Friday, January 29, 2010

Writing a Synopsis

I enjoy writing novels and even like coming up with short, punchy blurbs or tag lines. But crafting a synopsis is a different story. I start with a basic outline when I’m beginning a novel. I then print this out to use as a guideline as I write. But my stories always go off in their own direction so when a novel is completed, I look back at my outline and find only part that has remained true to my original concept. I then use this outline to write a synopsis after the novel is completed. I write over the outline and have to change a great deal because of how the novel evolved. When I look at the first draft of a synopsis, I want to throw up. It’s a boring cut-out. Then I have to rewrite it to put some life into it. My druthers would be to skip a synopsis completely. I prefer someone reading my novel and getting caught up in the story and characters rather than having to digest a two-page summary.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Living With Your Kids Is Murder is a finalist for the Lefty Award at the Left Coast Crime Conference

I just received some exciting news. My novel, Living With Your Kids Is Murder, is a finalist for the Lefty Award at the Left Coast Crime Conference, taking place in March. The Lefty is given to the best humorous novel published in 2009. I'm in great company. The other finalists are:
Donna Andrews Swan for the Money
Denise Dietz Strangle a Loaf of Italian Bread
Rita Lakin Getting Old Is a Disaster
Kris Neri High Crimes on the Magical Plane

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Rocky Mountain Mystery Writers of America

I’ve just been elected vice-president of Rocky Mountain Mystery Writers of America. As president, Mario Acevedo, says we’re the largest and smallest MWA chapter—largest in geography and smallest in number of members. It’s a great group of people, and we have monthly meetings at the Denver Press Club, the second Thursday of the month (except for June through August) which feature fascinating speakers and dinner. This last Thursday Dr. Joe Gentile, Forensic Odontologist, spoke on solving crimes through dental identification. Next month Lieutenant Sanchez of the Denver Police Department’s vice and narcotics unit will speak about the seamy and dangerous business of prostitution. In October Silvia Pettem will describe the Boulder Jane Doe case from 1954, and in November Detective Chuck Heidel will recount the Tantra Rapist case that was solved after eleven years of persistence. In December we’ll all be going to the Adams Mystery Dinner Playhouse for our holiday party. Anyone who is in the Denver area is invited to join the meetings. Visit

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Aging and Other Minor Inconveniences

In conjunction with my writing, I’ve been giving a presentation titled, Aging and Other Minor Inconveniences, to organizations around the Colorado Front Range. Yesterday I gave a talk to a great group of people, the Boulder chapter of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE). The Colorado Federation President, Frank Impinna, also attended to initiate the new officers of the Boulder chapter. I enjoyed his presentation, and he shared several indicators of how you know you’re getting older. You know you’re getting older when someone compliments you on your alligator shoes and you’re barefoot. You know you’re getting older when getting lucky means finding your car in the parking lot. You know you’re getting older when a little action means taking fiber. You know you’re getting older when your sweetie says let’s go upstairs and go to bed and you answer, pick one.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Writing During the Holidays - 2

I try to write everyday and have been pretty good about it during most of the holidays. Over the Thanksgiving week when we were in Los Angeles, I only wrote two days. Too many activities with family scheduled. I have a set of priorities I follow: top priority is family emergencies, then work (writing) emergencies, then normal family activities, then normal work (writing) activities. I set my schedule when I’m at home and can stay with it pretty well, but on the road I’m either at a conference and spending time with other people or with family and spending time with them. Still, I got in a lot of writing time over the last month. I completed the rough draft for a thriller and am now in editing mode.