Forthcoming! Lots and Lots!

I2016-SPA-Cover-315x485t’s a thrill to have my story selected by Saint Paul Almanac’s community editors to be published in the 10th anniversary issue, so I thought I’d share this cover reveal and invite Minneapolis and St. Paul area readers and writers to join in the fun at the 10th anniversary bash (coming September 10th).

The editors culled through 10 years of Saint Paul Almanacs and I am so honored and pleased to have had my story of a geeky Cray Research employee love affair-punctuated by elephant jokes-appearing in the book this year.

This week also brought good news in the form of tiny final edits to my latest Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine story-Open Ended-which will appear in the December issue (out on the newsstands in October). It’s a huge thrill for a mystery writer’s stories to appear in the world’s leading crime and mystery fiction magazine. This will be my second story to appear in Ellery Queen! Beyond excitement!

If you haven’t checked it out yet, look at my Perpetua series on Revolver. Free! Quirky, bizarre, and experimental.

Forthcoming appearances include the Minnesota State Fair, a private book club event (YES – I DO BOOK CLUBS!!), and the Almanac party. I hope to see fans, fellow authors, and fellow readers at all of these!

A Fair to Remember – err, two actually

Lusting for a lip-smacking satisfying treat with no calories? I have just the thing! Upcoming not-to-be missed fairs, including “the big one,” feature local mystery authors (including me). Details below:

>Albert Park - In His Own Words

Albert Park – at Dodd and Smith

July 25, 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM

WEST ST PAUL, MINNESOTA

Art on the Avenue 2015

At Smith and Dodd Avenue

Smith Avenue comes alive again this summer with art, live music, food, crafts, children and adult entertainment and more! Come see me and other artists and vendors on July 25th from 4 to 8PM. Fun will happen at Albert Park, Doddway Shopping Center, Dodd Park and Smith Avenue. More details of my exact location coming, but the area is very walkable. Park and come find me! All three Arvo Thorson mysteries - Burnt Out, Broken Down, and Washed Up - will be available for purchase.

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Fun, food, and mystery at the great Minnesota get-together.

September 2, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM*

FALCON HEIGHTS, MINNESOTA

Minnesota State Fair

Carousel Park

Stop by the MELSA tent during Read and Ride day at the Fair to visit me along with other Twin Cities Sister in Crime authors. Sign up for giveaways! All three Arvo Thorson mysteries - Burnt Out, Broken Down, and Washed Up - will be available for purchase.

*I’ll post my shift time (a two-hour slot) soon!

Wanted: More Writing Prompts

The strange tale of a euphonium-playing animal-loving character named Tiffanie Brump captured the attention of Revolver‘s editors, who named me “Winner of WANTED 25.” Revolver called WANTED 25  “its most ambitious WANTED contest to date”.

My prize is three-month prompt-based SERIAL PROJECT on Revolver. I love writing prompts. They provide fresh inspiration, take my writer’s mind into new places I wouldn’t have thought of, and fresh, unexpected plots and characters always arise.

I think it’s going to be a fun assignment and have already received my first prompt. Watch for bi-weekly musings at Revolver, and while you’re waiting to see my  new serial, check out their other stories, poems, and projects. And watch for the next WANTED prompt. Always fun, whether you win or not!

Let’s Talk About Dialogue (See What I Did There?)

Susan Koefod:

Helpful dialogue stuff. Read it now!

Originally posted on ENEMY LINES: Dispatches from a Cranky Writer:

As a writer and an editor, I have a pile of pet peeves concentrated around dialogue. It seems so simple, and yet it trips up everyone from beginners to pros. Although the basic format long ago became second nature to me, I still find examples of most of my other pet peeves in my first drafts. Sometimes I find examples of these in my published work, and that really drives me nuts. So, what bugs me about dialogue? Let’s dig in ?

Talking Points
“Dialogue format is pretty simple,” said Bob. “But that doesn’t mean it’s easy for beginners.”
Sue nodded. “If you get confused, just grab a novel off your bookshelf to use as a guide.”
“What she said. And start a new paragraph for each speaker.”

The dialogue above demonstrates the two key attributes of the format: indenting for each person and indicating?when necessary!?who’s speaking with phrases outside…

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Winter’s Revelations

IMG_1359Winter reveals the

wonder of trees –

lacy limbs dividing,

then dividing again,

branches curving high,

arching and bending,

narrowing into many

sturdy brown hands and fine fingers –

held open as if to

bless the wide blue sky.

 

Winter reveals the

beauty of breath –

frosts the steamy workings of

our hidden inner tree –

bronchi dividing to bronchioles

branching off,

finer and finer,

until the microscopic alveoli

perform their miracle –

lungs transform air into the blood,

praising in every breath,

blessing us with life.

Sorry To Rainbow On Your Parade (A Pastor Sets The Record “Straight” On The Gay Agenda)

Susan Koefod:

Oh no! They want to shop and eat and have families. My gosh, what next?

Originally posted on john pavlovitz:

Rainbow
Brace yourselves and gird your loins, true believers; I have some earth-shattering news.

I’ve long heard rumors of the homosexual community’s insidious master plan to contaminate and corrupt our sweet straight setup here, and one way or another, I decided I’d get to the bottom of it, once and for all.

As you may or may not know, I’ve been a pastor in the local church for the past 18 years; listening, counseling, observing. I’ve served at house churches and mega churches; at ones with pipe organs and ones with Marshall stacks; ones with wooden pews and ones with free WiFi. This vast and lengthy resume has given me unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to the hidden lives of tens of thousands of unsuspecting families. During that time, I’ve done some covert reconnaissance on our behalf, and the raw, naked truth I’ve uncovered? Well, it’s a game-changer, to say the least.

My friends, sadly I’m afraid that the horror…

View original 959 more words

Gardens Under Glass

 

43971923_fabe4c4ee5_zThe photo was taken almost ten years ago when my oldest son was first in Helsinki, and I thought of it this morning as I practiced meditative breathing exercises.

The beautiful flower bloomed inside the Helsinki Winter Garden, which is a place much like Saint Paul’s Como Park Conservatory: both transparent glass skins held together by metal bones, both housing carefully gardened ecosystems of  tropical plants and koi ponds.

There is nothing more restorative than a visit to one in winter.

You step inside such a place and, if you wear glasses, they are immediately fogged up, you become overheated but don’t really care, and the vibrant perfume of growing things saturates you in a healing way.

So it was the perfect day to visit the St. Paul Conservatory–especially now that we are in the thick of winter, experiencing one of the coldest days of the year. I needed the restoration it offered. I could imagine that many similar visits are being made these winter days in Helsinki – which can be even colder, and even darker than winter is in St. Paul

The Conservatory was the perfect place to practice my breathing exercises, by which I mean meditation –

Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in,

Breathing out, I know I am breathing out.

Nowhere are you more aware of the breath than when you are in such a place, so damp with the thick, wet breath of green things exhaling and inhaling.

As I walked through, occasionally pausing to sit and breathe–I thought how conservatories are much like our own bodies–fragile and resilient–in need of care in order to be remain balanced and vibrant. Beautiful.

I glimpsed a half-dozen gardeners working behind the scenes in staff-only greenhouses. Others stood watchfully in the bonsai room and elsewhere, making sure visitors kept a safe distance from the rarest plants.

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Now I am thinking of myself as both a winter garden and its gardener: I inhale and exhale calmly, protecting and maintaining the beauty within my fragile crystal skin and strong metal bones.

Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in,

Breathing out, I know I am breathing out.