This weekend began (and completed) the Christmasification--or is it Christmasization?--of the estate. Fils and his children Kned and Comedienne joined us to erect the brand new yuletide pine constructed of genuine and completely man-made materials. The fun also included the festive luminizing--or is it lumification?--of the exterior timber and mansion house perimeter. A word (or several) about those sobriquets: Fils is self-explanatory; I thought Kned (pronounced either with, or without the vocalized "K" ) sounded better than "dead president;" and Comedienne was the alternative to "Dickens' French girl"--also, she did comedic things like waking us up in the middle of the night several times in order to grace us with renditions of her greatest hits--which sounded a lot like the vocal tracks on a death metal album. She's a scream--literally. We were thrilled to have them. The vocal tracks were inconsequential in comparison to the joy they brought.
Fils and I did discover that putting the Christmas lights up might have gone more smoothly if we had either had more help, or been smarter; but we managed. At the completion of the job when we viewed the lights at night, I remarked, "I was hoping that they would look better than that." He responded, "I guess we had different visions about what we were doing." I don't know what he meant by that. I had visions of a luminous staff with celestial swirls of white light in the large tree accompanied by graceful arcs of warm red cheer in the smaller tree. At dark, we saw a crooked white staff with haphazard white lines in the vicinity next to some red scribbles. It was like Lite-Brite meets a broken Spirograph--two disappointing toys from my childhood (which I never owned but which were never as fun to try as they appeared to be on television). I did take another look at those lights. From one angle, the lights on the large tree reminded me of a dragon with wings outstretched; granted, that took some imagining, but who's to say it's not a Christmas miracle?
We also had our first fire of the season in the fire pit. Louis and Lucien (The Corsican Brothers), the children of my daughter the Ice Queen and her husband Thor, were at the house last night. They enjoyed the fire and roasting marshmallows. In point of fact, the brothers preferred throwing things, including marshmallows, into the fire as opposed to merely roasting them. The fringe benefit was that we could send the brothers back to their parents smelling strongly of smoke--which the Ice Queen hates. Good times!
The big news, of course--cue the trumpet fanfare--is that Justice Resurgent is now available for $0.99. Click the book cover image to go to the big river sales site for the book.
*The picture at the top of the post is a Remington-Beals .44 caliber--the type of pistol used by McBride in Justice in Season and Justice Resurgent.
I have mixed feelings about this book. When I did the re-read/corrections, there were parts I really liked; there were parts that I did not love; but the ending really decided me--I think it's the most moving ending that I've written to date.
Finally, last week I was nearly finished with Feval's Le Loup Blanc. I finished it the next day.
Story in a nutshell: A noble of Bretagne in northwest France lets his hatred of the Kingdom of France lead him to leave his estate in the hands of a duplicitous "relative" named Vaunoy while he goes to challenge the king to personal combat. The estate is supposed to pass to the noble's grandson. The scoundrel Vaunoy wants it all to himself; he not only attempts to kill the grandson, he also kills the loyal dog--so we know he's beyond redemption. Grandson is rescued, only to immediately disappear. Grandson returns later without knowledge of his birthright. Le Loup Blanc and others help restore him to his rightful estate and title.
Do I recommend it? Yes. There are a number of interesting characters and this story strongly resembles that of Robin Hood and the return of King Richard. The grandson returns like King Richard. Vaunoy holds the power like King John. Le Loup Blanc and the men of the forest resemble Robin Hood and the merry men. Marie has the role of Maid Marian. The likenesses aren't exact, but the similarities are strong. I rate it: A Valiant Variant of the Robin Hood/King Richard story.
What did Ricardo Montalban say with regard to Paul's epistles to the saints of Corinth?
He called them fine Corinthian Letters.