Wednesday Writer's Update

It's time for my twice-a-month writer's update (which is sort of roughly kind of every other Wednesday?)

Selling books at a local arts fair:
On Sunday I had a table at the Phinneywood Art Sale & Stroll. I set my expectations as low as possible, especially since the weather forecast was for rain, thunder-storms, and generally poor conditions for a street fair. I should have had more faith in Seattlites. Not only did they come out in spite of the periodic showers, but they were in a buying mood. Huge thanks to those who bought, especially my first customer who took me up on the bulk price for all 5 Pismawallops PTA mysteries. Made my day.

A Coastal Corpse:
The first novel in my new "Seffi Wardwell Mysteries" series is getting really close to ready. A combination of inertia and something a bit like superstition has me running way behind on all the things that should be happening as we approach the release of a new novel, from cover art to writing blurbs and beginning pre-release publicity. I haven't set a release date, but should have everything ready by later this summer. Given my travel schedule I may want to push things and try to bring it out at the beginning of August. For now, I'm in the final read-aloud polishing stage, after which it goes to the proofreader.

I have connected with a cover artist and once I know what I'm looking at for a time-line I'll arrange a blog tour. All of this is the part of writing I suck at--i.e. marketing--and the reason why I've resigned myself to being small-time.

Short fiction updates:
One of the two stories I had out on submission came back. In a departure from the norm, it came with comments, and those comments made a lot of sense to me--so I'm looking at doing revisions then sending it back out, possibly as a YA story. Two other shorts are in the writing/revising stages, with another one I'm still trying to figure out how to fix. Basically, all of these stories need to be rethought and probably rewritten from scratch.

I'm trying to shift my short-fiction towards more mysteries, and struggling to find markets for it. If you stumble on calls for mystery shorts (they seem to run much more to anthologies than magazines), please pass them on! As I mentioned in my IWSG post, I find SF/Fantasy easier and maybe more fun to write short than mystery, so only one of the four stories I have going is a mystery. It's a start!

Speaking of editing...
My 25-y.o. daughter is trying to piece together a living from writing, translation (Russian), and whatever else we can come up with. She is an excellent writer and has some very good editing skills, especially line-edits. If you have any thoughts of how I can help her hook up with jobs (gig or otherwise) in that area, please let me know. She is on the Spectrum and this stuff is hard. I'm not a lot better at it (see comments above about marketing). Meanwhile, if you are interested in airline safety/accidents, check out her blog:, or share with interested parties.

A little teaser from A Coastal Corpse:

Hat and gardening gloves in place, Seffi picked up her clippers and a bucket for the flowers she would cut.

She stepped out on the front porch and stopped so abruptly she almost fell over.

Fully half her flowers had been cut, mangled, or trampled, the garden a ruin of the glory Sarah Coleman had worked so hard to create.

Seffi stood on the porch and swore. She’d learned curses from her students that she’d never before used, not even when the cancer took Hannah. Was this Al Conlin’s doing? It looked like a childish temper tantrum—or a warning. Was he sorry he’d told her even the little he’d shared about himself, or regretting he’d let her see his pain? She couldn’t imagine the man she’d worked with the previous morning doing this. Had Bernice Holt decided to make it clear what happened to people who crossed her? Or was someone letting her know how they felt about outsiders?

Seffi stepped  down off the porch to take a closer look at the damage and halted again, her breath stopping in a sharp intake. Those couldn’t be Bernice’s shoes. Her mind struggled to make acceptable sense out of the incongruity of a pair of shoes poking out from behind the largest  clump of dahlias, just to the right of the porch steps.

Another step closer. Her blood froze. She grabbed the stair rail, her head swimming.

Those shoes had feet in them.

At least, she amended as her head cleared and the scientist took over, they had trousers extending up from them. Stomach churning, her breath coming fast, she took another step forward to where she could see behind the bushes.


©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2023
 As always, please ask permission to use any photos or text. Link-backs appreciated.
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