Old Ladies and Murderers

Holidays were the highlights of the year back in my little hometown, and summer days were long and lazy. As a kid, it never seemed as though much happened. But some remarkable things did happen. I can't claim The Mystery of the Little Old Lady was what propelled me into writing mysteries of my own,... Continue Reading →

Being a Bag Lady

Tony Hillerman once said, "A writer is like a bag lady going through life with a sack and a pointed stick, collecting stuff." Sitting next to me is a pile of papers, clamped with one of those binder clips -- my version of the pointed stick. I confess: it's not so bad being a bag... Continue Reading →

The Value of Writing Groups

Last December I posted about two different types of writing groups. That brief overview was related to a couple of columns I wrote for a private writing group's newsletter. Even then, I didn't feel as though I'd said all I wanted to on the subject. Result? An expanded how-to guide, with suggestions for getting a... Continue Reading →

Writing and Geometry

Oh, but they DO have a lot in common! I was reading Ava Jae's great post, "You Don't Have to Get It Right the First Time" and decided it was time to post about the writing process after a long spell without mentioning it. In her post, Ava lists the things you shouldn't be thinking... Continue Reading →

Author Interview: E. Michael Helms

So many questions for E. Michael Helms, author of two novels and several nonfiction works! I sent out word I was willing to read and offer reviews of mysteries, and he was one of the writers who responded. I confess I'd started another book by a different author, one that was not well written, so... Continue Reading →

Is a Writing Group a Waste of Your Time?

Quick answer: they can be. Or not. Depends. Don't you love answers like those?!? But seriously. Much does depend on what the group's purpose and who's attending it. Purpose Though types of writing groups vary, two primary categories are critique groups and creative groups. Critique Groups There's no one way to organize such groups, but... Continue Reading →

Semi-Cozy?

You'd think something is cozy or not, but semi-cozy? Is that like a quilt that's just a little too short? Or a cabin in the woods with just a few too many drafts? A fire in the hearth that burns a little too low? I'm making my case for why my newest novel, Pea Body,... Continue Reading →

Found Prompts

Prompts are everywhere. We just have to be able to spot them and know how to use them. Take receipts, for instance. Ever pick up a random receipt someone left in a shopping cart or tossed away and give it a close look? You should. What did this stranger buy? What time of day or... Continue Reading →

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