It’s lovely to see friends again, and to be closer to family. On the downside, the house needs so much work it feels like there can never be enough time or money in the world to see this one through to a happy ending.
On the upside, I’ve been able to resume work on my novel, and that feels fantastic. It’s wonderful to be reunited with my characters and their world. Which, come to think of it, is now my world since the book is set right here near Mt. Rainier.
For those of you who don’t yet know, it’s a thriller involving the eruption of Mt. Rainier and a small community which becomes isolated in the aftermath, harboring a killer among the residents. Visit My Books page to see the “trailer.”
On the topic of finishing a novel…
This week I enjoyed helping my friend, author Amber Meyer, choose the cover for her humorous new book. It’s called Puppy Love, Lessons in Disobedience, and is soon to be released. That was very exciting, and tough! I’m happy to see there are a lot of great designers out there that I can call upon when my turn comes, but I have an awful lot of work to do before that happens.
Once I finish the first draft, there are several rounds of editing to go through, then formatting and all of the nitty gritty details. Then cover design and deciding on a title. And, finally, all sorts of things I haven’t even dreamed of yet. I’m focusing, now, on that critical first step of finishing the draft, and I’m so happy to be back on the job.
If you subscribe to Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, look for me in the March/April 2017 issue.
The magazine and I go way back–to my great grandmother’s basement the summer before I started Junior High. I found a stack of AHMM and its sister publication, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, and started reading. Through all the intervening years, I’ve never stopped. Good stuff. And AHMM has always had a kind word for me, nearly always attaching a handwritten note of encouragement to my rejection letters to lessen the sting!
If you visit my Extras page, you’ll see that I’ve added some information about writing competitions.
There are three or four contests I try to stay current with, entering on a regular basis. It’s always nice to be able to say I’m a prize-winning author. Plus, I like to think the challenge of writing to prompt is good exercise for my creative brain.
Last weekend, I participated in the Writer’s Weekly 24 Hour contest. They give you some material, and you have 24 hours to incorporate it into a short story. I’ve won several prizes in this contest, and a while back, I got an honorable mention for my story Furrows, which has become a favorite for many of my readers.
The First Line Literary Journal gives you the first line of your story, which you must use verbatim. The Writer’s Digest Your Story competition features a prompt for which you write either a story, or an opening line to a story, depending on the month. They alternate, requiring a story one month, an opening line the next.
So, go check out my favorite writing contests. They’re fun and (mostly) free!
All in all, it’s good to be back.
I’ll be living out of a suitcase and sleeping on the couch until sometime in March, but it’s all part of the adventure. Woohoo! Nearly all my time will be sucked up by painting and grouting, scrubbing and organizing, pushing a large, unwieldy cart down the aisles at Lowe’s, and fielding estimates for window replacements, carpeting, landscaping, roofing, decking, and so on. And so on. And on and on and on.
I’ll have to guard my writing time and rock steady. After all, in addition to writing my novel, I’ve got to produce enough short stories to send to magazines and anthologies, as well as those that go out to you, my faithful readers, on a monthly basis. It’s a tall order, but there’s nothing I’d rather be doing, so I’ll give it my all. Thank you for coming along on my adventure.
If you haven’t signed up for my reader’s group, get on it!
Join the group and I’ll send you a free digital copy of my collection of short suspense, What Leads A Man To Murder, and set you up for future bonuses. Also, check out the reviews on my home page, my short stories tab, my books tab, and my extras for new additions. And accept my wishes for a most happy new year!