Showing posts from November, 2023

NaNo Update (Writer Wednesday comes a day late)

Well, this has been a mixed bag, as evidenced in part by my post being a day late (look for Photo Friday on Saturday, too).  Of course, having pretty much a week with the house full of company added extra challenges. But every day I was able to write at least a few hundred words, and some days I clobbered the word counts, so at this point I am still well ahead of my target, if not keeping up quite the level of over-achieving I was at the beginning of the month. So my writing time has been up and down. What about the actual writing? You know, the way the story is going and all that? Ups. Way up there. Downs. Way down there.   That's been a bit up and down as well. I have a lot of big holes in the story that need to be filled. And that turns out to be a good thing, because at the moment I seem to have wrapped up the basic story line at about 65,000 words--well short of my usual 80K for a cozy mystery. We'll see how close I come; 70K is still in the ballpark. Of course, I went and

Cozy Review and Guest Post: Christmas Lights and Cat Fights

I'm grateful to Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read this fun holiday mystery!       Christmas Lights and Cat Fights: A Jules Keene Glamping Mystery Cozy Mystery 3rd in Series Setting – Virginia Level Best Books (October 17, 2023) Print length ‏ : ‎ 285 pages Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0CJQKWK3F Christmas has come to Fern Valley, and the town’s decked out with enough glitter and sparkle for a month’s worth of celebrations, each more over-the-top than the previous one. The idyllic setting, filled with laughter, carols, and sweet treats, is shattered, along with some of the decorations, when the current wife and the ex-wife of a big-cat showman have a knock-down, drag-out fight in the center of town. Jules Keene, owner of the Fern Valley Glamping Resort, tries to keep peace among her guests and with the town council, but it turns into a catastrophe when Tabbi Morris, winds up dead in one of her ex-husband’s tiger cages. And if the murder wasn’t en

Taking the week off, mostly

Wishing all who celebrate it a happy Thanksgiving! I'm taking the week off to try to manage both enjoying my family and keeping up my NaNo word count. Progress on the new novel has been good, but is much slowed as the social life heats up! Here's to good food with people we love. ©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2023     As always, please ask permission to use any photos or text. Link-backs appreciated.    Don't miss a post-- Follow us!         

Photo Friday: Dayhiking the Wallowa Mountains

Since some of you may be wondering where the Wallowas are: they are a small range in the far NE corner of Oregon, in part at least renowned for having a bit of a feel of California's Sierra Nevada Mountains--without so much altitude! Back in September I did a road trip with my brother- and sister-in-law, beginning with several days around the Wallowa Mountains and three scenic dayhikes, mostly within the Eagle Cap Wilderness. Hike #1 was a 7 1/2-mile round trip to Bonney Lake. The road to the trailhead was a little rough, but passable with my Prius. YMMV. After a short stretch of pleasant valley bottom and a stream crossing, a big chunk of the middle of the hike to the lake was through an area that had burned in a fire within the last year or two--very fresh still. Nothing like finding your trail signs well-blackened. We eventually climbed above the burn and into the sub-alpine meadows. This part felt more like the Rockies than the Sierra. Pretty sure that was volcanic, though, so

Writer's Wednesday: NaNo Update #2: The Dreaded Middle

Why can I never, no matter how hard I try to plan, figure out what's going to keep the middle of my books going? Quick, prop up the middle of that thing! Seriously, I have oodles of notes of things that should or could happen in the middle of the book--and no idea where or how to bring them in, or in some cases, how they are even relevant. I'm beginning to think it's no use trying to prepare for this stage of the draft--by now I've wandered far enough from the outline that all preparation is futile! Let's just hope I can still sail into the ending I have in mind. This is why I don't write scenes out of order. If I did, half of them would go to waste because by the time I got to them they wouldn't belong anymore. Actually, I did write a couple of scenes out of order for A Coastal Corpse --and both ended up deleted. It's time to throw another obstacle in Seffi's path--I know that. But what the obstacle should be, I'm less certain. What do you do wh

Non-fiction review: Ladies of the Canyons

One of my friends sent me this book, and I've already managed to forget who. Thanks--it was a good read and I learned a lot.     Title: Ladies of the Canyons: A League of Extraordinary Women and Their Adventures in the American Southwest Author: Lesley Poling-Kempes Publication Info: University of Arizona Press, 2015.  373 pages Source: Gift Publisher’s Blurb: Ladies of the Canyons is the true story of remarkable women who left the security and comforts of genteel Victorian society and journeyed to the American Southwest in search of a wider view of themselves and their world. Educated, restless, and inquisitive, Natalie Curtis, Carol Stanley, Alice Klauber, and Mary Cabot Wheelwright were plucky, intrepid women whose lives were transformed in the first decades of the twentieth century by the people and the landscape of the American Southwest. Part of an influential circle of women that included Louisa Wade Wetherill, Alice Corbin Henderson, Mabel Dodge Luhan, Mary Austi

Flash Fiction Friday: From the Archives

Between NaNo and a major computer change-over that really messed with my Lightroom files (and contributed to a friend coining the word "techtrum" to indicate the kind of meltdown that comes specifically from issues with the tech that's supposed to be making our lives so much easier), I didn't make it with a photo post for today. Nor a new work of flash fiction. Instead, I'm reposting a story originally from 2015. I think this goes well with the backpacking theme of the past several Fridays.   How the Rain Gets In It starts small. After months of drought, you are glad to see rain, and don’t give much thought to anything but ending the drought. Happy plants, lakes refilling. You sort of forget what rain can do.   That’s how it is for us. We’re hiking, so we stop to dig out the rain gear, to strap on the pack covers we had nearly given up carrying. It is still warm, though, and we are happy. Our tent is good; we’ll stay dry.   That’s the

NaNo Updates

We're a week into NaNoWriMo, and if you are participating, I hope it's going well for you! I'm flying right now--I think this is the best outline I've ever had going in, and the payoff is huge. People aren't always doing or saying what I thought they would, or in the way I expected, but I know where I'm going and so far the writing has been pretty easy. I know that there will be some challenging times later in the month, schedule-wise, so I'm stockpiling words for the holiday period. There will also be more challenging sections of the story--the dreaded mid-book sag. But I have a lot of notes about what might go in there, so hope to be able to keep sailing through. For this week, then, I'm singing the praises of preparation, and of community--I got a great start the first day at a local write-in. I'd love to find more writers a little more in my age range, though. I felt like an old lady at the write-in! If you're a NaNer, or even if you aren'

Photo Friday: Alpine Lakes Part 4--ending strong in the rain

I started last month with t he first two days of this 8-day, 65-mile excursion. Two weeks ago we covered three more days , into the heart of the wilderness--and the thick of the smoke. And last week we saw the end of the smoke at last. Today, we'll finish strong with some great scenery and a last, rainy day to make me happy to be going home. Day 7 After three days of smoke, the promise of the previous afternoon's wind was fulfilled, and I awoke to largely clear skies (see last week's post). I enjoyed the early morning light, but didn't linger over the photography, aware that I had a long day ahead of me. Looking across an inlet to the camping peninsula and Chikamin Peak. It's perhaps only slightly discouraging that one has to start by climbing the 200' back up to the PCT before the day's climb really begins. Views from the trail encourage rest breaks. Spectacle Lake. The Four Brothers to the left, Chikamin Peak flirting with a cloud on the right. The climb