The Times They are A’Changing

Aside

Wow. It has been a wild season of change which has kept me away from my blog.

I’ve been crazy busy.  Mostly dealing with life. The ups and  downs of it. The personal things that can drain your energy, and monopolize your time and attention.

Not necessarily listed in order of importance, but just as the events present themselves in my mind right now:

I’m helping my brothers and sister to find an Assisted Living Facility for my 90-year old

Mom and me in 2014

Mom and me in 2014

Mom.  She is feisty, and extroverted, and opinionated, and a force of life to be reckoned with.  It is only in the last 3 months that she has decided she doesn’t want to live independently.  We all love her, and want what’s best for her. She will stay with my sister and her family, for now.  It is a good, short-term solution.

I live in a home in Washington, DC that was built in 1850. The city Historical Homeowner’s Office wants me to rehabilitate the front facade of my Capitol Hill row house to its original look. 20170602_110138
It has been a one-year back-and-forth to apply and receive a grant to do this work which is now scheduled for this already disruptive summer.

I’ve had a change in my relationship status. That’s all I’ll say about that.

My ex-husband passed in May. He was a good man who helped everyone he could, whenever he could. He was full of jokes, laughter and fun. Our child, AJ, and I are still grieving his loss.

Book 2WMWIOI had a new book released in late May.  I have not had the time or space to be out and about with my latest Charlie Mack Motown Mystery, but she has received some positive reader reviews which I hope will continue.  I’ll be out on the first phase of a book tour starting in July at the Golden Crown Literary Society (GCLS) annual meeting in Vegas in July. I’m also happy to announce a mini-book reading/signing tour in Michigan in late August where I will appear at two Detroit Public Library branches for book club discussions, as well as a reading at Pages Bookshop in the Detroit neighborhood where I lived twenty-five years ago. I’m so excited to be promoting my book in the city that gave me my roots.

There will be more details on the Book Tour on my Events page.  Please come out and see me if you can, and feel free to drop me a note, or comment, as the spirit moves you to do so.

Cheers

Motor City Mystery Thriller debut -May 22, 2018

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What happens when Charlie Mack and her small team of private investigators are asked to stop a terrorist plot against the largest automobile show in the world?

There is the unraveling of a complex set of motives, the identification of the primary players, the murder of a team member, the clock ticking toward the cancellation of the show, and a final cat-and-mouse chase to find, and disarm, dozens of lethal bombs.

Oh, and there’s No Time for Sleep.

Book small versiondiscounted eBook download available here (Bywater Books). Also available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or wherever  you purchase your books.

Check out the book trailer.

 

 

 

 

 

Three Exciting Writing Opportunities for Women of Color

Black Women Writing in the South   Deadline 4/30/2018

BWWIS

 

 

 

There’s still time for Black women writers to join us. Applications accepted via through 4/30.   http://blacklesbianliterarycollective.org/retreat/


 

Sisters in Crime-Eleanor Taylor Bland Award   Deadline 6/15/2018
Bland Award

Sisters in crime are accepting applications for their 2018 Eleanor Taylor Bland Award—an annual grant of $1,500 for an emerging writer of color! Deadline is 6/15/18. More details on their site: http://www.sistersincrime.org/etb 


 

Golden Crown Literary Society-Bridge Builder Scholarship  Deadline 6/1/2018

Bridge Builder

This scholarship, offered by the Golden Crown Literary Society (GCLS) is offered to a woman writer of color who shows talent and drive in creating lesbian literature. The writer should be interested in working on a full-length novel or a collection of short stories.*

The chosen recipient will receive:

1) one, full tuition to the class of 2019 GCLS writing academy; and 

2) individual one-on-one mentoring with a well-established writer in the genre of lesbian fiction.

In return, the candidate will:

Create a brief (one page) monthly report on that month’s lessons, their own work in progress, or GCLS promotions within their community.

Attend online classes and participate in the assignments to the best of their ability.

The candidate must be willing to show how they can help promote and support lesbian literature in general, and the writing academy specifically within their own communities.

Application deadline:

The candidate will submit a ten-page sample of their best work, along with an application by June 1, 2018. Candidates will be chosen by June 30th, 2018. Classes start in September of 2018, however, there will be a summer reading list assignment.

 

 

A Mystery Writer to Know: The indefatigable VM Burns

What I do In Between Writing Deadlines or Shameless Book Promotion

I met VM at Malice Domestic, the annual mystery confab attended by mystery writers and fans of cozy mysteries.   If you like cozies, she is an author to know…and her books are ones to purchase. In this blog IThe-Plot-is-Murder-1 particularly like her appeal to readers to ask libraries to purchase our books so they will be available widely to all audiences.

Books, Broads, Beach

I had so much fun at the Rehoboth Beach 2018 Women’s Fest, an event sponsored by Camp Rehoboth.  Deoul-Jacobs Stefani posterMy writer/friends Stephanie Deoul, and Fay Jacobs (and fabulous broads) were on hand to promote their books which were recently honored by the Delaware Press Association. Fay is also a Camp Rehoboth Board member.

They, like me, are Bywater Books authors.  We were joined by fellow authors, Marianne K. Martin, Ann McMan and Lisa Gitlin as well as our publishers, Salem West and Kelly Smith.

All the authors did readings (I read from my upcoming book), sponsored by GCLS, the premier supporter of lesbian-themed literature. We met readers and signed books, and I made it to the beach. Yaaaayyyy!!!

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Wake Me When It’s Over will be available May 15, 2008 and can be purchased as an ebook at Bywater Books. Thanks for purchasing, reading, and reviewing my books.

Book small version

Grateful to Dru’s Musings & Michigan Chronicle: Wake Me When It’s Over

Award-winning mystery web blogger Dru Ann Love, was kind enough to post my book cover reveal for Wake Me When It’s Over, the second book in the Charlie Mack Motown Mystery Series.    Drus-Book-Musings-web-site2

 

 

MC logoAlso a love shout out to the Michigan Chronicle of Detroit who posted a blurb about WMWIO in the city and lifestyle section of their online newspaper.

You can find the Michigan Chronicle post  Here.  Thank you Michigan Chronicle.

WMWIO

Available where you buy your books on May 15, 2018

….and Dru’s Musing post Here.  Thank you Dru Ann!!

Writing Life: New Orleans Style

hotel-monteleone-new-orleans-hotel-exterior1-623x416Wow. What a time at the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival.  In association with the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival, this New Orleans gumbo of LGBTQ writers, Saints and Sinners imagepublishers, publicists, teachers, and book sellers included craft panels, author readings, poetry events, awards, presentations, master classes, Saints and Sinners paneland book signings.

And, of course, steps from the fabulous Hotel Monteleone where most of the activities were held was music, food,red fish grill street strolls, bands, dancing…and cocktails. One of my favorite stops was the Red Fish Inn where I overindulged in white wine, gumbo, jalapeno cornbread, and chocolate bread pudding.

I was a panelist for a discussion about  the mystery genre with the fabulous New Orleans crime/mystery writers, Greg Herren and Jean M. Redmann; as well as award-winning authors, Ali Vali and Jeffrey Round.

Saints and Sinners panel

I also discussed historical fiction writing with Judith Katz, Vanda, Jeff Mann and Matthew Griffin. I was honored to be in the company of all these good writers of LGBTQ themes.  Judith and I both happened to wear turquoise that day.

Of course,I also indulged in meeting new friends and old, and that was the best seasoning of this amazing literary event.   Saints and Sinners, hope to see you in 2019!!

Florida in March: Family Affairs

I had a whirlwind trip to Florida for writing events, and family visits.  My 90-year old mother and two brothers live in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area and I can’t really travel to the Sunshine State without time to feel the warmth of family.

florida-tampa-city-view-and-cloudsThe primary purpose for my Florida long weekend was to attend, and participate in, the celebration of writing education that is the annual Association of Writer’s and Writing Programs (AWP) Conference.  This year held in Tampa.  This 5-day gathering of 12,000 writing students, teachers, lovers of books and writing, and writing luminaries is an immersive experience.

The panel I participated in: “Nothing Happens Nowhere” was a Friday afternoon discussion about setting and the Siren’s call to home in LGBTQ writing. Moderated by author/teacher: Paula Martinac (The Ada Decades) and including panelists/teachers Serkan Gorkemli, Amy Hoffman, and Carter Sickels.

It was an interesting conversation about the intersectionality of themes when LGBTQ AWP caucus logofocusing on the craft of setting in LGBTQ writing.

I also attended the LGBTQ Writers Caucus, and the room was abuzz with energy and good ideas for increasing the presence of LGBTQ-themed panels for the 2019 AWP conference.

On Sunday in St. Pete, I joined five other lesbian writers to read from our varied works at the fabulous Queen’s Head restaurant/bar.  The other authors were Stefani Deoul, Gale Massey, Elizabeth Sims, Alison Soloman, and Rachel Spangler. The event, hosted and moderated by Tiffany Razzano of Wordier Than Thou, a Florida super supporter of all thiWordier Than Thoungs book related,  was well attended by a group of attentive readers on the Queen’s Head patio and was a laugh-filled, collegial gathering of old friends and new.  Fellow Bywater Books author, Stefani Deoul worked with Tiffany to organize our time together.

The two reading events were the perfect writer’s life bookends to the dynamics of family.

Come to think of it, I’m very grateful to both my biological and writing families.

 

What Golf Has Taught Me About Writing

I have always been a golfer even when I wasn’t.  My father played golf and he often watched the tournaments on television; I watched him watch golf, and play golf, and perhaps that is where my affinity for the game comes.  Golf is a sport filled with beauty, imagination and precision.   When one steps to the tee and looks onto an immaculately manicured, 300-yard fairway, it is an awe-inspiring view of soaring possibilities.   When one approaches the close-shaven turf of a green it is a challenge to succeed measured in inches. Continue reading