If you are familiar with Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, you need no intro to her Grandma Mazur. If not, here’s a little background. Stephanie Plum is a bounty hunter. She locates people who have skipped out on their bail. But she’s not the star of the show here.
It’s all about Grandma. To date the series has 26 books, with a few extras here and there. Stephanie’s grandma, who lives with her parents, is like no other grandma I’ve ever known.
Here are a few Grandma Mazur highlights-
Her favorite pastime is attending wakes. She’s likes to arrive early to get a front row seat, especially if the deceased has been shot. She dresses in her finest with her gun carrying handbag on her lap. And if it’s a closed casket, beware, because she will probably try to sneak a peak.
Speaking of her gun, she carries it with her everywhere and fancies herself to be another Clint Eastwood.
She loves to try out the latest fashion, whether it’s bike shorts or leggings. She’s been known to get herself dolled up and even teeter around on stilettos.
She’s not afraid to try new hairstyles….. or colors.
Her love life is more active than people half her age.
She’s always up for an adventure.
She has no filter. Literally no filter. No one ever knows what she’s going to say. All one does know is that it’s probably going to be either shocking, funny, or both.
I can only wish to have a fraction of Grandma’s energy and gumption when I reach that age!
If you like a good laugh, I recommend the Stephanie books. Grandma Mazur is only a small part of a diverse cast of characters.
“However in the world did her skin come green?” Nanny wondered, stupidly, for Melena blanched and Frex reddened, and the baby held her breath as if trying to turn blue to please them all. Nanny had to slap her to make her breath again.”
― Gregory Maguire, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
And so we meet Elphaba, the baby girl who would grow up to be the Wicked Witch of the West.
Why this quote of all the options I had? It’s simple. It jumped out at me. “-and the baby held her breath as if trying to turn blue to please them all.” To me, it offered a stark contrast to the question “Are people born wicked?” which is a theme throughout the book. From the time she was born, this green skinned girl had to fight for things that were a given for others. I’ve heard the word- misunderstood- used to describe Elphaba and it couldn’t be more accurate. Throughout the book, the reader is shown that she wasn’t truly born wicked. More often than not her actions were misunderstood. But she never gave up- not even when she thought she had given up. This is one of the qualities I like best about Elphaba. Despite her weaknesses, she was stronger than she could ever imagine herself to be. And I believe that her wickedness was born out of necessity to survive in a world that was determined to see her as wicked.
I don’t remember being overly curious about why the Wicked Witch was wicked in the Wizard of Oz. Being one of my favorite movies from childhood, I watched it endless times but accepted that in most stories, there’s a villain and in this one it is the witch.
If you haven’t read the book, have no desire to, and love the musical, it’s all good. If you grew up with the movie and want it to stay sacred, that’s good too. Or if you’re like me and want to turn the movie, book and musical into a joint effort, overview, collection, I’m not sure of a clearer picture of what the whole story could be, that’s an option, too.
I’m terribly behind in the A to Z Challenge- Obviously. When I began this post this morning I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say about Elphaba. I had chosen a handful of quotes and my plan was to see if any one quote stood out. I can tell you that it wasn’t until I saw that the SoCS was ‘joint’ that it all seemed to come together….well sort of.
And now for someone a little different. My D female fictional character is Charley Davidson. She is the main character in the book series by the same name written by Darynda Jones.
Charley is definitely a departure from the characters that I’ve highlighted so far. She is a private investigator/grim reaper. She sees the dead and as she is a portal to heaven, she sees parts of their lives as they pass through her. She’s pretty badass but it takes her awhile to realize just how much. She doesn’t have time to escape in a good book or daydream about saving the world because she’s actually living it. She has a penchant for naming things in her life, such as her appliances, furniture, body parts…. She is witty and sarcastic and pretty cool.
“I totally need to read that book how to win friends and influence people. But that would involve an innate desire to win friends and influence people.” -Charley Davidson in First Grave on the Right
(We are nothing alike except of innate lack of desire to win friends and influence people.)
“I am delighted with the book. I shall like to spend my whole life reading it.” -Catherine Morland in Northanger Abbey
Being one of the last Jane Austen books read, Northanger Abbey rivaled Pride and Prejudice and Emma as my favorite. Catherine. The book begins with her as a teenager who is addicted to gothic novels. Her imagination gets the best of her as she tries to apply what she finds in books to real life and finds the two to be quite different from each other. She sees mystery where there is none. Throughout the book she learns and grows but remains her unique self.
These days I find myself with my nose stuck in a book as much as possible. If I could, I would just curl up in my favorite chair reading. It’s my favorite escape and best anxiety reliever.
Are you a reader of Jane Austen? Do you have a favorite? Are you familiar with Catherine and Northanger Abbey?
“Betsy returned to her chair, took off her coat and hat, opened her book and forgot the world again.” – Maud Hart Lovelace, Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown
What drew me to the Maud Hart Lovelace’s Betsy-Tacy books as a child was the cover. It wasn’t the one pictured on the left, but actually the original cover from 1940, when the first book was published. (I have always loved books illustrated by Lois Lenski.)
I can still remember devouring the first in the series, not realizing there were more. Imagine my delight when I saw that I could keep reading more and more about Betsy and Tacy. I didn’t own my own copies until I was an adult and bought them online. Growing up I checked them out of the library over and over again.
The books follow Betsy Ray and her best friends Tacy and Tib from age five to Betsy’s marriage. Betsy was a lively, outgoing, imaginative girl. In contrast, her first best friend Tacy was very shy and sensitive. Tib, the last to join the trio, was more adventurous. Betsy loved telling stories and knew in her heart that she was a writer who needed to write. I admired Betsy’s spirited nature, so unlike my own, but felt a connection with her dreams of writing at such a young age. I was more like Tacy, still am for that matter. More often than not, like Tacy, not wanting to be the center of attention. Throughout my life, I’ve related to Tacy on so many levels and loved Betsy for all the ways she wasn’t like Tacy- or me. But like the quote I chose for today, Betsy and I were kindred spirits, losing ourselves in a book. Even at a young age.
I was the only person I knew in my friend circle who read Betsy-Tacy books. Are you familiar with them?