A few years ago, I put the final touches on my first completed book. After popping the sparkling cider (champagne was saved for actual publication), I sent it out to the lovely people who volunteered to be my beta readers and anxiously awaited their comments. I was sure they would all love it to pieces, … Continue reading The Scowling Boyfriend: Unintentionally Angry Characters
I began this blog because I love, love, love cozy mysteries. Finding a body in the library is my idea of a good read. But sometimes a girl wants the cozy without the mystery. Last month, when the stress of the holidays started creeping in, I ditched the mystery I had been reading to visit … Continue reading Why Jane Austen Is Like a Woolly Blanket and a Cup of Tea
Gratitude turns what we have into enough. - Anonymous In a previous post, I wrote about my book journal. I also have a sketchbook and a writer’s journal. My husband will tell you that I need another journal like a porcupine needs more quills, but I added one more to my collection: a gratitude journal. … Continue reading Expressing Gratitude Daily
As I work through the stack of unread books teetering on my nightstand, I cast them a critical eye as to whether I’d like to revisit them in the future. Better yet, in the case of a series, if I’d like to check in for more stories in that world. I hate to admit that … Continue reading Reading my Stash: A Legacy of Murder by Connie Berry
As I write this, my country is going through the most stressful election in my lifetime. On top of an out of control pandemic that, despite whatever anyone says, is not “rounding the corner”, anxiety and fear are high in my little part of the world. A friend who is also stressing out about the … Continue reading Small Changes: How I’m Handling Election Anxiety
My cozy-in-progress is having a personality crisis. I have the murder mapped out. I know who got killed, why they got killed, and whodunnit. But I’m floundering on the characters. They’re flat. They behave in odd ways that don’t feel authentic. In one case, I made my main character do something that felt completely wrong. … Continue reading Short Stories: Getting to Know My Characters
When I was a teenager, my first summer job was as a camp counselor. Yep, it was the traditional tents in the woods, meals in a lodge, and campfires every evening. Around those campfires we sang songs and played games, one of which was Round Robin. If you’ve never participated in a round robin, the … Continue reading Round Robins: Flexing Those Creative Muscles
M.C. Beaton (a.k.a. Marion Chesney Gibbons) Early this year, I was saddened to learn of the death of one of my favorite authors, M.C. Beaton. I’m not alone. Beaton (real name Marion Chesney Gibbons) was a prolific writer whose mystery novels rank among the most popular of the genre, both in book sales and library … Continue reading Is M.C. Beaton a Cozy Mystery Writer?
I have a confession to make. I’m a journal junkie. I can’t walk into Barnes & Noble without wandering to the back wall where blank journals are temptingly displayed. I drool over the hand-tooled leather journals, the handmade paper journals, the journals with funny covers, and the ones with images that calm the soul. I … Continue reading Creating a Book Journal: How Do I Do That?
There is a difference between solitude and isolation. One is connected and one isn’t. Solitude replenishes, isolation diminishes. – Henry Cloud I think, if you have enough inner resources, then you can live in isolation for long periods of time and not feel diminished by it. – Aung San Suu Kyi When you’re obligated to … Continue reading Getting Along in a Time of Social Distancing