Category: Random Friday

#thiswritinglife

This is what my dining table looks like these days. I’m beginning the third novel in the Eye of Isis series, and I’ve written enough of Tetisheri’s story now to revise her calendar. Calendars are very important in series–when did she do what, where, and to whom? Writing a calendar for the Kate Shugak novels,…

Read more #thiswritinglife

The Noble Nagoonberry

[from 2011] Some of you wanted to know what a nagoonberry was, so photo above is this berry of kings in the wild. It is a secretive little fruit, hiding its light in the deepest, darkest recesses of the forest, usually under air cover of a hundred or so squadrons of mosquitoes. That’s per plant.…

Read more The Noble Nagoonberry

Driving the AlCan 2021

Log for 2021 Alcan Drive, aka Dawn and Dana’s Excellent Adventure. Covid-19 has made nothing easier but it has not made everything impossible, either. [All photos by Dawn.] May 9, 2021 First day–Got to Sumas, Washington at 9am, across the border by 11am. Four cars/campers/RVs in front and behind. Very nice, very efficient Canadian border…

Read more Driving the AlCan 2021

Looking for Women Warriors

[From 2011] Great blog post by Meg Clothier on heroines in fiction in The Guardian. Click here to read it in full, but here’s my money quote: …the most egregious example comes in Lord of the Rings (bear with me). In the climactic pages, when every man on the battlefield flees before the Lord of…

Read more Looking for Women Warriors

7. Backstory.

7 Tips for Writing Crime Fiction by Dana Stabenow (written for Writer’s Digest) 7. Backstory. Every single character gets one, including the guy who shows up once to deliver the mail. It can be as little as a sentence or as much as a subplot running through the entire narrative. The supporting cast is what…

Read more 7. Backstory.

5. Never neglect setting.*

7 Tips for Writing Crime Fiction by Dana Stabenow (written for Writer’s Digest) 5. Never neglect setting.* It’s key to everything that follows. What does it look like, smell like, sound like, feel like? What effect does the setting have on the characters, and why? Once you figure out setting, you can figure out who…

Read more 5. Never neglect setting.*

3. Put your protagonist at risk.

7 Tips for Writing Crime Fiction by Dana Stabenow (written for Writer’s Digest) 3. Put your protagonist at risk. Physically, mentally, emotionally, any or all. Liam Campbell jumped out of an airplane (on purpose), was nearly flattened by a herd of walrus, and has been shot at and missed far too many times. We won’t…

Read more 3. Put your protagonist at risk.

In the face of all this continuing doom and gloom on the publishing front, I persevere!

[written for the Jungle Red Writers blog in 2013, and still relevant today] Sometimes I think I should just unsubscribe from all my publishing listserves. This past week (written January 12th) I read three different stories about Barnes & Noble going under. I know I was not alone in noticing, because there was a great…

Read more In the face of all this continuing doom and gloom on the publishing front, I persevere!