“Because Covid” and Other Things: Knowing Your Characters’ Language

Image credit: Tumisu on Pixabay.com

How many of the following have you heard, read, or said in the past year?

“We couldn’t go to Florida this year because covid.”

“I have a Zoom meeting at 3.”

“My kids are doing remote today.”

“Senior shopping hours start at 6 a.m.”

“My church has in-person worship, but you have to register.”

“I got my vaccine appointment!”

“Can’t believe the hospitals are low on PPE again.”

“Our state’s positivity rate is down to 2.5%.”

“We do curbside pickup!”

“I’d love to go to the U.K., but they’re in lockdown.”

“I missed Thanksgiving because I had to quarantine.”

“Did you get Pfizer, Moderna, or J&J?”

“Mask up.”

Two years ago, none of these lines would have made sense. Now, we’re fluent in the language of the pandemic. Statements like these brand us as the people who have spent the past year battling the deadliest virus any of us could ever have imagined.

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“Bagatelle”: Today on Fresh.Ink!

Today on fresh.ink: my award-winning story, “Bagatelle”!
“Bagatelle” won the 2016 Al Blanchard Award for Best Short Crime Story. It was published in Windward: Best New England Crime Stories (Level Best Books 2016), but if you didn’t buy the book, you can now read my story (for free) on fresh.ink!
Enjoy!

Momentum

Today was the sixth consecutive day on which I devoted an hour to writing the sequel to State v. Claus. If you’re a disciplined writer with an orderly writing practice, a six-day stretch may not sound terribly impressive, but trust me: you should be impressed. Continue reading

Snowstorms and Writing: A Few Parallels

View from my window

Here in southern New England, we expect traditional winter weather, but not too much of it. A snowstorm depositing 12” is considered a major event, as are temperatures in the teens (Fahrenheit). Today, we’re being visited by Winter Storm Cooper, which is expected to deposit 10-18 inches of snow between Monday and Tuesday, accompanied by wind gusts creating blizzard conditions and possible power outages. So, it’s a big deal.

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One Writer’s Recipe for Writing

Photo credit: Pexels on Pixabay

When I was young, I treated recipes with undue reverence. I assumed that the unknown creators possessed knowledge and wisdom that I did not, to the point where, at age eleven, I consulted the back of the SpaghettiOs can to see how long I should cook them and at what temperature. (The instruction to “cook until heated through”—no time, no temperature—left me flummoxed.)

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Moving Forward . . . Again

Photo credit: Plz do not use photos showing people for commercial uses, on Pixabay (seriously, that’s the credit)

Last night, I dreamed that I was talking to bookstores about carrying my novel, State v. Claus. When I awoke, I knew it was time to get back to work on the marketing.

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Festive Book Selfie!

Gorgeous book selfie from dear friend and avid reader Kathleen Morrison Grover.

Her caption: “I couldn’t fit all 5 copies in the photo.” (Sorry if I’ve spoiled somebody’s Christmas surprise!)

Thanks, K!

Book selfie on Small Business Saturday!

Look what I received today–a book selfie!

Reader Elizabeth Flynn sent me this pic after she bought State v. Claus at River Bend Bookshop in Glastonbury, CT, which means she’s supporting TWO local businesses–River Bend Bookshop and TuxedoCatPress!

(On second thought, make that THREE local businesses–River Bend Bookshop, Tuxedo Cat Press, and P. Jo Anne Burgh, Author!)

It’s Small Business Saturday, so be like Elizabeth Flynn and support your local small businesses!

P.S. State v. Claus is available from other local bookshops, too, including Sparta Books in Sparta, NJ. If your store doesn’t have it in stock, just tell the person in charge of ordering that it’s available through Ingram. They’ll know what that means.

I Wrote a Book

Sixteen years ago, I was going in for minor surgery, and it occurred to me to wonder what would happen if I didn’t come out of it. General anesthesia carries that risk. The funny thing is that I didn’t regret not marrying or not having kids. As I filled out pre-op forms, I realized that if I died, what I’d regret most at that last moment was that I’d never written a book.

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State v. Claus is live!

Thrilled to announce that State v. Claus is now live as an e-book on Kobo and Amazon! In the coming days, I will update you as the e-book goes live on other platforms, including Barnes and Noble, Apple, and Google Play. The paperback will be released in early November, at which signed bookplates will be […]