Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Once Upon a crime fifth annual write of spring

Snow is falling heavily in Minnesota, so it seems the perfect time to announce the Fifth Annual Write of Spring event.

Where: Once Upon a Crime, Minneapolis
When: Saturday, March 24, 2007, 12:00 - 4:00

Except for mystery conventions or rehab reunions, you will never see as many Minnesota authors in one place! A great day and way to celebrate Minnesota writers, Once Upon a Crime, and buy autographed copies of your favorite Minnesota authors’ books.

12:00 PM: Robert Alexander, Laura Childs, Monica Ferris, William Fietzer, Erin Hart, Judith Koll Healy, E. Kelly Keady, Peter Rennebohm, Rick Shefchik, R.D. Zimmerman

1:00 PM: KJ Erickson, Margaret Frazer, Brian Freeman, Bob Gust, Lori L. Lake, Jess Lourey, Michael Mallory, Marilyn Victor

2:00 PM: Gary Bush, Chris Everheart, Pete Hautman, Mary Logue, Bruce Rubenstein, Quinton Skinner, Anthony Neil Smith, Deborah Woodworth

3:00 PM: Harold Adams, Carl Brookins, Philip Donlay, Anne Frasier, Lois Greiman, Ellen Hart, David Housewright, William Kent Krueger

Sunday, February 25, 2007

making the switch

i'm going to make the switch from old blogger to new this week. if anybody has any advice, i'd appreciate it! i'm afraid everything is going to vanish. i have the entire template saved, but it could take several days to get it unmessed up. I noticed that blogger is now saying nothing will change when the switch is made. not sure i'm falling for that.

fiction crash and the dollar value of a writer

Measuring success

The clock is ticking.

(edited to remove whining.)

Friday, February 16, 2007


this article is making the rounds. Thanks, Jaye! I find it especially fascinating because i've always been a horror fan but have only recently realized how much horror novels and movies have influenced my writing. over the years i've grown tired of other genres, but i'm more infatuated with horror now than ever before.

Why horror writing will be big in 2007
Keep all the lights on! Horror is set to be one of the coolest literary trends of 2007, but these ghosts, beasts and ghouls are subtle, not schlocky.
Danuta Kean reports on a reanimated genre

read entire article:


some good news: the POV discussion has ended and the first-person narrative is staying. whew. i was not looking forward to that massive revision. the book has officially gone into production which means i should receive payment in about four months.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

walking on water

it's been cold enough to freeze lake superior so people can hike across the water to the ice caves. the pictures were taken by my daughter. i web optimized them so they've lost quite a bit of their impact, but still... wow. i think i might be willing to freeze my bum to see this. i didn't post pictures of the actual caves -- i was more taken with frozen lake superior and the spectacular giant ice shards.

ice caves

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Kiss her goodbye

while i was away, friend and blogger Robert Gregory Browne saw the release of his debut novel KISS HER GOODBYE.

Rob has a great blog where you can find tons of information on writing.
You can also find a link to a book trailer and the first three chapters of KISS HER GOODBYE.
I haven't picked up my copy yet, but I read the first three chapters online. wow. fantastic stuff. Be sure to check it out.

Rob's blog:

anatomy of a book deal

Monday, February 12, 2007

Point of view

I just heard back from my editor about the revisions I mailed a couple of weeks ago. She thinks everything looks fine


some of you might recall my indecision about writing one character in first person when all of the other characters are third person. i originally wrote Kristin in first person, then i switched to third, then back to first. my editor is wondering if I should switch her to third. i can completely understand her reservations because i've gone back and forth on this issue myself. i think first person gives us more of an emotional punch for the most powerful scenes. some of that will be lost in third. but if the switch from third to first is jarring for some readers...

it's a tough call.

Saturday, February 10, 2007


i'm back from florida!
the weather was beautiful. sunshine every day, highs 65 - 74. the air smelled wonderful.
here's something i noticed both times i traveled to a warm location -- somewhere around day 3 something strange happens. in the cold north every muscle is tight -- as if bracing for a blow. but around day 3 of warm weather those muscles relax. it happens all at once, as if the body finally realizes it no longer has to be in severe clench mode.

this is the cottage where i stayed before heading to my dad's house.

paynes prairie state park

this preserve is amazing. fifty miles long; fifteen miles wide. located between gainesville and ocala off 75.

paynes prairie

another cool place:

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Dark City

Well, I'm gonna give this thing a go. When my mom asked me to guestblog, I thought, "Why not? Can't be that hard." But now I've spent the last two days trying to figure out how to even start -- school? band? book trailer stuff? someone side-swiping the mirror off my car and not leaving a note? I guess I almost deserve it, it is my choice to live in Minnesota in the winter afterall. Like I deserve to never see the sun, or how every winter I forget what the color green looks like. It all sort of meshes into one big brown blur -- ugly, leafless trees juxtaposed against piles of brown muck that used to be snow. Get up, trudge through it then trudge home again. It gets a tad bit monotonous and makes even the simplest tasks seem ridicuously hard. Swedes do a good job combatting the darkness and depression that sets in -- cute little lamps in every window, cozy cafes every three blocks, light, light, and more light. I was half-expecting a similar approach when I moved to Minnesota considering the heavy Scandinavian heritage, but found the common combatant here seems to be excessive drinking and way too much time at the bar. It certainly doesn't help that the band I'm in plays the bar circuit -- it's starts to feel like that's all there is and suddenly I imagine myself white-haired and toothless, spouting off about the glory days between hacking my lungs up and pounding my fifth beer of the night. No. I definitely need to find some other way to fight the SAD that descends every year about this time. It's funny, every time I turn on the tv, I see that Alan Thicke ad where he's knee deep in some giant pool of water saying, "What happens in Las Vegas...should be happening to you." It's lush, green, and warm -- everything I seem to be missing. But funny enough, it makes me glad to be where I am.



Saturday, February 03, 2007

this is nuts

today's high was -7.

i'm guessing the wind was blowing at least twenty miles an hour. maybe more. low tonight is supposed to be -15, with wind chills of at least -40.

i bundled up to take out the trash and almost died. it's brutal. and breaking some records. the furnace never shuts off, and the house is creaking and popping.

i am so glad i have julia buckley's ARC to read. delightful, and funny as hell.

frequent flyer miles....

i love frequent flyer miles. yes, they're impossible to use over holidays, but most of my plane tickets have been purchased with frequent flyer miles. that means i've flown to oregon for free. to boise for free. to georgia for free more than once. florida for free twice. 3 free trips to iowa. well, not FREE. there's a ten dollar charge. 60 bucks if you don't purchase the ticket 3 weeks in advance. i just got a new credit card that is free for one year. it gave me 20,000 miles right off. that's almost one round trip already.

i've never been a coupon clipper, but i love frequent flyer miles.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Heavy Metal Noir and the duende

The Heavy Metal Noir entries are up at Hillbillies and Hitmen!
Please check them out and vote!


From Patrick's site:

Heavy Metal Noir: Reading and Voting
I received five entries for the Heavy Metal Noir Flash Fiction contest, and they are all posted here. The authors' names have been removed from the stories to eliminate any possible bias. These stories have not been edited.

Now it's up to you. We need you to decide the winner. Vote for the one story you think is best. Please include the entry number and title. Send your vote for the best story to with the subject header "Heavy Metal Noir Vote." One vote per person. Please do not cast votes in a story's comments section; I will not count those.

Voting will end at 12 a.m. (Eastern Time) on Thursday February 15, 2007. The winner will be announced February 16. The prize is a copy of The Drummer, signed by Anthony Neil Smith, and the winner's choice of one CD from a list of "classic" heavy metal albums.

So please give each story a close reading (there are only five, after all) and send in your vote.

I also want to mention Daniel Hatadi's most excellent and thought-provoking post at Down in the Hole.