Monday, December 27, 2021

Home for the Holidays

At my house, holidays are juggled. My adult children have multiple commitments, so we celebrate Thanksgiving during the weekend and Christmas on Christmas Eve. It works well for everyone involved.

The house was full on Christmas Eve. I set two tables for our party of eight (and four dogs) to allow for comfortable spacing, and everyone brought a part of the meal. It was delightful hearing simultaneous conversations and laughter as we ate.

After dessert, we opened presents. The kids surprised me with their thoughtful writing gifts. My son gave me a ‘smart’ mug to keep my tea warm (he’d seen me reheat a cup multiple times while I’m working on a book), and a ‘space pen’ designed to write at any angle and even underwater.

My daughter gave me a spa day – a very appreciated and privately humorous gift. She has no idea that the character she inspired for my series was kidnapped from a spa in my current work-in-progress. The plot revolves around the detective trying to find her while she’s trying to escape and find help.

I’m glad my holiday commitments are over, but I’m already looking forward to the next family get-together.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Hitting Refresh

I survived November’s holidays, home improvement projects, busy schedules, and social commitments. But I didn’t write during the month. Now it’s time to take a breath and refocus.

Today’s critique group meeting was a learning experience. My critique partner’s well-written submission was a shining example of the elements belonging in a cozy mystery’s opening chapter. A main character with conflicts and personal problems was set against a community backdrop with an interwoven layer of intrigue. A corpse coupled with overheard comments pointed the finger of suspicion toward the main character who must solve the murder to clear her name.

The submission triggered ideas for sharpening the writing, conflict, and action in my police detective story. I considered revision ideas, made a plan, and wrote down my goals. Step by step, I’ll reach the finish line.