The Mystery of Mysteries

I've been on a mystery reading kick lately. Read Ruth Rendel's Monster in a Box, Sarah Waters' Fingersmith, and am almost done with The Pale Blue Eye, by Louis Bayard. It started with The Girl Who... books and now I find myself reading The Best True Crime Writing in America and The Best American Mysteries, 2009. My number of nightmares have not increased. I continue to have about 3 scary dreams a week. Last night, I dreamed I was in a zoo of horrifyingly mistreated animals, including several kangaroos who were tied up and lying on their sides and rhinos stranded on tiny rocks. Most of the animals were at their wits end and dangerous too. But anyway, the mystery stories are interesting. I prefer the ones that turn out well. Alice Munro has a story called "Free Radicals" in the 2009 mystery edition. I recommend it highly and guess what? You can read it here courtesy of The New Yorker, where it was originally published in 2008. I don't know yet if I could write mysteries or thrillers. The noir piece was a good experiment, but it wasn't easy to do and I don't think I'm great at it. I guess I could do that thing where you take a real life crime story and turn it into fiction. Joyce Carol Oates does that in this same collection with a story called "Dear Husband," which is a fictionalized account of a woman writing about drowning her children in the bathtub before killing herself (somewhat like Andrea Yates?). It's a strangely comical story, in a dark way, of course.

But then let me share with you one of my favorite new/old videos of all time. I was listening to archived episodes of "This American Life" and one of them was about long shots. So, they mentioned the horse who won the Kentucky Derby in 2009, a horse named Mind that Bird, who won by seven lengths and fifty to one odds. You can see his all-of-the-sudden victory here...Just skip up to the last minute or so of the video. I watched this clip about 10 times this weekend, squealing and clapping my hands every single time he won. I so love the underdog/horse.