Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Happy New Year!

I’d like to be the first to wish you Happy New Year!

Since I post on Wednesdays and next Wednesday is Christmas and I’ve chosen not to post that day (but to kick back and enjoy it with my family), this will be my last post for this year.

I’m pleased with the way my writing work has gone in 2013. Here’s a brief recap:

I finished my manuscript of the first Fat Cat novel, now titled FAT CAT AT LARGE, turned it in to my Berkley Prime Crime editor on time, and am pretty sure I can finish the edits she suggested by the end of this month.

Untreed Reads published my Neanderthal novel, DEATH IN THE TIME OF ICE, and I’ve gotten some terrific reviews. I’m still working to get it out there into the wide world as much as possible. For now, it’s in e-book form only, but a paperback should be published by Untreed Reads in 2014.

Barking Rain Press published my Cressa Carraway Musical Mystery, EINE KLEINE MURDER, and again, I was gratified by the excellent reviews it received. I’m also working hard to get more notice for this book. It’s out in e-book and paperback.

My first Imogene Duckworthy mystery, CHOKE, was produced in audio by Veronica Newton. It’s selling pretty well, but of course, I’d like it to sell really, really well.

I succeeded in getting 3 short stories published, but several more have been accepted for publication either later this month or in 2014. One was accepted for an anthology that was never printed, however. That was disappointing. I’ll do something with it some day.

Oh yes, my husband and I moved from Texas to Tennessee. It’s actually amazing I got anything done between redoing a bathroom, the yard, the lights, and finding our way around Knoxville.

EINE KLEINE MURDER was a finalist for the Silver Falchion at Killer Nashville--a very proud moment for me!

I hope next year brings more publications and many more sales!

(Links to all my publications are at the right and at

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Drones and Robots

The buzz, lately, has been the drones that Amazon plans to use to deliver packages. Not for few years and in a limited capacity. Still, it’s pretty 1984 stuff. Well, maybe 2084, but you know what I mean.

However, didyou know that Amazon is planning, more immediately, to use robots in the warehouses? 4 minute video:
Staples and Best Buy already use these! I had no idea.

Amazon declines to comment.

Here are a couple of hilarious recordings of Samantha West, a telemarketing robot:

These are great stories for science fiction writers. But what about people? Are we going to become obsolete. We can just sit around designing robots, I guess, and waiting for packages to be delivered from the sky.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Weather and the Writer

I’m sure that, if you’re a writer, you’ve used weather to set the mood or to impede your intrepid main character, or something like that.

But how do your own personal attitudes color your writing? If you love spring, do you use fall and winter--maybe even summer--for hostile settings? If you love fall, could you describe spring lovingly?

I love winter. I dwelt on the cold a lot in my one (so far) Neanderthal novel. In fact, one day I finished up a writing session that had gone on for two or three hours. I had been writing of the impending doom of the cold season and the scarcity of game. I had literally been shivering and my toes were icy. But when I woke up from writing, I was shocked to notice that it was the depth of August in Texas and it was, in fact, sweat-dripping hot out. When the sun coming in the window hit my eyes, I blinked, it was so bright after the darkness where I’d been.

Everywhere I’ve lived, April has been a lovely month. Spring is easy to like, tender blossoms and color bursting forth from ground that looked dead so recently. 

Autumn is gorgeous almost everywhere, too--everywhere that it occurs. That time of year gets my blood going. I can easily write about the colors of the trees and shuffling my shoes through the dry, crackling leaves.

Could I write about summer so lovingly? I’m not sure. We lived in Texas for nearly thirty years and each year, more and more, I dreaded the advent of summer. (There are only two seasons in Texas, after all: summer and another season that is not summer.) Now, living in Tennessee, I’m overjoyed at the frosty mornings and the fact that I can wear sweaters without discomfort. I even bought a pair of boots to wear with skirts. Heretofore, for many years, I’ve worn sandals nearly year round. 

What’s your favorite season, and how does that affect what you write?

Some seasonal poetry for your pleasure--here’s the Middle English poem about summer:

Sumer is icumen in,
Lhude sing, cuccu;
Groweth sed
and bloweth med,
And springth the wode nu;
Sing, cuccu!

Awe bleteth after lomb,
Lhouth after calue cu;
Bulluc sterteth,
Bucke uerteth,
Murie sing, cuccu!

Cuccu, cuccu,
Wel singes thu, cuccu;
Ne swic thu naver nu.

Sing, cuccu, nu; sing, cuccu;
Sing, cuccu; sing, cuccu, nu!

[Spring has arrived,
Sing loudly, cuckoo!
The seed is growing
And the meadow is blooming,
And the wood is coming into leaf now,
Sing, cuckoo!

The ewe is bleating after her lamb,
The cow is lowing after her calf;
The bullock is prancing,
The billy-goat farting,

Sing merrily, cuckoo!
Cuckoo, cuckoo,
You sing well, cuckoo,
Never stop now.

Sing, cuckoo, now; sing, cuckoo;
Sing, cuckoo; sing, cuckoo, now!]

Then there’s this parody by Ezra Pound:

Winter is icumen in,
Lhude sing Goddamm,
Raineth drop and staineth slop,
And how the wind doth ramm!
Sing: Goddamm.

Skiddeth bus and sloppeth us,
An ague hath my ham.
Freezeth river, turneth liver,
Damm you; Sing: Goddamm.
Goddamm, Goddamm, 'tis why I am, Goddamm,
So 'gainst the winter's balm.
Sing goddamm, damm, sing goddamm,
Sing goddamm, sing goddamm, DAMM.

pictures from

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

CHOKE Giveaway!

To celebrate my newest audio book, I’m giving away 5 free copies! This is an MP3 file, so you can listen to it just about anywhere*, on any device. Just comment on this page between today and Saturday the 23rd to enter. (If you have trouble commenting, you can email me at kayegeorge at gmail dot com instead.) (Here’s a little trick that helps me with the blurry codes--hit control and the plus sign to enlarge the screen. You can do it several times until the code is big enough to see. Keep track of how many times you do it! That way you can hit control and the minus sign to get your screen back to normal.)

If you don’t know anything about my Imogene Duckworthy series, I’ll give you the teaser.

Twenty-two-year-old Imogene Duckworthy has been waiting tables at Huey's Hash in tiny Saltlick, TX, itching to jump out of her rut and become a detective. When Uncle Huey is found murdered in his own diner, a half-frozen package of mesquite-smoked sausage stuffed down his throat, Immy, an unwed mother who has always longed to be a PI, gets her chance to solve a real crime.

There’s a sample at the site: I think you’ll agree that my reader, Veronica Newton, had just the right voice for this book.

The reviews have been terrific. Here’s a snippet from one: How can such an off-the-wall funny mystery be so well written?

To see if you’ve won a copy, please check back on Saturday, either here, or by email. If you leave you email in the comment, I’ll contact you.

*Be careful about listening to this book at work or in public. You may end up laughing pretty loud.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

NEW! CHOKE as an audio book

This project is finally complete! It took a few weeks after everything was turned in, but Amazon has approved my ACX project and my very first published novel has been read by Veronica Newton and is for sale at

If you’d like to listen to this book instead of read it on an e-reader or as a paperback, here’s your chance. You can pick it up at

(Didn’t Karen Phillips at do a terrific job resizing the cover for audio?)

Please let me know if you like this version. Thanks!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


You may have been my facebook post on this, but I’ve been thinking more about this operation. Our neighbor had a very tall tree taken down today. A large limb had destroyed the garage roof, and this was just after the whole house had been re-roofed. The insurance company paid to finish taking the limb down, but the entire tree needed to be removed so it didn’t continue to fall on the house!

I’m afraid of heights, so the guy in the cherry picker fascinated me. I think they call it a bucket, though. The other impressive part of the operation was the choreography. The guy in the bucket would slash the limbs off, letting them fall gracefully to the ground--but with a loud thump (and probably some holes in the ground). At an unseen signal, he would quit cutting and the ground crew would step in and heft the logs to the wood chipper (great murder weapon, I was thinking). I watched and watched for communications between them, but they all seemed to just know when to get out of the way of falling limbs and when to gather them up.

Those are good writing lessons, aren’t they? Trimming out the dead wood--and pacing. When to step it up and when to slow it down.

The only worrisome part was the guy who kept a constant cigarette going around all that sawdust!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Self-serving Blog Today

I notice a lot of folks touting their scary stories, since it’s almost Halloween. If you’re still looking for some, these first three are cheap--99 cents!

These three were all written for the late, lamented Dark Valentine ezine:

Shipwreck, written on a challenge from a prompt 
Twelve DrummersDrumming (a very dark Christmas tale, but fitting for any season)
The Bathroom, inspired by the fall that tore my rotator cuff

This one is free!
My broken Roomba gave me fodder for a zombie story that appeared in Kings River Life Magazine last year.

Then there are these tales of the last day on earth, Nightfalls.
 (paperback also)

Some scary stories are in All Things Dark and Dastardly.

Mangled adult fairy tales in this grim collection, Grimm Tales.

Last, but not least, is BROKE, the third Imogene Duckworthy mystery, centered around a haunted house. All ebook formats at Untreed ReadsPaperback at Amazon

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Blast from the Past in Cressa Carraway Land

My niece sent me this picture of the author (me) at Crescent Lake from a few years ago. My nephew is in the foreground and my daughter is walking away. I’m not sure what I’m holding! It could be a very small fish.

One time when a bunch of family was gathered there, the kids caught 15 sunfish. Small sunfish. They were so proud of them, that my mom and I scale, filleted, breaded, and fried all of them. I think each fish was about 2 bites worth. This is proof that my mom was as crazy as I am. But the kids loved it.

For a visit to Crescent Lake Club with more sinister overtones, pick up a copy of EINE KLEIN MURDER, either in print, digital, or audio form. Great place to visit!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Yard Update

Our landscapers were busy last week! Five trees were removed, three from the front yard, and the many, many plants were removed. They were beautiful and we enjoyed them throughout the spring and summer, but weeding is not our hobby. So we’ve simplified.

New lawn has been seeded under the straw and the remaining green, which our landscaper refused to call grass, has been aerated and overseeded. Aerated the heck out of it, was the exact phrase.

Now we’re watering every other day and hoping to see nice, new, green grass in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, our neighbors have thanked us for removing the pampas grass. They can now see to back out of their driveway. We can, too! The pinestraw, weighed down by rocks, is covering up plastic that will, we all hope, kill the horrible English ivy that covered that part of the yard.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

If You're Near Austin

I’m SO proud of the writing group I belonged to when I lived in Austin, Texas! They’re still writing, turning out priceless prose, some with publishing success, some are still breaking in. But all of them are out there swinging. The event they’re putting on, Anatomy of a Mystery, is just an example. On November 9th, at Book People, the free sessions will run from 9:30 to 2:00, with presentations by Reavis Z. Wortham, Karen MacInerney, and Janice Hamrick, all successful local writers. After the last presentations, the audience has a chance for discussion with the authors. There is also special swag available for the first 25 attendees.

They’re called Austin Mystery Writers. Check out the flyer:

Here’s the facebook page also:

I’m loving living in Tennessee, but wish I were back in Texas for November 9th!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Some research notes for my prehistory novel

At one point, I thought I might include Endnotes in DEATH IN THE TIME OF ICE. I think they would have gotten in the way of the story, though, since it's fiction. I DID do a ton of research, though, and would like to let you in on a little of it, if you're interested.

Please click on the tab above that says Neanderthal. It says that because the title is too long for the tab. There's a lot to be said for short titles! Below the cover will be the notes. They're rather long and include the texts or websites I took the material from. If you decide to look at them, I hope you get something out of it!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Next new house project: The yard

I know the yard was beautiful all spring and into the summer, blooming with daffodils, peonies, irises, daylilies, and non-stop roses. However, due to several factors, horribleness occurred.

It rained and rained and rained. Weeds loved that. Some of the nicer plants rotted. Poison ivy and poison oak took over the extensive flower beds.

I had to be out of town enough that, well, the horribleness occurred. Something had to be done. For one thing, there are too many trees in the front yard. Some of them have to go. In the flower bed beneath three of them, weeds don’t even grow! Well, except for poison ivy, and it doesn’t thrive there.

For another thing, the flower beds are too large and too many. There’s no way we’ll be able to keep them up. (By “we” I mean “I” since I’m the only one who tends plants in this family.)

We’ve gathered estimates and have hired a landscaper and a tree company. The tree company will take down 3 of the trees and grind out the stumps. Sadly, one of the trees is the weeping cherry that was so gorgeous. The only reason it has to go is that it is dying. The branches are barer and barer every week and the trunk is almost falling apart.

The landscaper has sprayed twice in preparation for clearing most of the plants. The plan is to end up with one smaller flower bed that gets sun. As many bulbs as possible will be saved and moved, and we can always get more.

I’ve tried to give the roses away, but the neighbors don’t want them. Hey, I understand--I’m not a rose person either. And these roses are planted right at the curb where a passenger exiting a parked car will get stuck! Not too hospitable.

We’re not sure how long this will take, but eventually, the yard will be lots more grass than it is now. We hope.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Guest today: J. H. Bográn

I welcome J. H. Bográn to my Travels today. His book, FIREFALL, takes us across the US to Central America on a wild ride. His first statement below is that Spanish is his first language. Don't let this fool you! His English writing reads like an American-born speaker.

Straddling two cultures

My native language is Spanish. I began learning English halfway through high school. I fell in love with thrillers in my first year in college when a friend of mine presented me with a box of old paperbacks where I discovered Ken Follett, Robert Ludlum, and Clive Cussler among others.

So why am I writing novels in English? Easy, because my mind began phrasing stories in that language way before I thought of writing in English. I believe I recognized English as the language to tell stories in a subconscious level.

Now, don’t think I forgot Spanish. I’d never do that. Perusing my website you’d find that I have several projects—screenplays, flash fiction, even novels—that are in Spanish.

In the writing of Firefall, I incorporated bits from the two cultures as I have two main characters, one from each nation, who must learn to work together, not unlike an odd couple of sorts.

Research plays an important role when I’m developing characters that live, and have grown up, in the U.S. For instance, Sebastian Martin from Firefall was born and raised in New York, then moved to Dallas. I had the opportunity to interview people from the two cities, both natives and late-arrivals. I got wonderful material from a newcomer’s perspective of Dallas, as my main character is, thus I was able to add some Yankee flavor to his descriptions. Although I’ve visited New York a couple of times, I must admit I still have yet the pleasure to be in Dallas. I’ve come as far as Houston, where I bought a few state maps and fridge magnets with the Lone Star logo. Hopefully that is enough until I can make a proper visit.

We’ve all heard about how people like to visit exotic locations in novels. Then in hit me, I live in what can be very exotic to people in other parts of the world. Proud as I am of my heritage, and of course, also a bit of “write what you know,” I made a few places in Honduras the main locations for the novel.

The action of Firefall takes place in Dallas, where the main character Sebastian Martin works, but also in San Pedro Sula and most important the port city of Tela. A few scenes take place in New York, Guatemala and Puerto Cortés. Oh, and let’s not forget the erupting volcano of Masaya in Nicaragua!

These days I write in both languages, hoping that they complement each other instead of running parallel, or worse, run interference.

Author Bio and links:
J. H. Bográn, born and raised in Honduras, is the son of a journalist. He ironically prefers to write fiction rather than fact. José’s genre of choice is thrillers, but he likes to throw in a twist of romance into the mix. His works include novels and short stories in both English and Spanish. He’s a member of the Short Fiction Writers Guild and the International Thriller Writers where he also serves as the Thriller Roundtable Coordinator and contributor editor their official e-zine The Big Thrill.

You can find this book at:

Follow J. H. here:
Website at:
Twitter: @JHBogran
Amazon author page:

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Why Are Mystery Writers So Nice?

I was at Killer Nashville, having lunch with Annamaria Alfieri, whom I had just met. We were discussing a session she’d attended about human trafficking (I had not been to it) and why there’s such a lot of it in Tennessee (a very chilling subject). (The main reason is that Tennessee has so many interstates running through it. More miles than any other state, I think I read once.)

Our waiter, however, must not have heard the gist of our horrifying conversation. He noticed our matching badges and asked what our group was. When we told him we were murder mystery writers, he acted surprised. He said we were, as a whole, a very nice bunch of people. He either said or implied that it was an incongruity, asking why that was.

We both agreed with him that mystery writers are a nice bunch. One or both of us answered him that it’s probably because we get all our aggressions out of our systems on the page. After we’ve committed mayhem for hours, days, months on end in a lonely room, we’re able to be bright and cherry when released and out among our own kind.

Both of us agreed that’s the reason. I’d love to hear other thoughts on this.

(I decided not to write anything about today’s anniversary. You’ll find plenty of that elsewhere, I’m sure.)

Image from Wikipedia

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Are you bad about saying thank you? I regret that I'm not an accomplished thanker at all! If I'm complimented on a new outfit, my first inclination is to say something derogatory about the outfit, like, I got it on sale, or, You like this? I’ve had it for twelve years. Over time, I’ve come to realize that this is a slap in the fact of the person, like saying they have no taste if they like this old thing. What I should say is, simply, “Thank you.”

Then there’s the other end of thanks. I get enjoyment out of helping people out. If a person in the grocery store is riding a scooter and gazing longingly at something on the top shelf, I stop and ask if I can get it down for them. I get embarrassed if I receive profuse thanks for helping with such an easy task as that. I usually mumble something like, “That’s OK.”

I found these synonyms for “thanking”. 
giving thanks

But underneath that are these antonyms:
finding fault

The antonyms are my natural response to being thanked! That’s not good. There are lots and lots of good ways to respond, better than “That’s OK.”:  

No sweat.
No problem.
You're welcome.
Don't worry about it.
Don't mention it.
You're quite welcome.
No, not at all.
It's my pleasure.
It's the least I could do.

Now I need to sit down and go over these--and remember them next time someone thanks me.  Two simple phrases is all I need. Thank you and You’re welcome.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What fun at Killer Nashville!

I attended Killer Nashville for the first time last weekend and it’s going onto my list of cons to go back to--every year if I can. It’s run by Clay Stafford, Tracy and Mike Bunch, and Beth Hicks. These people pour their hearts into this project and it shows.

I’ll begin with the Hutton Hotel. The layout was a little odd, but no worse than the one Malice Domestic uses now. OK, it’s a whole lot better than that. My room was on the small size, 

but look how many hangers they gave me. Enough to actually hang my clothes!

And I’ve never seen such a fancy bathroom--an all-glass sink.

Dr. D.P. Lyle gave a talk at the beginning and discussed Scott Peterson and OJ Simpson. He says Scott’s main problem was ego. A divorce (and a child) wouldn’t have fit his self-image, so he had to get rid of this problems another way. He says, as I think, that it’s obvious OJ is guilty, but that the evidence wasn’t handled well.

Our panel on Friday morning went well. I was on a short story panel led by Phil Bowie and consisting of me, Chris F. Holm, Robert Mangeot, and Suzanne Berube Rorhus. We meshed well together and brought some differing views to the discussion. I got an awful lot of compliments on the panel afterwards. In fact, I’m still getting them via email.

I attended fascinating presentations by Leo J. Maloney--An Inside Look at the Life of a Black Ops Contractor, Jon Jefferson (half of Jefferson Bass)--Serial Killers, Rick Helms--Forensic Psychology, Dr. Hugh Berryman--Forensic Anthropology, and Ernest Lancaster--Firearms for Writers. I also got to several panels.

The banquet meal was one of the best I’ve ever had at a function like this. I also have nothing but praise for the staff of the hotel. They went out of their way to cheerfully assist us.

The Claymore Award for an unpublished manuscript is awarded, with second and third place mentions. This year they were: #1 Terry Coop, #2 Jacob Appel, #3 Elizabeth Visser.

The Silver Falchion Award is given for the best novel published since the last Killer Nashville. I was THRILLED that EINE KLEINE MURDER was a finalist for this!! The awards went to #1 Sara J. Henry, #2 Alana White, #3 a tie with Molly MacRae and Jamie Mason.

After the awards were given at the banquet, I was surprised and Dr. Lyle was stunned when Clay gave him a shiny black Fender guitar! Then he gave one to Anne Perry, who was speechless. What a fun time!

Here are a few people I snapped shots of:

Vinnie Hansen and Julie Tollefson

Molly Weston
attendee w Nan and Dr. Lyle

My picture of Clay Stafford (on the right) interviewing Dr. D.P. Lyle is blurry, but that’s the only way my camera works at that distance, unfortunately. 

My shot of Clay interviewing Anne Perry isn’t much better.

The Guppy lunch on Saturday turned into a half-Guppy lunch with a bunch of other people, but it was a good time. (I don't think you can see me. I'm the last one of the left.)

picture from Paula Petty

I wish I could remember all the people I connected with, but I failed to keep a journal and the days mushed together. There were those that I had befriended online that I got to meet for the first time, quite a few, and that was so good!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I love conferences!

I’m leaving tomorrow for Killer Nashville. I’ve always wanted to attend this conference. Now that I’m living in Tennessee, it’s easy peasy! A two and a half hour drive down the road, and I’m there.

On Friday morning, I’ll be on a short story panel with some awesome writers. Our moderator is much-published Phil Bowie and the panel consists of me, Chris F. Holm, Robert Mangeot, and Suzanne Berube Rorhus. 

My latest paperback novel, EINE KLEINE MURDER, will be on sale at the bookstore and I’ll bring others for consignment there.

I hope to have some pictures to share next week. Note to self: pack the camera!

photo from

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

My new stuff from Untreed Reads!

In addition to DEATH IN THE TIME OF ICE, Untreed Reads published a brand new short story of mine this last week. For promotion, they’ll give you “The Bavarian Krisp Caper” if you buy it this month. The new short story is “A Fine Kettle of Fish” and is featured, along with the Neanderthal mystery novel, on Coffee Time this Thursday!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

How to write a review

Every published writer writes about reviews. That is, their own reviews of their own works. I do that occasionally, too. In fact, my last blog was about a review I was very pleased with. I don’t like to hit people over the head with my reviews, though, so I don’t trumpet about each one. I guess this is because I dislike seeing all the notices of reviews in my networking streams. They’re not informative and there’s no reason for me to read them.

If I were casting about for something to read, I’m sure I’d feel differently. I would avidly read notices about reviews. If my To Be Read pile were less than 100 books, that is. (Those are physical books. There are more unread books and stories languishing on my e-reader.)

Every published writer who gets reviews also laments about the ones that aren’t favorable. Some of those bad reviews are legitimate complaints from the reader about confusing plot or character, or about an unsatisfactory ending, or about expecting one type of story and getting another. Some, on the other hand, are just sour grapes rants that have nothing to do with the quality of the book or story being reviewed. Let’s all discount that latter type! I’m sure most readers do.

I write reviews. Very seldom on Amazon or Goodreads, though I have a few there and hope to have a lot more in the future. My reviews appear in “Suspense Magazine” almost every month. I give my reviews a lot of thought. One thing I pride myself on is being able to read a book outside my comfort zone, or even in a genre I’m not interested in, and still be able to give it a competent review.

What are my goals for each of my reviews? They are to hook up the right readers to this work; to fairly and accurately stress the strong points of the project; to tell my review readers what the book is like so they can determine whether it will be a good read for them or not. If a reader of one of my reviews finds a new series or a new author--or a new stand alone novel--that they enjoy, my work has been done correctly!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A nice review for my first Neanderthal mystery

DEATH IN THE TIME OF ICE doesn't have many reviews so far, but the ones it has are a boost to me as a writer. Here's an excerpt from this one:

"Death in the Time of Ice is a gripping mystery, and it’s the best example of prehistoric fiction I’ve ever read. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves either genre."

Could I ask for more? Definitely not!

I hadn't heard of this site before this review appeared, but they're very organized and on top of things, posting the review on Amazon as well. They've even given me a nifty little widget, below. I'll see if I can post it elsewhere, too.

If you're curious about a Neanderthal mystery, I'd love for you to check it out at the publisher's site (all e-formats available there), or the other places, Kindle, Nook, and others.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013



    Goodreads Book Giveaway


        Eine Kleine Murder by Kaye George



          Eine Kleine Murder

          by Kaye George


            Giveaway ends July 25, 2013.
            See the giveaway details
            at Goodreads.

      Enter to win

Friday, July 19, 2013

Guest Blogger Cindy Carroll

I'm very pleased to have Cindy Carroll here today, reporting on her own travels. She's the author of REFLECTIONS, very newly released! We have a technical background, IT, in common. We programmers seem to like to bust out in fiction. Read on about her road trips.
(REFLECTIONS can be purchased at Amazon and Kobo.)

Road trip – destination unknown

I love road trips. There's something about being on the road on your way somewhere interesting. The journey is just as much part of the vacation as the destination. I had always planned road trips. I didn't like not having a plan. I needed to know where exactly I was going. What route I was going to use to get there. Where I would stop along the way, if I needed to stop at all.

Then I met a guy who was a little more spontaneous than I was. When we both had a few days off work he wanted to go on a road trip. I said, "Great! Where are we going?" And his answer, "Wherever. Let's just point the car east and drive." At first I was appalled. No plan? No idea where we were going? Then I thought why not? We were in no rush. Maybe it would be freeing just getting in the car and driving.

We weren't completely without a plan. We made sure we had our bathing suits in case we stopped somewhere with a pool. We had a GPS so at least we wouldn't get lost. I made sure I had my cell phone charger but this was before smart phones. So we couldn't search the internet while on the road looking for places to stay. When we got tired we got off the highway and found a hotel to stay in. Driving without a plan turned out great. We discovered Ganaqoue, Ontario. A picturesque town near The Thousand Islands.

A road trip didn't turn out quite as well for the characters in my short story Reflections. They went without a plan with the intention of stopping along the way whenever they needed a break. But they stop at a cursed inn and end up fighting for their lives.

What about you? Are you a planner when it comes to road trips? Do you like them? Hate them?

About Cindy:  Cindy Carroll is a member of Sisters in Crime and a graduate of Hal Croasmun’s screenwriting ProSeries. Her interviews with writers of CSI and Flashpoint appeared in The Rewrit, the Scriptscene newsletter, the screenwriting Chapter of RWA. She writes screenplays, thrillers, and paranormals, occasionally exploring an erotic twist. A background in banking and IT doesn’t allow much in the way of excitement so she turns to writing stories that are a little dark and usually have a dead body. When she’s not writing you can usually find her on Twitter.

Check out her website:
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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Remodel and Rewrite

We’ve just completed a remodel of our master bath. It’s a small room, so it wasn’t too complicated, it seemed to take forever.

The harvest gold wasn’t the main problem (I still think it’s a pretty color), but the non-functioning faucet and obvious leakage behind the tiles was.

The whole thing was stripped down to the bare walls. Well, beyond the bare walls, actually. To the studs in places. Then, over the last 3 weeks, a brand new bathroom was created.

This reminds me of some stories I’ve written. It also reminds me of a novel I’m presently gutting and redoing. I’ve been fiddling around with the sequel to EINE KLEIN MURDER, which I’m calling REQUIEM FOR RED as a working title. The bones are there. I guess those are the bare studs. But things need to be moved around and rearranged. I’m looking forward to having a new novel out of this eventually

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Ideal Times To Do Things

I try to find a nifty calendar at the beginning of each year, in case I get stuck for blog topics. This is my favorite:

This one is pretty cool, too:

As you can see, it’s National Blueberry Month.

We’re celebrating Hot Dogs and Ice Cream this month, too. Since today is National Disobedience Day, that accounts for my failure to post my blog in a timely fashion. I’ll have no trouble with Stay Out of the Sun Day since we’re completely overcast with 80 percent chance of rain for most of the day. I’m looking forward to the 7th (Chocolate Day).

At the bottom of that first calendar, in fine print, are some helpful publicity tips, such as best days to release PR: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I sent press releases to the local newspapers yesterday, so maybe I did something right!

There is more fine print--critical lead times. For daily papers, 7-10 days, and for weekly ones, 4-6 weeks. I did one of each, so I won’t be expecting immediate responses. (Actually, I don’t expect any response, but it would be very nice!)

Now it’s time to eat ice cream and blueberries in the shade!