May 20, 2010

Dear Diary...

This is my public service announcement – if you have ever written ANYTHING in a journal that you do not want someone to read someday, when you are dead and gone, then I suggest you step away from the computer…NOW…and grab the journal, rip out the pages, and destroy the pages. Because someday someone is going to be looking through your belongings and come across your journals…they are going to read them. I believe that if people want to read my journals once I am gone it really doesn’t matter to me. Anything that has happened to me has made me who I am…like it or lump it.

Along with books, my mom left behind a few journals. The journals detail her trips to South Africa, London, Cuba and a few personal journals. I found an entry in one journal that was particularly relevant to this blog and I would like to share it with you.

“While cleaning my bookcase I came across a few I had missed reading, my TBR pile grew slightly (To be read). The majority of my books are murder mysteries. I love the puzzle, the complex story. Some of my favourite authors have changed over the years. Agatha still is at the top, even though I recently had someone complain about her writing style. Apparently she is very slack, stating things like her heels clicked as she ran up the stairs. This person said of course our heels don’t click while going up stairs, I guess it depends how deep the stairs are, but really who cares the important thing is could the guilty party really have committed the crime in the manner described? Is it plausible? If not then that is not a good author, you can only have so many “dream” endings. That is an ending that is only possible if you allow for the help of supernatural or spiritual or alien or if part of it was a dream. This is a “trick” ending and won’t work over time. Some of my favourites are Elizabeth George, Sue Grafton, John Sandford, Johnathan and Faye Kellerman, Anne Perry, etc…I used to enjoy the English “cozy” mystery, like Agatha’s work. No real psychological twists or no descriptions of brutal crimes (although some of the murders were just as vicious as any written today), so not much blood and gore and the protagonists never were in danger (of any degree) and certainly were rarely, if ever attacked. Now my favourites describe fully the crime scene, the crime itself, (sometimes too clearly)and the main characters run around and are totally involved in chasing down the villain(s) many times putting their own lives on the line and suffering serious consequences for doing so. The heroes of these books are more open to us; they share their foibles, desires, shortcomings, etc with us at every turn. They are more like the fellow/girl next door, a friend or at least an acquaintance, and you feel they are vulnerable to errors and emotions just like yourself. They are more personable.” (Monday, Sept 10, 2001)

So, there it is…straight from the horse’s mouth. One year has passed (May 22nd) and I’m glad I can hear her voice saying those words. My TBR pile is pretty massive…but I’m getting there, one page at a time. Miss you Ma…everyday.


  1. Thanks for sharing this Jen. What a beautiful memory to have right at this time. My heart hurts for you as I know this is all a difficult process; if you ever need someone to chat with or a sholder to cry on; you know where I live :-)

  2. Jennifer...I really was deeply touched as you chose to share part of your Mom's journal demonstrated how very much her books really meant to her and what a beautiful part of her life they were. If we should all be so fortunate, not only to be so passionate about books but also to have a daughter such as you, who unselfishly is sharing some tender moments and memories of her amazing Mom with all of us. And for that I want to say thank you.