Archives for Postings

Writers Helping Writers

Thank you Writera Magazine for featuring me and “The UnMatchables”! Sounds like this is a passionate and thrilling story, a lot of people will surely be intrigued to read it. Tell us more about it and how you’ve come around writing about this particular theme and its characters. Three ideas converged to launch The UnMatchables: the 1980s television series “Moonlighting”, a short story contest, and the #MeToo movement. I was inspired by the characters of Maddie and David to write what I intended to be my first cozy mystery about best friends who go into business together as private investigators.
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Comfort & Joy

It’s easy to conjure the specter of Ebenezer or wear the green-faced Grinch scowl and Debbie Downer pout behind the mandatory mask this holiday season. Indoor dining and late-night gathering restrictions have cancelled annual festive get-togethers with friends. Social distancing adds a layer of frustration to shopping. Santa Claus calls ho-ho-ho from behind a thick layer of plexiglass. Travel restrictions reduce family time to phone calls and Skype meetings. Even the office Christmas party we complained about but secretly looked forward to has been called off. Nova Scotia author and columnist Vernon Oickle challenged us to stop dwelling on the
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The Day Before Book Bums

For two hours, authors will ask each other three questions from the comfort and safety of the space where we create. What have you worked on and/or learned in the past year? What do you need help with on your current project? What are you looking to tackle next year? I’m ready with the answers and some questions of my own. My struggle with point of view continues. The simplest explanation – first person “I”, second person “you” and third person “he/she/they” – defines the guidelines but doesn’t tell me why or which point of view to use in my
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Two Days to Book Bums

Question #3 from my fellow Book Bum Workshop authors: What are you looking to tackle next year? Answer: Write and publish two novels, each in a different genre, both the second book in a series. How will I do that? Identify the theme. Outline the plot. Create the characters. People want to read about people. As the author and creator of their world, I must know my characters as well as I know myself. Live in their skin. Be in their heads. Think as they do. Hear them speak in their unique and individual voice. Listen to the words they
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Three Days to Book Bums

Question #2 from my fellow authors virtually attending this annual workshop: What do you need help with on your current project? Answer: Plot! Related FAQ: What comes first: theme or plot? I didn’t realize that I was writing to theme until the lengthy rewrite of my first romantic suspense novel flicked on the lightbulb in my head. The UnMatchables theme focuses on the #MeToo social movement against sexual harassment, abuse and assault committed by powerful and/or prominent men. Antagonist Alphonse von Rohr leverages his celebrity status as a gifted conductor in international symphony orchestra circles to satisfy his sexual predatory
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Four Days to Book Bums

Saturday workshop question #1: What have I worked on and/or learned in the past year? A timely move to rural Nova Scotia ahead of a pandemic that closed the U.S. border opened the possibility to rewrite and publish one book and rapid write another. My author genre shift from romance to romantic suspense wasn’t as easy as I’d imagined. Romance springs from a simple formula. Partner meets partner. Difficulties cause conflict that is overcome and conquered by love with the end result of happy ever after or at least happy for now. Suspense needs the structure of a plan to
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Three Questions Two Workshop Hours

Book Bums authors will meet virtually this year. For the first time, our tribes of loyal and new readers won’t gather with us around tables and in rows of chairs or browse individual displays and ask us questions about our books. We won’t sign our name at the end of a personal note to the reader buying the book or another who will receive their gift of places, plots and characters born in our minds and living through our words. Instead, we’ll ask three questions of each other via the world wide connective wonder of Zoom for two hours this
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Capital Strings

The fate of a nation and lives on the line Prime Minister Evan Reid “I hold a string that’s connected to every person in this country, every country in the world. It’s only one string of many. But if I pull it too hard and it breaks, the chain reaction I start could be catastrophic.” Chief of Staff Jerilynn Connor “My boss was headed for the House of Commons. What happened next was a nightmare I never dreamed I’d be awake to see.” Director of Parliamentary Protective Service Alec Martin “We trained for it. We were ready for it. We
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Friday Life Footnotes

“Happy Birthday, Daddy” “Well, hell-OOOH.” I grin at the sound of the steady, familiar voice, unaffected by advanced age. “How are you doing, Dad?” My voice travels back to him over 2,100 miles, from my new home in Nova Scotia to his room at a nursing home in my Iowa hometown. “I’m feeling pretty good. I can’t believe I’ve lived to be 99 years old.” Neither can I. After the pericardium that strangled his heart was peeled away, doctors told my mother and I he would not celebrate his 70th birthday. Medications, four pacemakers, and an iron will to live
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