Saturday, July 4, 2015
"Bloodlines" is #8 in the Sigma series. I found it the best of the series to date. This book has a return of the dog "Kane." Wonderful to see him and his handler as part of the team. Continuous action till the end and it has a great ending.
Friday, July 3, 2015
If you write, good ideas must come welling up into you so that you have something to write. If good ideas do not come at once, or for a long time, do not be troubled at all. Wait for them. Put down little ideas no matter how insignificant they are. But do not feel, any more, guilty about idleness and solitude.
Lady Brenda and Jeopardy sent their suitcases to the taxi waiting at the front door of the Barcelona hotel, for transportation to the ship. To anyone watching, they were on vacation, two singles, about to enjoy a cruise on the Mediterranean. It hid the real purpose – an assassination. Both were members of M-16, but this was not a sanctioned kill. This was retaliation, revenge, and it would be murder.
At thirty-eight, Lady Brenda was the older of the two by just a few years, but those few years seemed to have made her more level-headed. She wasn’t entirely convinced this act of vengeance was a good idea. To her, killing someone over a man, any man, was pointless. But Jeopardy was her best friend - they had trained together - they had killed together. Now she had to standby her friend – no matter what.
Jeopardy was born in the slums so lacked the silver spoon attached to Lady Brenda. Her mother gave her the name, not knowing if she would die, or if she did live, what would become of her. Born small and in adulthood she reached a height of five foot two, four inches shorter than Lady Brenda. This inadequacy may have contributed to the chip she always seemed to wear on her shoulder. Her head covered in a mass of blond curls gave her extra height. Lady Brenda thought Jeopardy always seemed to stand at attention, her heels always touching each other. She wondered if her DNA carried some Prussian genes.
Lady Brenda had told her friend to be careful, to stay away from Matthew. He was a member of the opposition, the ‘Enigma,’ and his death could be called for at any time, and she might have that contract. But Jeopardy didn’t listen, her eyes blinded by her first love. They met secretly and planned to run away together, start a new life where no one would find them. Matthew never was sanctioned, but he still ended up dead. CSIS was to blame, and Borders was their triggerman. Although Matthew was on the wrong side, she still loved him and was not going to let this pass. A CSIS member or not, she vowed to kill Borders. Make him pay and make sure he knew why he was dying.Their cab arrived at the ship, to a waiting lineup that weaved back and forth across the dock. The check-in counters were efficient, and within a half hour the two women were walking up the ramp to the greetings and cheers of the entertainment committee.
Thursday, July 2, 2015
Yesterday was check the heat pump day. It's a Kerr. First off, I dug up the manual on the internet. Great to have the internet when you need it. As it turned out, the only thing I could do was clean the filters. That turned out to be quite a job. The dust on there is like grease. Cleaned them and anything else that needed it.
My wife bought new ceiling lamps for the kitchen and dining room. Do I have to hang them up deciding on the kitchen first - smallest lamp. This is a job I dislike. It gives me a sore neck. First I had to take the fan down. With a heat pump, don't need fans. It has a fan. It's heavy when standing on a ladder, and you can only hold it with one hand. Eventually, the new lamp was up. After all that, I find out it comes without bulbs. Of course, they need a special type. I won't be putting up the one in the dining room until I'm sure I have bulbs. So I have to go to Home Depot, where I bought the lamps, but not today. I have to wait for the plumber, but that's another story.
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
The driver turned the key in the ignition, just as a bus pulled in front of them and stopped.
“What the …?” said the passenger and started shouting out the window. “Move that bus,” he screamed, but the bus driver was unable to hear him, or was unwilling to move the vehicle. “Move that damn bus,” the passenger yelled, banging his fist on the side of the SUV.
The bus driver had practiced the same routine for the past ten years. It was his lunch break. He had found this place under the trees, and here he settled with his sandwich and wine. He found this better than going back to the depot. Driving back and forth wasted time and at the depot the others would only argue about politics and football. This spot was much better - he could even take a short nap. It was a grand day to be alive, he thought, and he opened the door in search of a breeze.
As the bus remained stationery, rooted to the spot, the men in the SUV, unable to drive forward, became more desperate. The vehicle, parked between the trees and the cement wall was not able to move, nor could the doors be opened. The passenger poked his weapon out the window and fired at the bus. Near the rear of the bus, the rounds slammed into the side. Still, the bus remained stationery. The passenger fired again. This time the shots shattered the side windows, spreading shards of glass on the floor.
The bus driver rose in shock, dropping his wine bottle that crashed on the floor of the bus. Instead of trying to escape with the bus, he ran through the open door and across the park.
About one-quarter mile up the street, Borders and Hill saw a bus parked in what seemed to be a small park. They assumed it was their bus, waiting for more passengers to arrive at the bus stop. As Borders stared at the bus as if that would coax it to move, his attention was averted by a young woman, some distance away in the other direction, calling to them.
“Are you waiting for the cruise bus, it’s down here?” she called.
Hearing this remark, they completely forgot about the other bus, ignoring the popping sounds coming from that direction or seeing a man running from it. They followed the woman for a quarter of a mile, and there, around the corner was another bus. After a short ride, they arrived at the “Norwegian Lights,” their home for the next twelve days. They were greeted by crew members and anti-bacterial sprays while five-hundred feet above, a silver drone flew over.
The two men, desperate to get out, smashed the windshield of the SUV. It would only be a matter of minutes before the park would become inundated with la policia. They had a habit of shooting first and asking questions later. With his gun barrel, the passenger smashed at the glass, finally breaking it and pushing it aside. Both men scrambled out of the SUV, leaving the weapon on the front seat, and fleeing from the park.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
"I didn't see that coming," is a statement you will use a number of times while reading this book. A western story, well written with great characters. Moving fro one disaster to another, the hero finally finds satisfaction in the end.
I always write a draft version of the novel in which I try to develop, not the story, not the plot, but the possibilities of the plot. I write without thinking much, trying to overcome all kinds of self-criticism, without stopping, without giving any consideration to the style or structure of the novel, only putting down on paper everything that can be used as raw material, very crude material for later development in the story.
MARIO VARGAS LLOSA
MARIO VARGAS LLOSA
Monday, June 29, 2015
I had a dream the other night that I clearly remembered. Most times I remember them for about 10 seconds and then nothing else. Funny how that works. In this dream, I was back in the military, and someone told me to put on a clean shirt. This I did, and a little while later they asked me why I had on two shirts. I said that I was ordered to put on another shirt. Then they said they didn't think I was supposed to put on one shirt over the other. So I told them I wasn't ordered to remove the first shirt. And that was it.
If I were going to my Chinese doctor for traditional medicine, she would tell me what the dream meant. It's one of the things they do to get a grip on things. Before anytime visiting her, I have to keep track of my dreams. She is great for aches and pains, but I wouldn't go for a life threatening situation.
It could be that I see myself in an alternate universe. In that case, I must be some dumb not to know enough to remove my shirt or, I follow orders to a tee. Wouldn't want to get stuck in the universe.
Sunday, June 28, 2015
The continual whining of his partner frayed his nerves. This murder was a small job - he would have been better off alone. Instead, he was saddled with this young upstart who made a habit of complaining.
The passenger took a deep breath and caressed the gun across his lap. He didn’t like the idea of sitting in a stolen vehicle for two hours. What if someone saw them? He had been with the ‘Enigma' for a short time, enough for two murders. The driver had been with them for ten years, so he assumed he had to take orders from him, whether he liked it or not.
They had parked the SUV off the road, in a small park, tucked into a clearing between a cement wall and some trees, out of sight, but within sight of the bus stop. They had covered the bus stop sign with another sign, one to lure their victims. They hoped not too many passengers would wander into the trap.
Borders and Hill arrived at the Columbus monument, looked around, but there was no bus in sight. Crossing the intersection, they headed in the general direction of the port. Soon they reached a cobblestone parking lot, which was devoid of any cars. Borders dragged his suitcase a few feet and found out why cars stayed away. The stones in the parking lot were square, of different heights, planted on the end rather than on the larger flat side. This layout resulted in some stones being one or two inches shorter, than the one next to it. No stones adjacent to each other were of the same height. It was almost impossible to drag a suitcase. To save the wheels, he carried it. Hill, about thirty feet ahead of him called out.
“Our bus stop is down here. There is a sign that says Bus to Ships.”
When Borders eventually reached the edge of the parking lot, he too saw the sign, next to a shiny aluminum bench. ‘Thank God.’
Hill remained standing, looking about while Borders plunked down on the seat. Within seconds, he sprang up like a scalded cat and wondered if I had third-degree burns. An aluminum seat and 30 degrees C was not a good combination. He placed his hand on the seat. God, it was hot. Then, like Hill, he stood and looked around and wondered if Hill had sat on the seat when he first arrived.
The driver of the SUV grasped his partner by the arm, alerting him.
“There they are,” he said, “just heading for the bus stop.”
The passenger looked and took the safety off his weapon.
“Let’s go,” he said and started to roll down the window.
“No, wait until they are at the bus stop, there will be nowhere to run.”
“They won’t have a chance to run,” said the passenger.
People like ourselves may see nothing wondrous in writing, but our anthropologists know how strange and magical it appears to a purely oral people—a conversation with no one and yet with everyone. What could be stranger than the silence one encounters when addressing a question to a text? What could be more metaphysically puzzling than addressing an unseen audience, as every writer of books must do? And correcting oneself because one knows that an unknown reader will disapprove or misunderstand?
Saturday, June 27, 2015
Friday, June 26, 2015
This book is a western story of the usual type. To make things different, the unlikely hero is greatly overweight and wears a derby hat. You won't find any young maiden in distress. There are bits of humor, but the book holds no big surprises. Okay for a short read if you can get over the errors. I never did learn the Sherriff's name. It seemed to be interchangeable.