May 31, 2022 - What I've Been Doing

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Yes, it’s been a while since I posted. I’ve been sucked into the Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard trial this month. I first started watching as “research” for the Shipwreck Point Series, which features a lawyer. But I’ve also been a Johnny Depp fan all the way back to 21 Jump Street. And, like almost everyone else, I loved his campy performance in the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Then, also like almost everyone else, I heard something about him abusing his wife, and suddenly I didn’t feel like watching anything that he was in, even though I own DVDs of Finding Neverland (a favorite), Donnie Brasco, and even Sweeney Todd. So the defamation lawsuit intrigued me, and I’ve watched most of each day’s testimony as it happened.

That was how I learned that things were not as they seemed. Based on the evidence, he was not the abuser in that relationship. She was.

Enough of that except to say that all is left is for the jury to render a verdict, so I’ve gotten most of my day back to return to writing. I’m closing in on the end of the first draft of The Case of the Pirate’s Puzzle, which hopefully will be almost a final draft. I’ve also designed two different covers for the book and polled my newsletter subscribers and an author group I belong to as to which one to use. I am now totally confused, because the readers overwhelmingly liked one cover and the writers overwhelmingly liked the other.

I can’t believe tomorrow is June already. Look for my newsletter next Tuesday. There will be something in it (well more than one something, I hope) that you’re sure to want to know about.

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May 12, 2022 - Progress!

Thursday, May 12, 2022

I’m happy to report that I’m making steady, if slow, progress on writing The Case of the Pirate’s Puzzle. With the pressure of meeting a daily word count gone, I’m thoroughly enjoying this book now. I take the time to research things like what an Italian restaurant menu would look like so Elisabeth and Stella can have lunch at one before writing the scene. Previously, I would have inserted one of those XXX markers to do that in revision. But, as I think I’ve said before, that makes the revision stage exceedingly tedious and frustrating.

This method also leaves time for sudden inspiration. Earlier today, while not working on the book, an idea for how I could slowly introduce my killer blossomed, seemingly out of nowhere. It’s always tricky to keep the murderer hidden, yet still play fair with the reader. Half of the fun of reading mysteries is in trying to figure out whodunit before the answer is revealed. But it can’t be too easy. And so I made a quick note before I made breakfast, because I tend to remember that I had an idea, but not necessarily what it was if I wait too long. It was sitting there for me when I actually sat down to write this morning.

Then, after a longish nap this afternoon, I was ready to go back to working on the cover. Cover design is always a lot of trial and error, playing with different ideas before the right combination clicks. I like what I’ve got right now, but I also have an alternate version that I might use. I’ll have to try that tomorrow, as it’s getting late. If you’re reading this on my actual blog, here’s a thumbnail of what I have tonight.

Pirate's Puzzle Book Cover

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