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Showing posts from April, 2011

Scene Under Construction

The last couple of scenes I’ve written in my WIP (Work In Progress) have been construction projects. No, I’m not writing about buildings. But I am building a scene, and there are similarities to building a house.

The scenes in question are what I call “technical” scenes. In the story there has been a shooting. My protagonist is a paramedic and my second main character is a cop. The first scene involves the medical response. Granted, I used to be an EMT, but procedures, laws, and technology have changed since I rode on an ambulance crew. So I have to do research.

For me, research equals a blueprint.

From there, I start to write. Using the research/blueprint, I lay out the technical layer of the story. It’s mostly dialogue and who does what. Details, details, details. The result reads like a textbook. A dry textbook. But this is only the beginning. The walls of the house are up, but are nothing more than two-by-fours. Maybe some plumbing and wiring. Necessary, but nothing great to look at.

Working Stiffs Wednesday

It feels like ages since I've blogged at Working Stiffs, but I'm back. Today, I tell about finally getting my hands on a real copy of Fish Tales and my first time signing it. Oh, and my friend Lisa Scottoline was in town, too!

Kensi's First Camping Trip

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As I mentioned last week, Confluence beckoned. And we responded. We spent the last two days at our camp.

It wasn’t a vacation. It was more of a test—seeing how certain new components worked out. Hubby had torn out our old lumpy, mushy bed and redid the thing. New plywood. New mattress. New covering. It worked out pretty well. I think it’ll be much better for our backs and sleep in general.

I say “I think” because I couldn’t swear by it. Not this weekend. There was no sleep for me regardless of the new bed…because of the other new component.

Kensi.

If you followed this blog at all over the last couple of years, you already know that Skye is a wonderful camping kitty. She loves it. Travels well. No fuss, no muss, no bother.

We went and messed up our lovely, drama-free camping home by adding one small cat to the mix.

Kensi meowed the entire two-hour drive to Confluence. Also, the entire two-hour drive home. In between, she explored. In less than two days, she found nooks and crannies and h…

Come and Find Me by Hallie Ephron

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Spring sprung yesterday. And just in time. Last time Hallie Ephron came to town, we had a blizzard!

But the sun came out along with temperatures in the 80s for her visit to Mystery Lovers Bookshop yesterday.

I’ve been a huge fan for years, and Hallie’s new suspense novel, Come and Find Me, sounds incredible. I can’t wait to dig in. It’s about a computer security expert and reformed hacker, who hasn’t ventured out of her home in over a year, following a devastating personal tragedy. However, she still functions quite well from her home in her pajamas, taking care of business courtesy of the Internet and a virtual world. That is until her sister goes missing, forcing her back into the real world to face her personal demons.

As a wannabe computer geek (who is, in reality, very far from it), I’m already hooked.

Me, Hallie, and Mary Alice Gorman of Mystery Lovers Bookshop

Preparing for Spring--Weather Permitting

It snowed yesterday. This is hardly news. Winter roared in here December 1st and has refused to budge an inch. For months, all plans come with the disclaimer “weather permitting.”

This morning I took a long hard look at the calendar. It’s April for heaven’s sake!

Something clicked in my brain. It was audible. CLICK. It’s spring. Snow be damned.

Okay, I’m also the person who, on day two of a head cold, is convinced I’ll be completely better by day four. Never. Happens.

But today I’m in that kind of mindset where spring is concerned. I’m making plans to head to my beloved camp in Confluence…next week.

I’ve decided the weather will be better by then. Just like day four of a head cold.

The weather isn’t the only obstacle, however. We currently have no bed at the camp. And we tore the plumbing apart before we left last October.

The bed has long been a source of pain and annoyance for us. Neither Hubby nor I have the best backs in the world. We both had too much fun in our younger days. (Who …

Sticky Fingers Launch Party

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Saturday afternoon, I joined my fellow members of the Mary Roberts Rinehart chapter of Sisters in Crime at Mystery Lovers Bookshop for the launch party of STICKY FINGERS, Nancy Martin’s latest mystery. The day also included the launch of the paperback/repackaged version of last year’s release—the book formerly known as Our Lady of Immaculate Deception and now known as Foxy Roxy.
Whatever the title, you should get it.

We (as in the aforementioned MRR Sisters in Crime) also managed to pull off a surprise and presented Nancy with a token of our appreciation: a lifetime achievement plaque.

Quite a few of our “sibs” and fellow Pittsburgh authors turned out.

Nancy Martin and Lila Shaara.


Some of our local sibs: Tamara Girardi, Colette Garmer, new sib Janet, and Tory Butterworth.


More sibs (standing) Gina Sestak, Carol Herder, Andrea Diana, Kathleen George, Martha Reed (hiding behind Kathy George), and Rebecca Drake.


And what would a party be without a cake? This one was yummy!

Congratulations t…

The Case of the Missing Birdie

Two weeks ago, I brought home some new cat toys for Skye and Kensi. As I expected, Kensi took possession of all of them. Mine, all mine. Sharing is not one of her strong suits.

Her favorite of the toys, without a doubt, is a small chirpy bird. You touch it, and it chirps. You move it the slightest little bit, and it chirps. Lifelike, real bird chirps.

What was I thinking?

Yes, it will drive you to drink. But Kensi loves it. It’s her constant companion. One moment, it’s her prey. The next, it’s her baby.

And then it disappeared.

Hubby swore he didn’t hide it. I know I didn’t. If Kensi did, she couldn’t remember where she put it.

I learned that Kensi understands some English. When I’d ask her “where’s your birdie?” she’d become distraught. Frantic, she’d search all her favorite toy-hiding spots. With a flashlight, I helped, looking under the bed, the couch, the chair, the armoire…

No birdie.

The birdie flew the coop.

For two days, Kensi gave me the sad face. Her favorite toy was gone. “Make…

Dear Blogger...

...where have you put my paragraph breaks? They seem to have gone missing.

Crash Course in BSP

It’s been a busy and interesting week around here. I’m getting a crash course in book promotion (or Blatant Self Promotion) thanks to Fish Tales. As promised, I have posted the link to Mystery Lovers Bookshop to the right (or if you click on the picture of the book cover) for purchasing it in trade paperback. I’ve also updated my website for the first time in way too long. Many thanks to my webmaster Mike Holmes for tolerating the short notice. I’ve learned (or attempted to learn) a number of lessons on self promotion in the last few days. I now have a “fan page” on Facebook. Why? Darned if I know. At last count I have 3 fans. That’s probably about right. Mainly I did it because of a story one of the other Fish Tales authors shared about someone else creating a fan page for her that she has nothing to do with and can’t control. So I figured I’d do my own so no one else could. Kind of like reserving your domain name even when you don’t have a website…so it’ll be there when you DO want …