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Maker, Purses

Maker Momentum

Not yet ready for prime time (as in selling), but I am gathering momentum. Creating new designs; buying interfacing and fusible fleece by the bolt, cork by the meter and yard, zippers by the yard, hardware by the handful; submitting the best to contests; sewing three or four bags at a time; signing up for craft shows and submitting for holiday gallery sales.

Watch this space for more to come!

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Third Story now appears in “World’s Best Mystery Magazine”

My short story, “Tonic”, is in the July/August Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (EQMM). Two other stories of mine have also appeared in EQMM –“Boys will be Boys”  in the December 2013 issue and “Open Ended”  in December 2015.

Stephen King calls EQMM the “world’s best mystery magazine” and the magazine and its stories have won numerous prizes. To have three stories picked up by EQMM is amazing.

Check out EQMM and think of subscribing (available in print and for reading devices) or picking up a single issue (available at bookstores), especially if you love mysteries in bite-sized pieces – you might find a new mystery writer you want to check out.

Uncategorized

Third Story now appears in “World’s Best Mystery Magazine”

My short story, “Tonic”, is in the July/August Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (EQMM). Two other stories of mine have also appeared in EQMM –“Boys will be Boys”  in the December 2013 issue and “Open Ended”  in December 2015.

Stephen King calls EQMM the “world’s best mystery magazine” and the magazine and its stories have won numerous prizes. To have three stories picked up by EQMM is amazing.

Check out EQMM and think of subscribing (available in print and for reading devices) or picking up a single issue (available at bookstores), especially if you love mysteries in bite-sized pieces – you might find a new mystery writer you want to check out.

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Magical Story for YA Readers

These initial reviews for NAMING THE STARS suggest you read the book for yourself for a satisfying and interesting read.
Editorial Reviews
Magical story for young-adult readers.” — St. Paul Pioneer Press, September 25, 2016
NetGalley and GoodReads Praise
****”Great book for reluctant teen readers… that has captured their frustration and angst about life perfectly.” –Ann, NetGalley and GoodReads reviewer.
“After reading the synopsis I was excited to read this book. And I wasn’t disappointed. Good storyline, good character development, I loved this one.” — Tracee G, Reviewer, NetGalley
**** –Jantine K, NetGalley Reviewer
**** –Toni H, NetGalley Reviewer
**** –Sofia G, NetGalley Reviewer

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Wine, Perfume, and Possibilities

book-launch-relaxed
Author photo by Andrew Amundsen

While Naming the Stars promotion (visits, signings, talks) is only beginning, can you see how relieved this author is  now that the book launch is over? It was well-attended and successful, thanks to the help of my publisher, my wonderful local bookstore, my local newspaper books editor, and my favorite nearby coffee cafe.

Yes, it takes a village to raise an author.

But you do start out in a little remote hut by yourself. That one idea that grew into a full-fledged novel that is now Naming the Stars is the culmination of many other pages and ideas not at all about this book. Random fits and starts litter my big hard drive folder labeled “Prose.” (There’s one for “Poetry” too.) Completed never published novels languish there. A lot of the work in my Prose folder will never see the light of day. But I frequently revisit documents not touched in years – at the moment one of my projects involves harvesting one chapter from an old novel and turning it into a short story.

irisThree to four unfinished novels have not been entirely abandoned. I keep thinking I will get back to them. I may not. Ever.

Two possible sequels to Naming the Stars are not found in the folder yet. I’m excited about an idea for the first sequel — an idea that formed while I was making the final preparations for the launch — preparations that involved a glass or two of white wine, and a spritz of Fragonard Iris perfume.

I’m at the idea stage, remembering what I wrote about while in San Francisco, striving hard to let my inner artist free. I’m rereading that post now, ready to set off on my next writing adventure. Undoubtedly this will require more wine and perfume, more dreaming and, as always, more writing.

 

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Top Ten Ways To Survive a Book Launch

Full size coverOn the eve of NAMING THE STAR’s book birthday –  appropriately on Labor Day – here are the top 10 ways I plan to survive NAMING THE STARS launch tomorrow.

10) Exhale: the long process of publishing a book — everything that happened after signing the publishing contract, and the months of getting it all ready– is over.

9) Pat myself on the back, not just for sitting my butt down in the chair and writing hundreds of pages, but for all the years and years of starting and stopping projects, listening to others’ feedback, the disappointments, the self-loathing for not getting anything done. Also a pat on the back for members of the family who put up with all of the drama that comes with living with a writer.

8) Begone any remaining inner critical thoughts. It’s out there now, in the hands of readers. That is a very different place from where it was when it lived in my mind, then on my computer screen.

7) Take a hike any worries about how the world is going to react to the work. I have no control over readers’ minds and hearts. I plan on reading their reactions without reacting (as best as I can). “That’s interesting,” is as much as I plan on saying, even if a reviewer says – “THIS BOOK SUCKS”.

6) Take the next step. I did my darnedest to put my creative vision into words. But like any creative work, it’s just another step on my artistic journey. I want to take what I learned from this exercise, and then decide what my next experiment is.

5) Make no comparisons to what’s happening with any other writer’s book sales, rankings, and reviews. That’s their journey, not mine. Best of luck to everyone.

4) Say thanks to my editor and publisher and everyone at Curiosity Quills Press. Thank you for finding my book a home and living with me and my questions.

3) Say thanks wonderful world of the Twin Cities writing community – the multitude of venues for witnessing creativity and learning from it. There are so many of you who invited me to attend or read or publish me here. Hamline University’s MFA program. The Loft. The Saint Paul Almanac. Writers Reading at the University Club. You continue to nurture me.

2) Say thanks especially to the Loft-McKnight Fellowship Program. I have never stopped feeling like I’m on cloud 9, writing wise. You gave me such a boost and though the fellowship, I was encourage to experiment, take risks, and write the book that will be born tomorrow.

1) Celebrate! I’ve earned at least one five-star review, so I gave myself one on Goodreads. “That’s interesting,” wouldn’t you say?