Tuesday 29 November 2016


I heard Walter Mosley speak this summer at Thrillerfest.  As a writer, I found him to be  inspirational for a couple of reasons. He made two comments that I still  remember from his presentation five months ago. They are guidelines about being a writer:

1) Write three hours EVERY day

2) Read poetry

I like speakers who say a few key things that are memorable and will actually make a difference to my writing life.

Since I have been home in Calgary, I have tried to follow his suggestions, but as always, life gets in the way.  However, I have finished one short story and a new website, so that's all good.

I bought one of Walter's books at the bookstore at Thrillerfest called Rose Gold.  I'll let you know what I think.

Thursday 26 July 2012

Tag - You're It

I was tagged by Suzanne Stengl in her blog Tuesday Cafe with the Lucky Seven Meme.  She posted seven lines starting at the seventh line from page seven of her soon to be published novella - The Ghost and Christie McFee.

I had the opportunity of reading an early draft of Suzanne's book and it's great.  For me, it's really cool how Suzanne drew on Annie Hamilton and Otto Dredger, two of the characters from my book, Death at Bandit Creek and gave them a whole new story.  

Follow this link to Tuesday Cafe to read an exerpt from Suzanne's book.  If you do, I'm betting that you'll be buying it on August 1.

Okay, now for the meme:  Here are seven lines from my book, Death at Bandit Creek:

Luc felt the barb of Ty’s criticism. “I did a pretty good job of lining the brands up,” he said.
“We don’t want a fight with Dredger, Luc.”
Luc thought about Ty’s words. Dredger had always caused trouble for their father and now he wanted to steal their calves. Luc turned to his brother. “We’ll get these calves on the train out of Bandit Creek today. We’ll take them along with the yearlings.”
Ty muttered something. Luc knew Ty didn’t want a range war. Men like Dredger took the law into their own hands. Lynching for cattle theft wasn’t unheard of, especially back in the days before the new century.
I am tagging seven authors.  They have all published books in the Bandit Creek series and I am challenging them to post seven lines from their books:

Steena Holmes

Shanna Gekko

Trip Williams

Alyssa Palmer

Brenda Sinclair

Pamala Yaye

Vivi Anna

Thursday 1 March 2012

Truth and Fiction: Opening Hooks

The opening lines are the words that hook our readers into our fictional world. The words that start them down the path of our tangled webs.  We hope to give the reader just enough to intrigue them with our story question.

Here are the words that opened a debate into minimum sentences for criminal convictions.  The question for my readers is this:  would you read a book that opens with these lines?

"At just before 2:00 am on March 9, 2009, Leroy Smickle was engaged in a very foolish act.  He was alone in the apartment of his cousin, Rojohn Brown, having elected (because he had to be at work in the morning) to stay in while his cousin went out to a club.  Mr. Smickle was reclining on the sofa, wearing boxer shorts, a white tank top, and sunglasses.  Thus clad, he was in the process of taking his picture for his Facebook page, using the webcam on his laptop computer.  For reasons known only to Mr. Smickle, and which arguably go beyond mere foolishness, he was posing in this manner with a loaded handgun in one hand.  Unfortunately for Mr. Smickle, at this exact moment, members of the Toronto Police Emergency Task Force and the Guns and Gangs Squad were gathered outside the apartment preparing to execute a search warrant in relation to Mr. Brown, who was believed to be in possession of illegal firearms.  They smashed in the door of the apartment with a battering ram, and Mr. Smickle was literally caught red-handed, with a loaded illegal firearm in his hand.  He immediately dropped the gun and the computer, as ordered to by the police, and was thereupon arrested." [From the judgement of Ontario Superior Court Justice Anne Malloy in February 2012.]

I write a draft of an opening line to get my story going.  But then I go back and write and rewrite the lines.  I read other what other writers have written.  I ask myself, what pulls me into a story.  Are there lessons to be learned from Justice Malloy's opening? How do you craft your story opening?

Tuesday 15 November 2011

10 Days of Thanksgiving

I went to bookclub last night.  We read Room by Emma Donoghue which is a really creepy book about a young woman kidnapped and imprisoned in an 11 by 11 room for six or seven years.  Long enough to have given birth and raised a 5 year old son, Jack.

This is not a book that I would normally choose to read, but the joy of a bookclub is that it expands my range of reading.  I read out of my comfort zone which is mystery, thriller and romantic suspense. 

Long story short, all of these lovely ladies, who prefer literary fiction, want to read my book,  Death in Bandit Creek.  Being romantic suspense, it certainly is not literary fiction. 

I am so grateful to those 12 wonderful ladies.  I hope they like my book.

Monday 14 November 2011

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving comes from our agricultural roots. I am the first generation of my family to have lived most of my life off the farm, but when I think what is home means to me,  the  family farm is one of the places I think of.  I have a painting of the farm on my wall beside me as I write.  It shows the house my grandfather built, the barns and outbuildings, the fields sweeping to the prairie sky.  The farm has been gone now for almost 30 years, but it gave me roots. I  still remember gathering eggs as a child.  Farms teach you to be tough and do your chores.  And in the fall, it is a time of harvest and Thanksgiving.
Today I am grateful for a wonderful writng group,  the Bandit Creek Collective.  Together, 32 of us, have banded together for an advernture and to take a risk.  Each of us is going to write a novella set in Bandit Creek, Montana, We are cooperating to edit each book and then market each book.  My book is Death at Bandit Creek and it will be awailable for sale shortly.
Like any good goal, this project has stretched me and helped me prove some things to myself.  That I can write a book until it is finished.  That editing and revisions do not need to take five years.  That with the feedback from my friends, I feel confident to send it out into the world. People will love it.
The editing was hard and there were some tough comments.  But hey, I am a farm girl, remember.
So I am thankful for my Bandit Creek writing group and especially Suzanne, Brenda, Alyssa, Tawny and the committee, CJ, and Lawna.  If not for them I would not be introducing  you to this fabulous interview about my book on the Bandit Creek site.  Check it out:

Friday 11 November 2011

Take a moment to remember


By Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae

Lieutenant Colonel John McCraeIn Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields!

Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

Composed at the battlefront on May 3, 1915
during the second battle of Ypres, Belgium

Thursday 10 November 2011

The Business of Writing

Now that the book is totally finished, I am on to a new adventure finding people who want to read my book.  The people who have already read seem to love it.  So I guess after that, its just one person at a time, discovering the book, getting hooked and deciding to read it.  Wish me luck.