August 11th, 2004

A Pocket Full of Murder

I'm not dead!

In fact I'm feeling quite happy... I think I'll take a walk!

Seriously, lots has been happening around here, with two weeks' worth of delightful visitors (*waves to Teri*) and the long-anticipated trip to Convention Alley to do my presentation on redemptive themes and the influence of Christian theology on the Harry Potter books. You can find the formal essay and some addenda related to the oral presentation in my LiveJournal if you're interested. I thought there might be some resistance to the premise, especially after a discussion participant in the seminar before mine said that she didn't want to use the word "redeemed" in regard to Snape because it was "too religious-sounding". But so far all the feedback has been positive.

The really big news around here, though, is something I've been mostly keeping under my hat for the past eight months or so -- it looks like we're going to be moving. My parents (who are in their seventies) are getting to the point where they could really use more help with home maintenance and groundskeeping and such, and my Dad's bad leg means that he really can't manage stairs very well any more. So, after looking into a few other options -- such as retirement complexes and existing homes with "in-law suites" -- and finding nothing suitable, my hubby started drawing up plans for a new house that we could all live in together.

None of us were really that keen on the idea of building -- it's such a hassle -- but it seemed to be the only way to get what both of our families needed. And now, after much sketching and discussing and revising of plans, we have a set of formal drawings that we've just signed off on. So I guess it's really happening, D.V. The builders hope to start working this month, and have the place ready for us to move in by the end of November.

It's a raised bungalow, in a brand-new subdivision with lots that were planned out in the 70's (which means they're a good size, unlike modern lots that put you slap up against your neighbour and leave you with barely enough backyard to spit across). My parents will have the lower unit, with their own kitchen and laundry facilities, and a separate entrance through the (slightly sunk) garage; our family will have the top floor, which will be somewhat bigger than the space we're living in now.

Fortunately we all get along well, so I've no worries about having my parents so close -- I know they're not going to intrude or meddle or otherwise be a nuisance. And I know my brothers (who all live out of town) will feel much happier knowing that someone will be right there for my parents if they have any problems or special needs.

Still, it's a big undertaking. I'm a bit dizzy with the thought of all the choices that will have to be made, and just how much work is going to be involved, especially seeing as it's in a whole new subdivision. It could be worse -- I mean, we're not building the house ourselves or anything -- but it's always nicer when you can move into an established place or neighbourhood and not have to worry about things like landscaping and fencing and all the noise and dirt from nearby construction...

One amusing thing is that one of my husband's early sketches for a different house layout, back when we thought we were going to have to purchase a ravine lot and build something with a walkout entrance from the rear yard, is being used by the builder to put up the house next door to ours. As I said to DH last night, "Well, at least you're going to know exactly what the other one would have looked like!" But the design we have now is far superior for our needs, and I'm really quite pleased with it.

In any case, it looks as though my life is going to be exceedingly busy for the next few months. Can I get Knife revised to my (and the editor's) satisfaction and move house for two families at the same time? I guess we'll see...!
A Pocket Full of Murder

o_o O_o O_O (all over again)

I just got an e-mail from Laurie R. King telling me she's paid the entire registration fee for me to go to Bouchercon 2004 in October. She said it was a thank-you gift for running RUSS-L all these years.

*takes deep breath*

EEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh why oh why oh why do I not have Case of the Winning Woman finished? Or my modern mystery novel? There will be agents and editors there and aaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggh.

Except that aside from Laurie, there is not a single author on the (very long) list of attending mystery authors whose books I have actually read. I've heard of Val McDermid, Sara Paretsky, Ian Rankin and Peter Robinson, but haven't actually read any of their stuff. I think my brother might be a Rankin reader though, come to think of it...

*clicks randomly around Bouchercon site, in a state of dizzy excitement*

Woo! JKR is up for "Best Young Adult Mystery" in the Anthony Awards, for OotP! (Er... how weird is that, really?)

Oh, man, I cannot believe this. I'm already thinking -- I could stay with my brother, who has an apartment in downtown Toronto, and I could take the subway (I love the subway), and if I sign up in time I could go to the Sisters in Crime high tea and...

Did I say EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!! yet?

And now I feel extra guilty that I have done such a crap job of updating The Beekeeper's Holmes Page and associated documents over the past couple of years.

Laurie OWNS.

ETA: The guilt is assuaged -- I have updated the web page, the FAQ and the group's list of acronyms. Phew. *feels better*