Magpie Moments: A Character (or Place) by any Other Name

One of the things that’s driven me crazy lately in Sydney#2 (the unfinished untitled novel, not the novella that’s in edits) is geography. Instead of sticking with north Florida as it actually is, I’ve kept some real places and added a bunch of my own. Sometimes I’ll have a real place in mind and change its name to protect the guilty. More often, I have created a place in my mind that is a combination of multiple real places, with some fictional flourishes. For example, my city might have the architecture of old Saint Augustine, the attitude of South Beach, and Read more…


Swallowed by Lava, and Other Untold Stories

Okay, admittedly dramatic tagline, but there’s a reason. Something’s been distracting me this week, something different from my usual shiny object syndrome. I’ve hit my word count for the week, so for just this post I’m allowing myself to embrace the distraction, and share it with you, dear readers. My apologies if I ramble a bit, but distractions, like lava flows, aren’t terribly linear. There’s been some discussion of the role of the media in what happened in Ferguson. Discussion is good. (By the way, neither the American Heritage Dictionary nor the OED defines discussion as two sides yelling past Read more…


Magpie Moments: The Lost Art of Hand-Kissing

Rudy took my right hand gently in both of his and raised it to his lips. His eyes flicked to mine for my reaction. I don’t know what he saw. For him it was an effortless gesture, over before my brain could engage. My whole hand tingled, and I wasn’t sure if he’d kissed the fingers, the back of my hand, or both. I’d never had a man kiss my hand before—not seriously anyway—and I found the sensation both thrilling and repulsive. [Back to Lazarus, Chapter 27] Rudy Nagroski is not based on any particular person, but his penchant for Read more…


Birthing a Paperback (You Might Want an Epidural)

My first novel Back to Lazarus came into being on Kindle a couple of months ago. It was a relatively painless birth, from formatting to exporting and uploading. (I guess in this analogy the months of writing the novel was sex, much better than the pregnant years between writing and publishing.) I’m thrilled to say Back to Lazarus is now available in paperback on Amazon—woo hoo! Check out the full cover. The paperback birth was not so painless. It wasn’t one of those “I must forget the pain of delivery or I’ll never have sex  again (that is, write another Read more…


Dealing with the First Bad Review (Or, Suck it Up, Girly-Woman!)

I hope everyone (the Americans with decent jobs who got the day off, at least) enjoyed their Labor Day holiday. In the morning, when I usually write, my husband and I worked on our house in the hopes of avoiding the heat. (We were unsuccessful: it was much cooler later in the day, and we were dripping with sweat by early afternoon.) Afterward, I finished and uploaded my paperback revisions. (Yay!) When my focus started to unravel, I found myself at Goodreads. I’ve started an author account there, but don’t have a sense of how often I should check in or what I Read more…