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#thiswritinglife

So now is the time when I start chumming the waters for the new book. It’s the second novel in my Eye of Isis series, which is set in Alexandria and Egypt in the time of Cleopatra. The first book, Death of an Eye, opened in May 47 BC. Caesar and Cleopatra have returned from…

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Hobo Jim

Hobo Jim died today. Back in the day (2002, I think) I had the privilege of writing about him in Alaska magazine, and this is how I’m going to remember him. THUNDERFOOT by Dana Stabenow There are lots of reasons to go to the Alaska State Fair in Palmer every year.  Turkey legs and crab…

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#thiswritinglife

Time. In crime fiction time is the essence of detection. If Whositz says “I was sleeping with my mistress when my wife was murdered” the first thing the detective on the case will do is verify that alibi. If Whositz is seen leaving his mistress’ house by the back alley in time to get home,…

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Let Freedom Ring

I wrote this column the Fourth of July 2002, the year after 9/11. It was published in Alaska magazine in September 2002, is collected with all my other columns and features in an e-book, Alaska Traveler: Dispatches from Alaska’s Frontier, and is now available in audio. I’ve been thinking a lot about freedom of late,…

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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…

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These men, my god, these men.

If you’ve ever seen Jaws you’re familiar with this story. Days after it delivered Little Boy to Tinian, the battle cruiser USS Indianapolis is torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. The attack is so effective that the bow literally vaporizes and because they are running “yoke-modified,” with most of the hatches dogged open because the crew…

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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…

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