This saying, “Life is what happens to you when you’re making other plans,” is a quote from Betty Talmadge. She was born in 1924, so I guess even in her time, people had trouble getting things accomplished. I’ve been remiss in posting here for the very same reason. Life just keeps happening to me, too. At least one of those things is that I’ve been working on the final edits to my second murder mystery, Cornered!, which should be available in print by this summer. I’ll keep you posted on the progress. In the meantime, I’d love to hear about any comments or questions you have about writing.
This photo was taken at a marathon in Lincoln, Nebraska, where I was cheering on a team running to raise funds for pancreatic cancer research. But I think the image is fitting because I like to cheer people on who are interested in the writing life! If you want to know more about what I believe about the craft of writing, check out David Binder’s website at https://sites.google.com/site/dalanbinder/blog/patriciacurreninterviewwithdavidalanbinder
Actually, I have many more ideas about writing in addition to this interview, some of which I’ve already shared on this site. Time doesn’t allow me to list more right now, but I look forward to doing that in the future. I hope you’ll continue to read posts on this blog. And I love seeing your comments!
I knead your chest with my sharp claws
To show you my affection
I bite your arm and don’t let go
To show you adoration
I walk across your throat at night
Because I want to say, “Hello!”
I leap from high upon your crotch
Because I miss you so
I trip you when you walk down the stairs
So you know I’m always near
I sit on your face and block all your air
So my absence you need not fear
I show my love in so many ways
My devotion runneth over
So I don’t know why when I approach
You duck and run for cover
Alex Kava has written an intriguing mystery, Hotwire, a Maggie O’Dell novel. Much of the book is set in Nebraska where I spent my formative years so that made it personally fun to read. The remainder of the book is set elsewhere in the U.S. and as the book begins, it appears there are two mysteries, but it turns out the two cases are intertwined. Ms. Kava pays careful attention to location and plot detail, and pulls the reader into the story from the first page. She has many other books available and I can’t wait to read them! Check out her website at http://www.alexkava.com
This is a scene from Clipped! featuring Kendra’s heartthrob, Johnny, and her little sister, Toni. It takes place in a hospital room after Kendra has narrowly escaped becoming another of the serial killer’s victims. The sequel will feature more of Kendra and Johnny’s budding romance and the trouble her sleuthing activities bring to their relationship.
Johnny chose that moment to thrust the rose at her. “Uh, here —this is for you,” he mumbled. In an instant, his face was as crimson as Kendra’s.
“Well, well, look at you two,” Audrey said. “Do you want me to leave?” She laughed.
Kendra and Johnny shook their heads vehemently and cried, “No!”
At that moment, Kendra heard hurried footsteps in the hall, and an excited voice called out, “Ken’ra, we got you a sammich!” Toni burst through the door with her mother close behind. The little girl clambered onto the bed and threw her arms around her sister’s neck. “Did you see what I did?” She pointed at the artwork adorning Kendra’s cast.
“Yeah, very cool,” Kendra said as she returned Toni’s hug.
“We got the bad man, didn’t we?” Toni smiled a smug little grin.
“Sure did,” Kendra replied.
Toni opened her mouth to say something else, but stopped when she saw Johnny. She slid off the bed and stood as close to him as she could. “I know who you are.”
Johnny looked startled. “Yeah?”
“You were there when we was waiting for Ken’ra.” She puffed her little chest out. “Are you Ken’ra’s boyfrien’?”
Johnny was speechless. He stared at his feet.
“Don’t have any little sisters or brothers, do you?” Kendra teased.
He shook his head.
“No need to freak,” she said. “They’re just like us, only with over-size head and short necks.” That brought a smile to his face, but she could see he still felt awkward.
“Come on, Toni. Quit bothering him. Help me with Kendra’s lunch,” Teresa interjected.
Toni grabbed the lunch sack and jumped back on the bed.
Johnny saw his chance for a getaway. “Well, gotta get going.”
“Me, too,” Audrey chimed in. “Call me when you get home tonight.”
“Okay,” Kendra said. She took a huge bite of sandwich and handed the other half to Toni. As she watched her friends leave, she was overwhelmed with a sense of thankfulness for them, and her family, and the fact that she was truly safe.
Fellow writer, Margaret Morse and I had a terrific time at The Sisters In Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter of the WriteNow! 2016 Conference last Saturday, August 12th. The slate of speakers ran the gamut from Jan Burke enlightening us on forensic science to Alex Kava telling us how to create believable and credible characters. Besides other bestselling authors, the conference offered invaluable writing tips from Holly Lorincz from Lorincz Literary Services and Victoria Lowes Capello from the Bent Agency. In addition, a silent auction and door prizes rounded out the day. And as always, the food was marvelous.
Did you know?
Did you see?
Did you count
How many times
I had to smack that moth
On your forehead
With my paw?
It was like a thousand
He’s dead now, though
One more smack
(This is another poem from my kitty calendar and the kitty in the photo is called Toby and belongs to friends of mine, Sue and Rick.)
This debut novel by Dan Wells will grab you and not let go until you’ve read to the last page. It’s about a teen boy, John Wayne Cleaver, who seems to be a Dexter in the making. He has a fascination with serial killers and struggles to control his own dark urges by creating a complex set of rules he must live by. But when a serial killer arrives in his town and begins murdering people at an alarming rate, he finds himself losing the battle to be a good person. This book is the first of a trilogy and if you’d like to read more about the author and his writing, go to http://www.fearfulsymmetry.net
A friend recently turned me onto this book and even though it’s been out for a number of years, it is still very current today, because we writers are always dealing with our fear of the blank page, not to mention publishers, editors and the marketing process. Mr. Keyes shows us how to not only face our fears, but how to put them to work for us.
Here are some bullet points he recommends to boost our courage:
- Read about successful writers, paying attention to their fears and how they dealt with them
- Take a writing course or two
- Attend an occasional writers’ conference
- Join a serious writers’ group
- Develop anxiety-easing rituals, no matter how eccentric
- Devise fear-taming work techniques, no matter how gimmicky
- Write at times of day when you’re most productive and least anxious
- Identify your censor in chief and mentally rehearse how to deal with that person
- Get to know yourself well enough not to be too terrified by what escapes from within onto the page
- Convert fear into excitement
I found this marvelous book at my local library so I’m assuming you can, too. It is jam-packed with so much good information about identifying and dealing with our writing anxieties. I highly recommend it!