Monday, February 10, 2020

Happy Valentine’s Day!

This lovely statue sits on a park bench in Carmel, California, a few blocks from the ocean. It wasn’t until I looked at the photograph that I noticed the woman was holding a valentine heart.

In the second Detective Scott McGregor mystery, Murder Goes on Vacation, Scott has a girlfriend. Unfortunately, he gets involved in a case while they’re on vacation and doesn’t spend as much time with her as they had planned. They both question whether their relationship is working and have to make some difficult decisions. Will they split up or attempt to have a relationship that lasts a lifetime?

Wishing you a lifetime of love and happiness.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Beta Reading

A lady in my local writers’ organization asked me to read and give feedback on a short story she’d written. Although I had beta read for someone I know well, I was slightly nervous to read for a new acquaintance who had won an award for her writing.

She asked for my opinions, thoughts, and suggestions, and as I read, I realized it was easier than I’d expected. I’m not a grammar or punctuation expert, but I could tell when the story’s tension rose and fell. I recognized passages that were smooth and relayed humor or insight, and I noticed when prose was choppy or rough. I simply read the story and made comments and suggestions in the margin.

The bravest thing I’ve ever done was giving my first manuscript to someone else to beta read. When it was returned, I was shocked by all the comments even though they were supportive and helpful.

I grew as a writer while beta reading the short story. Too bad I forgot to run a spell check.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Book-Themed Parties

During the Martin Luther King holiday weekend, I joined the Tea Travellers for a walk-in-the-footsteps trip up the California coast by train. The trip celebrated J.S. Devivre’s Tea Cozy Mysteries, a five-book historical series set in Pacific Grove in the 1920s. As in the books, we visited Hearst Castle and Carmel, and stayed in the Pacific Grove Victorian bed and breakfast that was the fictional protagonist’s home.

Now that Detective McGregor’s second case, Murder Goes on Vacation, is almost ready for beta readers, I’ve been thinking about a book release party. The second book is set in Las Vegas although McGregor is on the Fresno police force. Both locations are unwieldy for an afternoon book launch party. The Las Vegas setting is a computer convention, but I’m guessing computer stores don’t allow parties in their aisles. However, there are some casinos in the area…

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy New Year!

Last January, I made a list of resolutions for 2019, but failed miserably keeping most of them. This January, I prefer to list my accomplishments from last year.
  • Retired 
  • Published a children’s picture book 
  • Traveled far and near 
  • Kept in touch with family and friends 
  • Became more involved in my local writers’ groups 
  • Donated to my favorite non-profit organizations 
  • Signed up for online classes in 2020 to improve my writing skills 

One of my mature friends told me he got wiser with age and stopped making New Year’s resolutions. I’m jumping on his boat.

Best wishes for a happy and fulfilling New Year!