I’m one of the lucky ones. Several of my friends lost their homes to the CZU Lightning Complex fire north of Santa Cruz (so called because it was started by a dry lightning storm) which began in the early hours of Sunday, August 16—and is still burning. The city of Santa Cruz, was thankfully spared. But on Wednesday, August 19, Robin and I awoke to … Continue reading A Values Clarification
I’m guessing it’s a pretty safe bet that most everyone’s routines have been disturbed since the middle of March. Which is not a good thing, since we humans thrive on routine. And when our lives are disrupted and we can no longer do the things we’ve been accustomed to, it can be hard on one’s mental health. For me, as I wrote about earlier, what … Continue reading Riding Out Your Thoughts
All the fiction I’ve written to date—unpublished things, as well as my Sally Solari novels—has been in the first person. However, when I started book one in my mystery series, Dying for a Taste, I actually did so in the third person. There was no particular reason for this choice, other than the fact that most novels seemed to be written that way. But about … Continue reading Which Person is Which?
I think about food a lot. In part because I seem to be incessantly hungry—the result, no doubt, of having to greatly curb my caloric intake now that I’ve reached what the French so delicately call un certain âge. But also because I’m pretty much obsessed with food, even when not hungry. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve begun discussing and planning a … Continue reading When is a Fruit a Vegetable?
It’s long been my belief that coming together at mealtimes to sip some wine, swap stories, and learn what’s been going on in each others’ lives, is an essential part of what it is that makes us human. From the time of the stone age, early Homo Sapiens would gather about the communal fire each night for safety, stories, and food. And although this now … Continue reading Dinner in a Time of Pandemic
Like everyone who’d registered for Left Coast Crime this year, I was faced with the decision two weeks ago whether or not to attend, given the health risks posed by the COVID-19 virus. Since I’m in good health with no respiratory or immunity issues, I determined to go. After all, it’s one of the best mystery conventions in the world, and would be my only … Continue reading LCC 2020—It Went By So Fast!
We’ve all had them. Once can be funny, twice or three times hilarious, but anything much more than that can become pretty maddening, right? So why does our body do such a strange—and annoying—thing? What’s the point of hiccups, anyway? There are some adorable kids’ books about hiccups, including this one Hiccups can happen for a variety of causes—some physical, some emotional—and result from an … Continue reading What’s the Deal with Hiccups?
Given today’s title, I’d forgive you if you thought this post was going to be about murder and mayhem in the mystery novel. But no, it’s about the writing of mysteries. Those flesh and bones, you see, are a metaphor. A host of ingredients are required to make up compelling novel (slipped in another metaphor—and a cooking one this time!): among them, plot and subplot, … Continue reading Flesh and Bones
Last week, I received the good news that the audiobook for my most recent Sally Solari mystery, Murder from Scratch, had finally been completed and was now ready for purchase on Audible. Yippee! (You can find it here.) The previous three books in the series will also soon be made into audiobooks but, because of its subject matter, I’m delighted that the company chose to … Continue reading The Different Sounds of You
It’s a well-accepted tenet of fiction writing that you should get through your first draft quickly, not stopping to edit yourself, before you go back and start on the revisions. Otherwise, the reasoning goes, you’ll become mired in the details and lose track of the overall story. Well, I guess I must be a rebel, because that’s just not the way I fly. After coming … Continue reading Carving Out Your Words
Given my adoration of all things culinary (which sentiment is shared by my restaurateur protagonist, Sally Solari), I thought it was high time for another food-related post on the Chicks. So here’s a little love letter to butter: I’ve been in love with butter from as far back as I can remember. When I was a kid, my mom used to leave a stick of … Continue reading Nothing Better Than Butter!
Bob Dylan famously proclaimed to the world that “he not busy being born is busy dying,” thereby dividing life into two segments: the period when we consistently make the most of our life and move forward, after which we merely exist and begin marching towards our grave. But now that I’m in my sixties, and thus entering the last third of my existence, I’ve been … Continue reading Learning, Working, Resting