Friday’s Itty Bitties — #12

Last Friday I mentioned that one of my names for procrastination is research. While I was researching last night, I came across this Mae West quote:  “I speak two languages, Body and English.” The best characters will follow Mae’s lead....

How to mine your childhood for story gems and more

If you were to write a recipe that, when fully cooked, would produce a complex result called you, what would the ingredients be? A while back, in a Teaching Creative Writing class on Whidbey Island, Grier Jewell (a writer of playfully dark and scary short stories...

What’s the big deal about a writer’s notebook?

Well, I’ll tell you. It helps if you have it with you when you discover a setting and characters just begging to be preserved in ink.           My husband and I walked in to Harry’s Coffee Shop in La Jolla last week, with its 60s counter and...

Four vital elements of good crime fiction

If you looked at my bookcase, or the search history and blog links on my computer, you would quickly realize that I need rules, guidelines and how-to manuals. My bookcase would tell you as well that I read primarily crime fiction. I also write crime fiction, but the...

Today’s Review: I’ll See You in My Dreams, by William Deverell

A handful of characters make me laugh out loud, fret over their anxieties, and cheer them on as they struggle to win a trophy at the Island Fair, or seek justice against extreme odds. Arthur Beauchamp, famous barrister, insecure husband, and unwilling but fated...