Posts Tagged ‘george eliot’

I find it deliciously intriguing that Miranda James is a male author posing as a female author.

I find it deliciously intriguing that Miranda James is a male author posing as a female author.

“After all those years as a woman hearing not thin enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not this enough, not that enough  … I woke up one more and thought, I’m enough.” – Anna Quindlen   

And Ain’t It Great

I nearly bust a gut laughing when I discovered that Miranda James, who writes the “cozy” Cat in the Stack mysteries that I enjoy reading, was actually a male author.

Shades of George Eliot and Harper Lee, I thought. George and Lee were just two former female authors who used male pseudonyms for a better chance of getting published and read. Eliot, who was the author of such Victorian era books as “Silas Marner” (1861) and “Middlemarch (1871), was actually Mary Ann Evans; And Harper Lee, author of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” is actually Nelle Harper Lee.

Nelle Harper Lee is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, November 5, 2007 -- Wikipedia photo

Nelle Harper Lee is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, November 5, 2007 — Wikipedia photo

Other early day authors who used male pseudonyms included Louisa May Alcott, who wrote as A.M. Barnard before “Little Women” was published under her own name; The Bronte sisters, who first published under the names of Currer Bell (the first editions of “Jane Eyre”), and Ellis Bell (the first editions of “Wurhering Heights”); and Karen Blixen, who wrote “Out of Africa” as Isak Dinesen.

I guess just as these women writers thought to get more attention as males, author Dean James, AKA Miranda James, realized readers of cozies might be more attracted to mysteries in this category written by a female.

I suspect he’s right. What do you think?

Blog pick of the day.

Blog pick of the day.

Bean Pat: Queen of the Gypsies http://tinyurl.com/p7m4gog I read blogs because of all the trivia I learn. And this one intrigued me. I’ll stop by the next time I’m in Meridian, Mississippi. I love the early-day motorless version of my RV Gypsy Lee, and wondered what it would be like to travel the country in that.

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“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” George Eliot

Lake Claiborne, Issac Creek Campground, Alabama -- Photo by Pat Bean

Issac Creek Campground

http://pixilatedtoo.wordpress.com commented that she was new to Alabama, and looked forward to reading more about Alabama parks after reading yesterday’s blog about the state’s Frank Jackson State Park.

I’m happy to oblige, especially since my brain is in a can’t-think-of-what-to-write-about fog this morning.

The  Issac Creek Campground on Lake Claiborne near Monroeville is a Corps of Engineers’ facility, which meant I could use my Golden Age Passport and camp for half-price, which in 2006 when I stayed there was just $8 a night for a site by the lake.

Maggie at Lake Claiborne. I can now look at photos of my beloved pet and recall memories of our good times together instead of crying. Well, almost. -- Photo by Pat Bean

The park, which had been recommended to me by two fishing enthusiasts from Louisiana, was awesomely scenic and pleasant – and well off the beaten path. I got lost several times before I finally found it.

I asked a park staff volunteer why it wasn’t listed in my Trailer Life campground directory. The answer was that the Corps of Engineers couldn’t advertise and compete with commercial parks.

I did, however, learn that I could purchase a book listing all Corps’ campgrounds from Cottage Publications (PO Box 2832, Elkhart, Indiana, 46515). I did and it now sits alongside my other campground directories.

Following is a few bits and pieces from my journal during the three days my canine traveling companion, Maggie, who died last month, and I stayed at the park:

A walk along Issac Creek was always a delight. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Saucy squirrels are everywhere, and while the species of birds aren’t numerous, each one seems special. I heard a cackling rumble, and back-tracked it to a red-bellied woodpecker…

Blue jays seem to be everywhere, and delightful to watch as they swoop back and forth above the lake. One actually rippled the water while playing this game, sending sunlit droplets splashing into the air…

This morning there was a hazy mist over the lake that broke to reveal a blue canvas on which was painted an echo of the fall dressed trees on the opposite shore…

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting, and autumn a mosaic of them all” – Stanley Horowitz

Lake Claiborne is a fantastic place to be in the autumn. The days are warm and pleasant and the nights cool enough to warrant snuggling up in a quilt at night, which is how I sleep best ….

I learned today that female pine cones are fatter than their male counterparts and have harder scales. Well, that explains why we ladies have wider hips then men and an inner toughness that has nothing to do with brawn …  

On the morning of my third day at Lake Claiborne, and after receiving a phone call the night before from my granddaughter, I said a reluctant good-bye to this great Corps of Engineers campground. Heidi wanted me to meet her in Shreveport, La., for her 24th birthday, which was less than a week away. I enthusiastically accepted the invitation and replotted my journey’s route.

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“If we had a keen vision of all that is ordinary in human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow or the squirrel’s heart beat, and we should die of that roar which is the other side of silence.” – George Eliot

Some squirrels can be downright sassy. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Travels With Maggie

Unlike all the other squirrels my canine traveling companion, Maggie, and I approached in the park early this morning, one didn’t quickly scamper away at the sight of us.

It held its ground, engaging us in a stare off. We got to within about 20 feet of it before Maggie could stand it no longer. With a sudden spurt of energy, she raced toward it.

She had 25-feet before her retractable leash would pull her up short, but she stopped before she hit the end. I think she knew, even before she started the chase, that she didn’t have a chance. She’s had a lot of experience with sassy squirrels during our many walks.

A small widow's tear blossom beneath a bush finally got my brain off squirrels and onto the wonders that Mother Nature always surprises me with when I take a walk. -- Photo by Pat Bean

The squirrel, which of course had headed up the nearest tree, was now looking down from a low branch chattering away in what could only be scorn for our intrusion. It had decided we were trespassers, that it owned the park and we had no business being here.

What, I wondered, had made this squirrel challenge us while all the others ran away.

It was like asking what makes some humans adventurous and some timid, why some of us love roller coaster rides and others shun what they consider such dangerous tomfoolery.

I often see parallels between animals and humans. I guess that’s why they’re often used to describe us humans, as in sly as a fox, slow as a snail, graceful as a cat, stubborn as a mule or swift as an eagle.

I never heard one, however, comparing us to a squirrel. What, I wondered would the adjective be: Sassy, brave, quick or foolish came to mind.

That squirrel hadn’t just taunted Maggie, it had taunted my brain.

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