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
Last month I revisited Blood Orange Brewing by Laura Childs. The Tea Shop Mystery series takes place in the city where my children were born: Charleston, SC. As I turned the pages, I recognized the picturesque gardens, the stately homes South of Broad, and the quaint shops dotting downtown. The images in my mind were … Continue reading Location, Location, Location: A New Character in Town
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?
As I write this, I’m sitting at my desk with the windows flung open, reveling in the gorgeous morning outside my door. The mild weather and the hordes of returning college students down the road are reminders that summer is coming to an end. I can’t say I’m sad about the passing of summer (I’m … Continue reading Lessons from Summer
The other day someone asked me, “What do you do?” Ugh. I hate that question. I know that people ask it to be social and to start a conversation, but it makes my job synonymous with my identity. That’s great if you have a universally cool, unusual, or impressive job, but it’s so easy for … Continue reading Am I Ready to Call Myself a Writer?