Saturday, October 15, 2022

Professional Crastinator’s Tip of the Day

My publisher asked me to do a ‘column’ of audio “Tips of the Day” that focus on my expertise as a professional crastinator.

(I’m not sure, but this might have something to do with being a year overdue for submitting my third Detective Scott McGregor mystery for publication.)

I write scripts for the tips, then record the content. My publisher edits the recording then uploads it to the “Gooder Sense and Guidance” playlist  of the Omni Ocademy’s YouTube channel. My video titles begin with “Professional Crastinator DJ Piper talks…”

The audio tip column might have been intended as a ‘punishment’ or a ‘wake-up call,’ but if so, it backfired. The tips are a blast to write and record. And don’t tell my publisher, but it’s another great way to procrastinate editing and revising my book.

Listen to my first “Professional Crastinator’s Tip of the Day.”

My second tip features a very special guest.

Saturday, October 1, 2022

The Good, the Bad, and Texas

The moment I hit Texas, my friend of over fifty years whisked me off for barbeque, cole slaw, fried okra, and iced tea. Friends, family, and food draw me back “home” regardless of the exact geographic location.

My friend is one of my muses. She helped spur ideas for a plot I’m writing as a short story. During the visit, she read the story’s draft and gave incredible feedback. Nothing beats a beta-reading muse.

I reaped the benefits of having a beta reader who matched the demographics of a major character in the story. I did my best to imagine how an octogenarian character would think and react but missed the mark. My friend hit the bullseye.

In addition to visiting friends, my two-week cultural and culinary vacation included Houston’s Museum District, afternoon tea, lots of good Southern eatin’, and local distilleries and breweries.

But Texas temperatures flirted with either side of one hundred degrees the entire time I was there. And the mosquitoes … the Texas mosquitoes have such hardy appetites they should be blood donors afterwards. (Hmm … Could a slapped mosquito deposit an innocent person’s blood and DNA at a crime scene?)

I got lots of inspiration on my trip and added characters and plot points for a cozy mystery featuring a volunteer worker at a Victorian house museum.