Sunday, May 24, 2009

Anniversaries and Challenges

It has been a year, yes, a year since I started inflicting myself upon the blogosphere. So to those of you who have faithfully followed my fairly random thoughts and interests, thank you for popping by. I started this blog with a mind to scribbling about crime related writing and thoughts, (and shameless self-promotion) but it has strayed away from being entirely crime related and into the wider world of literature, with the odd bit of life thrown in for good measure.

Please, continue to drop in. My fragile ego relies on looking at the stats and seeing if anyone actually does bother, so it is gratifying to know people do, and some even comment on the blog, and in real life, which is lovely and most welcome.

One of the things I started was my Ngaio Marsh Reading Challenge, where I am working my way through her 32 novels. That reading had stalled for a while when life became a little chaotic, but is now on track with a vengeance. So anyone out there who likes a little Ngaio, and I know there were some converted to the cause at the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival, join me in a nostalgic trip through murder and mayhem.

For those who prefer a different taste in retro, here's a couple of reading challenges for you. I'm dabbling in both.

The Agatha Christie Reading Challenge:

Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise has instigated this challenge to read your way through all of Agatha's works. See here for the details.

The Sherlock Holmes Reading Challenge:

Mac at Mac Captures Crime has taken up the Sherlock Holmes Challenge. See details here.


Tania Roxborogh said...

Happy anniversay Vanda. I am a huge contribution to those stats cos I check your blog at least once a day. It's up there with Bookman Beattie and metservice as what I check on throughout the day.

Lovely to share Belynda with you today (and the rest of my whanau) despite the rotten weather.

So thankful that you are my friend and that you so generously pollenate the writing blogsphere with your musings - we are such much more enriched because of you.

Excuse the poor spelling.

Kerrie said...

Happy anniversary Vanda. I watch your blog posts daily (from afar). One day I'll get to NZ again and we'll meet.

Bookman Beattie said...

Yeah, well done Vanda, apparently well over 90% of bloggers give up withing the first two months of starting so you are a veteran already!

Kiwicraig said...

Happy anniversary Vanda. It was great to meet you at the Writer's Festival. I enjoyed talking about crime writing, and am looking forward to Containment.

Just a quick note to say I discovered another 'historic' NZ crime author recently - Freda Bream, who was an ex-teacher and ex-postie who had written some non-fiction books about her experiences, before turning to crime writing in her 60s. Apparently she wrote close to a dozen titles from 1983-1997, although they all seem out of print, and hard to find. I've got my hands on one via Trademe, being Island of Fear (set on Waiheke). I'm tempted to start a 'Freda Bream Reading Challenge' for myself... said...

You're on my circuit, when I'm cruising the literary blogs, Vanda.
A year... it seems like a lot longer.
I said that to Mary Mac when she had her anniversary. I still miss Leafsalon though because we all got to chat somehow. But I suppose it kick-started our conversations.

Vanda Symon said...

Thanks everyone,

Lunch was lovely Tania, and I look forward to lunch one day with you, Kerrie!

Mr Bookman, I'm glad I'm in the 10%. I've tried hard to blog daily, but life sometimes intervenes, and then I will go gadabouting to festivals...

Great to meet you too Craig - keep up the good work. I have never heard of Freda Bream. I'll have to keep an eye out in the second hand stores too.

Hi Maggie, I think the demise of Leaf Salon is sad too. The conversations were rather interesting!

Claire Beynon said...

Hi Vanda - you are a very consistent and energetic presence out here in the blogosphere. Well done. Keeping up with this, as well as everything else you do, requires a good bit of tenacity. Viva la woman! L, C

The Paradoxical Cat said...

Happy Anniversary you good thing you.

Thanks for infecting me with the blog bug, it's a nice place in cyberspace.

P xx

Mary McCallum said...

A year, Vanda! Congratulations! I love your intelligent, warm, no-nonsense blog. Amongst other things, you have taught me a lot about Dunedin, and an awful lot about crime fiction and for both of these I am grateful. I have sold more crime books at the bookshop due to this education - especially yours! Keep writing both blog and books. X

Mack said...

Hi Vanda,

Happy anniversary.

I've enjoyed your blog for a while though I can't remember when I subscribed. I think I'll log myself as a 9 months reader.

Is there any prodding we can do to get Penguin to distribute your books in the U.S.? Amzaon only lists the German translation of Overkill.

Thanks for mentioning my Sherlock Holmes Reading Challenge.

Kiwicraig said...

Here's the list of Freda Bream mystery novels. I got hold of the first, Island of Fear, and depending on how that goes, might look to dig out copies of the rest. It seems they may have been first published (or mainly published) in the UK.

Island of Fear (1982)
The Vicar Done It (1983)
Murder in the Map Room (1983)
The Vicar Investigates (1983)
A Case of Art Failure (1984)
Sealed and Despatched (1984)
With Murder in Mind (1985)
The Corpse On the Cruise (1985)
The Problem At Piha (1986)
Coffin to Let (1994)
The Nasty Affair On Norfolk (1995)
Murder At the Microphone (1995)
Anyone Can Murder (1997)

Vanda Symon said...

Hi Mac, It seems you can prod all you like, but they don't budge...

Craig, that's a huge list of titles for someone I'd never heard of. It will be interesting to see what you think of her books.

Kiwicraig said...

Yeah, I was shocked to discover this Kiwi crime author I'd never heard of, who was writing regularly in the 1980s-90s - and was so little-known.

I will let you know. So far it seems very much in the traditional 'cosy' mystery style. Looks like she was a fan of the Christie/Marsh canon, though Bream's are set in NZ places, and reasonably modern, rather than early 1900s settings