Highway of Tears & Wind River

I am not always crazy about my book club’s (Coffee and Crime) choices of books, but I always willing embrace the choice because I always learn something new. It broadens my horizons.

This month is one of those choices I wouldn’t choose. But. It is heartbreaking. Almost too real for my liking. I often say I like my reading to be pure fiction.

Reality is not always a nice place to be.

Rather than a who-done-it novel this month, the book is Highway of Tears

Still murder. But heartbreaking.

It brought to mind a movie I saw a few years ago, that didn’t get a lot of press at the time.
It should have gotten huge press. Just for the truth alone.

Wind River starred Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen, both of whom did an outstanding job.

Highway of Tears is an actual highway. A 725 km (450 mile corridor between Prince George and Prince Rupert, British Columbia in Canada. This has been the location of many missing and murdered Indigenous women beginning in 1970

But death of our Indigenous women is not restricted to this highway.

The stories are there. The truth is there. The crimes continue. And there seems to be no justice. Fiction has justice. Is justice fiction? I ask myself that.

Where? How?

So deep questions from North of 43 and more than a bit of shame.

Chris G August 15th ‘22

Murder She Wrote

“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished
unless they kill in large numbers
and to the sound of trumpets.”

Chris has let the cat out of the bag and now you all know about our current projects. We each started them without discussion between we two kindred spirits.

We have been friends on WordPress since 2011 when we both started on this blogging journey. In June that year, Chris wrote about Jessica Fletcher the writer/protagonist in the series “Murder She Wrote”.  Chris has apparently always wanted to be like Jessica and very kindly named me as being the most like the redoubtable Mrs Fletcher.  Note – all those years ago she was Mrs not Ms.

So to today and our current projects. As Chris says you may/probably will never get to read our writings on murder and murderers, but please believe we are having a lot of fun.

And as I said in my other blog when I was dabbling in fiction writing, characters have a habit of taking over. They decide what they will do, when and how. I guess writers just channel the characters. I don’t pretend to understand channelling, but I have an acquaintance who says that her book was channelled. She has never said channelled from whom.

There is a strong belief in channelling AKA automatic writing. I have seen it described in various places and at various times as 

“Automatic writing is a form of channeling, where you allow a higher power to create or guide the words that you write. It involves allowing Spirit, the universal mind or your higher self to simply flow through you.“

Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch is one of the many books in circulation by famous authors who claim channelling.

And Charles Dickens’ The Mystery of Edwin Drood is another. Dickens died leaving an unfinished work and apparently continued and finished the work by channelling through his printer.

But back to us. We are two elderly women on the opposite sides of this world, who once again find themselves involved in similar thought processes. One thing we are both doing, without any prior conversations, is writing by hand before copying onto the computer. This is so far from my usual typing straight into Word. But this time it’s working for me.

“You should write because you love the shape of stories
and sentences and the creation of different words on a page.
Writing comes from reading, and reading is
the finest teacher of how to write.”
-Annie Proulx

End of another ramble through this neighbourhood in which I dwell and call my mind.

JB March 28, 2022

Murder They Write

No distance of place nor lapse of time can lessen the friendship
of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other’s worth
Robert Southey, English Poet 1774-1843

 Way back in December 2011, my very new blogging friend Chris (yes, the other half of this blog) at Bridges Burningwrote about J.B. Fletcher of Murder She Wrote fame and said that while she always wanted to be J B Fletcher, she thought I was the closest to being her.

Well, over the years I have never encountered a murder (except in crime novels and movies) and so have never been able to put her thought/theory to the test.  Instead, over the years, I have built up a library of crime novels.

Of course, we all have our own favourite writers. One of mine is Zoe Sharp. Do you know Zoe?  She has this fantastic protagonist called Charlie Fox, a strong, independent, take no prisoners kind of woman, operating in a man’s world. I have been a follower of Zoe since I read the first Charlie Fox novel so many years ago. And yes, I am a stalker of Charlie Fox.

Some years ago, Zoe introduced me to a group of crime writers who band together and write for a blog. This is a group of 11, although sadly the originator of the group Leighton Gage has since died.  And recently a new writer has joined the group.  A New Zealand writer Craig Sisterson, the founder of the Ngaio Marsh Awards for crime writing, and author of Southern Cross Crime:

The way it works is each writer posts an article in turn and then its published on Murder is Everywhere.  Each author writes about whatever is on his/her mind at the time.

This is often the first thing I read from my inbox in the morning with my first cup of tea for the day. And because during our ramblings I knew that Chris was also a prolific reader of crime fiction, I introduced her to this group.

And it was this that spurred on the thought of A World Apart.  If 11 writers scattered far and wide could do this, then surely, two ‘not quite old’ women could.

They are disparate characters, living all around the world brought together through their common bond of writing and reading crime fiction. if this is your thing, pop over to their blog to see what hs been occupying their minds recenty.

“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.”

JB 4 December, 2021