Sunday, March 21, 2021


I’ve reignited my reading habit. I used to read two or three books a week but somehow stalled during the pandemic.

I grabbed The Caller: An Inspector Sejer Mystery by Karin Fossum from my dusty to-be-read pile. I was amazed at her skill layering in backstory and subplots for multiple characters. Fossum moved smoothly between multiple point-of-view (POV) characters in the same scene – something I’ve been taught not to do. I don’t know if writing styles have changed since the 2009 publication, if the difference in technique is due to the book’s Scandinavian origin, or if this is the author’s personal style.

Reading The Caller demonstrated lessons from an online class I just finished. POV, internal dialogue, backstory, descriptions, deep dives into thought processes and emotions, etc. all shone from the pages. I have frequently run across the advice to read – a lot – to improve your writing, and this book supports that advice.

The reading habit should be instilled early in a child’s life. My favorite children’s literacy program is AHHAH’s Pop Up Lending Library (PULL) Station campaign. View the PULL Station photo gallery to see these artfully decorated boxes which are filled with free books. If you want to build your own PULL Station, download a how-to manual.

Develop (or strengthen) a healthy Spring habit – Read!

Monday, March 8, 2021

Celebrate Everything!

The pandemic lockdown began one year ago in mid-March. I was attending my first ever book-related convention, Left Coast Crime, in San Diego. The convention shut down the first day.

Recently, the occasional bouts of cabin fever have hit more frequently. I’m burned out on online meetings, and writing doesn’t fulfill my need for escapism. Television, the great time waster, leaves me feeling restless.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Celebrating the little things will re-ignite my interest. And March has many things to celebrate – first month of the year starting with an “M,” daylight savings time change day, St. Patrick’s Day, the beginning of spring, and birthdays.

Millicent Hart’s birthday is March 26th. I won’t be throwing an invitation-only gala with formal dress, champagne, and hors d’oeuvres, or inviting the characters from the first Detective McGregor mystery, but I can have a real birthday cake. I’m looking forward to it already.