8/22/2022 0 Comments
A Productive Summer
Gardening mirrors my writing life this summer. The seeds of inspiration sprout. A late cold snap combined with heavy snow nearly ends the project. The story recovers, and grows slowly, until the flowers appear. After visits from bees, fruits sprout in various shapes and colors. Soon it's time to harvest and process all that has grown.
I'm working on several stories at once. Like the garden, they all seem destined to bear fruit at the same time. I'm scrambling to make sure no fruit rots on the vine.
8/8/2022 0 Comments
Seen on the Trail
So many people are on the trails walking, running, and biking in the summer weather, the City put up traffic signs. This one is particularly amusing, because we did see a turtle a few weeks ago.
I have also started painting rocks and leaving them on the trails after a long break. I found the strawberry, and left the lizard.
8/1/2022 0 Comments
Return to the Classics
I've been re-reading old favorites. Wait, that's not quite correct. I've been listening to audio books of classic fiction. Most recently I listened to Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. I'm moving on to Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
One fun element of re-reading novels is gauging your own changed reaction to the characters and plot. I have a more developed understanding of the historical and cultural background than I did during my first encounter with these stories.
Another is the enjoyment of the way in which language was used over a century and a half ago. I love the contemporary cozy mystery, which uses modern vocabulary and syntax. Reading classics stretches my skills, reminding me that language can be elegant as well as practical.
I am happy to report that novels read for high school or college assignments are much more fun to read for the purpose for which they were written - entertainment. No note-taking, no reports or papers. Just pure pleasure.
Other recent visits with old friends were Charles Dickens - A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations, and Jane Austen Sense and Sensibility.
7/27/2022 0 Comments
Seen on the Trail
It's rock painting season. I'm seeing more cleverly painted rocks on the trails. I've been leaving my own creations to contribute to the fun.
Seen on the trail - happy face and strawberry.
Left on the trail - lizard and ladybug.
7/20/2022 0 Comments
Guest Blog - Conference Burnout
Some authors thrive on the excitement and crowds at conferences. Others - like me - are hardcore introverts who are stressed by rooms full of strangers. I share my thoughts on the Writing from the Peak blog with the Pikes Peak Writers.
"I had attended PPWC off and on for nearly twenty years. Once I became published, other authors insisted participating in conferences was essential. You had to keep your name out there. Visibility, baby. Be seen.
You’ve got to work that conference. Schmooze. Mingle. You know – those things introverts just love to do. Not. So I tried. I got on panels, as a participant or moderator. I signed books. I networked in my own feeble, socially awkward way. And I left conferences drained."
How can an introvert actually enjoy a writers conference? How do you avoid conference burnout? Read my survival suggestions here.
7/11/2022 0 Comments
Seen on the Trail
A totally different trail from our usual. We visited friends on the Western Slopes. This crane was in a park in Delta, Colorado.
I love walking or running in new places. The scenery, wildlife, and just the feel of a different location is invigorating.
Today I appear on suspense author Donnell Ann Bell's blog for her Help from My Friends Friday feature. Donnell writes gripping thrillers, while I write cozy mysteries. Even though our genres are quite different, she thought her readers would enjoy learning about the unique world of Writer-for-Hire.
I describe how I received my first assignment, and how this business works. Where does creativity enter this equation? Is a write-for-hire contract worth it?
(My experience with Annie's Publishing may be entirely different from that of other authors.)
7/4/2022 0 Comments
I love the great covers created by Annie's Publishing. My newest novel for their Museum of Mysteries series has been released.
Rotten to the Encore follows the curator of the Reed Museum of Art and Archeology, Scarlett McCormick, as she discovers more than she expected in a reclusive old woman's collection.
The inside jacket blurb:
"Reed Museum curator Scarlett McCormick is no stranger to drama, so she's eager to act when theater troupe leader Bettina Grassley asks her to examine an inherited Greek amphora she suspects might contain human remains. However, Scarlett is left waiting in the wings when the priceless vase is whisked away by handsome FBI agent Luke Anderson, giving credence to Bettina's theory. Intrigued, Scarlett agrees to assess the contents of Bettina's entire inheritance from the eccentric Mildred Southam-Parker."
6/29/2022 0 Comments
Happy Wildlife Report
A few weeks ago, we saw a beaver in Fountain Creek while on a walk. I am happy to report that the beaver was not assassinated by the City. Instead, it was relocated.
"Colorado Parks and Wildlife relocated a beaver recently that was causing damage in Colorado Springs."
After it cut down several trees and dammed the creek, the wildlife agency trapped the beaver and moved it to a wilderness area.
You can see the article and the beaver at the link here.
6/23/2022 0 Comments
Turtle on the Trail
Another in my series of Seen on the Trail. This time, I slow things down with a large turtle in no hurry to cross the trail.
Turtle tucked its head inside, but you can see its nose. It was crossing the trail from a swampy drainage area, and heading toward Monument Creek. Perhaps turtle had visited the marsh in search of a snack, and was now headed home.
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