Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Writing Life - a wild assortment of thoughts reined in for your edification...

What is up with the writing life of Jan Morrison today?
Well, besides the odd fact of her talking about herself in the third person like some potentate or pompous git, not too much. It is raining. Gwen isn't here yet but as it is 7 AM that is no surprise. I simply couldn't stay in bed this morning, sipping coffee and reading. I just couldn't. I've got several bees in my bonnet.
As the ridiculous but endearing Mr. Sparkler says about every single woman in Little Dorrit - "she's got no be-gad nonsense about her". That's how I am this morning. No nonsense. Not a bit of it. So let's get at it shall we.

First up! Two of my most favouritest blogging women are delivering books next month. Elizabeth Spann Craig is a force to be reckoned with. In the writing blog world we know she has a cape hidden in a telephone booth somewhere. She has published several books and this one is part of her quilting series. The other woman is my dear Burrowing pal The Tartlette (sometimes known at Hart Johnson. She's also written a cozy and this will be her first published book! The two decided to join forces for a CRAZY COZY BLOGFEST.  Go to this link, sign-up, there is a fabulous contest that I am for sure entering.

First off though - what is a cozy mystery?Well here it is in the Tartlette's own words:

Cozy Mysteries are like Mystery-Lite—there is still a dead body (or two), still a mystery to solve, and still lots of twists and turns. But they are low on gore (murder happens off the page), low on violence (happens off the page), low on sex (though not necessarily anti-innuendo or ogling—again, just not on the page) -- the whole thing is kept very PG-- and because the sleuth is an amateur, they are also low on technical forensic or police procedural language, making them very approachable. (and far easier for a non-cop to write)

But in ADDITION, they also tend to have a lot of humor, some quirky characters, a recurring cast, and frequently there is a THEME (Elizabeth's is quilting, mine is gardening).

 Quilt or Innocence Beatrice has a lot of gossip to catch up on—especially with the Patchwork Cottage quilt shop about to close. It seems that Judith, the landlord everyone loves to hate, wants to raise the rent, despite being a quilter herself… But when Judith is found dead, the harmless gossip becomes an intricate patchwork of mischievous motives. And it’s up to Beatrice’s expert eye to decipher the pattern and catch the killer, before her life gets sewn up for good.

Elizabeth Spann Craig: Elizabeth writes the Memphis Barbeque series for Penguin/Berkley (as Riley Adams), the Southern Quilting mysteries (2012) for Penguin/NAL, and the Myrtle Clover series for Midnight Ink. She blogs daily at Mystery Writing is Murder, which was named by Writer's Digest as one of the 101 Best Websites for Writers for 2010 and 2011.

As the mother of two, Elizabeth writes on the run as she juggles duties as Girl Scout leader, referees play dates, drives carpools, and is dragged along as a hostage/chaperone on field trips.

The Azalea Assault
Cam Harris loves her job as public relations manager for the Roanoke Garden Society. It allows her to combine her three loves, spinning the press, showing off her favorite town, and promoting her favorite activity. She's just achieved a huge coup by enlisting Garden Delights, the country's premiere gardening magazine, to feature the exquisite garden of RGS founder, Neil Patrick. She's even managed to enlist world-famous photographer Jean-Jacques Georges. Unfortunately, Jean-Jacques is a first-rate cad—insulting the RGS members and gardening, goosing every woman in the room, and drinking like a lush. It is hardly a surprise when he turns up dead. But when Cam's brother-in-law is accused and her sister begs her to solve the crime, that is when things really get prickly.

Alyse Carlson: Alyse Carlson is the pen name for Hart Johnson who writes books from her bathtub. By day she is an academic researcher at a large midwestern university. She lives with her husband, two teenage children and two fur balls. The dust bunnies don't count. This will be her first published book.

2nd Up - I signed up for the BuNoWriMo or the Burrower Novel Writing Month that begins June 1st. What am I? Nuts or genius?? I've done one NaNoWri Mo in the past. I got about half a book out of it and it still isn't finished. Yet...I long for a challenge. True is out looking for a home - The Rock Walker is in somewhat better shape than I imagined. And I want to write not revise for the rest of my life. So I signed up as a rebel. I will promise 25 thousand words (a quarter of a novel) and the other half of my writing time will go to revising The Rock Walker. My plan is to have that revision done by the end of June so I think it will work. And what am I going to write? I don't know if it will be another in the Kitty MacDonald mystery series or something else altogether. It has a name - that is all I know - The Barrens.

3rd Up - In amongst this writing flurry I will be working at my psychotherapy practice, and getting this house ready to sell. We are moving back to our old house for a year or two - then we'll sell it and find our final little cottage by the sea. Selling a house means that it has to be clean and nice-looking all the time. It has to smell good and be pleasant and look like any people lucky enough to buy it will live an enchanted life. Er...hem.  But as I said earlier - I've got no be-gad nonsense about me. Not anymore. It has been driven out of me by forces beyond my comprehension. I will finish my revision, write a quarter of a novel and sell this damned house! So cheer me on. If you read but don't comment - how come? If you read but haven't joined - why not? And if you have cheerfully done both - YAY!!!!
What does your June look like?


lissa said...

sounds like you're going to have a busy june, good luck.

I do like your reference to Dicken's quote, that quote always amuses me, even more so in the tv adaptation.

hope you have a sweet spring.

Margot Kinberg said...

Jan - Thanks for mentioning Elizabeth, one of my favourite authors :-). And I am excited for you about the Burrowers Month. How much I admire you for that discipline!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Oh, my, but Jan is up to a lot!
Best to you as you tick off the items on that list. :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I mentioned the Crazy Cozy Blogfest today, too. I've met Elizabeth in person and she is just a joy.

One day my husband will retire and we'll sell our current house, the first one we ever purchased. I am so not looking forward to it.

Tracy said...

gosh, lots going on....I did NaNoWriMo once. and loved the accountability but just couldn't keep up with it and my family and work!
but I love the productivity of it!

Faith Pray said...

Oohweee!Thanks for sharing about Elizabeth and The Tartlett! I'm thrilled for them, and can't wait to gobble up those cozies with a good cuppa! And your plans for May sound pretty exciting, too! I'll live vicariously through your word count and the Rebel Writing month. It sounds wonderful. I will keep chipping away at my spare moments, and send hugs!

Hart Johnson said...

Jan-thank you so much for giving our blogfest a shout! I definitely appreciate it! And good luck with that clean and nice-smelling thing! Man, I'd have trouble keeping a house clean all the time. My mom, when they last sold, bought those tubes of cookie dough so she could just pop a batch in the oven each time someone was coming (but don't burn them)