Monday, January 31, 2011

Book Trailer: "Gotta Have It: 69 Stories of Sudden Sex"

Gotta Have It: 69 Stories of Sudden SexGotta Have It: 69 Stories of Sudden Sex by Rachel Kramer Bussel

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a fun book about sex that you have to have right here and right now.

Take a look at the YouTube book trailer and see some of the authors read extracts from their stories.

I have a story in this anthology but wasn't brave enough to be on the trailer. I admire the people who did it and did it so well.

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Strange Day

I spent today in a Swiss A&E where a very professional and caring set of women tried to diagnose the pains in my chest. They managed to rule out any immediately life threatening stuff but passed me on to a cardiologist as there appears to be an underlying problem.

It seems likely that I am going to have to find a way to shorten my hours and reduce or eliminate air travel, at least for a while.

Hopefully I will have more time to spend writing.

In the meantime I can't give enough praise to the women who calmly and caringly handed me back my life today when I had begun to think it might soon be done with.

Now I need to find a way to make the most of their gift.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas TerrorThe Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror by Christopher Moore

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a fun book from cover to cover. MY wife bought if for me for Christmas and it brought me a lot of twisted cheer.

The style and the way of thinking is kind of Carl Hiassen meets Tom Sharpe with a dash of Sam Raimi thrown in.

Moore manages to pull off writing a book in which we care what happens to the characters, laugh at fights with flesh-eating zombies, cheer when Santa gets what's coming to him, root for the psychotic warrior princess who is off her meds and believe in a talking fruit-bat.

The only "reality" based thing in the book is the love the people feel for each other and their irrepressible response to all the craziness around them.

That, combined with great comic timing, an imagination that refuses to accept any limits, and a love of genre fiction, is what makes this book a jox to read.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I'm in need of a little happiness. Something to look forward to. Something that I know will make me smile.

As the years go by it seems to me that the list of things that make me truly happy have grown shorter. I am more selective in the food that I eat and the wine that I drink and the people I choose to spend time with. This means that when I am happy it is a high quality happiness that lingers in the memory. It also means that happiness isn't something that happens every day.

Last year was particularly empty of happiness; too much death and grief for happiness to do anything more that show its face in small moments of forgetfulness, like a ghost speaking to me when I dreamed.

The moment of happiness that I cherish from last year was given to me by my wife. We've been together for more than thirty years. After a while it becomes hard to know what to buy each other for Christmas. I'm particularly difficult as I tend to buy the books and films that I enjoy as the year goes along. This year, my wife was determined to find me something different. She hit upon the theme of the 12 days of Christmas. She bought me 12 gifts, each representing one of the items in the song. Most of them were sweats of various kinds. Each of them was wrapped and tagged with a hand made label.

It was a simple idea that I knew must have been fiendishly difficult to execute.

As I opened the presents one after another, I found myself delighted by the ingenuity and wit behind each item. By the 7th day of Christmas I was laughing; a deep loud, open-throated laugh of untempered pleasure. It had been a very long time since anything made me laugh like that.

The 12 days of Christmas came wrapped in love and attention and brought me the gift of release from the weight of the emotional debris I'd been dragging after me for the past few years.

This is a moment of happiness that I treasure.

It made me realise how rare happiness is and how hard the sources of it are to find.

I'd like to hear what makes you happy: what brought you pleasure last year, what you are looking forward to this year, what kind of thing do you associate with personal happiness.