Operation Empire

This is obviously my personal site but my online content arsenal is vast. It includes Greater Gotham: Going Global, a blog about being out and about in New York City and what happens when you turn Gotham Girl lose on the UK; Fabulous Foodie, where food and food culture are served up a la carte. Last but not least, there is Modern Parlance -- home to my hard-working writer alter ego and headquarters in my nefarious plan to take over the world. It is also home to my work blog - Personal Parlance, where I hold forth on publishing, books, social media, communication, indexing, writing, education and anything else content-wise that catches my eye. 

I had wanted to call the whole thing Operation Empire but several of my friends suggested that might put people off. Upon consideration I decided that a) they were right (so went with Modern Parlance) and b) to effectively take over the world, I would need fewer friends and more minions. Applications being accepted now.

Scribbles & Notes

Of course, the word-smithing started long before the plan for world domination. At one time or another, my personal writing projects have included:

Take 2 Movie Reviews which proved indirectly that I once had a social life where as TV Rants & Raves suggested perhaps that I didn't. (I take comfort in the fact that I haven't updated it lately - which suggests that things are looking up.)

The only thing my ongoing Bibliomania ever suggested was that I needed more shelves and the patience to wait for  paperbacks. Publishing Grunt's Bible came about because working with books isn't the thrill ride that reading or buying them is. 

There were pure flights of fancy like Staving off Ennui, the Server Sees the Sights; there were answers to hypothetical questions like "what should go in a toy hall of fame and then there were the snarkathons - first site website I ever did - Alias Smith & Jones Site and the Dark Shadows Snarkathon.

Much older material is kept in the Ephemera Archives - moved to the backburner but not completely forgotten. Who knows what'll end up catching my attention next...


I am a major book-lover. Put me in a bookstore and I can be happy for hours. I'll read just about anything -- Historical novels, mysteries and biographies are all favorites of mine. I've never seen a book meme I could resist. Since I read so much, I have quite a bit to say on the topic and have given over a separate section to it. While I ready the rest, I can heartily recommend, Alberto Manguel's History of Reading and The Professor and The Madman by Simon Winchester. In fact, anything by Simon Winchester is worth reading.

Other features I am planning on including are a book diary - not a reading diary per se (since that implies FAR longer and insightful discussions than can be found here but rather my ongoing attempt to see if one can really reach oversaturation re books. I don't think so but we'll see.

The Dorothys

Another literary disappointment - a HUGE one at that -- has been Thrones Dominations (the "newest" Dorothy L. Sayers). It's one of those situations where the author started a project and died without finishing it. Naturally the hire someone to finish it who isn't as good as the original -- but then I truly didn't expect her to be. What was so disappointing was that she was, in my opinion, completely off the mark as far as characterization goes. It's the story that picks up the Wimsey-Vane story immediately after Busman's Honeymoon. Can you honestly believe Harriet says "Golly, Peter..." What is she? A Bobbsey twin? Ridiculous. Oh and puh-leeze! What she (the new author) does to Bunter is ridiculous.

One of my most MAJOR accomplishments I think  -- at least in my own opinion (and it's my web page so who else's really matters here) -- is that I finished the Lymond Chronicles. now, I love well written historical novels because of the richness found in them that is often (again in my opinion) lacking in many contemporary tales. But these -- this series goes beyond richness. It's like one long novel - though I suppose you could read them separately and it explores not only a different time and place but the characters are delved into so thoroughly, you end up knowing them better than people you see every day. I'll have more to say on these books later. For now since I've just finished the last installment of the Niccolo series also by Dorothy Dunnett - let me touch on those.

Let me be totally up front here. I didn't enjoy them as much as I have the Lymond Chronicles (which I have read and re-read). I was good for the first two books but I found that i couldn't bring myself to care much about Nicholas, his motivations or his action except that they never got me on his side. Maybe I wasn't supposed to be on his side but if you want me to stay with a 9 volume story (like the Lymond Chronicles this story moves across multiple novels though not quite as smoothly). Don't get me wrong. They are exceedingly well written, detailed and full of that same historical richness - i just didn't care for the main character. he reminds me of those people today that annoy me so much who don't justify the means by ends but by their past and the way they've been treated. In Nicholas, we have another character that all the other characters either love or hate - not one shrugs and says "Nicholas, sure he's OK" - but where as you got the impression that Lymond was impacted (perhaps against his better judgment) by how people felt or that affected his actions, I don't think Nicholas noticed much less cared. It certainly worth reading and if you've got a vacation coming up, it could be the only thing you need but I don't think I'll be rereading this.

What do I do when not working on this site, read a bit about the guilty party responsible for this site or the answers I gave to the 'about me' survey
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