Saturday, April 15, 2023

Character Names

“The Power of Names” – Keith Cronin
I was reading a writer’s blog that included this meme, and it brought back memories.

One of my villains was named after a rescue dog. That dog made Cujo seem mild mannered and calm. In fact, Cujo was one of his nicknames.

A dog behavioralist and trainer took him to her house for a month-long boot camp session. He needed a second session. Once when I picked him up for a weekend at home, the trainer said, “He’s doing better, but he’ll never be perfect.”

The dog needed a third boot camp session, but the trainer moved out of state over the weekend. Coincidence? Possibly.

A co-worker beta read my detective story. As soon as she read the character name, she knew he ‘dunnit.’

Naming villains after someone (or something) in your life can be therapeutic. I sure enjoyed it.

Monday, April 3, 2023

New Beginnings

My son moved out of the house late last year but held my bedroom hostage for an additional three months. Last Friday, he removed the rest of his belongs. Saturday, I cleaned and refilled the room with the guest furniture that had been stuffed into my bedroom and office.

A weight lifted from my mind, and I’m decompressing. He was helpful around the house and a pleasure to spend time with, but I’d felt increasingly unsettled and disorganized during his stay. I couldn’t pinpoint specific reasons.

Yesterday I browsed Hallie Ephron’s Writing & Selling Your Mystery Novel and ran across her advice to “set up a space for writing.” Hallie writes more effectively with a dedicated writing area.

Because my office was overcrowded with guest room stuff, I’d been writing on the dining table. And every time I had company, or my housecleaner was scheduled, I’d pile up my work, shove it somewhere in the office, and lock the door.

My laptop’s file dates reveal a history of long gaps in productive writing. Now I look forward to reorganizing my office and getting back to work.