Posts Tagged ‘Associated Press’


Stranger Than Fiction: More Tragic Than Tragedy Itself

July 18, 2011

Talk about a headline:

Woman shoots at puppy, kills husband instead

The detail is even more bizarre:

Witnesses tell police that the pit bull named “Cocaine” had lunged at some children and tried to attack them on Friday. The dead man’s son says the children were taken inside and his father picked the dog up.

It was then that police say Betty Walker fired twice, hitting the dog once and her husband once in the chest. Jackson police spokeswoman Colendula Green says the death of 53-year-old Robert Walker appears to have been accidental.

The dog is with animal control, and Ms. Walker will face a grand jury in HInds County, Mississippi.

But I do wonder what our friends who specialize in crime fiction would do with a piece like this as a plot core.

Condolences, of course, to the Walker family.



Inspiration/Digression: Cool Sciency Stuff

March 28, 2010

A Deinosuchus lunges at an Albertosaurus in an artist's conception. (Raul D. Martin)Cool sciency stuff for stories

And now, for hopefully obvious reasons:



A forgotten mystery solved

January 24, 2008

Somewhere in the family is a book checked out from a school library in 1977. It might be in a storage unit. Or perhaps I’m wrong, and the thing was thrown out over the years. Hey, don’t look at me … I didn’t check the book out. Honest. I was only four years old in 1977. And I certainly wouldn’t have thrown a book out. But we did recently clean out one of the last old storage units full of stuff from our childhood, and I don’t recall seeing it.

Anyway, thirty years is nothing. Or so we learn from the Associated Press:

It’s a novel but it’s created a mystery — where has the overdue book been for the past 57 years? “We don’t have records that go back that far,” said Lori Belongia, director of the Marshfield Public Library. “We don’t know who checked it out.”

The book “Northern Lights” by Roger Vercel turned up in the book drop about a month ago.

Published in 1948, its most recent checkout stamp reads either March or May 10 of 1950.

One thing does strike me oddly, though. While the library apparently doesn’t have check-out records running back that far, it does apparently have the records showing that the hardcover book was purchased in 1948. For $1.93.



Bookstores, tourism, and a shameless plug for some friends

January 9, 2008

File under T, for Travel: Beth J. Harpaz brings us, via the Associated Press, thoughts on the “destination bookstore”. Or, as the question has it, “When is a bookstore worth a tourist’s time?

Some bookstores offer literary touchstones, like the wooden chairs signed by writers who’ve visited That Bookstore in Blytheville, an Arkansas institution frequented by native son John Grisham. City Lights in San Francisco, once a hangout for Beat writers like Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, draws tourists from around the world.

“Each one of these stores has a unique, distinct personality and approach,” said Meg Smith, chief marketing officer for the American Booksellers Association, a trade group for independent bookstores. “You really do see a snapshot of the town and the region in these kinds of fulsome independent bookstores.”

And while City Lights is the only California bookstore on the list, the article put me in mind of SCWC’s good friends over at Mysterious Galaxy, which happens to make its home in San Diego. (That’s right, San Diego …. What? What’s that? What’s so special about San Diego? Do I really need to remind you?)

Anyway, click the link and check ’em out. If you live in the San Diego area and haven’t made it down to browse their titles and fabulous offering of signed first editions … well … what’s your excuse?