What Goes in to Being a Writer

I’ve wanted to be an author nearly my entire life (excluding the first three years, when I’m pretty sure my life goals were more along the lines of “nap” and “avoid napping) so getting picked up by my agent(!!!) was just about the most incredible thing to happen to me.

However, I’ve known since high school that writing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  All that “writers spent all day in their dressing gowns drinking champagne” (thanks, Terry Pratchett!) stuff is, of course, as nonsensical as it enticing, but more importantly, writers don’t even get to be Jo March, or Jane Austen.  It’s not enough to just write the books, you are also in charge of everything else, even if you go the traditional route, like I’m hoping to.  (Fingers crossed!)Read More »

Inspiration from Real Life

A lot of writers talk about how they take inspiration from things they come across in everyday life: a new article, a random encounter, even friends and family are fair game.  This isn’t something I have a lot of experience with (possibly because I am still a baby writer) but a few weeks ago the world handed me an amazing moment of “Wow, that could not be a more perfect set up.’

Mind you, it wouldn’t fit into my current manuscript (or possibly this series at all) but you’d better believe I’m filing this beauty away for future consideration:

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MISTI-con Recap

This post is later then expected because, as it turns out, you need at least a day to recover from the world’s best convention. Honestly I’m still not quite there but I’m too hyped not to share my experiences with y’all.

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My wanted poster and Kevin’s school ID.  Why do they always wait until you’re distracted?

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MISTI is this week!

Kevin, I, and our carpool buddy are leaving a little before lunch on Wednesday to split the drive up to New Hampshire over two days.  This means we should be there for Every.  Single.  Panel.  I’m so excited, y’all.

Packing is turning out to be more interesting than it has in the past.  Not only are we taking twice as many articles of clothing (since Kevin’s coming with this year; I’m so stoked) but we also have a number of special outfits that we’re bringing.

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What’s going on here?

A few years ago my mom and I discovered the TV series “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.”  It took me about two seasons before I discovered that the show is based on a book series.

I’ve been devouring the books (seriously, I just reread and reread them.  The characters are so engaging!) over the past several months, sometimes in order and sometimes just picking up whichever one strikes my fancy.

One of the books, Ruddy Gore surrounds a mystery at a theater.  It also introduces Phryne’s long-term lover, Lin Chung.

During a conversation between Phryne and her companion (Dot) about Lin, something weird happens.  I can’t tell if it’s something that got missed in editing, I’m misreading it, or what, but this conversation definitely doesn’t make sense to me:

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Rules for writing a crime novel

Sorry this one’s late.  It turns out that, no matter how much I’d rather be doing other things, sometimes responsibilities just have to be taken care of.  Go figure.

I’m reading a surprisingly enjoyable nonfiction book called The Golden Age of Murder.  The author (Martin Edwards) is a current-day member of The Detection Club, a club founded in the 20s by-among others-Agatha Christie.  (Dorothy Sayers was really the driving force, but Christie is the name I know the best.)

Among the other fascinating things I’ve been learning (in between adding to an ever-expanding TBR list) is that a number of the Detection Club and Golden Age writers took a stab (ha!  murderpun) at creating lists of rules for mystery writers.  Since cozy mysteries are the direct descendents of these traditional mysteries, I thought I’d look them up and share a few here.Read More »

Pancakes to Cruise Director

Since we have guests staying this week Kevin and I had to do some major grocery shopping over the weekend.  Due to things (having been out of town, mostly) we didn’t end up getting to the grocery store until about 9:30 at night on Saturday.

While we were there we needed to get a chicken but the chicken display was empty.  We asked a nearby employee if he could help us find a chicken and he literally ran across the store to find people to ask because whoever he was trying to call wasn’t picking up.

Because he went so above and beyond to help us I left a compliment with the managers on duty. As I did, one laughed and muttered to the other “he gets so many compliments.”

That reminded me of my first-ever cruise.

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Sunburn

One of my biggest struggles in the year since we moved from Hawaii to to the mainland is knowing when to put on sunscreen.

In Hawaii it was super easy- every day. All the time. No excuses.

Back on the east coast there is a sunscreen season. Namely, summer. But when does sunscreen season actually start?

Turns out, this weekend.

Yup, I went to part of the Cherry Blossom Festival (Sakura Matsuri) and came home with a nose like Rudolph’s (thanks, Kevin!) and the complexion of a tomato. Luckily I was wearing long sleeves and jeans. It could have been worse.

And while we were still in Hawaii we visited family back on the mainland and I got sun poisoning on a cloudy day and spent the evening miserable. But on the island I was diligent and never burned.

Possibly the weirdest part of this whole thing is that I grew up in Virgina. So it’s not like I’m not used to sunscreen season. But living near the equator clearly spoiled me for thinking critically about the seasons.

The Audacity of Audacity

The very first Professional Grown Up Writer thing I did was attend the Writer’s Police Academy.  (Highly recommend, by the way.  Nice people, interesting lessons, and you get to tell your mom “I’m spending part of this weekend in jail!”)

Lisa Gardner was one of the Big Important Guests and I went to her lecture.  During her speech she talked about how one of the things that contributes to her success is that she stopped being afraid to just… ask people for things.

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