Friday, April 16, 2021

In the Name of Research

 Ever wonder where writers get ideas for characters.  For me it can be as simple as a trip to the bank.

Because of Covid they were letting very few people into the bank at a time and we had to stand in line outside for a considerable amount of time.  To some people it was an annoyance, for me it gave me time to listen to the conversation of the couple behind me.

I had watched them approach the line.  The woman was fit looking in a pair of jeans that fit loosely the way older women tend to wear them.  I guessed she was in her late sixties, though her hair was still brown and didn’t appear dyed.  She had good features, but wore no make-up.  The man seemed much more frail.  He walked hesitantly with a cane, had thinning white hair and a sour expression.  I could hear him complaining before they even took the spot behind me in line.

Their conversation amazed me.  The woman had a competent look about and as she was talking, she mentioned that she’d worked in the office of a private school.  The man seemed not only used to being in control of anything financial, but talked to her as if she couldn’t handle making a deposit on her own.  I was shocked when she didn’t object.  He went on grumbling and she just tried to smooth things out, never once saying that she could handle whatever transaction they were waiting to make.  The only thing he seemed to think she was useful for was an ear to listen to his complaints.

I didn’t use them exactly, but loosely as a couple in ONE FOR THE HOOKS that comes out in August.

I always laugh at people complaining about waiting in line.  To me it is the chance to people watch and eavesdrop.

At the grocery store, I’m fascinated by what the people ahead of me are buying and I tend to make assumptions about them.  I wonder if the people behind me are doing the same.

Once waiting at a bakery, I watched as this man kept trying to get some free samples. He was nice looking and seemed to think he had some kind of magnetic charm.  No matter how many time the clerk said no, he didn’t give up, as if she would relent if he came up with a good enough reason.  The clerk didn’t relent.  And finally  he got testy and left in huff, not buying anything.  

It’s always a people show wherever I go.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Next Steps

 I'm excited that I'll be meeting some writer friends for lunch today at our regularly scheduled monthly meeting. Over the past year or so we've met at that time on Facebook. Today, though, we're going to the restaurant where we used to meet, which has now reopened at half-capacity. We've all had our vaccinations and will stay as socially distanced as possible, although we can't stay masked as we eat.  We'll be careful though. And it will be great to see everyone!

 I've also nearly committed to the deadlines on those of my upcoming books I hadn't previously committed to. A little challenging, but I'm determined to do it.

 And I've been enjoying spring, with my dog walks in overcast weather and wind.

 Okay, I'd better get busy writing and editing once more!

 But I'd be delighted to hear about anything new with you.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Phone Sense

 I’m afraid I’ve become one of the phone people.  You know who I mean.  The ones who are always looking at their screen, scrolling through stuff.

I am not as bad as the people who are really compulsive, like dealing with their phone while they’re dealing with a teller at the bank.  But I have discovered some wonders of my phone that have made me keep it close even when I’m home.

It is an amazing question answerer.  Like today, I was feeling draggy and thought to myself that I was lacking in spizzerinctum.  I thought it was a made up word and then thought “let’s see” and typed it into my phone.  There seem to be several spellings, but it is a real word in several dictionaries, though kind of considered slang.  In case your interested it mean vim, vigor, determination or what I think of it as – robust energy.

My other big discovery was that my phone is like the ultimate juke box. I have been able to type in any song I could think of and found it playing on YouTube.  I have been using it to accompany me on my exercising on the Cubii.  I get so wrapped up in the music that I don’t want to stop pedaling and stay on the thing for more time than expected.

 It’s also the source of my entertainment when flying.  American Airlines has taken out all the screens on the back of the seats.  They do provide entertainment, but you have to bring your own device to play it on.  I never thought I would want to watch a movie on my phone, but it’s pretty amazing how after a few minutes, it doesn’t seem to make a difference that the screen is so small.

I said I wasn’t as bad as the obsessive people, but I did notice that having my phone nearby inspired me to scroll through it a lot.  I developed a pattern.  I’d check emails, then several news sources and sometimes Facebook.  I found myself losing track of time as I just keep scrolling, like there was a pot of gold waiting for me or something.  When I realized what I was doing and how much time I was wasting, I started making a point of not hauling my phone around the house with me and leaving it in my purse when I went out.  Oddly enough, I didn’t miss it.

Except when I had a question or needed some music.  I’m all for moderation.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

More Books!

  

Yes, I've been posting here quite a bit about being busy coming up with ideas and writing, but one thing I haven't focused on here is my books that will be published within the next few months--three of them!

 First will be Her Undercover Refuge, the first Harlequin Romantic Suspense book in my new Shelter of Secrets series–in August. And yes, the series will include dogs. The pets are being protected at a very special shelter where people in trouble are secretly being protected as well.

 Next will be Uncovering Colton’s Family Secret, the tenth in the Coltons of Grave Gulch series also for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, in October.

 And then in February 2022, my next mystery, Bear Witness, an Alaska Untamed Mystery will be published by Crooked Lane… under a pseudonym. It does include a dog as well as Alaskan wildlife including–what else?–bears!

 More? Yes. I'm working on another Colton book for 2022, as well as more Shelter of Secrets books.  And a new Alaska book is also quite possible. So all those writing episodes and deadlines are becoming books!

 By the way, I'm featured author at A Slice of Orange blog this month. I blog there on the 6th of each month, and it's all about writing and publishing and promotion, so I have fun there, too.