R is for Rating Rejection

End of week three of the A to Z Challenge and we’re on letter R, for Rating Rejection. Because I’m traveling, and access to wi-fi spotty, I decided to reissue an old post, which adds to yesterday’s discussion on reentering the query gauntlet…There is such a thing as rejection excellence. Or an excellent rejection. What makes …

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Q is for Queries and Queens

Q-day in the A to Z Challenge and today, the theme is Queries and Queens. Yesterday I mentioned the complexities of human behavior and emotions, how motivation is different for different people, how different people cope with similar situations, how novelists strive to write engaging—saleable—books. Today I share how one woman helped me cope when …

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P is for Pickle Jar

My first day in Crim 105, otherwise known as Psychological Explanations of Crime, the professor asked us to describe our “profile” of a criminal, in particular, a murderer. The descriptions varied from tattooed gangster, to child molester, assaultive stepfather, car-jackin’ junkie, and accident-causing drunk driver. Our professor smiled and nodded with each—predictable—presumption, and then she …

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O is for October (and Opportunity)

It’s Letter O day in the A to Z Challenge (and I bet, because I’m so late posting, you thought I forgot. I didn’t, just a busy, away from home kind of day.) Now, on to today’s O-word, October! Why October when it’s almost six months away? Because October means, Surrey International Writers’ Conference! The Surrey …

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N for New York

It’s week 3 of the A to Z Challenge, and for those following along, today’s letter is N, and the topic, another place on my must-see list: New York, New York. I am sure you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone in the developed world that has not heard of New York. It is one of …

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M is for Mondays

A to Z Challenge letter: M. Mondays… I recall grade eight, the year I entered high school, as the year Monday mornings emerged from an endless blur of days to something sharp, uncomfortable, the first cut in a series of five cuts patched on weekends, the delicate wounds reopened the following Monday. High school is never …

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L is for London

End of week two of the A to Z Challenge and the letter is L. And L just happens to be the first letter of a place I long to visit: London. I have no idea if reincarnation is real, but if it is, then in a former life I hailed from London, because it is the …

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K is for Kismet

K is today’s A to Z Challenge letter, and today’s theme: Kismet. From Random House Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary: Kismet (kis´met, -met, kis´-), n, fate; destiny. Also, kismat (kiz´mət, kis´-), [1840-50; Turk, Pers qismat, Ar qismahdivision, portion, lot, fate, akin to qasamato divide]. Kismet, as a word, has existed since the mid-19thcentury; I suspect kismet as a …

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J is for James Lee Burke

Today’s A to Z Challenge letter is J, and today’s topic, James Lee Burke. By far, one of my most revered authors is James Lee Burke. His talent is unmatched. His novels poetic. His characters memorable. I don’t recall how I stumbled upon his work, I am only glad I did. If you’ve not read …

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The “I” has It.

Today’s A to Z Challenge letter is I. And today’s I-words: Inspiration, Invention, and Imagination; critical tools in a writer’s toolbox. Inspiration is that Idea moment. You wake up, like VickiPettersson did, from a dream about a woman killing a man with the heel of a stiletto, and after you muse “what the ?” you …

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