Friday, December 15, 2023

Christmas with Characters

As an author, I need to view my fictional characters as real people to help them come to life on the page and in the reader’s mind.

At Christmas time, when a decorated live tree fills Lynn Carter’s home with the scent of evergreen, will she be reminded of happy holidays with her family or of being lost in the forest?

Lynn Carter is Detective Scott McGregor’s girlfriend and one of three point-of-view characters in “Forever After,” the third Detective McGregor mystery (to be released in 2024). The story is set in Washington State’s Puget Sound, an area of great natural beauty with forest-covered islands.

Lynn has physical and emotional scars from the literary ordeal. How will the trauma impact her in future stories?

Wishing you and yours Happy Holidays.

Friday, December 1, 2023

Thanksgiving Tradition

Bluegrass Turkey Jam “Founders” (2000)
A favorite holiday tradition began over twenty years ago with my first Thanksgiving weekend Bluegrass Turkey Jam.

In the 1980s, I’d hosted weekend potluck exchanges of Thanksgiving leftovers. But in 2000, the Saturday event evolved into a turkey feast with potluck side dishes and desserts followed by live music.

That first year, I’d expected six bluegrass loving friends to come to dinner. A few hours before they were to arrive, I got a call from one of them, asking if she and her husband could bring four more musicians. “They’re good,” she said. And, boy, were they.

From that humble beginning, the party grew and grew, and musicians I didn’t know often showed up. One year, fifty people drifted in and out of my house between afternoon and midnight, but most years there were 15-25 players and 30-40 guests in total.

Through the years, the music was predominantly bluegrass, but often included classic rock and roll, blues, jazz, and country. The annual party was a holiday highlight that ended due to the covid pandemic.

I wasn't going to have a party this year but decided to invite a few friends over after all. I’m glad I did because I didn’t realize how much I’d missed it.

Music is such a part of my life that it’s included in my books.