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
Have you ever read a book that worms its way into your memories and then, when you want to read it again, you can’t remember the title or the author? Dang. Did it become a mini-obsession, something that sticks in your mind until you can figure out what was that book? That happened to me … Continue reading Book Amnesia: How to Find a Forgotten Book Title
If you’ve read anything about writing a blog, the number one piece of advice is be consistent. Set a schedule and, above all, stick to it. Don’t let your readers down by dropping out. What did I do for the last couple of months? I dropped out. I owe everyone a big, slurpy apology for … Continue reading Mea Culpa and Thank You!
The other day I chatted with another lover of books and, after we caught up on our latest reads, she asked a couple of questions that got me thinking about why I choose the books I do: Are the characters we meet in a book reflections of ourselves? Or do we select books to vicariously … Continue reading Diverse Reading Creates Empathy
On a Facebook page for cozy mysteries, a reader commented that she unsubscribed from other cozy lists because she was tired of fluffy dogs or knitting grandmas solving murder while the victim is forgotten in the quest to find the killer. “Oh, look! Another dead body.” Yawn. “Guess we should find out whodunnit.” I was … Continue reading What Did You Expect from a Cozy Mystery?