Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Nutty Question

The 31st is National Trail Mix Day.

Yea or Nay to trail mix?  Any ingredients you must (or must not) have in yours?


B.E.: Hubs is more the trail mix person than I am.  I buy this stuff called 'Mountain Trail Mix' for him - two bags worth at a time, because he goes through it so fast. Also, he adds yogurt covered raisins, peanut M&Ms to the mix. Personally, I'd be happy just eating the M&Ms and raisins. ;o)

JB: I like trail mix as long as I've got something to wash it down with. I don't like chocolate in mine and despise carob. (I despise carob in everything.)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What's new with you?

I'm writing this first part on Tuesday afternoon.

My stomach is churning nervously.

Why?

Because Tuesday night I'm trying something new.

I'm hoping I'll have fun. I'm worried I may fall on my face.

But in a weird way, I'm energized. There's something about trying something new, or meeting someone new, or thinking something new that fills me with an almost electric excitement.

I LOVE starting new writing projects.

And yet they make me just as nervous. Something could go terribly wrong.

Or  I could have fun.

I'm writing this second part on Tuesday night.

I tried the new thing. It was fun. I didn't fail.

I'm ready to do it again.

Tell me Killer Friends: Do you like new things? What's the last 'new thing' you tried?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Teaser Tuesday - Cut & Dried (A Jordan Almond mystery)

Years ago, I had an idea.  What if someone was actually named Jordan Almond, and what if she was a private detective... 

Here's the first short chapter of my unfinished attempt at a humorous mystery (which I had planned to be the first in a series):



I’ve heard it said there are a million stories in the naked city.  I don’t know about the naked cities, but here in Flint, nothing is as obvious as that.  Of course, if things were laid out for anyone to see, I’d be out of a job. 
You see, I’m a private detective. 
I know what you’re thinking, but trust me, I’m not living the dream.  I mean, it pays the bills, and I could be doing a lot worse things with my life, but to paraphrase an old country song I hate, ‘Mama, don’t let your babies grow up to be P.I.s’.  It’s harder work than it sounds, and sometimes you piss people off enough to want kill you.
Seems to happen to me a lot more than I’d like, but that’s the way life goes sometimes. 
Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not in this for the money; I’m not in it for the prestige either.  This business isn’t as rich and glamorous as Hollywood would have you think, which is too damn bad.  There’s a silver lining here somewhere.  I haven’t found it yet, but a gal can hope, can’t she?
Who am I?  The name is Jordon Almond.  Yeah, yeah.  I’ve heard all the jokes, so don’t bother.  My parents thought it was funny.  I don’t. 
From what I was told, the name was actually Allman up until the ‘60s when my father took a bad trip and ended up changing it to something more in tune with Mother Earth.  After he woke up a few years later, he kept it Almond because he thought it was a good joke.  Now I’m stuck with it.  I would’ve changed the name years ago if my father hadn’t made me promise to keep it.  He knew I never broke a promise.  I wish I’d remembered my father’s sense of humor before I agreed.  He up and died before I could wiggle out of it.
He also roped me into the family business, but he did that after he was gone.  His last will and testament said that as soon as I finished college, the whole kit and caboodle was mine.  So I stepped off the platform—degree in hand—and right into the gaping hole of my future as a private detective.
Now you see why I never bothered to change the name on my office door.  Even after my father died, I left it like it was:  Eddie Almond Investigations.  Hell, even in the crappy neighborhood where Eddie bought this office, I don’t want to take a chance on someone stopping in to buy candy.  I don’t do candy.  Hell, I barely even eat the stuff. 
Not that taking over the family business was the worst day of my life.  Oh no.  I’ve had plenty of worst days in my thirty-five year existence, and most of them had nothing whatsoever to do with dear ol’ Dad.  In fact, one of the crappier days I couldn’t really blame on Eddie at all.  If I had to blame it on anything, I’d blame it on my own desperation. 
You see, it was like this... 
About three years ago, if I remember correctly, I was sitting at home minding my own business.  It was probably about three a.m. and I was playing a bit of no limit hold-‘em before I got started on my day.  Just as I flopped a straight, and was drawing to an inside straight-flush, the lights flickered once and my damn computer rebooted.  As luck would have it, I was sitting in one of those rooms that just folds your hand when you lose your connection, so not only did I not make my straight flush, I lost the couple hundred dollars I’d already bet.
So there I was watching a week’s worth of groceries disappeared into cyberspace, and cursing a blue streak, when the phone rang.  Of course, I didn’t answer it; that’s what they make machines for.  (No, I don’t have voice mail.  One of these days I’ll drag myself into the 21st century, but don’t look for it to be any time soon.)
After I finished rebooting and looked at my account balance on the poker site, I wasn’t quite feeling like playing any more.  A few more sessions like that, and I was going to have to find a new way to supplement my income.  Maybe they needed a new dog washer at the Pampered Pooch.  Problem is: I like dogs the same way I like kids—as long as they aren’t mine they’re wonderful.  It’s not like the P.I. business is all that lucrative, but like I said, a promise is a promise.
With nothing else to do, and my brain still whirring like a kids’ toy, I decided to listen to the phone call I didn’t want to pick up.  Bad mistake.  I should’ve just erased the damn thing and went to bed.
“Jordan?” said a familiar voice I couldn’t place.  “I need you.”  If only...  At the moment, I wasn’t seeing anyone, didn’t know anyone I’d want to need me, and I certainly didn’t think the image popping into my mind was what the caller had in mind.  I searched my brain to figure out where I’d heard that somewhat effeminate male voice.  I knew it wasn’t a work-related voice.  This business eats up the effeminate and shits them out.  Hell, I’m a woman and I can’t get away with femininity. 
Then the little light bulb went off over my head.  My hairdresser!  Of course.  By the time I figured it out, the rest of the message had played, but I was pretty pleased with myself for naming that voice in under five words.  Enough patting myself on the back, though.  Since Gerry didn’t swing on my side of the street, he obviously needed help, and since he was the only one in the tri-city area who could do anything with my hair, I figured I’d better help him.  If only to keep myself from looking like something the cat coughed up.
Reaching for a pen and paper, I pressed the replay button.
 “Jordan?  I need you.  I’m at the police station.  They… They think I killed someone.  Can you help me?  Please?”
Now Gerry Fitzpatrick could be a bit bitchy sometimes, but the thought of him as a murderer was beyond stupid.  He cried when he had to clean the traps at his less-than-upscale salon.  I once saw him have a funeral for a particularly unlucky field mouse who must’ve been in town visiting his more urbane relatives and ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Gerry couldn’t kill anything.
So why were the cops thinking he had?
Looking at the clock, which wasn’t much help since the power burp had set it to the flashing 12:00 again, I decided I didn’t really need to sleep that night anyway.  I grabbed a jacket to throw on over my sweats, and headed out the door.
Oh, the things I do for a good haircut.


Someone... not saying who... :cough:jb:cough: ...thinks I ought to finish this.  What do you think?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Monday Again?

Whoa man, I'm like totally messed up on the days of the week.  Bummer. 

But Monday is my day.  I chose Mondays because they're really not that big a deal for me.  In fact, they're pretty much like any other day.  I don't hate them.  I just don't remember them anymore.  LOL

I was going to do a whole big production about the origins of 'Monday', but I haven't had my coffee yet.  BTW, pre-coffee I sort of look like this:
Thank goodness my husband loves me anyway.

So, here I sit, rambling on in a sort of 'stream of consciousness' way, waiting for a flash of insight.

But I got nuthin'.

Check back tomorrow when I think it's my day to post a teaser...  :wanders off to check: 

Yep.  My day.  Maybe I'll tickle you a little with something fun that I have recently been encouraged to actually finish and submit. We'll see.

Until then, adieu.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Fab Foto Friday

I love all the pictures I've taken of beautiful things, but I really appreciate the pics I've taken of the progress we made on this place.  They help to pinpoint what we've done and when we did it.  For instance, a year ago last week, the front of our house looked like this:
And then a week later, it looked like this:
Now it looks like this:
It's like having a photo log of our hard work.  =o)

Do you ever go back and look at the pictures you've taken to see how things have changed?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

What makes you happy?

It's ADMIT YOU'RE HAPPY month.  So we were wondering, what makes YOU happy?

B.E.: I like walking out to the road front with my Hubs and looking at our house.  We've worked so hard to make this what we want it to be, and it looks so nice, I can't help but be happy when I see it. 

Little birds make me happy.  Today we saw a particularly brilliant yellow bird that I have no clue what species it is - and for some reason, that makes me happy, too, because it's like a puzzle I have to figure out.

Reading a good book makes me happy.  =o)


JB: It's been a pretty rough month or two (or twelve) for me, but here are three things I'm happy about:

1) I have the most amazing, wonderful, supportive friends in the universe. Old friends, new friends, real life friends and virtual friends all give me a reason to be happy.

2) Rainbows.  I'm pretty sure I've seen more rainbows since I've been in Florida than I had in my entire life. And they make me happy. Every. Single. Time.

3) My newly-discovered green thumb. Kind of amazed and definitely delighted by everything I'm growing.


Tell us Killer Friends:  Are you ready to admit you're happy?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Name Game


The other day, while standing on line, I told a man he had a nice name. It was strong, clear, and I could spell both his first and last names without trouble. He proceeded to tell me that he was named after Gregory Peck because his mother had had a crush on him.

Another day, I was in a waiting room and was amused when the nurse called out, "Frank?" and looked around expectantly.  There was only one man in the room, who else would it have been?

Later the nurse called out, "Tiffany?"No one responded. I looked around the room, spotted the only person who was the right age to be named Tiffany and pointed her out to the nurse…who walked closer and got the young woman to respond the second time she called the name.

Another woman sitting beside me laughed and remarked, "Of course, she's a Tiffany." Then since she was pregnant we got into a discussion of what she was going to name her baby.

"Hannah."

"Oh cool," I said immediately. "A palindrome."

She looked at me a little strangely. I'm guessing she hadn't yet gotten the "palindromes make names cool" response before.

Thankfully I didn't tell her that in one of my works-in-progress a little girl who's been kidnapped is named Hannah and one of her kidnappers tells her that her name is palindrome. I'm thinking the mother-to-be wouldn't have found that "cool" at all.

Tell me Killer Friends: Do you pay attention to names? Are there any you particularly like? Any you despise?

Personally I'm not overly fond of Jennifer….  ;-)  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Teaser Tuesday….One of those books I may never finish

I have a bunch of manuscripts I've started, but haven't finished yet. Most I just delete after a while, but this one I can't quite give up on. (I'm pretty sure I started it in 2005 or 2006.)  It's sort of an urban fantasy which is out of my wheelhouse…..

Eternal Springs

They could have been praying. The four men knelt shoulder-to-shoulder, their heads bowed slightly. At least one of them, the man who appeared to be the oldest, was praying. His lips were moving soundlessly as he focused on the benevolent gaze of the statue of the Virgin Mary.

They knelt on the floor of the old church as the morning sun splashed through the stained glass windows, bathing their faces in a rainbow of reds, blues and yellows. The praying man, balding, looked to be about fifty. The two men on either side of him appeared to be in their early thirties. The one to his right was a tall, thin man with black spiky hair, hazel eyes and an unreadable expression. He was still and watchful. The man on the other side of the praying man was struggling to free himself from his bonds, the well-developed muscles of his chest and arm, straining against his restraints with every breath he took. Beside him the fourth man knelt, his fair head bent, as though he too were praying.

They could have all been praying, but they weren’t. They were waiting to die. More specifically they were waiting to be executed. The man who’d brought them here, who’d brought them to their knees, strapping their hands behind their backs and binding them to their ankles, and lined them up like chickens about to be slaughtered, paced back and forth before them, puffed up with his own self-importance.

His cell phone buzzed. As fast as a gunslinger in the Old West he yanked it from its holster at his hip, and without taking his eyes from his prisoners, he barked, “I’m here.”

Another man’s voice, smooth and cultured, was heard by the four men waiting on their knees, “All four?”

“Yes,” their captor confirmed.

“Kill them.”

“You bastard  Kassius!” The second man from the left cried out, forgetting about his struggle against the ropes that bound him and lunging awkwardly from his kneeling position towards the phone before tipping over. “You won’t get away with this.”

The unseen man chuckled, a malevolent sound that caused the hairs on the back of the necks of all who heard it, including the man who held the phone, to stand at attention. “I’ve already gotten away with it Duncan. It’s done. You’re done,” the even voice taunted. CLICK. The call was terminated.

Slipping the phone back into its holster their captor mused aloud, “I’ve never done four of you at once.” He grabbed Duncan by the shoulders and roughly dragged him upright.  “Truth is, I’ve never done more than one at a time.” He turned his back on his prisoners and limped a few paces away. “First time for everything I guess.”

Bending forward to reach what lay on the pew, he unzipped the five-foot-long leather case. Three of the men held their breath as they watched him. The bald man’s eyes never left the Virgin Mary’s as he continued to pray.

A consummate performer, the executioner slowly withdrew a long, heavy and extremely sharp sword. The sun glinted off the deadly blade sending vibrating prisms of light dancing through the sanctuary.

“You don’t have to do this,” Duncan said in a low, measured tone that belied his earlier impulsive actions.

The man, who had been admiring the heft of the sword he held, paused, considering Duncan’s words.

“Just let us go,” Duncan urged in the same even tone. “There’ll be no hard feelings.”

”I don’t have to do this?” Confusion crept into the executioner’s tone, making his words have an almost singsong quality.

“No,” Duncan replied. “Just let us go.”

The sword trailing behind him like an afterthought, the man limped back so that he was standing directly in front of Duncan. He leaned down so that his mouth was almost touching Duncan’s ear. “I don’t have to kill you,” he whispered. “But I want to.”

Taking a step back he swung the sword up and over, positioning it above Duncan’s head. “I know I’m supposed to drive it through your heart and all,” he said conversationally, “but this blade is amazing. It can cut through anything. It can even slice through your skull. Wanna see?”

Duncan glared up at him defiantly. The long moment while the swordsman reveled in his power, stretched for an eternity.

“Kyle!”

Surprised by the sound of the woman’s voice echoing off the walls of the church, the swordsman whipped his head around, searching.  Just yards away, she stepped partway out of the shadows so that he could see the .38 trained at him.

“Do. Not. Move.” Her expression was coolly determined. “I mean it Kyle. Not a millimeter.”

“Rose! Get out of here!” the sandy-haired kneeling man who had not previously spoken ordered.

“He’s right Sis,” Kyle said, searching her level gaze for something he could use to his advantage. “You should get out of here.”

“Go to hell,” she snapped back.

“You first, Sis.”

“Been there. Done that. Not all it’s cracked up to be.”


Monday, August 18, 2014

Coming in at the Middle

Last week I won a a contest on Facebook, which was doubly awesome since the author was a pseudonym for an old blog-friend I'd lost touch with, and because she sent me a gorgeous prize pack.  It had a lovely pin, a pad of sticky notes, a darling little sewing kit, etc. Plus the latest book from a cozy mystery series she writes.

Let me back up a bit.  When I say we lost touch, I mean it. I don't remember why.  She got busy, I got busy.  My memory lapsed as it often does and Voila! we lost touch.  Which means I didn't even know she was writing this awesome cozy series or even that she has another cozy series under her real name, or - and I'm a little ashamed to admit this - that the Laura Bradford I had friended on FB was the same Laura who gave me my first chance at guest blogging.  So here I was, loving cozy mysteries and totally clueless.  Which leads me back to the subject of this post...

So I received my prize pack yesterday and in it was a personalized, autographed copy of Taken In by Elizabeth Lynn Casey - Book Five* Nine in the Southern Sewing Circle Mystery series.  Now, I'm not a huge fan of coming in on the middle of a series, but I do it on occasion.  Of course, I was going to this time.  I've already read some of Laura's other books, and loved them, so I had to jump into this one.  It has some allusions to stuff in previous books, but they aren't so glaring I feel like I don't know what's going on here.  Which makes me happy.

I love it when coming in at the middle of a series doesn't leave me feeling like the wallflower at the dance.

Like I said, I'm not a huge fan, but I will do it.  I came in on the middle of The Dresden Files - loved it and went back to read the backlist.  I thought I came in on the middle of SL Viehl's Stardoc series, but then found out I'd read one of her other books set in the same universe, but with different characters, so that was okay, too.

Still, the fear is there.  I didn't bother trying to watch Grey's Anatomy for years because I felt like coming in on the middle would totally suck.  Then one day, I couldn't find anything else to watch, so I jumped into the middle of that pool.  Lucky me, I came in at an episode where there was already transition going on, so it worked for me.  Then I went back and watched it from the beginning and that lonely middle episode made more sense.  (For the record, my first was the episode where Christina brings Lexi home to Meredith's place because she's just had a really shitty day and needs to dance it out - much to Mere's displeasure.)

Anyway, my point is, if the middle part is good enough, I'll be happy anyway and then go back to visit the previous installments of the book or TV or movie series.  And if it's not, I'll forget that I even read it or watched it.  (Which is why I can't come up with any examples of series I started in the middle and then didn't go back to finish.)

What about you?  Can you start a series in the middle or do you have to begin and the beginning?

Oh, and I haven't finished Taken In yet, but I can already tell I'll be going back to the beginning of the series and reading to catch up. ;o)

*I screwed up.  Taken In is BOOK 9.  Derp.  My apologies.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

National Thriftshop Day is Sunday

Okay, we're jumping the gun just a little, but Sunday is National Thriftshop Day, so we figured we'd post about it now and then you can go celebrate on Sunday by snagging some really great goodies.

Do you do thriftshops?  What's your best find? 

B.E.:  I love thiftshops, thrift stores, junk shops, flea markets...  I don't know if my best find is my 1940s typewriter, or my funky bread cabinet, or the furniture pieces I've gotten for this house, or all the art.  I just know I love hunting through stuff and picking just the right thing to go in just the right place.  And I'd celebrate on Sunday, but my favorite thrift store is closed Sundays.  =o(

JB: I love going to thrift shops to recharge my creative juices. Walking around I can spin stories about the previous owners of items. It's a lot of fun.  (Thanks to B.E. who set up this question, I've got Mackelemores's THRIFTSHOP stuck in my head now.)


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Favorite Writing Environment

On Monday B.E. showed off her decluttered writing desk which got me to thinking about writing environments.



Some people think a clean desk is the best place to write. 

Some people (like these folks) think a messy desk is the secret to creativity.

Some people like to write in silence. Some people love background noise.

Some people like stillness. Some people like movement.

Some people need coffee. (Okay MOST of us need coffee, don't we?)

So basically, there's no "right" way to write. Just what's right for you.

I move around A LOT during my writing hours. It's not unusual for me to write in four or five different spots if I stay home.

If I go out, I prefer coffee shops over libraries.

Personally I'm not a big fan of silence.

If I write at home I usually listen music that matches my mood or what I'm trying to accomplish (usually the same song on an endless loop). Like the other day, when I was ruthlessly editing I listened to this:





If you can't get to a coffee shop, but miss the background noise, check out Coffitivity.

Tell me Killer Friends: What's YOUR favorite writing environment?


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Teaser Tuesday - Wish in One Hand

Dipping back into the more recent manuscripts languishing on my hard drive while they wait for publication, here's a bit from Wish in One Hand (or Djinnocide - whichever title blows your skirt up higher.)

Hope ya like it.

Basil said this would be ‘easy-peasy’ (his words, not mine). Hearing my centuries-old business partner use the phrase, in and of itself, should’ve been a heads-up. But, no. I took him at his word and dropped into upstate New York blind.

I closed my eyes.  Before the breeze of teleportation could ruffle my hair, I stood in what could’ve been a storeroom at the Louvre. Except I knew better. Some guy with more cash than ethics whipped out his double-platinum, diamond-encrusted Visa and bought a great many things he should never own. Judging from what I saw at first glance, this Master was one naughty monkey. No fewer than a dozen works of art reported lost or stolen graced his gallery. In one corner even sat a Rodin missing from a prestigious Italian museum.

Too bad he hadn’t halted at owning another person.

Growing up as the daughter of a cat-burglar has its advantages. But as my fingers itched toward a priceless Faberge egg, I admitted being Reggie’s child had disadvantages, too. One big one: brushing the egg’s cloisonné surface started an alarm-ageddon loud enough to blow out eardrums in Pennsylvania.

I jerked my hand away and threw a quick wish. The alarms stopped, but the damage didn’t. Even in this sleepy backwoods, I had ten minutes tops before the authorities arrived.

My senses made short work of locating the genie in question. His sanctuary—his lamp away from home, so to speak—sat nestled on a velvet bed in an ornate showcase. Cringing over the cliché of a genie living in a lamp, I smashed the glass and snatched the offensive thing.

And suddenly life became way more interesting than I needed.

The initial appearance of a genie to any new friend usually ends up as ‘poof, here I am’. Some djinn like a little more pizzazz. This bastard’s full pyrotechnic display shot me halfway across the room. Only quick thinking, and energy I couldn’t afford to waste, stopped me from destroying a couple million dollars worth of masterpieces.

“Sunuvabitch,” I shouted as the smoke coalesced into a human shape. Before I knew it, I found myself staring at a stand-in for Omar Sharif—Lawrence of Arabia style.

“You are not my Master,” he said without looking at me.

“Damn straight I’m not.” The whole Master/genie transaction requires more personal contact than my standard latex gloves allowed. Unless one of them had been pierced somehow—say by tiny shards of glass from a broken display. “Shit.”


And it just gets more fun from there for Jo.  I really hope to be able to someday have this whole thing available for people to read.  Keep your fingers crossed.  (Lord knows, I do - which makes it really hard to type.  :wink:)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Clutter

I don't know if it's a function of being a writer, or if it's just me, but as I sat here trying to think of what to talk about this morning, one thing became evident - my desk is totally cluttered.  Heck, my whole corner of the office is a clutter zone.

And this is AFTER I organized (so, yes, it has looked much worse.)

Exploring the clutter further, here we have the left side of my work area:
The printed pages on the desk are what I'm rewriting.  The ones on the floor are done (including the one I rolled into a tube with which I killed a spider.)  There's my lighter and my smokes.  Several tubes of lip balm and various other bit of crap.  My two pen holders - one for black markers and the other for pens and pencils (the highlighter holder is on Hubs worktable).  There's also the little Eeyore my Kid gave me and a pic of my folks.  Plus, the ever present coffee mug.  The mug of this particular morning says amFUNol - a pun on a company I used to do business with - Amphenol.

Moving on, here's the clutter on the right side of my desk and the middle of my work space:
There's my ashtray on top of a pile of notes, old mail, napkins, etc.  The red thing behind is a piece of swag from my friend, Carolyn Crane's book series.  (It's a glass cleaner for my glass, btw. How cool is that?)  Next to my computer is a stack of sticky notepads, business cards, sticky notes reminding me of things I should've already done, a tube of stamps...  Beneath is the drawer full of crap I don't need but can't get rid of but that now serves as my headset holder.  And beneath that is where I have my really old dictionaries, flex folders for query stuff, and blank notebooks - and piled on top of those are receipts I need to put into the padded envelope they're on top of.

Lastly, we come to the right side of my work area:
Those bags on the floor are stuff that needs to be sorted and filed.  The stuff on the filing cabinet in the corner is also stuff that needs to be filed, on top of a notebook full of writings, and probably two books worth of printed pages for the shredder.  But hey, look how organized the shelves are on my printer stand!  Plastic bins with snapping lids to keep the brown recluses from hiding in there.

Such is the life of this writer and her clutter.  I will declutter soon and then the process will start all over again.

How's your clutter?




Friday, August 8, 2014

Fab Photo Friday - Action Squirrels

I've probably said this before but we're lousy with squirrels here.  I don't mind really.  They're cute.  They're funny to watch sometimes.  Usually, they add a bit of joy to life.  I just wish the little gluttons would stay off my birdfeeder.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Day Off

Hey all!

We're taking an unscheduled day off.  Just so you don't feel like you stopped by for no reason, though, feel free to tell us what you do when you take a day off. 

See you tomorrow.

- Killer Chicks

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

In Search of a Writing Group

I tried out a new-to-me writing group this weekend.

This was a general group, not one geared to a specific form or genre of writing. It's not a critique group.

It was…okay.

Not great, not terrible. (I've been a part of great writing groups and I've sat in with terrible writing groups.)

Here's the thing I've found when I'm trying to find a writing group (or event):  I tend to get a bit of a Goldilocks complex. One is too boring, while another is too competitive.

I'm looking for one that's "just right".

That's hard to find.

So what am I looking for in a group?

1) Energy

I prefer groups where people write A LOT.  I like people who do, rather than people who talk about writing, research writing, have never written, or haven't written in decades.

2) Knowledge

I like being a sponge. I enjoy groups where people are more adept at something than I am. Doesn't matter if it's writing setting, or has worked as an EMT, or runs a street team. I want to learn.

3) Questions

Show me a group whose members ask more questions than toot their own horns and I'm in.


I didn't really find those qualities in this group, BUT I did find ONE person who I think would be a good fit. We're getting together for coffee soon.

Which brings me to my point about writing groups (or conferences): the group (or event) may not be what you're searching for, but if you look hard enough, you can usually find ONE person to connect with and that can make even a terrible group worth the time.

Tell me Killer Friends: Are you part of a writing group? Have you ever been a part of one? What are some qualities you look for? What are some things people should avoid?







Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Another quick look at the second Matchmaker Mystery

His cellphone buzzed, startling him.  The number was unfamiliar. “Hello?”
“Found your purple people eater?” a woman’s voice trilled.
“Armani?”
“The one and only. You called?”
He’d try reaching her on the ride over to Mildred’s place, but had been forced to leave a voice mail message asking her to call him back.
“It’s after midnight.”
“I knew you were up.”
“How?”
“I know these things,” she assured him with a sexy chuckle. “So tell me why you called.
“You don’t know?” he mocked.
“Spill, pretty-pink-drink man.”
“I have a business associate interested in retaining your services.” It was the truth. It wasn’t the primary reason he’d called her, but it was one of the reasons.
“Are you kidding me?”
“He wants his daughter set up.”
“I’m not a freaking butcher counter where you take a number and I hand over your order of fresh meat.” 
He imagined the eyes of the dark-haired beauty on the other line flashing with indignation.
“So you won’t help him.”
“No.”
He watched as the waitress who’d delivered his purple people eater hurried out of the restaurant, rushing toward a car parked at the back of the lot. Like the other night, her breasts practically bounced out of her shirt with every step she took.
“But I may help her,” Armani said in his ear.
“The waitress?”
“What waitress? Does your business associate own an eatery? I love to eat,” Armani purred enthusiastically.
Flustered, Brady babbled, “Not the waitress. I think his daughter works for her father’s company.”
“Which is not a food services organization?” Armani asked.
“No.”
“Too bad. Anyway, I’ll meet with her. If we click, if my gift does its thing, I’ll help her,” Armani declared. “But not just because Daddy wants her married off with children before his heart gives out.”
Brady blinked as she paraphrased what Keith Hartburgh had said. It was hard not to believe in Armani’s ‘gifts’ when she seemed right about so much.