Monday, February 06, 2017

2/6/17 Hooray!

Well, the great news is that the back surgery was a success and I'm now able to sit up long enough to write—both the blog and the book. The bad news is that I didn't finish Who Dies Next? before the surgery, but I'm very close now. Sam is confronting the killer (as she tends to do) and so who knows what will happen to her before the end of the book. Sure hope George is close by to help her out. Or Clancy. Or preferably both.

I'm planning a trip to Ireland and Scotland in September. My 70th birthday is in August and this is my big gift to myself. To prepare, I've been reading my blog from My European Adventure from 2004. I went to several countries while living in the UK in from early to mid-2004 and it's fun reading about my experiences. It's also fun to try to replicate some of the fun, while also planning for new adventures.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

12/6/16 Calling all my readers!

It's been two months since I've written in this blog. I could offer excuse after excuse, but I won't. Instead I'll give you just one: I'm having trouble sitting for any length of time. After chronic pain for more than eight years, I'm having back surgery on January 3. Then I won't be able to sit for a short while, but hopefully I'll be back to my old self in 2-5 months. (Whether that's good or bad, I'll leave for you to decide.)

Although a little nervous about the process, I am excited to get this surgery done. I bounced back quickly from both knee replacements, and expect no less from this surgery.

My goal is to finish the first draft of Who Dies Next? by the end of the year, because I will be able to edit from a reclining position, although I can't really write like that.

Enough of being a "downer." Now for the good stuff.


  • The Work in Progress is going well, and I'm feeling good about it. 
  • The last few book signings have been successful and I'm beyond pleased.
  • The mystery anthology—Mostly Murder: Till Death is doing well and getting really good reviews. My short story, Nun of Your Business, is being mentioned as one that is enjoyable. 
  • I've got some marketing ideas that I picked up at a recent Writers' Conference. Hopeful about the ability to get the word out more successfully about my books.
  • Looking forward to starting another series about the nun in Nun of Your Business. It will be a cozy mystery series, just like Sam Darling's mysteries but will take place in a different city.
If it weren't for you loyal readers I wouldn't be so motivated to finish this book before my surgery. So thank you. And I'm confident I'll find my personal motivation again early next year—to write for the pure joy of writing.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

10/9 Progress!

I'm on Chapter 12 of Who Dies Next? This book is pretty much writing itself, although I'll still be happy to collect the royalties. :)

This is when writing is really fun for me—when I look forward to writing every day. It's a job that I love to do.

The part I don't love is taking care of all the details that come along with being an indie author. That's why I'm so happy that I have Patrice Fitzgerald of eFitzgerald Publishing to take care of those details. It frees me to do exactly what I want to do—write! Plus she really knows what she's doing.

Now, here's hoping I won't get "stuck" and that this book will continue to be a ton of fun to work on. I plan to finish it during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November, so that it can get published as soon as possible. Some of my readers are already asking for the next one. I sure wish I could write full time, and then crank out books more frequently. But since I have two other part-time jobs I plan to publish two books a year, and I hope that's going to be sufficient to keep readers engaged.

Thanks a million for your support!

Monday, October 03, 2016

10/3/16 Swimmingly, that's how things are going

Working on book #7 in the Sam Darling mystery series. Who Dies Next? is making me smile. (Hmm, smiling when talking about murder is weird, I'm sure.) It has some fun new characters in it, some of whom may return later. It starts with something I don't like at all, but I couldn't stop it from happening. My characters definitely have minds of their own, and sometimes it makes me mad. Other times I love it because they sort of write the book. They just use my fingers on the keyboard.

There are some neat surprises in the story, I think. Some surprises for Sam, George, and Clancy. I hope you'll like the story as much as I do.

I've had two recent book signings, one at Quincy University and another at Panera. In both cases, I shared the table with Author Tracey Broemmer. Check her out on FB or at broemmerbooks.com. She writes women's fiction.

There are two more book signings lined up. One in early November at the ShowMeWriters Master Class at the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO and the other around Christmas at the Historical Society of Quincy, IL and Adams County at the Quincy Mall. I'm sure looking forward to both of them.

For now, it's back to the work in progress. I'm anxious to find out who, what, when, where, and why!

Monday, September 05, 2016

9/5 Labor Day indeed

Today is indeed Labor Day. I have so much to do and feel like my time is limited. Am going on vacation on Wednesday and will be gone for 10 days. I hope to have some really good writing time in there, but am not sure how it will go.

But, before I go, here are my writing assignments:

1. Proof Triple Trouble Too, the second compilation of Sam's mysteries. This one contains books 4 through 6. For those who've asked, we still don't have Who's the Rogue? in paperback yet, but I'm assured it's on its way.

2. Finish reading a friend's play to give him feedback.

3. Write some more case studies for my class at QU. This class has been harder to organize for the students because the case study book is out of print. Yikes. But the students are handling the chaos well.

4. And finally, I sincerely hope I can actually write more on Who Dies Next? It's #7 in the series. I'm particularly having fun because three of my sibs inspired three of the characters in this book and their interactions with each other make me laugh each time I start writing.

While I'm gone, I need to finish reading a friend's book and write a review for Amazon.

But think on this...can you picture me sitting on the balcony of my cruise ship, writing a book? Yeah, neither can I.

Monday, August 22, 2016

8/22 Took a day off

Took a day off from writing today because I had some appointments this morning (ugh). Then I met with my trainer. After getting beaten up, I came home and had an easy day. But I'm ready to write tomorrow. I'm at a point in the story where things are happening and I'm having a ton of fun being the orchestrator of it.

I've had a few other ideas to add to the story, and that makes it even more fun. Oops, will take a break from this to write those down. I'm forgetful. Okay, I'm back. That was quick, wasn't it?

This book is a little bit different. It still has the same cast of regulars, but it starts with something sad. Then there are some very happy and surprising things that happen. And ultimately, happiness will prevail, I'm sure, because at the root of it all, the author is an optimist.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

8/17 Being good...yes, I am

Reached 9400 words today, and I'm content. I could still be writing if I didn't have other jobs. I know I said this yesterday, but it bore repeating. :)

I'm excited about Who Dies Next? because it deals with people confusing good and evil, or evil disguised as good.

Flies are buzzing around me this morning on the patio. I did take a shower this morning, and Gus is clean, so it must be the food crumbs. Plus, since this is a restaurant, they can't use bug spray or anything like that.

Time to move on to my QU job. I only have to metaphorically move though, because the work is on the same computer. Yeah, life is good.