Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Book Club Questions for Lyon's Legacy

I received a nice surprise last week when I found out the Insecure Writer's Support Group had chosen my novella, Lyon's Legacy, as one of this month's selections for their Goodreads book club. One of the moderators emailed me and asked me to contribute three questions to the discussion. I've listed them below:

  1. Joanna’s family history plays a big role in how she perceives herself. What are the positive and negative ways families and genetics affect her identity?
  2. Should the time travelers request permission to take DNA samples from the alternate universe, even if the people never know the true purpose for the samples? What would be fair compensation?
  3. Lyon’s Legacy was partly inspired by the author’s love for a famous rock group that she never got to see perform. If you could travel to the past to meet someone, who would it be and why? What would you want to bring back with you?

If you haven't read Lyon's Legacy yet (a science fiction novella about a scientist forced to clone a famous ancestor), you can download a permafree eBook from your favorite store here

Have you ever had a book of yours selected for a book club? What was it like? Feel free to share your thoughts below. If you celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow, hope it's a happy and healthy holiday!



Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Mid-Month Mysteries: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving sometimes seems to get lost between Halloween and Christmas. Fortunately, you can still find enough Thanksgiving-themed cozy mysteries to read until your eyeballs are stuffed. Here are a few books that look interesting to me, though I haven't read them yet. It looks like they're all part of series.

Gobble, Gobble Murder by Leslie Meier actually contains two mysteries about Thanksgiving. There's references to several holiday traditions, including a turkey trot.

Thanksgiving in Cherry Hills by Paige Sleuth has a vegan pumpkin pie, a woman trying to feed the homeless, and two cats.

Drizzled with Death by Jessie Crockett includes a different type of tradition--a pre-Thanksgiving pancake eating contest along with a lot of puns in the blurb.

Black Thursday by Linda Joffe Hull focuses on another holiday tradition--shopping. 

Turkeys, Tuxes, and Tabbies by Kathi Daley deals with a houseful of guests.

Finally, if you need incentive to avoid dessert, A Deadly Feast by Lucy Burdette deals death by pie.

My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is visiting Kristkindlmarkt in Chicago with my family. Feel free to share yours in the comments.


Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Crochet Project: Slippers

Instead of talking about writing this week, I thought I'd talk about a crochet project I finally finished. Several years ago, I bought myself a pair of slippers with nice thick bottoms (I had plantar fasciitis about ten years ago, so I make sure I have as much foot support as possible.) The tops of the shoes wore through and were no longer wearable, but I wanted to save the bottoms. So I came up with a plan to reuse them:



1. Remove the damaged top part from the old slippers. 

2. Crochet a new pair of slippers. (I used this pattern but omitted the cable design.) I have to admit it took me almost a year between the time I bought the materials to the time I finally made the slippers. Once I got started, though, the slippers worked up quickly.

3. Cut out felt bottoms and sew to the underside of the slippers. This would provide me with a base for gluing everything together later on. The slippers were quite wearable like this, and I used them like that while I waited to get the glue for the next step. I didn't take a picture of the slippers, but here's a photo of me using part of the old slippers to cut out the felt for the bottoms.


4. Glue everything together with E-6000 glue. The kind I used is meant for these kinds of materials.

The slippers feel heavy with the bottoms, but still comfortable. The yarn is cozy and hopefully won't rip like the wool fabric did. I may make another pair of slippers to use as slipper socks.

Have you made something new from something old? How did it work out? Feel free to share in the comments.

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

IWSG: Titles vs. Blurbs


I'm writing this post on Halloween, but it's time to welcome you to November. If anyone reading this is participating in National Novel Writing Month, good luck to you! I'll be happy if I finish the first draft of Restaurants and Revenge this month. (I'm well over 50,000 words, but I've changed my mind a couple of times about who the murderer is.) 

Since this is the month for writers, it's a good time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group Post. Learn more about them on their website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed. Our hosts this month are Kim Lajevardi, Victoria Marie Lees, Joylene Nowell Butler, Erika Beebe, and Lee Lowery.

Our question for November is What's harder to do, coming up with your book title or writing the blurb?

In general, I find it easier to come up with a book title than a blurb. Most novel titles come to me either before I start the story or during the first draft. Sometimes they change, but not often. In contrast, I have to finish the book (not just the first draft, but also revisions) before I tackle the blurb. As a pantser, I don't know all the twists and turns before I start writing, so I need to know the entire story before I can write the blurb. It's also easier to be pithy with a phrase than a paragraph. I feel I need more feedback from readers when writing the blurb, since it's targeted at them.

What do you find harder to write, titles or blurbs? Please let me know in the comments.

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