I’m re-working the outline and first few chapter for my fourth Detective Jackson novel before I send them to an editor. Things were bothering me, so I went back to the basics and decided to share my 8-point checklist.
Plot. Is your plot logical? Do you have important scenes that would make a reader say “No one would ever do that”? Is your plot both linear and complex? Read more →
In a letter to the editor this morning, a writer claimed many people stay in jobs that are unhealthy for them, physically and/or emotionally, just to keep healthcare benefits for their family. What a sad tradeoff.
I believe it happens more often than you think. My brother, for example, stayed in a job he hated for 20 years because his wife had diabetes and couldn’t work and he felt trapped into providing healthcare benefits Read more →
Today’s guest blog about work/life balance is from Pam Ripling—lighthouse aficionado and cross-genre author.
When I first saw the title of L.J.’s wonderful blog, “Write First, Clean Later,” I had to laugh. It’s a laudable mantra, not only for authors but for anyone who works out of their home. I’ve had a home business for 18 years, and I had to learn that work—be it writing a novel or balancing a Read more →
I came across these guidelines for a writer’s website recently and saved them to consider/implement later. I’m re-posting them, with modifications and comments, in case you find them useful.
1. Don’t put everything on the front page. The landing page should have a welcoming message and a lot of white space. Don’t use any graphics except the cover of your book so people know they’re in the right place. Read more →
I finally visited the Eugene Police Department’s crime lab. Criminologist Jason Petersen gave me a two-hour crash course in processing evidence. I heard a lot of chemical terms that, fortunately, I have on my recording, because they didn’t stick in my brain. I learned that what real evidence technicians (versus the CSI kind) spend most of their time doing is processing latent fingerprints and watching/editing surveillance videos. Here’s the photo highlights.
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Recently two authors on the mystery listserv Dorothy L announced their publisher was dropping their series. Dozens of mystery readers/fans expressed dismay and disappointment. They wanted to know what they could do to help keep the series alive. They wanted to start a campaign! The outpouring of support for the first author inspired a small publisher on the list to step in and pick up the series. Read more →
The first bad moment came when it occurred to me that I wasn’t wearing a parachute. Here I was on my way to jump out of an airplane, and all I had on was a dirty blue jumpsuit and a body harness. Tremors of raw vulnerability washed over me. I worked through the moment, telling myself that Tim—my quiet, but quick-to-smile instructor —was wearing not one, but two parachutes. Any moment, he would hook our harnesses together in five distinct places. Read more →
Today I am 50.
If you only knew how hard that was to say. I’ve struggled to get my brain around this number for weeks now. I thought for a while if I never actually said it out loud, no one would know, and I could keep up the illusion that I was still in my late forties, which sounds so much nicer. But’s that crap. Read more →