Showing posts from March, 2021

Flashback Flash Fiction: An Elegant Apocalypse

This story first appeared on this blog in December of 2012. I've touched it up a bit, and wondered about the amount of borrowing from Douglas Adams, but decided to let it stand with the original "reverent apologies to Douglas Adams." I'm not sure about the origins--I'm pretty sure someone challenged me with that title, but I kept no record. About the only thing I can be pretty sure of is that I was rereading the Hitchhikers Guide and sequels. We can probably chalk this one up to fan fiction. Elegant Apocalypse With reverent apologies to Douglas Adams   Sunrise on Planet X-4732B is 7th most stunning and beautiful event in the Universe following, among other things, sunset on X-4732A and the eruption into the sea of an unnamed volcano on an undiscovered planet. This is a well-established fact, determined by a complex algorithm developed by the Ultra-Computer housed on the 4 th Moon of Planet G-7512, known to locals as Home. The lunar location w

Writer's Update: Gone Adventuring—and back

This post was supposed to have gone up before I left home nearly a month ago! I’m going to share it anyway, since the writing hasn’t changed much.   And now I am off the river, with a 3-day drive to get home.  The writing has been going well(ish), but is about to grind to a halt--heading out for some wilderness time. While I'm exploring the CA deserts and rafting the Grand Canyon, I'll leave you with "flashback fiction" posts and some photos on Fridays. Feel free to comment, but I mostly won't be able to respond. Sixteen days in the Canyon may turn me into a travel blogger yet, and will certainly provide some photos worth sharing. Meanwhile: Death By Donut will be released May 16, which will also kick off a blog tour--watch for more info on that! You can pre-order the ebook now from your favorite source. There is no pre-order for print books, but I hope to make one on this blog--when I return from the Canyon :)   Publication of Clues, Cops, and Corpses (the fourt

Cozy Review: The Influencer, by Frankie Bow

  The Influencer (Professor Molly Mysteries) by Frankie Bow About The Influencer The Influencer (Professor Molly Mysteries)   Cozy Mystery 10th in Series   Publisher: Hawaiian Heritage Press (March 17, 2021) Print length : 205 pages   Digital ASIN: B08QW3QL54   In Which Professor Molly Learns There Is, In Fact, Such a Thing as Bad Publicity It's spring break. Donnie's taken the baby to visit relatives on the mainland, and Professor Molly finally has time to catch up on the assessment paperwork she owes the Student Retention Office. Molly's new renter is a social media star seeking privacy in remote Mahina. The arrangement seems to be working out--until her celebrity renter disappears. Molly and her best friend Emma dutifully call in the Mahina PD and try to stay out of the way. But when fame creates its own reality distortion field, everyone has an angle and nothing is as it seems.   My Review: Frankie Bow knows how to spin a story, and her writing is top-notch. If I fel

Photo Saturday: The Marble Caves

 Yup. Missed that "Friday" thing once again! Back to Patagonia... Moving on from Patagonia National Park, we drove north up the Carretera Austral to Puerto Rio Tranquillo, where the Marble Caves (Cuevas de Marmol) are found on the shores of Lago General Carrera. We arrived at lunchtime after about 2 1/2 hours on the gravel of the Carretera, just in time to gobble our lunch and catch a tour. The caves are truly marble, in its natural state, of course. As marble (metamorphosed limestone) is slightly soluble in water, wave action along the lakeshore for some 6000 years has carved out low caverns into which you can take a boat. It is possible to rent kayaks in the town for a multi-hour expedition, but as we didn't have time, we took the commercial tour in a small open boat. Sadly, the guide's constant stream of interpretation and information was all in rapid Spanish with no pauses, so I was able to catch only a bit of it myself, and couldn't pass any along to my compa

Writer's Wednesday: Developing a New Story

 It felt like about time to write about the writing process again, not just about me! Though of course anything I say about the process is actually about me--about my process, which is by no means "the" process, or even one of the best. Since my new Pismawallops PTA mystery is being proof-read, I'm moving on (sort of) to the next project--developing a new mystery series. Since the last time I developed a new series, rather than a new book in an existing world, is a fair ways back, I'm figuring out how to do that. I was going to say that I'm figuring it out all over again, but I remembered that when I wrote the first Pismawallops PTA book I didn't have an outline for the book, much less any sort of pre-developed world. Since I also remember the mess that created, I'm trying to go at this one in a more orderly fashion. I've read a lot about how to develop your characters by thinking about their needs/wants/desires, how to develop setting, and so on. Play

Audio Non-fiction review: 1493, by Charles C. Mann

  Title: 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created Author: Charles C. Mann. Narrated by Roberston Dean Publication Info: Random House Audio 2011, 17:45 hours. Original Alfred A. Knopf, 2011, 557 pages. Source: Library Digital Editions Publisher’s Blurb: From the author of 1491— the best-selling study of the pre-Columbian Americas—a deeply engaging new history of the most momentous biological event since the death of the dinosaurs. More than 200 million years ago, geological forces split apart the continents. Isolated from each other, the two halves of the world developed radically different suites of plants and animals. When Christopher Columbus set foot in the Americas, he ended that separation at a stroke. Driven by the economic goal of establishing trade with China, he accidentally set off an ecological convulsion as European vessels carried thousands of species to new homes across the oceans.  The Columbian Exchange, as researchers call it, is the reason there are

Friday Flash: How Does a Dragon Blow Out Candles?

I got the idea for this story from a meme a friend posted, about the things you lie awake worrying about. How, he asked, does a dragon blow out the candles on a birthday cake? This is my answer to that vexing conundrum.   How a Dragon Blows Out Candles   There was no way to dodge the problem. Every time one of Flick’s fellow students had a birthday they had a party, and at every party there was a cake. Flick liked cake, especially chocolate cake with lots of frosting. The cake wasn’t the problem.   The problem was the candles. Every one of those cakes came with a bunch of candles burning on top, and the excited birthday ogre, gargoyle, gremlin, elf, fairy, or human child made a wish—and blew out the candles.   Flick’s birthday would be one of the last, but it would come, and he couldn’t concentrate in class on account of the one, all-important question: How could a dragon blow out candles?   Flick sat in a desk an extra three feet away from all his classmates, b

Writer's Update

Business first: My books, and a whole lot more, are available at sale prices during this week, Smashwords' Read an eBook Week sale. Learn more here .  Aside from such minor accomplishments (signing up is easy, as is promotion, but it still takes an effort for which I'm claiming credit), the big news is: Death By Donut has gone to the proof-reader! That puts me well on track for the new release date, May 16, without undue stress--thank you to all the IWSG commenters who recommended making my life easier! I am scheduling a blog tour through Great Escapes book tours, but will be delighted to offer guest posts, interviews, etc., to anyone who wants to help with the launch. Just in case anyone has missed the lovely cover! So what is the writer up to now? Besides taking care of the business end of the coming release, I have resumed playing with the ideas percolating in my brain, which will lead to a new cozy series. There's no title yet, but I can tell you that the heroine is one

Friday Flash(back): What's for Dinner?

  Before I give you a story, I get my little brag. My story for the February WEP was runner-up in the judging . I think people want humor these days! If you missed it, the story is here .   I wrote this story in 2014. It's kind of a fun venture into seeing the world in different ways :)  I'm reposting it complete with the photo from the original. This was written to a sort of prompt that challenged the writer to turn something very ordinary into a story. What’s for Dinner? Mom’s acting weird.  Well, that’s kind of normal, if you follow me, because she’s always weird, but usually she’s weird like wearing strange clothes and working all night on one of those bizarre sculptures she makes.  I won’t ever tell her this, but I don’t like them.  They have too many jagged edges.  They’ll tear holes in you if you get too close.  I sometimes wonder if she’s out to destroy someone, or if she just sees the world that way, all jagged.  Either way: weird. But what’s really weird is t

IWSG: Reading and Writing Genres

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer's Support Group day. Members post on our blogs, discussing our doubts and fears, struggles and triumphs. We visit each other and offer a word of encouragement for those who are struggling, or cheer for those with a success to celebrate.  Today's the day--Let's rock the neurotic writing world! The awesome co-hosts for the March 3 posting of the IWSG are Sarah - The Faux Fountain Pen   Jacqui Murray ,  Chemist Ken ,  Victoria Marie Lees ,  Natalie Aguirre , and  JQ Rose ! Each month we have an optional question to start the discussion. The March 3 question is: Everyone has a favorite genre or genres to write. But what about reading preferences? Do you read widely or only within the genre(s) you create stories for? What motivates your reading choice(s)? Before I get on with answering the question, time to report on progress!   Thanks to support from my friends, I expect to finish edits on Death By Donut this wee