn’t a good pick for night-time reading because you won’t be able to put it down. Boston governess, Nell Sweeney, and opium smoking (he manages to quit by the second book) former Civil War surgeon, Will Hewitt, put their heads together to solve murders. It’s filled with sexual tension, suspense, and intriguingly dark characters. Still Life with Murder is the first in the series. Read it and you’ll be hooked.

It’s good to be back. See ya next week!!!

 

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About Diana Douglas

Diana Douglas, author. Coorganizer of the Arizona Novel Writers Workshop. Member Arizona Historical Novel Society, Member BooksGoSocial Authors, Transplanted Texan. http://www.meetup.com/Arizona-Writers-Workshop-com http://twitter.com/#!/themodernscribe
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13 Responses to The Happy Dance and What I’ve Been Reading…

  1. I’m doing the happy dance for you, Diana. You deserved that new computer.
    Gonna have to check out Still Life with Murder…sounds intriguing.

  2. If you’re doing the happy dance for me, you’d better stop right now! You’ve got a bulging disc or two that you don’t want to make worse. But thanks for the encouragement.

  3. Thanks for the book recommendations. I’m just downloading Still Life With Murder right now. 🙂 I’m glad you’ve got your computer back, although it sounds like you handled the ‘away time’ much better than I would have. Stop by my blog if you are interested in historical tidbits. Would love to get your opinion. Have a great day! http://www.susanmschreiber.wordpress.com

  4. I love historical tidbits. I’m going to check you out right now!

  5. Marcia says:

    That’s some powerful sounding machine you’ve got there, Diana! So, now you can turn out amazing novels in the speed of light, right? 😉 I love it when I have lots of time to read. The Nell Sweeney series siunds right up my alley. Glad you’re back and happy keyboarding!

  6. molly says:

    And so you should be dancing in the rain, Lady Diana … singing too, if you ask me – a 1.5 terrabyte hard disk and 8 gigabytes of RAM … SWEEEET! Is the chip an Intel Core i5 or i7 Processor? Now it’s important you have a good virus program that provides a firewall, like ‘McAfee Total Protection”, which can be set to auto download updates of virus signatures. Also run ‘Windows system ‘Disk cleanup’ fortnightly to catch issues early and about every 12 weeks use Window’s defrag program to defragment your hard disk. Big thanks for recommending books, I’m going to try P.B. Ryan’s Nell Sweeney series, cheers catchul8r molly

  7. bgillen says:

    Great to have you back. Thanks for the book ideas.

  8. Glad you’re back in the cyber-business! Thanks for the book recommendations. I always love to know what others are reading. I just finished the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Wonderful book! Funny, fully developed quirky characters whose lives you really care about.

  9. That’s a great title. I’ll look it up on my Kindle. I’m glad I’m back, too. It was weird, not being attached to a keyboard.

  10. hawleywood40 says:

    I so know what you mean about how a computer can make or break a writer’s day, and what a good feeling having one that acts like a reliable friend rather than a sniveling brat is wonderful feeling! Glad you’re up and running! I plan to get a few of the books you mentioned on my Kindle for summertime poolside reading : ).

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