Monday, October 27, 2014

Book Review: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

The Beekeeper's Apprentice, or On the Segregation of the Queen
by Laurie R. King
Audible audiobook read by Jenny Sterlin
Adult, Mystery
You might like this book if you are a fan of the Sherlock Holmes oeuvre, like mysteries, or enjoy stories that provide a new take on a familiar theme. Or if you like stories where a female is a strong lead character.

I read this a while ago on the recommendation of my good friend Janis, but just read it again for book group and realized I never reviewed it.

I thoroughly enjoyed this fresh imagining of the continuing saga of Sherlock Holmes. In terms of this book, he's a real person, and the story is constructed in such a way that it's hard to remember that he's actually not. I loved that. I loved falling into the story right from the get-go and being transported to another world. It's why I read, you know.

Mary Russell meets Sherlock Holmes and it seems they are meant to enter each other's lives at just that time. She's young, he's old, but somehow the relationship (part mentorship, part father-daughter, part...??) works. She's bright, as bright as Sherlock, maybe; he comes around to realizing that and she becomes involved in the cases he takes on, because even in his retirement, his fame is intact and his colleagues in law enforcement still call on him occasionally.

I love how the characters develop in this story (Amazingly, yes, there is still room for character development in the well-documented Mr. Holmes). I love how the relationship between Mary and Sherlock evolves. I love how room is created for both of them to learn from each other.

It's also good, skillful mystery writing, with twists, subplots, villainy and alter-egos around every corner. So fun.

This is the beginning of a series, and I look forward to sharing my reviews of some of the other books as well.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Stitches East 2014

It's Tuesday again. Time is flying right now, actually flying.

I did go to Hartford, Connecticut and teach at Stitches East during the 2nd week of October. This show marked 9 years since I started teaching at these venues and became a national teacher, not just a local one. I got good evals right from the get-go, so they have hired me back all these years and I appreciate it. I have gained some of the most important friends in my life and have been able to move almost seamlessly from considering myself a stay-at-home mom to now, building a flexible career that will allow me to still be the kind of mom and grandma I want to be. As the kids say, I am #hashtagblessed.

I get this serious adrenaline rush from teaching in these classes, both large and small, that I'm sure can't be any more intense than bungee jumping. It just makes me so happy. I am energized by seeing these women and men who create with such passion. It's such a different world than the one my usual days exist in, and I love that.

Gwen and I did some video interviews for our website, and I'm learning so much about how to make good videos with decent sound. I am still a baby beginner, but it's good to practice and get better. It's good to be a novice at the age of 48 so I can remember that I am still capable of learning and growing. It's a hedge against stagnation.

Travel went smoothly and I came home to Eric's usual clean house and cozy welcome. There were many, many photo sessions planned in the days after my return, so I think my suitcases got unpacked about 3 days later, but unpacked they did get. Now they sit, empty and resting, until the next time I go forth into the world and fight bravely the good fight of taking risks and believing I can do all the things I really want to do.

What are doing that keeps you learning and growing?

It was I Love Yarn Day, so the convention center made us a
CAKE! It was glorious. I'm there, within arm's length of that
icing. On the right, next to the pastry chef.
Photo credit to Lisa Mannes
My roomie and I. She's from Kansas City so we
had good fun watching the baseball games between
the Royals and the O's for the American League
Championship.  Photo credit to Beth Whiteside.
Fellow teachers.
I love these ladies. They all enrich my life in big ways.
Photo credit to Lisa Mannes. 
Dinner out with my fellow teachers.
Hartford has a new barbecue place.
Sunrise over the convention center and river.
Our hotel room was right next to the stairs so it
was easy to get my cardio and intervals in. 
I get to see really creative stuff in the market.
I love this simple idea for an artistic bangle. 

My good friend and I always take a walk on
the Sunday morning of Stitches and this
time it was deep fog. So beautiful. 

The light was just enchanting. I really couldn't stop taking
pictures of the fog and the light on the changing leaves. 

I am trying to find line and beauty and pattern
all around, not just in the obvious places. This
is just a downtown plaza, but I liked it. 

We found bushes covered in perfect 6-inch
webs that are likely nearly invisible without
the dewdrops.
Repeat, Could. Not. Stop. Photographing. 

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Fade to Autumn

Over at Bollman Bridge a few days ago.

So far, it's been a lovely transition to the Autumnal times of the year. Blue skies, changing leaves, mild-to-chilly temperatures and all that jazz.