Something should be Done.

[from “Conspiracy,” a Kate Shugak short story] At the same time the Grosdidier brothers were settling on a command structure at home, they were willing, nay, eager to assert their independence abroad. There were a few years when Park rats had only to see the Grosdidier brothers coming in one door to exit immediately out…

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7 Tips for Writing Crime Fiction by Dana Stabenow (written for Writer’s Digest) 4. Make your protagonist a hero, if not in his own eyes then in everyone else’s. A hero is better than you and me; that’s why they are heroes and why they deserve their own novel and you and I don’t. How?…

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It's always fun to read a book where in the writing of it the author learns something to confound the expectations with which she began it. In the penultimate chapter White writes:

Before I started researching it, I had intended to name this chapter 'The rise and fall of a profession'. It was to chart the glorious rise of accounting in the second half of the twentieth century to the lofty heights of the professional Olympus and then trace its collapse in the wake of scandals like Enron and WorldCom, and in Australia, HIH, ONe.Tel and ABC Learning. However, not only has no such fall ensued but it turns out that these accounting scandals are a regular feature in the landscape of accounting. They are as old as the profession itself...And they all stem from significant accounting misstatements orchestrated by influential senior managers.

From its beginnings in Venice in the early 1300s


# Permanent link to “…mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil…”


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…

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Lord, what fools these mortals be

A book which informed my entire world view, and still does. Tuchman posits the existance of folly, or the pursuit of public policy contrary to self-interest–-in other words, why nations keep shooting themselves in the foot. Certain criteria must be met for folly to exist, as follows: 1. It must have been perceived as counter-productive…

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Let Freedom Ring

[published in Alaska magazine September 2002] I’ve been thinking a lot about freedom of late, particularly when I went home this year for the Fourth of July.  Home is Seldovia, a village of about 500 people on the southern shore of Kachemak Bay, a place of heart-stopping beauty built on the precarious edge of a…

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7 Tips for Writing Crime Fiction by Dana Stabenow (written for Writer’s Digest) 2. Love your creeps. Put the villain on display and do it early in the narrative. Get your reader invested in the character and then betray the hell out of both of them. Read the rest at Writer’s Digest here.

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...I've never had a turn, not one! I haven't even been given a name; I was always just the ugly sister; put the stress on ugly...As for the prince, you think I didn't love him? I loved him more than she did; I loved him more than anything. Enough to cut off my foot. Enough to murder...But all my love ever came to was a bad end. Red-hot shoes, barrels studded with nails. That's what it feels like, unrequited love. She had a baby, too. I was never allowed.

# Permanent link to “I’m the plot, babe, and don’t ever forget it.”


7 Tips for Writing Crime Fiction (written for Writer’s Digest) by Dana Stabenow I only wish I’d had this list when I began writing, but thirty-seven novels later I do have a few things figured out. I don’t follow all these rules slavishly. I say begin with the murder but…often I don’t. Every writer does…

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