Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July Photo A Day Challenge - Day 31

Topic of the Day

is

"An Unusual Thing I Bought"


Eyelashes!




Monday, July 30, 2012

Sunday, July 29, 2012

July Photo A Day Challenge - Day 29

The Topic of the Day

is

"A Favorite Country"



One of my favorite countries  is Greece. 

One of my favorite pieces of jewelry is from Greece.




It's a piece based on the Phaistos Disc.  The original Phaistos (also spelled Phaestos) Disc is on display at the archaeological museum of Heraklion in Crete, Greece.






















The Phaistos Disc is surrounded by mystery.

History:
In art and architecture, a meander is a decorative border constructed from a continuous line, shaped into a repeated motif. Such a design is also called the Greek Fret or Greek Key design, although these are modern words. The name "meander" recalls the twisting and turning path of the Maeander River. Meanders were among the most important symbols in ancient Greece; they, perhaps, symbolized infinity and unity; many ancient Greek temples incorporated the sign of the meander. The actual Phaistos Disc (Greek Δίσκος της Φαιστού, also spelled Phaistos Disk, Phaestos Disc) is a disk of fired clay from the Minoan palace of Phaistos, possibly dating to the middle or late Minoan Bronze Age (2nd millennium BC). It was originally discovered by Italian archaeologist Luigi Pernier, remarkably intact, on July 3, 1908 during his excavation of the first Minoan palace.


When discovered, the disc was found in the underground basement "temple depository" - known now as "room 8 in building 101" of a group of buildings to the northeast of the main palace. These basement cells, only accessible from above, were neatly covered with a layer of fine plaster, and amongst black earth and ashes, mixed with burnt bovine bones. This grouping of 4 rooms also served as a formal entry into the palace complex. Italian archaeologist Luigi Pernier recovered this remarkably intact "dish", about 15 cm in diameter and uniformly slightly more than one centimeter in thickness, on July 3, 1908 during his excavation of the first Minoan palace.

The original disc is about 15 cm in diameter (slightly more than one centimeter in thickness) and covered on both sides with a spiral of stamped symbols. Its purpose and meaning, and even its original geographical place of manufacture, remain disputed, making it one of the most famous mysteries of archaeology. This unique object is now on display at the archaeological museum of Heraklion in Crete, Greece.

There are 241 tokens on the disc, comprising 45 symbols (for example, "Man, Woman, Child, Bow, Arrow, Shield, Ship, Dove, etc.), mostly representing easily identifiable every-day things. In addition to these, there is a small diagonal line that occurs underneath the final sign in a group a total of 18 times. The disc shows traces of corrections made by the scribe in several places. Some scholars have pointed to similar resemblances with the Anatolian hieroglyphs, or with Egyptian hieroglyphs.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Friday, July 27, 2012

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

July Photo a Day Challenge - Day 26

Topic of the Day

is

"Sunshine"




this one taken by Donald S. Barley


July Photo A Day Challenge - Day 25

Topic of the Day

is

"Heart"






Tuesday, July 24, 2012

July Photo A Day Challenge - Day 24

Topic of the day

is

"A Stranger"



there's a stranger or two in this crowd





Monday, July 23, 2012

I'm So Excited!






Hank Phillippi Ryan sent this little email out today - - -



"BREAKING NEWS: Welcome to our very own Kaye Barley--who's joining Jungle Red as our resident commentator, reader, visionary, mystery maven, arbiter, pundit and prognosticator. Kind of like Andy Rooney, but nicer (much nicer), and with a darling husband, a perfect dog, a massive library and cute shoes. Watch for Oh, Kaye! Every first Sunday on Jungle Red!"




Am I excited?  Let's just say I've been struck kinda dumb by it all.  The most intelligent thing I've said today is "Squeeee!"


Most of you are familiar with the Jungle Red Writers. but for those of you who aren't, allow me to introduce them - - -




Jungle Red Writers
Eight smart and sassy crime fiction writers dish on writing and life. It's The View. With bodies.
 
Julia Spencer Fleming


Jan Brogan


Lucy Burdette


Hallie Ephron


Rhys Bowen


Deborah Crombie


Hank Phillippi Ryan


Rosemary Harris


So, yes.  I am excited. 

I'm trying to be cool, calm and collected about it all (can you tell?)







I am excited, and I am happy.  But mostly, I'm honored to be able to hang out with these remarkably talented women once a month. 

And I look forward to seeing you all there!


wow, huh?


just - - -


wow



July Photo A Day Challenge - Day 23

Topic of the Day

is

"Mirror"








Sunday, July 22, 2012

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Creative Writing; An Attempt to Satisfy Personal Curiosity by Bronson L. "Bo" Parker

As to biographical information, i. e., who I am; well I'm still trying to figure that one out. For more than half a century, I've hidden behind words, first as a news and sports reporter with a BS in Journalism from UT-Knoxville, my hometown.

Following that career, a quarter century was spent writing historical non-fiction. So, it was with a lot of naiveté and way too much self confidence that I decided some five years ago to write a novel, a mystery. I managed to get a well-known mystery writer with some forty books published to review my first manuscript. He sent me an eleven-page, single spaced letter. The first page and a half told me what I had done correctly. The other nine and a half pages listed the things I needed to learn. I am still learning.








CREATIVE WRITING; AN ATTEMPT TO SATISFY PERSONAL CURIOSITY
by
Bronson L. Parker




An insatiable curiosity has plagued me since early childhood. Much to “Santa’s” chagrin, interest was soon lost in merely winding up his gift of a toy train and watch it roll around an oval track. Taking apart the locomotive proved to be more fun. The innards of wind-up alarm clocks also became a favorite target. How’d they work?


This curiosity never waned. But people rather than mechanical things became the focus later in life when joining the working world as a news reporter, a craft governed by the five Ws of Journalism 101: who, what, where, when, and why. It was an easy life. Go out, get the facts, write the story, and move on. There were times, however, when the five Ws of a story satisfied the city editor, but not my curiosity.


A typical story of the day might be: A local businessman, traveling alone near midnight on a winding country road south of the city, was fatally injured when his car left the road and smashed into a tree.  There was no evidence of another vehicle involved, or that the man was intoxicated. The county sheriff’s deputies who handled the accident concluded it was simply a matter of driving too fast on a narrow road and losing control.


The news story would cover the five Ws. But such an incident was only one moment in a man’s life. What was the rest of his story? What was going on in his life that led him to be in that part of the county, over thirty miles away from both his home and business, at that time of night, and driving so fast? In the harried cycle of daily publication, those type stories disappeared into the realm of yesterday’s news, but they served to heighten my curiosity. “Why’d he do that?”


My curiosity stayed with me during the years after leaving the newspaper business, a time devoted to writing historical non-fiction.  This exercise was a more relaxed, slower process that allowed digging longer and deeper. Documentation could be found that included the location of every piece of field artillery used in a specific Civil War battle. However, in most cases, no amount of research unearthed an explanation for what motivated the men involved to made the decisions that led to the battle, or why they did what they did during it.  “Why’d they do that?”


After giving in to the persistent urging of family and friends to try my hand at creative writing, the first step back into that realm since college, the question became: how does one go about writing a novel?
Personal mentoring was combined with reading a lot of “how-to” books.  Several contained the phrases, “Write what you like,” and “Write what you know.”


Reading has never been considered a sprint race. A wham, bam, thank you, ma’am story without any explanation for the wham or the bam is not that satisfying. Those that made the biggest impression, the ones remembered, were those that told the entire story. They sated my curiosity within the context of the story. They did not make me stop and ask the question, “Why’d he or she do that?”


What was known is that each individual existence is the sum of all that has been experienced, a list of things so numerous and varied it defies enumeration. In the aggregate, these experiences define each person as distinctly as do fingerprints. Some part of that experience becomes the why, the reason a person says or does something at a given moment in their lives.


After seventy plus years of traveling along life’s road, a wealth of first-hand experience existed that spanned the spectrum from moments of happiness, joy, and contentment to encounters with unseen potholes; some small, of minor consequence, others jarringly deep, and life changing. They were viewed as explanations for the whys that followed.


So why not use that personal experience, at least in a fictional world, as a way to satisfy my curiosity about human nature? It would more than the creation a cast of characters to be plugged into a plot.  The story would be built around events, good and bad, that can affect a life. They would become the explanations for why things happened.  The characters and plot would be vehicles to tell the story.


This approach to creative writing now occupies much of my time; too much, if you ask my friends.  Some say it’s become an obsession. Others have called it a form of exorcism. Neither opinion has been rebutted.  It’s a slow process, one that would never support a book-a-year schedule.


It slow because finding the answer to the question, “Why’d he do that?” has proven to be far more difficult than assumed. It’s a complicated puzzle with many more pieces than first envisioned.  Looking for it, based on personal experience, is at times as difficult as looking for it in historical documents. The approach requires pulling memories and feelings off a back shelf of the mind and spending a lot of time thinking about another question.


“Why did I do that?”

July Photo A Day Challenge - Day 21

Topic of the Day

is

"Insect"



Friday, July 20, 2012

Margaret Maron's Sigrid Harald




Attention all Margaret Maron fans! And I know there's a bunch of you out there. 

Everyone loves Deborah Knott, right? 

But - have you read her earlier series? 

If not, here's your chance to get to know Sigrid Harald. 

Margaret is offering the Kindle version of the first in the series, ONE COFFEE WITH, this weekend for free. Starting tomorrow (Saturday) morning through Monday evening as a thank you to her readers. It's a great series, and one I love to bits.




Here's the chronological listing of the Sigrid series:

  • One Coffee With, 1981
  • Death of a Butterfly, 1984
  • Death in Blue Folders, 1985
  • The Right Jack, 1987
  • Baby Doll Games, 1988
  • Corpus Christmas, 1989
  • Past Imperfect, 1991
  • Fugitive Colors, 1995

Plus, Sigrid made an appearance, along with Deborah, in THREE-DAY TOWN (2011 Agatha Award for Best Novel) and will be making another in THE BUZZARD TABLE due out later this year.

July Photo A Day Challenge - Day 20

Topic of the Day

is

"Eyes"



Thursday, July 19, 2012

July Photo A Day Challenge - Day 19

Topic of the Day

is

"Animal" 
(no pets)


These guys come by the house for a visit every so often

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Parental Wings and Fowl Play by Sasscer Hill and Judy Hogan




Sasscer Hill and I became friends at the Malice Domestic Convention in 2011, during the awards banquet.  Sasscer was up for an Agatha Best First Novel Award, and I was a finalist that year in the Malice Domestic First Best Traditional Novel contest sponsored by St. Martin’s Press.  Since I hadn’t heard anything, I was sure I would not get the award, but two people right before the banquet had suggested I still might, so we were both nervous.  I had chosen to sit at her table, because I thought she should win Best First Novel.  I still think so. 

            People become closer when they go through difficulties together.  The suspense leading up to the announcements and our shared disappointment at not winning enhanced our connection, not to mention that we found out we both loved chickens.  We have different lifestyles (Sasscer is a horse person, raises horses, and her novels are about horse-racing; I am a small farmer, have done lots of organizing, was a published poet before venturing into mystery novels which feature a group of community activists), but we appreciate each other’s way of life.  We did our chat here a little differently, rather than back and forth.  Here is mine.  Then comes Sasscer’s.  We hope you’ll read our mysteries!  Our websites and blogs are at the end of each piece.



Judy:





I’m taking up Kaye Barley’s challenge to tell about our best friend experiences in childhood, especially the ones in which we felt betrayed by that friend.  I’ve realized, with a shock, that my mother was my best friend growing up.  She did betray me, not once but several times.  She had no business making me her best friend, but she was often lonely.  In her role as minister’s wife, she was convinced that she shouldn’t have a best friend in the congregation, and she met few other people she had anything in common with.  For her that meant sharing ideas in a liberal religious and political context.  My father had no problem having special friends who attended our church, but she did.  So I was selected.  My father, she later told me, had only really talked to her before they married and again, not long before he died of cancer.  She said she learned what he was thinking about in his Sunday sermons.

            Mother was the one who educated me about social justice issues, who explained sex to me.  “When Uncle Dick comes back from the Army, maybe Aunt Ruth will have another baby.”

            “Why does Uncle Dick have to come back?”  I was six, and she then read me a book about the birds and the bees.

            I was four when I learned that, if I made some excuse about not being able to sleep, she’d hold and rock me, and we’d talk about babies, my favorite subject.  She never refused.  When I was ten and older, we’d talk about child-rearing, religion, politics, the neighbors. 

            In 1948, when I was eleven, we lay in her bed late at night listening to the Democratic Convention.  She explained the significance of the Dixiecrats walking out of that convention (rejecting an equal rights plank the party had).  We were the only people in our Jacksonville, Florida neighborhood and I was the only one at school, who wanted Truman to win.  That was the year the newspaper headlines were already printed that Dewey had won, and then he didn’t.  I was so happy.

            She told me there was an abortion doctor operating next door in a big house that rented out rooms and small apartments.  From then on that house took on an evil aura for me.  Once she confided that we had only $15 in the bank until Daddy got paid.  This tickled me, and I told Cletus, the girl across the street.  Then I learned I wasn’t supposed to talk about that kind of news.  She got pregnant early in 1947, when I was nine and a half, and she shared her joy in that.  I knew she was determined to breast-feed this baby, and I saw her massaging her breasts daily.  My younger sister had been born by Caesarian, but Mother hoped to have a normal birth, and she did.  The first question I asked my father when he came back from the hospital to tell us we had a baby brother was: “Can she breast-feed him?”

            I told Mother everything, and she shared a lot with me, more than was wise.  She turned me into a kind of mother in her need.

            So when, at age thirteen, I didn’t want to wear lipstick, though my eighth grade classmates did, and my school friend Betty Kaye teased me about it–mid-year--I was very hurt when Mother joined in the teasing.  It should have been my decision, I felt then, but I did start wearing lipstick.  Maybe that was why I stopped altogether some years later.

            The most devastating thing she did in my early adolescence was to suggest I not go to a dance with my first boyfriend, Wesley, because he was “too short.”  Wesley became good friends in seventh grade, and he brought me a fresh gardenia every day when they were in bloom.  We loved each other.  We held hands.  We hadn’t even kissed.  We were both sensitive and artistic.  He was a gifted soprano, later a tenor.  I had already decided to be a writer.  It’s common knowledge that girls get their height first, but that didn’t sway Mother.  I told Wesley I couldn’t go to the dance.  I don’t know why Mother did that, but maybe she was afraid of my becoming sexual.  Not much danger at my age thirteen.  Or was it because Wesley and I loved each other so much?  Her idea was for me to date Michael O., who was as tall as me and also had red hair, like Wesley.  She even encouraged me to give a party later that eighth grade year, but Wesley was not invited.  I tried to like Michael, but there was no “connection” there.

            I was in New York City the summer after I finished college, and I met Wesley on a subway train.  He was taller than I.  I had a boyfriend by then, but I was happy to see him.  We were both happy about meeting, but we didn’t exchange addresses.

            Still later, in 2002, I found him via an internet search and wrote him a letter.  He called me up.  He was still in Florida, had married the same woman twice, and they had three grown daughters.  Our lives had gone very differently, but we write to each other now and then.  The basic “connection” is still there.  We changed over time.  He was a social worker and had an antique shop.  I involved myself in small press organizing and various kinds of teaching, writing, of course, and now farming.  He’s very laid back, procrastinates answering my letters and is in poorer health than I.  I’m active, always doing something, in very good health, happier, I’d say.  One does wonder sometimes.  But there aren’t any answers to “what if?”

            Had I had a different mother, my intellect and creativity, my social activism and tendency to help other people might have been stymied rather than cultivated, and Mother, because of her loneliness and my responsiveness, was the cultivator.

            What finally divided us and led to my becoming my own person was my falling in love with John Crawley, a young, thoughtful, wise black man from Virginia.  I was nineteen, and he was twenty-one.  We met at a Y Conference in Ohio.  When I came home afterwards, I told Mother I was in love with him, and she reacted with shock and fear: “What about the children?”  I was hurt, again, and only my father’s more careful response, telling me such a decision as to who I married was up to me, allowed me the freedom I was ready to claim, regardless.

            Mother didn’t remember her first negative reaction, but the memory is burned into my consciousness.  Our first open disagreement.  In the 1940s and 50s she had worked for equal rights, and the great bugaboo was intermarriage.  “Negroes don’t want intermarriage.  They want to be treated equally,” she’d say.  Maybe so, but I’d met a black man a lot like me, already a risk-taker, and we were very similar, in our essential natures.  He was very tall, but not a basketball player.  He studied philosophy and wanted to read the modern Christian theologians that my father read: Reinhold Niebuhr and Paul Tillich, whose books he couldn’t get from the Virginia State library.

            Mother’s initial reaction drove me away, drove a wedge between us.  I was no longer the perfectly behaved daughter who listened to all her advice and told her all my problems.  I never did, after that, fully trust her.

            Later, when I met John’s mother, after he died, and told her of my mother’s reaction to our love and how she and I had been alienated from each other for years, though in my 50s, in our family therapy, I was told: “Go love your mother.”  I tried to.  I eventually could accept her human limitations as well as my own.  Mrs. Crawley encouraged me also to forgive Mother and shared stories of how her mother had hurt her feelings, but she’d learned to forgive her.

            Forgiving our parents is essential to our own well-being and never easy, I think.  Mother is dead now, and I often think of how much my gifts and interests, my mind and imagination, were first nourished by her.


***




            Judy Hogan’s first mystery novel, Killer Frost, which was a finalist in the St. Martin’s Malice Domestic Mystery contest, comes out Sept. 1 from Mainly Murder Press.  Judy founded Carolina Wren Press (1976-91), and was co-editor of Hyperion Poetry Journal, 1970-81).  She has published five volumes of poetry and two prose works with small presses. She has taught all forms of creative writing since 1974. She joined Sisters in Crime in 2007 and has focused on writing and publishing traditional mystery novels.  The twists and turns of her life’s path over the years have given her plenty to write about.  She is also a small farmer, loves her chickens, and grows about half her food.  She lives in Moncure, N.C. near the Haw River.







***


Sasscer:



Like Judy, I had my crosses to bear as a child. Most of us did, one way or another. I am unable to point to any one person who “betrayed” me. But I can sure point to Lady Luck. Although I was born to a family that owned a little land, and a father with a law degree and a job at the Federal Trade Commission in DC, my father was a diagnosed manic depressive. Today, the fashionable term for the illness is Bipolar Disease. 

It was doubly unfortunate this occurred more than fifty years ago as lithium and other drugs used today were unknown. I do not blame my father. Not his fault. It was the miserable disease and the luck of the draw. His illness fueled three heart attacks, alcoholism, as well as stays at the loony bin, Sheppard Pratt, and the dreadful shock treatments he received there. My sister and I were shadowed by Mother’s constant fear that Daddy would lose his job and we would be penniless.


The family tobacco farm saved me as a child. Lady Luck had at least provided a retreat from my father’s wild freight train that roared through my childhood with changing carloads of mania and depression. You could see the train coming, but you never knew what was on it.


My father’s four maiden aunts lived at Pleasant Hills farm. They were all sane, kind, and clucked over me like hens. I loved the old home, the farm animals, and the land. I never wanted to be anywhere else and would beg to visit. As far as the “Aunts” were concerned, I could do no wrong. The ladies raised chickens, turkeys, an apple orchard and tended bountiful vegetable gardens. Sharecroppers raised the tobacco as well as corn, cows, Belgium draft horses and pigs. The Aunts, born before nineteen hundred, liked to save the drippings from bacon for lard. I still miss their flaky biscuits and homemade apple pies. I was lucky to know them.


If you glance at the photo of me with the rooster and you think I look a bit standoffish and tough, it’s because I was. I learned early to put up the mental shields and protect myself. My husband tells me the caption for the rooster picture should be “Get your own chicken.”




The best thing I inherited from my father was his sense of humor. Nothing keeps the abyss away like humor. It almost saved my father, too.


We lived in an apartment complex called Park Fairfax in Alexandria, Virginia. Daddy was a survivor, kept his job, and when I was about ten, we moved across the street into a bigger, better apartment next door to the complex director, Mr. Parker. Being the manager, Parker had a high opinion of himself. He loved flowering plants and stuffed the area in front of both his and my family’s apartment with blooming, potted plants. He never asked how we felt about this, and every so often more plants appeared.


My father purchased white price tags with strings, wrote a dollar amount on each tag, and tied one onto every plant. He was so amused by this, he could hardly stand himself. I might have giggled a little, too. The next morning all the plants were gone from our side, and Mr. Parker never spoke to my father again.


When I married, my husband and I moved into Pleasant Hills and we kept chickens for almost twenty years. I brought the first chicken home, plopped him onto the wooden porch in front of my previously urban husband and announced, “This is a chicken.” I had already named the bird “Hooster the Rooster.” Hooster marched to the edge of the porch and leaned over to inspect a cricket. He leaned over so far, he fell off. But as he ran away from us across the yard, his beak had a firm grip on that cricket. 

Not surprisingly, I favor British humor like “Fawlty Towers” and the “Monty Python” series. I love the ridiculous and am invariably drawn to those who share this love, like Judy Hogan. She totally “gets” that I love chickens because they are so silly. Besides, neither of us ever met a chicken who betrayed us.


Bio:

Sasscer Hill is an award nominated author of mystery novels and short stories, including Full Mortality, which was short listed for both Agatha and Macavity Best First Mystery Novel Awards. Her books feature the young protagonist, jockey Nikki Latrelle.

Her second novel in the series, Racing from Death, was published in April of 2012. To date, the mystery has received excellent reviews from the Baltimore Sun, Mystery Scene Magazine, The Horse of the Delaware Valley and award winning/best selling author, Margaret Maron.

Sasscer lives on a Maryland farm and has bred racehorses for many years. A winner of amateur steeplechase events, she has galloped her horses on the farm and trained them into the winner's circle.


Sasscer graduated with honors in English Literature from Franklin and Marshall College.

Book titles: Full Mortality, Best First Agatha and Macavity Nominee; Steam Roller, a Nikki Latrelle Short Story, 2011; Racing From Death, 2012.


Link to Sasscer Hill’s website where the first chapters of each of her books can be read.



Link to Amazon page for “Racing from Death.” http://tinyurl.com/7elojmj



July Photo a Day Challenge - Day 17

Topic of the Day

is

"Addiction"




Monday, July 16, 2012

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Friday, July 13, 2012

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

July Photo A Day Challenge - Day 10

Topic of the Day

is

"Your Favorite Color"







Monday, July 9, 2012

Sunday, July 8, 2012

July Photo A Day Challenge - Day 8

Topic of the Day

is

"A Collection"



Buying a new book? Consider one by Michael W. Sherer

I'm sharing a letter Michael W. Sherer posted at Facebook.
Please do what you can, and help spread the word.

Dear FB/Twitter Friends/Fans,

Most of you don’t know me, so I’m not sure how to say this without sounding crass or self-serving. So I’m going to swallow my pride and just say it. I need your help. Call it a sign of the times, or perhaps it’s a personal failing, but here I am.

This Tuesday, I’m going into the hospital for my third angiogram and what looks like my second stent. Despite a healthy l...ifestyle (including smart eating habits and tennis five days a week) I have coronary artery disease. I’m not concerned about the procedure, nor the outcome—I look forward to a lot of active years ahead with my family. My concern is the price tag associated with the procedure.

I have health insurance. But two years ago, the rising cost of that insurance forced me and my family into a catastrophic plan, one with a high deductible. Even then, my monthly premiums have risen to more than $1,000 per month for a family of three. So, I will pay for most of this coming procedure out-of-pocket, an unforeseen cost I hadn’t budgeted for. And my next book doesn’t come out until October.

I’m not looking for charity. I know there are many more people out there facing far more dire circumstances than mine. (Our neighbors just sold their house because the bank was about to foreclose.) What I want are readers, mystery lovers who would be interested in an award-winning series or an award-winning stand-alone suspense novel. Three of my seven published novels, along with a short story featuring my series protagonist, are available on Kindle and/or Nook. If you know of anyone who might be interested in inexpensive, high-quality entertainment, please share or retweet this message.

To find out more about me, and my books, please visit my website—www.michaelwsherer.com.

I won’t repeat this plea. If you know of people who might have missed it, please tell them about it. If you can help me grow my audience of readers, thank you. (And if you have ideas on how to truly lower healthcare costs in this country, please tell Congress.)

Best,

Mike

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Pleasure of Writing by Elizabeth S. Craig

Elizabeth’s latest book, Quilt or Innocence, released on June 5. Elizabeth writes the Memphis Barbeque series for Penguin/Berkley (as Riley Adams), the Southern Quilting mysteries for Penguin/NAL, and the Myrtle Clover series for Midnight Ink and independently. She blogs daily at Mystery Writing is Murder.








The Pleasure of Writing

by Elizabeth S. Craig


Sometimes I get bogged down with my deadlines. My writing-related emailing smacks of work, book promoting can be both baffling and exhausting.


Some days, I think it's easy to lose track of why we're writing. It can also be easy to forget why we enjoy it so much.


The last few months have been very busy ones for me. I've dived from writing one book into writing another. I've edited one while brainstorming another, while promoting another's release.


I'm a very task-oriented writer so I've approached my days with lists of what I wanted to accomplish. Goals and to-dos. Scenes sketched out and lists of editing priorities.


But I can't just write to task and not have that spark of excitement and fun in my work. So, because I am so task-oriented, I made another list. This one reminded me what I enjoy most about writing.


I love:

When characters come alive. And when readers email about particular characters as if they were real.

When I'm plugging through a story and following my original plan and an even better idea occurs to me.


When I realize I've got the opportunity for a plot twist.


When the house is quiet and I'm typing away. When I'm so deep in my story that a small sound like my dog's snoring makes me jump.


When a reader says she's read all my books. That just bowls me over.


When I replace a so-so word with an exciting word.


When I laugh while writing a scene. (I've done this in public before. Be careful when you write in public.)


When I can see a fictional setting in my head.


When I sit down to write in the morning and I'm excited about the scene I'm working on next.


This list has kept me focused on why I'm writing. I'm writing because I love it. It's a privilege to share it with others.


As a writer, what do you love best about writing? As a reader, what engages you most with a book?





July Photo A Day Challenge - Day 7

Topic of the Day

Is

"Garden"




These are all pictures Donald took of flowers in our yard

Friday, July 6, 2012

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

July Photo A Day Challenge - Day 4

Topic of the Day

Is

"Fun"




Today is Harley Doodle Barley's Birthday !!!
he is seven years old



Tuesday, July 3, 2012

July Photo A Day Challenge - Day 3

Topic of the Day

Is

"The Best Part of Your Day"



Monday, July 2, 2012