My name is Laurie, and I am a dialup connector.

This is a shameful state of connection, I confess. And I swear, it’s not entirely my fault. I have honestly tried to connect in a more up to date fashion, but the world doesn’t want me, certainly not enough to lay its high-speed cable to my door. So I plug in, and as the world outside gets more and more complex, and every site out there gets gigabytes of bells and whistles attached to it, I wait, and I wait.

This post, for example. It took twelve minutes for Blogger to appear on my screen in a form I could use. First it paused for thought, its blue bar stuck four-fifths of the way across the address. It paused while I made coffee, it paused while I let the cat out, and when I tried again, it paused just to let me know it could. Finally, it took me to my sister’s site, my sister having been the last person to use Safari. And when I suggested I was not she and it was Mutterings, not gmail, I wanted, it paused some more.

Constipation on dialup.

My web lady tells me that rescuers are just over the horizon, that the program we bought from England, then had to change servers to install, will make my life a thing of ease and beauty. That one day soon I will but click a button and I can post–Lord, pictures? Italics? Indents?–the door to my personal electronic Paradise will glide open with the sound of heavenly choirs.

In the meantime, Blogger will not permit me outside the bounds of this rather dowdy setting. And although I appreciate the opportunity to blog at will, I do rather look forward to the day when I can blossom and post in all dimensions of the e-world.

However, it is the first of the month, and it’s been a while since we’ve done a Q and A. So if you’d like to send me some questions, I’ll hoard them, until Blogger permits me access to Mutterings.


As for New York, you no doubt have seen the results of the Edgars awards on Thursday night. And on Friday, I had a nice time at the Flatiron Building, where St. Martin’s Press first welcomed me back in 1993 and where its Picador imprint will be bringing out the first four Russell books in the fall, in trade paperback with very striking covers. My agent, my daughter and I had lunch with the great Ruth Cavin, editor extraordinaire who has nurtured so many writers into their careers, and who is still going strong despite closing in on the end of her ninth decade on the planet.

Daughter and self crept off to the airport late in the day, sat and read for the extra hours until the flight finally left, and arrived home at 3:45 Saturday morning.

This country is just too damned big for comfort.

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  1. Anonymous on May 1, 2007 at 2:51 pm

    What happened to the book club with a Grave Talent? That might have really been an April Fool’s joke that escaped me.

  2. Tori Lennox on May 1, 2007 at 4:51 pm

    I feel your dial-up pain. I’m in the same boat. Our cable company’s offered high speed Internet service for awhile now, but given all the people I know who have nothing but trouble with it, I’ve put it off. But now our phone service offers it at well, thank heavens. Now I just have to actually get around to ordering it. 🙂

  3. Susanne on May 1, 2007 at 7:36 pm

    I have a question about the title of With Child. I’ve always been curious about it, and would love to hear if there were any particular thoughts behind it. It was the first book of yours I ever read; I picked it off the library shelf because the title caught my eye and intrigued me.

  4. Anonymous on May 1, 2007 at 8:45 pm

    Good news on spiffy new covers for the reissue of the first four Russells. I’m not a big fan of the current “dressing gown” (that sounds better than just plain old bathrobe)covers, so I would be up for something else.

    Mme. Librarian

  5. Annie on May 2, 2007 at 1:57 am

    The following link will is for satellite internet service: It is not as fast as DSL. I am looking forward to your next Mary Russell book. Stephanie

  6. Anonymous on May 2, 2007 at 3:25 am

    How about a broadband card with a cell service? Essentially it’s a cell phone that looks and functions like a wireless card. Verizon was first and is still probably the best especially as to coverage area, but others are catching up fast. It’s not nearly as fast as DSL but it’s a darn sight better than dial-up! Plus if you have a laptop the convenience is wonderful–you can use it anywhere you would normally have cell service.

  7. Antigonos on May 2, 2007 at 7:09 am

    Gee whiz, I’m so sorry for y’all there in primitive, benighted US of A still dialing up. Nearly all Israelis (who have computers, which is a lot of us, relative to most other “developed” countries) have had ADSL broadband for AGES. Dunno what I’d do without it!

  8. Roxanne on May 2, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    I thought of a question two days ago, but I’ve forgotten it. Ah well, here is another:

    Back on February 7th, in regard to Kate Martinelli’s homosexual relationship, you wrote, “Kate’s orientation has enriched my life in too many ways for me to regret whatever choices the back of my mind made in putting her together. And that is worth a percentage of sales any day.” Other than the obvious en-rich-ment from book sales, I wonder–in what other ways has Kate’s orientation enriched your life?

    * Hi, Antigonos–It’s been awhile since you posted a comment. Good to hear from you. I was worried about you. Hope you and yours are doing well.


  9. Christy Lockstein on May 2, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    Have you read any of the Amelia Peabody books by Elizabeth Peters? Amelia reminds me a great deal of Mary Russell: bright, witty Englishwoman with husbands who dote on them. I’ve been using Amelia to fill the hole of no new Mary’s.

  10. Kerry (WDI) on May 2, 2007 at 3:32 pm

    I was thrilled the day I decided I could justifiably consider cable broadband a legitimate need for when I work from home. Now I’ve got wireless, which is even more fun.

    I have a question about Califia’s Daughters, one of my favorite of your books. In its setting and basic story (utopia/dystopia, etc.) it’s obviously very different from the Russell and Martinelli series. I was wondering if you see or feel any deep similarities — in the characters, e.g., themes, or even your motivation for writing Dian’s story. Thanks!

  11. Carlina on May 2, 2007 at 11:13 pm

    Dear Lord, I am sorry about your internet situation. Everyone else has already made what recommendations I was going to offer.

    I am blogging from Costa Rica with my question…yes one wonders why on earth I am on the internet now. When you wrote Holmes as saying…Ten, fifteen, maybe even twenty years ago, but here, now… did you know then that he and Russell´s relationship was going to go beyond an apprenticeship? Or did that part just write itself? I have always been curious about that and the apopletic fit scene…did he know then?

    Thanks for your time as always and I am glad the Edgars went well.

    Carlina (havng problems logging in)

  12. delia on May 3, 2007 at 1:11 pm

    I am awaiting dsl hookup tomorrow. I hope it goes well and allows me to download pictures at some sort of acceptable speed. I live in a tiny village in the mid west so if I can get it, it is amazing to me that you cannot. I am getting my service from my telephone company. I’ll let you know how it goes. Cross your fingers and hope!

  13. 2maple on May 3, 2007 at 2:43 pm

    You not alone in dial-up land. I suspect rural Maine is like rural anywhere…and a bit behind the times when there are too few people to make the economics of cable work.

    Oh well, the evil mom in me doesn’t mind too much – It keeps my kids from being on-line all the time and actually off at certain times all together so we can have phone access to the rest of the world. Yeah, I know that there are work arounds, but that would thwart my main objective of keeping them engaged with the rest of the world both physically and mentally. And instant messaging is still instant ……..

  14. Gail on May 3, 2007 at 3:10 pm

    Just so you know that even without dial up the world isn’t perfect – we have fiber optic service but when the installer came to do one thing he also replaced our modem with a new improved model and now – we can no longer fax! My question is – I think I remember you saying that you always have a sort of guiding question or issue for each of your books. I actually think I remember you calling it a theological or philosophical issue. Could you explain that more – or am I completely remembering wrong? If this is your practice can you give us some examples from your books?
    Thank you, Gail

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