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I have joined a group of Second Wind Publishing authors as we collaborate on an online mystery novel. I am Chapter 5 in the lineup, and that’s what it is: a lineup of characters who each have motive and means to kill.

http://rubiconranch.wordpress.com

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http://www.jacketblind.com/contest.html

I’m hosting a 50-word story contest on my site, for the debut of “False World,” the second book in the Joe Daniel’s trilogy.

Contest starts on November 22, 2009, and ends on December 28, 2009.

How to enter: Email contest@jacketblind.com your name (or your alias), your age (or the age you wish you were), and a 50-word count mystery, thriller, or suspense story. OR you can post it as a comment on this blog. Enter here or there.

Rules: Write a tight 50-word count story around an everyday object in the mystery, thriller, or suspense genre. 50 words, no more, no less. Has to be exactly 50 words. Did I mention the story needs to be 50 words, and only 50 words?

More rules: Entries are unlimited, just like your creativity. Must be 18 years or older. Prizes will be shipped within 6 weeks of contest’s end.

Even more rules: All authors agree to have their stories showcased in a special section on my website UNLESS story is picked up for publication elsewhere. If it is, I’ll celebrate with you.

Judging: Make us go, “Did I lock the door behind me?” Look at the examples at the end to get an idea of what we like.

Prizes: The winner will receive a signed copy of False World and a surprise gift.

Email your entry to contest@jacketblind.com, visit my website (listed at the beginning), OR post in comments here.


EXAMPLES:


Air Freshener

One night, I decided to get on with my life.

I had been sad for decades.

I wanted to be happy again.

A week after my decision, I ran out of air freshener.

My neighbor complained about the stench.

She joined my husband’s cheating corpse.

I need more air freshener.


Garden Hose

Turning on the hose, water hit the flower bed with full force.

Fresh dirt went everywhere.

She plucked a pale stick from the upturned earth.

It was smooth.

It looked odd and disturbing.

This isn’t a stick, she thought a second before

a shovel hit the back of her head.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FALSE WORLD
Published by Second Wind Publishing http://www.secondwindpublishing.com/FalseWorld.html

Yeah, I’ve been out of the loop for awhile. Haven’t been anything other than too busy to write. That’s not the thing you wanna be when you are a writer LOL

My latest book is coming out as soon as I finish reading the 2nd proof. I love the cover: it’ s a composite photo that includes an eye. Guess who’s eye? Pops from an old WWII picture when he was coming off a field in Guam.

There’s a treasure hunt starting around 10-26-09 involving 2nd Wind Publishing. Basically, it’s a Blog Hop. My blog will be included. Good luck, have fun, try not to kill anyone.

Our wonderful publisher, Second Wind Publishing, is hosting a three-day book signing in Winston-Salem, NC. Here’s the scoop on where I’ll be, unless I get lost LOL:

Friday, February 13, 2009
9-11 AM and 2-5 PM
Casanova’s
6275 Shallowford Rd
Lewisville, NC

Saturday, February 14, 2009
1 PM – 4 PM
Krankie’s
125 S. Stratford Rd
Winston-Salem, NC

Sunday, February 15, 2009
1 PM – 4 PM
Angelina’s Teas
125 S. Stratford Rd
Winston-Salem, NC

The only bad thing about each of these venues is the amount of chocolate available that I won’t be able to resist. I need to find someone else to blame for my weakness. Mike. I’ll blame Mike. It’s your fault, hoss, when I gain ten pounds in three days.

(Originally posted on SecondWindPub on October 25, 2008)

Music is an absolute must when I’m writing. Because I suffer from tinnitus, it’s important to have something to drown out the zillion crickets in my head when I’m trying to think about what I’m penning.

In addition, the mood of the music is critical. The best tempo for my suspense is, of course, heavy metal. There’s something about the deep, primal beat of the drum and the mysterious wail of the bass that feeds the story I’m writing.

 

As with music, tempo is important in storytelling. I try to keep an underlying steady beat throughout the story, with crescendos matching climatic scenes.

 

Dark and heavy with small glimmers of light populate my suspense stories. The music I listen to matches the mood of the scenes: Avenged Sevenfold, Pulse Ultra, Stone Sour, Godsmack, and Papa Roach are some of the more frequent bands I listen to when I want the story to pulsate with sinister tension.

 

When the mood calls for it, I switch gears. If a character becomes lost in a memory of love long gone or a life undone, I myself become reflective. This type of mood change calls for something retro and my pick of the pack would have to be Steve Perry. Other bands that bring back the good old days include Heart, Roxette, Fleetwood Mac, to name just a few

 

For me, there is a close relationship between music and writing. Music tells a story, whereas a story can be told with an underlying beat. The smooth transitions in musical chords mimic smooth transitions in writing.

 

I write stories with music as a driving force that helps me focus. Friends and family do not understand how I can write with the cacophony of noise. I cannot see how I can write without it.