You Can Never Tell

All signs pointed to a disastrous performance for the community chorus I sing with at the rehearsal yesterday morning. The director stopped us mid-song several times, furious that we were still making mistakes she deemed unacceptable. “I’m right on the edge, people,” she told us. She wasn’t kidding. Meantime, the accompanist wasn’t feeling well, and…

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Choices

On my Guppies’ Sisters in Crime listserve, there’s been an interesting discussion about career choices, especially when it comes to choosing paths to publication. One of our members, Judy Penz Sheluk, has written a wonderful book on this subject, FINDING YOUR PATH TO PUBLICATION: A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE. Choices include: finding an agent and shooting for…

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Sometimes Our Writer Friends Know Just What to Say

My writer’s group was discussing Ruta Sepetys’s wonderful book, YOU The Story, A Writer’s Guide to Craft Through Memory. Sepetys advises writers to use our own backgrounds and experiences as grist for our fiction. One of the questions she suggests we pay attention to is: “What elements of your childhood self still exist in your…

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Unplugged

I’ve always been fascinated by those personal experience pieces in which folks report that their lives have been rejuvenated by the simple act of unplugging their mobile phones. The idea of replacing endless texts, emails, and Facebook messages with face-to-face interactions, not to mention eliminating interruptions while writing, is so appealing to me. The problem…

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I Never Could Have Been a Fuller Brush Salesman

Being older than dirt, I actually remember enterprising door-to-door salesmen pushing vacuum cleaners and encyclopedias. They were invariably cheerful and perseverant folks who brushed off the inevitable “no thanks” they got along the way to making a sale. All I can say is I would have made a terrible salesperson. Take the other day, for…

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Christine Knapp Combines Her Love of Mystery and Midwifery

It never ceases to amaze me how many fascinating backgrounds and skills mystery authors bring to their stories. And Christine Knapp is definitely no exception. As a practicing midwife for many years, Christine brings a wealth of experience which lends terrific authenticity to her midwife mystery series. Below are her responses to my interview questions,…

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The Joy of Making a Difference

A college professor I had years ago pointed out that there was no such thing as pure altruism or purely altruistic folks. “What about Mother Theresa?” I asked. “She enjoyed the appreciation and adulation of millions for her sacrificial behavior, not to mention the comfort of feeling she was doing God’s work,” he replied. I’m…

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