Writerly Musings: Marketing

Being part of the IWSG anthology (that would be Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime ) has been an education for me. Not only did I pick up a new awareness of some minor writing issues I have (mostly in the area of comma abuse), but the whole marketing process has been educational. Probably not educational enough, but I have picked up a few things to contemplate. 1. Get the word out, early and late. The publisher, Dancing Lemur Press, started early with tweets and FB posts, and got all of us authors to set up a blog and do regular posts about our stories, writing process, whatever. And they started early to set up a blog tour, or at least appearances on a number of blogs, with interviews, reviews, and so on. The book came out May 1, and that publicity push is still going on (including a Rafflecopter giveaway of a cool Tick Tock tote bag running to June 6!). This one isn't so hard. I'm learning how to get more people involved in a release, and I know that I can arrange a blog tour thro

Mystery review: The Grave's a Fine and Private Place

  Title: The Grave's a Fine and Private Place Author: Alan Bradley Publisher: Delacorte Press, 2018 (US edition). 363 pages Source: Library Publisher's Summary: Flavia is enjoying the summer, spending her days punting along the river with her reluctant family. Languishing in boredom, she drags a slack hand in the water, and catches her fingers in the open mouth of a drowned corpse. Brought to shore, the dead man is found to be dressed in blue silk with ribbons at the knee, and wearing a single red ballet slipper. Flavia needs to put her super-sleuthing skills to the test to investigate the murder of three gossips in the local church, and to keep her sisters out of danger. But what could possibly connect the son of an executed killer, a far too canny police constable, a travelling circus, and the publican's mysteriously talented wife?   My Review:   Okay, Flavia is not enjoying the summer. She hasn't been enjoying anything for about 6 months (I won't go int

Friday Flash: Space Opera time!

Chuck Wendig is back on the job with our Friday flash fiction challenges, and in honor of May the Fourth commanded us to write a space opera, in 1500 words or less. So, more like a single aria from the opera, but I went for the melodrama of an early Star Trek episode. It's just under 1200 words. Long Odds “There’s no way we can win, on the face of it.” Captain Kira Andashar of the Earth Federation Starship Endurance didn’t believe in sugar-coating matters to her officers. “The invaders outnumber us three to one, and based on what they did to EFS Consequence they outgun us by far as well.” “Should we surrender, then? Or run?” Lieutenant Albert Percival knew better. His captain wasn’t the surrendering sort, and they’d already proved they couldn’t outrun the aliens. When he asked his question he heard a few gasps, and at least one snort of derision. He ignored them and waited for the answer. “We fight. And dammit,” Captain Andashar raised her voice, “we will win!” A few young offic

Non-fiction review: The Meaning of Everything

  Title: The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary Author: Simon Winchester Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2003. 288 pages. Source: Library used book sale Publisher's Summary: From the best-selling author of The Professor and the Madman , The Map That Changed the World , and Krakatoa comes a truly wonderful celebration of the English language and of its unrivaled treasure house, the Oxford English Dictionary. Writing with marvelous brio, Winchester first serves up a lightning history of the English language--"so vast, so sprawling, so wonderfully unwieldy"--and pays homage to the great dictionary makers, from "the irredeemably famous" Samuel Johnson to the "short, pale, smug and boastful" schoolmaster from New Hartford, Noah Webster. He then turns his unmatched talent for story-telling to the making of this most venerable of dictionaries. In this fast-paced narrative, the reader will discover lively portraits o

Middle Grade Review: The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani

  Title: The Night Diary Author: Veera Hiranandani Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers, 2018. 264 pages Source: Library Publisher's Summary: It's 1947, and India, newly independent of British rule, has been separated into two countries: Pakistan and India. The divide has created much tension between Hindus and Muslims, and hundreds of thousands are killed crossing borders. Half-Muslim, half-Hindu twelve-year-old Nisha doesn't know where she belongs, or what her country is anymore. When Papa decides it's too dangerous to stay in what is now Pakistan, Nisha and her family become refugees and embark first by train but later on foot to reach her new home. The journey is long, difficult, and dangerous, and after losing her mother as a baby, Nisha can't imagine losing her homeland, too. But even if her country has been ripped apart, Nisha still believes in the possibility of putting herself back together. My Review:  As is so often the case, I don't th

I'm being interviewed today...

at Ana Dye's blog. Jump on over to see what I have to say about the new IWSG anthology and my story!

Photo Friday--Backpacking Haleakala

May the Fourth be with you! It's time for the final installment of photos from our recent trip to Maui (see here and here for the earlier posts). The "we" of the trip is the author, my husband, and our 20-year-old son. Sorry for the unmercifully long post! The primary objective of our Maui trip was a 3-night, 4-day backpacking trip into and across the Haleakala crater. Lots of people dayhike from the rim down to the crater (though we didn't see all that many--it's not a trivial hike, involving typically about 11 miles and a 1000' climb back out of the crater). A few people each night use the 3 huts scattered around the crater, allowing them to eat and sleep indoors (and to carry less gear). Those of us who don't plan 6 months out get to carry our tents and do it the hard way. We started by picking up our permit (free, but required) at the ranger station near the Park entrance, then driving all the way to the summit. That was well past our trailhead, but