Showing posts from April, 2021

Cozy Mystery Review: Shooting By the Sea

  Title: Shooting By the Sea (A Mollie McGhie Cozy Sailing Mystery) Author: Ellen Jacobson Publication Info: 2020 by Ellen Jacobson. Source: Purchased   Publisher’s Blurb: When Mollie McGhie attends the grand opening of her friend’s nail salon, she’s looking forward to getting a manicure and sipping on champagne. The event is going great until Mollie discovers a dead body nearby and her friend’s brother is arrested for murder. Mollie agrees to help clear his name. During the course of her investigation, she has to do some crazy things including auditioning for a game show, giving a pedicure to the local chief of police, and teaching her cat how to play the ukulele. Can Mollie get to the truth and find out who the real murderer is? Shooting by the Sea is the fifth book in the light, humorous, and original Mollie McGhie cozy sailing mystery series. If you like kooky characters, adorable cats, and plenty of chocolate, you’ll love this cozy mystery. Grab Shooting by the Sea

Home again, and a Friday Flash

I'm home from the Grand Canyon with thousands of photos to edit, and a single piece of flash fiction to share. I wrote this story for our rafting group, and specifically for Ben Whitaker, one of our 7 amazing crew. Why Ben? Because one day, after repeated drenchings, I told him I was going to take him up a dry wash and leave him there. And so I did. Of course, I could as easily have treated any of the guides the same way--repeated washings in Colorado River water is a part of running the Canyon. Ben just got first dibs. The story is, I hope, comprehensible to those not on the trip, but is especially meant for those who were; forgive the hint of an inside joke. For the non-Canyon folks, a few notes: my trip was with Arizona Raft Adventures, aka AZRA. The "groover" is the toilet. And the food was fantastic and abundant, with no gumbo in sight (not that there's anything wrong with gumbo), and none of our guides dodged the cooking! Without further ado, I present: River Re

Friday Flashback: Xavier Xanthum's first appearance.

Xavier Xanthum, Space Explorer, made his debut during my first April "A to Z Blogging Challenge," when I needed a post for "X". That was in 2013. Since then, I have written and shared about 18 more XX stories, and have a particular fondness for the occasionally hapless explorer. Some of what's in this one I'd totally forgotten and may not be so true in later stories.   Xavier and the X-Ray Eyes Xavier Xanthum explored space.  With his Arcturian Warp drive, he’d been doing it long enough that time and age no longer had any meaning for him.  Twice he had passed through random uncertainty fields, and met himself coming.  Once he’d hit something strange, and the next ship he met told him a hundred years had passed.  He'd aged two days. After that one, he’d sold his ship to an antique dealer for enough to buy one of the new-fangled ships with an even better faster-than-light drive, one that was guaranteed to keep him from ever being stranded in a gravi

Photo Friday: Spring is Springing

 Since I'm still on The River (a designation subject to local interpretation. I'm in the Grand Canyon. On a raft. Probably not writing anything except inarticulate exclamations in my journal about the mind-blowing scenery), here are some random photos from spring in CA, which comes early and fades too fast into summer heat. These were taken in February and March. Almond trees Magnolia tree with Christmas lights :) Here's the magnolia tree in daylight. Peach tree Close-up of the delicate, promising peach blossom This and the photo below are taken in Bidwell Park, Chico's amazing city park. Yes, this is still within the city park! Indian Paintbrush is the latest--along with lupines--to burst into bloom in the Upper Park.  ©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2021  As always, please ask permission to use any photos or text. Link-backs appreciated.


It's the first Wednesday of the month, and time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Read all about it here . Since I've transferred my insecurities for the time being to things like not falling out of a raft into the rapids and not stepping on a rattlesnake* while on shore, I'm sending you to read about the writing insecurities of my fellows! *I'm not really very worried about this. The rapids, maybe. The snakes, meh. Rattlers give warning :) 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!  I'll see you in May!   Remember, writers--slow and steady and you'll get there in the end! (Endangered desert tortoise, Joshua Tree National P

Flashback Friday: Random Theories (2012)

Continuing my search through my earliest blog posts, I found this one from November, 2012, and it tickled my funny bone. In the intervening 9 years, the kids who wore me out have grown into wonderful adults who will carry some of my stuff if we are backpacking, but the issues with gravity have grown more troublesome. Friday, November 2, 2012 Random Absurd Theories Revisions are on track!  I've finished the first rewrite, aside from some typing.  Bouncing between that and my activities aimed at getting a bond measure passed for our suffering local schools has me exhausted but feeling like I'm at least doing something. So, for amusement, I'll offer some of the random thoughts that occupy my brain at off moments.  Sometimes, just for fun, I like to invent absurd theories to explain things.  Here we find a few: Pay the Gravity Bill  There's an old Calvin and Hobbes comic strip in which Calvin discovers his Dad didn't pay the gravity bill