Off-Topic Question of the Day

Off-Topic Question of the Day

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    • #2105
      web admin
      Keymaster

      Use this thread to post (non-Charlaine) questions to the community.

    • #2251
      aquasam
      Participant

      Does anyone have any favorite books from 2020?

      Mine are (in the order I read them):

      A PLAGUE OF GIANTS – Kevin Hearne
      THE SUN DOWN MOTEL – Simone St. James
      MY LADY JANE – Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows
      A LONGER FALL – Charlaine Harris
      PEACE TALKS – Jim Butcher
      The STILLHOUSE LAKE Series – Rachel Caine
      A DEADLY EDUCATION – Naomi Novik
      CLOCKWORK BOYS – T. Kingfisher

    • #2252
      crossfox
      Participant

      Charlaine’s, of course, and Naomi Novik’s was another favorite.The new books by Patricia Briggs, Ilona Andrews (EMERALD BLAZE), and Ben Aaronovitch (FALSE VALUE). I worked my way through Sharon Lee and Steve Miller’s Liaden Universe space opera series. Dana Stabenow’s most recent Kate Shugak.

    • #2254
      Bigmama
      Participant

      Ilona Andrews, Blood Heir. Great to visit with Julie and Derek! πŸ™‚

    • #2259
      Charlaine Harris
      Moderator

      Hi, after a long time! (Almost) my whole family got the virus, due to a child who passed it to my grandson, who unknowingly shared it with Hal and myself, and his mother and father, before he showed any symptoms. Then our daughter, a school teacher and coach, caught it from one of her kids . . . which was bound to happen. Our Christmas was pretty unpleasant, overall, but we were able to get together to celebrate later in December, and we’re well on the road to recovery now. I’ll be writing a new Book and Blog soon — as you can imagine, the books have piled up!

      Charlaine Harris

      Charlaine Harris

    • #2260
      Rebecca19
      Participant

      Oh my gooooodneeeessss!! I’m so glad you all have come through on the other side!! In a weird way, you have nothing to fear now! You all have faced it down!

    • #2261
      Charlaine Harris
      Moderator

      That’s very much the way I feel, Rebecca19! I have antibodies!

      Charlaine Harris

      Charlaine Harris

      • #2264
        Bigmama
        Participant

        WOW! The pandimic is still spreading like wildfire in Florida. I have been fortunate to avoid it so far. I have had my first shot of the vaccine so I am anxiously waiting for the second in about 3 weeks. Fingers and toes crossed! πŸ™‚

    • #2266
      Rebecca19
      Participant

      Big Mama- So glad you’re half way there!!

      I thought I’d share the link to a very interesting episode of my favorite podcast (“Talking Tudors”). You can find it on itunes. It’s Episode 90 and entitled “Early Modern Women & Book Ownership with Martine van Elk”
      https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/episode-90-early-modern-women-book-ownership-martine/id1413504428?i=1000497867172

      Dr.van Elk mentions Margaret Lucas Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (1623 – 15 December 1673) who wrote science fiction and utopian fiction! After I listened to the podcast, I really enjoyed googling more about her. She seems ahead of her time!

      I can’t believe it has only been a year since I met Ms C in Birmingham on her book signing tour.I drove from Atlanta with my flamenco teacher (who is like a second mom to me. It was such a fun road trip together!) It feels like ten years ago–this year has been interminable…but here we are! We’ve popped through the other side!

    • #2267
      Charlaine Harris
      Moderator

      It does feel like an extra-long year, doesn’t it? I hope time goes back to normal when the virus is under control. I don’t believe it can be eradicated. So glad you had a good time on your trip to Birmingham, and it is always a pleasure to hear from you on this forum.

      Charlaine Harris

      Charlaine Harris

    • #2271
      Rebecca19
      Participant

      The pleasure is mine. I am in good company and I’m grateful for the kindred spirits here πŸ™‚

      As we wait for “The Russian Cage” at the end of February and talk about fav books in 2020, I’ll add I’ve been into a lot of historical fiction lately. But my worlds converged with “Le Temps Viendra” by Sarah Morris–mixing the historical Anne Boleyn with a time traveling modern day heroine.

    • #2272
      audiobooklover
      Participant

      Oh no! So sorry your whole family got sick, Ms. Harris, but glad you are all feeling better now.
      BigMama – So glad you are halfway to being fully vaccinated.

      I really need to read more Kate Daniels. I’ve read the first several, but I know I’m quite a few books behind…

    • #2273
      Charlaine Harris
      Moderator

      I’ve enjoyed all the Kate Daniels books, but I love the Hidden Legacy books even more. I’ll read anything Ilona Andrews writes.

      Charlaine Harris

      Charlaine Harris

    • #2275
      Bigmama
      Participant

      I also love the Innkeeper books. I hope we get a novella at least in that series this year!

    • #2284
      Rebecca19
      Participant

      In keeping with all things “off topic,” this is a bit random, but I looked for this poem for about 7 hours today, deep in the bowels of my Macbook air. My younger son had to do a “free verse” poem for school and I wanted to share some of mine. Imagine my devastation when I believed them all lost. I cried when I found them. I said to my older son, later, “I found the poems!”
      “I know, I heard you mom” (hug) ” ‘I found the poems! I found the poems!'” (mimicking my voice through his laughter) “I’m happy for you mom. I love you.”
      Meanwhile,’not sure what was better: finding the poems or having my fourteen year old’s imitation of me, his laughter and hug. Here is one of “the poems!”

      β€œSea Glass”
      by R. Monet

      I think he probably walked the beach slowly,
      But not exactly methodically;
      Maybe darting,
      Then bent over each find like a sandpiper once still,
      Spying his dinner;
      Dark eye again poised.

      He gave them to his sister,
      (that much I do know).
      They turned her hair indigo;
      Hand splayed out like the inner pearl of oyster shells,
      Dappled with gems of green and blue.

    • #2285
      Charlaine Harris
      Moderator

      I can appreciate your happiness at finding work you thought you’d lost. Lovely poem.

      Charlaine Harris

      Charlaine Harris

    • #2286
      Bigmama
      Participant

      What a lovely poem! I’m so glad it was not lost! How great to be able to share with your son and he can present your work as a part of his assignment. That is truly special.
      It makes me remember how thrilled I was that some of my work was chosen to be included in The Sookie Stackhouse Companion. We all worked so hard on it and I am really proud of the final product. πŸ™‚

    • #2287
      Rebecca19
      Participant

      Thank you Ms. C and Big Mama. The poem is based on a day my sister took her teenage children on an outing to the beach. My nephew loves collecting sea glass. They sent a picture of my niece holding it and she looked enchanted, like a mermaid.

      I knew everyone here would understand my relief and the shared words (and belief in mermaids;) )

      And I love my Sookie Stackhouse Companion; double fun to know I have something you contributed to, Big Mama!:)

    • #2292
      Rebecca19
      Participant

      Just sat down with some hot chocolate and Susan Hill’s “The Mist in the Mirror” :)))

      • #2294
        Bigmama
        Participant

        well, I now am supposedly immune to the virus! I got my second shot a week ago yesterday and am just now getting over it! I had absolutely no effect from the first shot and thought, ” WOW! This is going to be easy!” πŸ™‚ HAH! Hubby and I got felled by the second shot! Just like having a really bad case of flu. We are ok now, however, and I am really glad its done. With my health issues I was a VERY bad bet if I got the virus so I’m glad I at least have a bit better prognosis. Our area began to have a whammy of new cases of covid just before we got the first shot. I think that may be why our county got the vaccine so quickly. Florida has so many elderly and we are being given the priority for the shots. Since my husband and I are both over 70 years old we were at the head of the list. We had actually been told we would have to wait when I called to get an appointment for the first shot. I was told that even though I called immediately once I found out the vaccine was available, all the medication had already been promised. I was told it would probably be a couple of months before they got more. Fortunately for us, we got a call a couple of days later that they had gotten additional vaccine and would do the shots the next day! I am really relieved-I do have some ammunity now but will be at full protection by next Tuesday.

    • #2295
      Charlaine Harris
      Moderator

      Really glad you got your vaccine, BigMama. I have natural immunity right now since I actually had the virus, but of course we’ll have to get the vaccine in sixty days or so. I hope we don’t have to struggle to get an appointment.
      Charlaine Harris

      Charlaine Harris

    • #2297
      audiobooklover
      Participant

      That’s great news BigMama! Sorry the second shot made you feel sick, but glad you are better now. My mother gets her first shot today (in a couple of hours) and we are thrilled because we’ve been very worried about her.

    • #2941
      Collette_M
      Participant

      Is there a newsletter or something I can subscribe to that will send to my email information about new books or even an email when new blog posts are published? Even if one of these threads was updated for this info that I could subscribe to so I got an alert.

      • #2991
        Charlaine Harris
        Moderator

        Collette, I am sure there is, because I can get responses to my own posts. You can ask Sarah, the website maven.

        Charlaine

        Charlaine Harris

    • #2995
      Bigmama
      Participant

      Do any of the original club members ever meet at conventions or have gathering like we once did. I would love to see some of the ‘old guard’ again. πŸ™‚

      • #3035

        We should set up a Zoom meet-up! I have a work trip next week to Anaheim, but get back June 1st. Would a weeknight or weekend work better for everyone?

    • #3073
      Charlaine Harris
      Moderator

      Anyone up for this idea?

      Charlaine

      Charlaine Harris

      • #3075
        audiobooklover
        Participant

        I was not part of the fan club “old guard” but I have been around the board (the old one and now this one) for quite a while and I’d love to attend a Zoom meet-up if one happens. Depending on the day, either weeknight or weekend can work for me.

        One silver lining of this pandemic was discovering Zoom and the possibility to meet-up with people all over the world. Through other online boards, I’ve done that and “met” people I’d only communicated with on boards similar to this and it’s been great fun.

    • #3076
      Charlaine Harris
      Moderator

      Like all of you, I am sure, I am in shock over what happened in Uvalde. I have a grandson the age of the children who were murdered. I have a cousin living in Uvalde. Most of all, I am a citizen and a human being. There comes a time (and in my opinion, it’s long past) where we should value the lives of our citizens over the dubious right of Americans to buy assault rifles. People who say their rifles would have to be pried from their cold dead hands are not thinking of the cold dead hands of Americans who have died from senseless slaughter.

      Charlaine

      Charlaine Harris

    • #3077
      crossfox21
      Participant

      Agreed. When my dad was in high school in the 50s, he used to ride his bike to rifle team practice with his .22 strapped across his handlebars. He was only stopped once, by a cop who checked that the gun was safely secured. Back then, assault rifles were not an option for civilians, because Bonnie and Clyde were still relatively recent memory, and everyone understood that weapons of war don’t belong in everyone’s possession. The law was clear.

      My dad and all my brothers were NRA instructors; I learned to shoot when I was 7, and passed my Safe Hunter course in the very early 70s. Back then the NRA was a respectable organization focused on gun safety, education, and sports. Then, in the mid 70s, the NRA decided to hire a lobbyist. IIRC it was 1977 when the lobbyist packed the national meeting with rabid wingnuts and successfully staged a coup.

      Lobbyists know they’re out of a job if their issue is ever resolved. So the lobbyists who now operate the NRA for their own personal benefit have zero motivation to allow anything close to good faith negotiation. Their income depends upon keeping the issue unresolved, by fanning the flames of paranoia in their members. The “slippery slope” fallacy is their bread and butter, and you will pry it from their cold, dead, slippery fingers.

      It’s really incumbent upon responsible gun owners to be part of this national conversation. We outnumber the wingnuts; we have to get louder than we have been.

    • #3078
      Bigmama
      Participant

      a very difficult question with no simple answer. As a responsible gun owner and sincere Constitutionalist, I am sympathetic to both sides. Unfortunately, however, we cannot eliminate senseless evil by eliminating firearms. I do agree, however, that I see very little reason for the ownership of certain types of weapons. When I ponder this though, I remember that the police in Paris carried machine guns! EEK!

    • #3079
      Bigmama
      Participant

      OOPs! I got distracted before commenting on the Zoom idea! I don’t know what a Zoom meeting is but I would love to participate! Explanations and info needed! πŸ™‚

    • #3080
      crossfox21
      Participant

      No one with any sense is suggesting eliminating firearms. The Second Amendment and common sense are not mutually exclusive. That’s why Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America has so many gun-owning members. Many of us come from families where sport-shooting in the back field is a common holiday activity. In my semi-rural county, I think fully half of Moms own guns ourselves, or our immediate family members do. We have no intention of giving them up. We need them sometimes, for rabid animals if not for hunting (and we eat what we hunt).

      But not everyone needs to own every firearm. And some people don’t need to own any firearm. I have an extended family member – who did not grow up with guns as we did – who attempted suicide by gun. By the grace of God they survived and are healing emotionally and physically. They do not need to own another gun however, and at this stage should not be permitted to purchase one.

      Our whole family was very proud of my niece when she joined her college rifle team. I suspect part of the reason she later switched sports was the aggressive paranoia that some shooters choose to enjoy. Moderation is not always welcome at the range. That’s why we have to be louder. We can’t allow aggressive paranoia to become the norm.

      • This reply was modified 6 months ago by crossfox21.
      • This reply was modified 6 months ago by crossfox21.
      • This reply was modified 6 months ago by crossfox21.
    • #3091
      Charlaine Harris
      Moderator

      Big Mama, those of us who work from home or have wide-flung family are ALL TOO FAMILIAR with Zoom. You can see and talk to people signed up for a Zoom meeting through your computer. Before you Zoom, you should get someone (maybe a grandkid!) to help you check out your Zoom capabilities. It’s like being in someone’s living room, but you’re at home.

      I’d love to have a Zoom meeting with you all. Sarah Simpson-Weiss is capable of organizing and setting up the event if there is enough interest.

      I think we can all agree that there need to be more restrictions on the way people buy guns and other firearms. And I don’t think anyone needs an assault rifle unless they plan on killing people. That’s what assault rifles are for.

      My granddaughter was in her first jujitsu tournament yesterday. It was a big learning experience for all of us. I’ve been to hundreds of other tournaments — baseball, softball, volleyball, basketball — but this was quite different. We didn’t know any of the rules, we didn’t understand the scoring for half the time, our granddaughter was listed in the wrong class at first, and second-by-second coaching is the norm. But we enjoyed seeing her put her skill to the test for the first time.

      Charlaine

      Charlaine Harris

    • #3092
      Charlaine Harris
      Moderator

      Big Mama, those of us who work from home or have wide-flung family are ALL TOO FAMILIAR with Zoom. You can see and talk to people signed up for a Zoom meeting through your computer. Before you Zoom, you should get someone (maybe a grandkid!) to help you check out your Zoom capabilities. It’s like being in someone’s living room, but you’re at home.

      I’d love to have a Zoom meeting with you all. Sarah Simpson-Weiss is capable of organizing and setting up the event if there is enough interest.

      I think we can all agree that there need to be more restrictions on the way people buy guns and other firearms. And I don’t think anyone needs an assault rifle unless they plan on killing people. That’s what assault rifles are for.

      My granddaughter was in her first jujitsu tournament yesterday. It was a big learning experience for all of us. I’ve been to hundreds of other tournaments — baseball, softball, volleyball, basketball — but this was quite different. We didn’t know any of the rules, we didn’t understand the scoring for half the time, our granddaughter was listed in the wrong class at first, and second-by-second coaching is the norm. But we enjoyed seeing her put her skill to the test for the first time.

      Charlaine

      Charlaine Harris

    • #3093
      crossfox21
      Participant

      Martial arts is great for kids. Along with gymnastics and yoga, it’s one of the most helpful kinds of exercise in developing body awareness and coordination, and the self-defense skills are a practical side benefit. It’s also great for kids who maybe aren’t as comfortable with the pressure of team sports.

      I learned how to zoom over the pandemic (had a zoom conference yesterday in fact) and would be comfortable meeting up that way, schedule permitting.

    • #3106
      Rebecca19
      Participant

      Just my two cents, “for whatever it’s worth” as my dad would say:

      I would like to take a self defense course with my daughter before she goes to college. That’s a few years away, but sometimes I think sooner may be better than later. My son has enjoyed taking Karate at the Y and he may want to pursue it more this year, or swimming. I once read tumbling and toddler gymnastics is excellent for mind development, too. I think it’s an all around good choice for kids of any age. It also teaches self-control and how to create calm in your mind.

      I feel strongly that no one needs an assault rifle to kill a deer or shoot cans. I have a family similar to Crossfox, I grew up shooting cans. My dad reminds me of Atticus Finch, he has a cool head and a compassionate heart. My sister gave us all nicknames when we were young, so he is Doodles. With his way of being, my children have started calling him “Dumbledoodles.” He is gentle, humorous and respectful. If I ever did anything wrong, he would sit down with me and the first thing he would do was to gently ask, “How are you? Tell me what’s going on.” He would get to the root of it–which was very constructive and we love him for it.

      He hunts and we eat every bite.(Well, Dad eats the viscera, I don’t!) He has always taught me, “Never point a gun at anyone–ever–even if it isn’t loaded.” I think there is value in having respect for anything we do and what we do for each other. I know my dad is not like most men who hunt but because of who he is, I once told him, “Dad, you can’t be against gun control and not be pro choice” When I explained, he said, “Wow kid, you’re right.”

      I’m for the sanctity of life but I feel the government should not have the power to say to a woman she cannot make that decision herself. That really bothers me because it goes against everything I believe in about my relationship to the government. And I feel that applies to a lot of issues, like this one. But we are a long long way away–on both issues–from following basic common sense. If our representatives and senators would not pork-barrel the crap out of stuff, I think most Americans would agree on things. Even RBG had a problem with how Roe V Wade was written, but she would still want all women in America to have a choice.

      There definitely needs to be more restrictions when it comes to guns. I bet we all agree on more than we think, but our reps and senators often play Loki in how they write bills which later become complex laws that create more disagreement than necessary.

      The bottom line is, there needs to be more balance in the force

    • #3107
      Charlaine Harris
      Moderator

      I agree with you, Rebecca, and it’s good to ‘see’ you again here on this forum. My dad did not hunt, but many people around us did every fall. I have no issue with hunting or the weapons needed to carry it out. Assault rifles, yes, I have issues with those. And I emphatically agree women should have a choice as to what happens in their bodies. What if it were the law that men could not have vasectomies? Reproductive choices should not be legislated. I personally would have a hard time deciding to end a pregnancy — but that’s my personal choice, and I don’t believe a law should legislate that. Women should not feel driven to backstreet abortions.

      Charlaine Harris

      Charlaine Harris

    • #3108
      Rebecca19
      Participant

      Agree 100 % Ms. C. And it’s nice to be back. Thank you. You all have not been far from my mind.

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