Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

How will writers handle this pandemic?

When I attend Zoom meetings with other writers, someone always asks if we’ll write about the current pandemic in our fiction. Invariably a couple of people reply they’re so so tired of COVID-19 that when it’s over they won’t want to write or read anything about it. They hope to move on and write stories [...]

Where do I get my ideas?

“Where do you get your ideas?” This might be the number one question readers ask authors. My quick answer is that ideas pop into my head all the time and they come from everywhere. My personal experience, conversations with other people, places I’ve lived in and visited, the news, books I’ve read, TV, movies, perhaps [...]

Clearing Clutter

One of my projects for this winter of COVID-19 is to clear clutter from my house. I’m starting with boxes of writing stuff I’ve accumulated during the past 30 years. So far, I’ve filled several recycling bins with papers, although I’m still holding onto more than I should. Easy to dump are old query letters [...]

Do Short Stories Sell?

Some years ago, I participated in a reading event at a local bookstore. The theme was short stories. During the question and answer period, an audience member asked the bookstore owner if people bought short story collections. He answered, “No, even when the author wins a major award.” His example was the recent winner of [...]

Can an online writers’ conference work?

In August I attended the inaugural online When Words Collide Festival for Readers and Writers. Before COVID-19, the in-person WWC had been going strong for nine years in my home city of Calgary. I’d attended each year, but had doubts the online version would provide the same energy, networking, and learning opportunities. As a result, [...]

Lougheed House Summer Haiku Contest

Last month, a friend coaxed me to enter the 2020 Lougheed House Haiku Contest. A seventeen syllable poem struck me as an amount of writing I could manage during a busy summer. I checked the contest guidelines. No entry fee. They allowed three haiku submissions per person. Themes suggested were gardens, nature, Calgary community, and [...]

WWC Online Festival Starts Today – It’s free for everyone!

Every August for the past nine years, I’ve attended Calgary’s When Words Collide Festival for Readers and Writers. I’ve loved the festival’s energy, learned about the writing craft and book promotion, and acquired new readers and writing connections. When this year’s in-person event was cancelled due to COVID-19, the organizers decided to go online. The [...]

The Spanish flu in Calgary, Kansas and the World

COVID-19 piqued my interest in the Spanish flu, which devastated the world from 1918-1920. This led me to place library holds on several e-books about the subject. The first one available was More Deadly Than War: The Hidden History of the Spanish Flu and the First World War by Kenneth C. Davis. This short book, [...]

Featured Author Rerun

On June 19, my publisher, BWL, ran a featured author post by on the BWL website. Here it is, for those who missed it. I talk about my three published novels, including my Calgary Stampede mystery, Ten Days in Summer. It feels nostalgic now, with the Stampede cancelled this summer. * I’ve loved mystery novels [...]

I Can’t Write the Future Anymore

On March 10th, I began the third draft of my novel-in-progress, Winter’s Rage. Unlike my two previous mystery novels, this story shifts between three viewpoint narrators and two time periods. For reading ease, I placed a header at the start of each chapter with the narrator’s name and the story month and year. For the [...]

Subscribe to RSS Feed Follow me on Twitter!