Thursday, October 15, 2015


Recently, on Facebook, I saw a T-shirt that read: Writing is like riding a bicycle. Only the bicycle is on fire, and you are on fire, and everything is on fire, and you are in hell." For some reason, this is making the rounds among writer friends.

This week, I started revising my next Dulcie mystery, and now I remember why. Most days, I like writing. And I know revising is necessary. At times, it can even be fun – polishing that perfect scene. Retrofitting the clue in the perfect obscure location. Only, sometimes it's not. When I reached the end of the first draft of this manuscript, I felt I had tied everything up in a reasonable and satisfying manner. Only to do so, I had Dulcie remembering things that hadn't yet been written into the preceding pages and realizing the significance of comments that hadn't yet been said. So now I'm back at the beginning, trying to figure out not only where all those clues and conversations fit, but also revising several of my characters, now that I've reached the end and see what their real experiences (and, thus, motivations) are. In a way, it's like cleaning house after a wild storm has been through it. Only not only is a lot of the crockery broken and in need of replacement, many of the shelves the pots and pans belong on haven't even been built yet.

It is a tad daunting. I will not be daunted. Carry on!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Sigh... (reading proofs)

Last week, I sent off the page proofs for The Ninth Life. It was excruciating, knowing that this was my last chance to make any changes in this book, which I love so much. Of course, at this point in the process – after editing and revisions, after copy editing – I'm not supposed to be making changes. I'm supposed to be looking only for actual errors (like when "Care" is spelled "Car"). Still, my publishers humor me, and I kept my changes to a spare 34. Only, last night, while I was reading an excerpt preview at the Curtis Memorial Library, I noticed that I used one word three times in a paragraph. And there would have been a simple substitution. Sigh...

Now I'm reading the proofs of When Bunnies Go Bad and wondering what I will miss...

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Get ready for "Cozy at the Café"!

Maybe you've heard of Noir at the Bar, a crime fiction reading series here in Boston? Well, the lovely and talented Toni L.P. Kelner has decided that we gentler types should have our night out, too. And so on Dec. 1 (that's a Tuesday), she's called a bunch of us together for Cozy at the Café, to be held at the Trident Café on Newbury Street in Boston, starting at 6:30 and running till we run out (probably around 8:30 or so). Eight of us – Toni, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Dana Cameron, Susan Oleksiw, Hallie Ephron, J.A. Henries, Liz Mugavero, and myself – will be reading, chatting, and giving away some fun swag. Come join us!