Peg Herring's Blog – April 2010 Archive (13)

Horton, We Are Here

Two days' driving, but it was beautiful all the way. Traffic was okay and the Garmin did the rest. (I love that thing!) So here I am at the Marriott, wishing I could live like this for at least a month. Lots of people who love to talk about books, lots of fancy food and attentive hotel staff (if you tip well), and the chance to see old friends, make new friends, and see my heroes of the writing world.

Cool.

Added by Peg Herring on April 30, 2010 at 5:56am — No Comments

With Malice Aforethought

Day Two of Preparing for Malice: Now it's time to be sure I have all the non-clothing stuff covered.

I have packed bookmarks and books, business cards and copies of relevant documents. I have my passport (I know where D.C. is, but we may return through Canada, so there.) I have two suitcases: an on-the-road dufflebag and my official Malicewear suitcase. So what's left to do?

I need to make sure that my laptop has everything on it that I might need while I'm gone. I tend to…

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Added by Peg Herring on April 27, 2010 at 10:14pm — No Comments

Bound for Malice

It's been done before, and I know why. Bloggers need topics, and a trip is an easy one. So for the next week or so, I'll tell you about my preparation, travel, and experiences relating to Malice Domestic in Washington, D.C.

Today is Planning What to Drag Along Day: clothes, books, and assorted miscellaneous items.

We'll begin with clothes. Here is my process. I think about the things I will be doing on the trip, and carefully lay out an outfit for…

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Added by Peg Herring on April 26, 2010 at 11:16pm — No Comments

The Tangled Web of a Mystery Plot

I hope all you mystery readers appreciate the work we writers put into killing people.

For me, a plot has to make sense, be satisfying, and follow logically. I try very hard to avoid TSTL moments (too stupid to live) where a character goes after the killer alone, at night, in a swamp, in high heels or whatever.

I want my readers to have a fair shot at identifying the killer, but I really hope they are surprised, too. In the book I finished reading this morning at breakfast, the…

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Added by Peg Herring on April 22, 2010 at 10:49pm — 8 Comments

Observations-You May Keep Them to Yourself

Two conversations I've had in the last week deal with other people's comments about oneself. The question that arose is why do people think they have to comment on what others do. Is it just a need to say something, or do they really feel that you need their advice? Those who make personal comments don't realize that it comes off as "I'm better/smarter/wiser than you, so I'm going to tell you how to become more like me."







Some examples: "Boy, you sure like to eat." "You… Continue

Added by Peg Herring on April 21, 2010 at 10:36pm — 6 Comments

Networking

It's something you should never see, IMHO, but more about that later.



I spoke at a Career Day last week, and the topic of networking came up. The students didn't know what it was, but since I shared the stage with a newspaper reporter, we explained how we reciprocate in helping each other. I give her interviews that hopefully pull in readers. I aslo buy advertising space in her paper. She gives me publicity that should result in name recognition and book sales. Neither of us…

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Added by Peg Herring on April 19, 2010 at 10:34pm — No Comments

Phoning It In

Just finished a book by an author I usually like. The plot was okay. The characters were there, and I knew what I needed to know about them. The ending was a culmination of plot events, and everything added up.

And I felt absolutely nothing.

I might have been reading the phone book or a cereal box for all the interest or excitement I got from the book. There was nothing wrong, not really, but something was just not right. I didn't care about the characters,…

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Added by Peg Herring on April 16, 2010 at 9:45pm — No Comments

Thrown-away Words

It's the ides of April, so why don't we call it that?

I like the idea of a term for the middle of the month. We have the first of the month and the last of the month. So "the ides" is a good marker, letting us know we're halfway through. No one says it, though.

There are lots of words from the past that we've thrown away, words that are still good, like those rollover minutes on TV. Varlet. Whippersnapper. Mewl. Strumpet. I could go on.

Added by Peg Herring on April 15, 2010 at 10:14pm — No Comments

Bookstores Done Right

When they're done right, bookstores feel kind of like home. You do as you like, stay as long as you like, have a snack, read a little, chat a little about your favorite things, and get intellectual stimulation from discussion with those who "live" there. I've been in lots of bookstores in the past few years, staying near a table of my books and directing customers to the bathroom or the nonfiction shelves. As I visit, I see the staff in action, and it's easy to tell the best…

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Added by Peg Herring on April 14, 2010 at 10:48pm — 3 Comments

Whan that Aprille with her shoures sweete...

April in the D. April in Paris. Pieces of April.

Whatever your impressions of the month, it seems to inspire folks. My goal is to finish my WIP before Malice Domestic, which is at the end of April. Somehow, in springtime, all things seem possible.

Added by Peg Herring on April 12, 2010 at 10:46pm — No Comments

What Does Your T.V. Say About You?

I don't know why this came to mind, but it seems to me that what we watch on television says something about us as individuals.

Of course, there are plenty of factors that enter into the equation. People with little to do, such as the elderly or the unemployed, often watch shows they really don't like very well, just for something to do. I visited someone in a nursing home recently who was watching one of those Disney Channel teeny-bopper shows about junior high school angst. I know…

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Added by Peg Herring on April 9, 2010 at 11:32pm — 11 Comments

Meeting Writers

Which living writers would you most like to sit down for an hour with and why?

I'll start.

Margaret Atwood - She's just so brilliant.

Ariana Franklin - We'd have lots to discuss.

Sara Paretsky - What she's done in this business!

It isn't by design that they're all women. I'm sure there are lots of male writers

who would provide a fascinating interview as well. And my list might change

tomorrow.

Added by Peg Herring on April 7, 2010 at 10:22pm — 2 Comments

Hey, E-book Readers

Somehow they just don't seem real. I got word this morning that my e-book, GO HOME AND DIE, has indeed become a published work. But where is the box of books I can unpack and admire?







My brain tells me that an e-book is real. Acquaintances tell me they love them. My publisher tells me it will soon be available on amazon. You can't get more real than that, right?







So I must believe it. To help with that, I'm giving away gift certificates for GO HOME AND DIE.… Continue

Added by Peg Herring on April 1, 2010 at 11:00pm — 4 Comments

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