Writers Plot's Blog – May 2007 Archive (24)

A Double Life

Posted by Lorraine Bartlett

In the summer, I lead a double life. From Monday through Thursday, I live in the biggest suburb of Rochester, NY. We have a nice house, a money pit (that's an in-ground pool, which by the way, we almost never use because we don't swim--it was here when we bought the place), and four "snug kittens" (for those who used to read Country Almanac and Jo Leonsky's "Country Musings" column, you'll get that reference).…

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Added by Writers Plot on May 29, 2007 at 10:23pm — No Comments

Gloria, Hallelujah!

Posted by Sheila Connolly

I said my post of last week was the end of the line for my academic sojourns. Okay, I lied. But this is absolutely, positively the last post in this thread, because my Darling Daughter has graduated. She's moved back into her old bedroom and will be looking for a job (anybody have any good suggestions for a Comparative Literature major?).

But of course we had to have a bang-up, blow-out last ceremony to mark the end of her four years:…

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Added by Writers Plot on May 29, 2007 at 5:41am — No Comments

No Whine Zone: Writers Take Charge!

By Guest Blogger Roberta Isleib

There's an awful lot of griping going on among writers about the publishing industry lately, and I admit I've contributed my share. Did you see the recent New York Times article reporting that because no one knows how to predict what sells, the folks in charge guess madly (sometimes by attending to a sizzle in their spines) and pay enormous advances to a few lucky writers? And what about the decline of book review sections in newspapers? Or the sudden…

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Added by Writers Plot on May 26, 2007 at 11:06pm — No Comments

Um, Officer, I Swear I Didn't Do Anything

Posted by Deann Dweeney

If you didn't notice yet, names in this blog have been changed to protect the innocent. That would be moi. Prior to this last Tuesday evening, my only enounters with the police have been to research my books ... oh, and I tend to drive my car like I just stole it. But let's not go there. Let's get right to the story.

I meet with my writing…

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Added by Writers Plot on May 25, 2007 at 10:29pm — 1 Comment

Stick-in-the-Mud Durgin

posted by Doranna Durgin

No, seriously. Or old fogey, or behind the times, or something. But when it comes to book trailers--the next cool shiny marketing trick--I'm wholeheartedly unimpressed.

I've always been of the opinion that just because a thing can be done doesn't mean it should be done. Like when the first word processors hit the scene--suddenly we had all these fonts available to us, and we could use as many as we wanted in a single…

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Added by Writers Plot on May 23, 2007 at 10:48pm — No Comments

Rejection With A Capital "R"

Posted by Lorraine Bartlett

And so I've been cleaning out my office closet this past week. It wasn't pretty stuff. Not at all pretty. I managed to whittle down an 18-inch stack of paper to about six inches. (Yee-Ha!) I actually FILED all six inches of paper. (Who remembered that so many people have read all or part of the third installment of my Jeff Resnick mystery series? Mind you, the second installment won't even see print until June 2008.)

I chucked old candles; cassette…

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Added by Writers Plot on May 22, 2007 at 10:22pm — No Comments

Come On Baby, Light My Fire

Posted by Sheila Connolly

Herewith the last of the posts inspired by my recent excursion to the Halls of Academe (that's my daughter's college, folks). After many years away from a classroom of any sort, I found myself sitting in on a graduate class on Aztec Manuscripts (which my daughter was taking), described in the catalog as focusing on "Sahaguntine illustrated manuscripts of the sixteenth century. Painted by Aztec artists, they record extensive narrative…

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Added by Writers Plot on May 21, 2007 at 11:48pm — No Comments

Guest Blogger: Lori Avocato

This week's guest blogger Lori Avocato gave up an career as a registered nurse in the Air Force to write fiction. She sold nine romance novels, then turned to writing the humorous Pauline Sokol Mysteries, in which a burned-out nurse becomes a medical fraud insurance investigator.

We asked Lori to give us some insights into her series characters:

WP: What makes your series/characters unique?

LA: I think my characters in The Pauline Sokol Mystery…

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Added by Writers Plot on May 20, 2007 at 12:43am — No Comments

There is No Off-Switch on the Crying Machine

posted by Leann Sweeney

You would think that finishing a book and then scrambling hard to complete the rewrites in a week would be a joyful experience. A cause for celebration. A time to have some kick-ass fun. Well, you'd be wrong. At least for this crybaby. Yes, Sunday was meltdown time in the Houston suburbs. Being Mother's Day did not help. Both kids failed to send me a card for the first time in, well, forever. That's what tipped the scales. No stupid little cards with awful…

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Added by Writers Plot on May 18, 2007 at 10:32pm — 1 Comment

Survivor: The Writing Life

Posted by Jeanne Munn Bracken

All right, I admit it. I'm a "Survivor" junky. I've never been all that big on television, and for a long time I didn't watch much at all. That changed when my older daughter's kidneys failed and she had to undergo dialysis at a medical center twice a week. There is very little to distract anyone sitting in the center for hours on end, after you've paid the bills, written the Christmas cards and letters, and done the taxes. You can't even read; there's…

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Added by Writers Plot on May 17, 2007 at 10:13pm — No Comments

The Unblog Post

posted by Doranna

You can blame this one on the air conditioner. I certainly do. I had this week's post idea chosen and ready to write during the regular Sunday evening blog-writing time (it only makes sense that a listmaker would also prefer to have a weekly pattern of events, don't you think?). And then came the air conditioner.

Casita Durgin is a thing of creative beauty...it started life as an RV garage with attached office, received a serious upgrade…

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Added by Writers Plot on May 16, 2007 at 10:28pm — No Comments

My Malice Domestic Non-Report

Posted by Lorraine Bartlett

As Sheila mentioned in her post yesterday, she recently attended Malice Domestic--the cozy (or traditional) mystery conference.

I did not.

Mind you, I bought a ticket, but as the conference approached it was painfully obvious that I did not have a "new" book to promote. Not that I haven't had any sales since Malice Domestic 2006. In fact, I not only sold the sequel to MURDER ON THE…

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Added by Writers Plot on May 15, 2007 at 10:23pm — 1 Comment

Traveling In A Pack

Posted by Sheila Connolly

A week ago I attended one of the bigger mystery-writers conferences, Malice Domestic. I'm not going to babble on about what a wonderful time I had (though I did), the authors I met (lots) after years of worshipping them from afar, and the informative and insightful panels I dutifully attended (and didn't take a single note).

Over the years, I have followed a wide and wonderful variety of career paths: art historian, investment banker, fundraiser,…

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Added by Writers Plot on May 14, 2007 at 10:16pm — No Comments

Here A Chick, There A Chick

By Guest Blogger Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of The Deep End of the Ocean and Still Summer

There are these phrases that spring from the pens of pundits and spread outward through the culture.

"Yuppie" (the derivation of which scarcely anyone considers anymore, but which was supposed coined by erstwhile essayist Bob Greene to mean Young Upwardly Mobile Person) is a good example. There are scads of other such phrases: Both Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton were called "Teflon…

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Added by Writers Plot on May 12, 2007 at 11:00pm — No Comments

Writing Is Rewriting

Posted by Leann Sweeney

This is a continuation from last week's post, mainly because I am currently working through the editorial stages a writer experiences before publication. I never heard a thing about this process before I signed my first contract. No one told me. No one talked about it. The "writer's mistake" I spoke of last week gives me great insight into how my brain works, but my editor seems to have far greater insight. Don't know if that's a good thing. Kind of scary,…

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Added by Writers Plot on May 11, 2007 at 10:31pm — No Comments

How I Became A Pig

Posted by Jeanne Munn Bracken

I have been a member of DorothyL, the online mystery community, for well over ten years. Early on, I noticed that some very famous people were "on" DL--or were they? Harriet Vane, Lord Peter Wimsey...oh, wait, they're not real.

It turned out that DL listmembers often chose what they called "noms de clavier" for their online names. Huh? I knew about Bach's "Well Tempered Clavier", which was an organ or maybe a harpsichord. Eventually I…

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Added by Writers Plot on May 10, 2007 at 10:38pm — No Comments

Listmaker am I!

posted by Doranna

I've been a listmaker since before I knew what listmaking was. Even as a child, I had a tiny little pocket notebook, and on it I made my endless notations in exacting Lilliputian print (hey, a kid's gotta do something during those endless homeroom announcements). You'd think a youngster just wouldn't have that much to stick on a list, but mine was never lacking for items.

Over the years the lists have varied in form--experimentation with…

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Added by Writers Plot on May 9, 2007 at 10:36pm — No Comments

Books as Decor

Posted by Lorraine

I have a lot of books. I'm talking a REAL LOT of books. Many, many, many books. Fiction and non-fiction. Mysteries, cookbooks, how-to books, travel books, women's fiction, and even a few romances. I love books. I have books in just about every room in my house. (Okay, not the bathrooms. We're just not bathroom readers.) When we moved in 14 years ago, our movers cursed all our book boxes (and us), and we've accumulated at least triple what we had since then.

I…

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Added by Writers Plot on May 8, 2007 at 10:16pm — No Comments

Jail Time

Posted by Sheila Connolly

Last week I went to jail.

No, I wasn't arrested. Me? Law-biding, virtuous, upright citizen me? I went because the local chapter of Mystery Writers of America arranged for a tour of a county correctional facility, and I thought I needed to know what a jail was really like.

Not that I write about jails, or even violent crimes. As I've said before, in cozies the violence happens off-stage somewhere. And–funny thing–so does the aftermath, once the…

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Added by Writers Plot on May 7, 2007 at 10:17pm — 1 Comment

On Self-Promotion, New Books, and Neurotic Writers

Guest Blogger Jim C. Hines

Hello, all! My name is Jim, and I'll be your guest blogger for today. Huge thanks to Lorraine for the invitation.

I asked Lorraine a bit about her readers, and if there were any guidelines for what I wrote about. She told me to avoid religion and politics, and no blatant commercials.

No commercials. But . . . but my second book just came out three days ago! I've spent the past week doing nothing but book promo and networking and…

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Added by Writers Plot on May 7, 2007 at 10:16pm — No Comments

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