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The Time Has Come

  "The time has come," the Walrus said, "to talk of many things. Of cloture votes— and civil rights— and Martin Luther Kings." ~ Lewis Carroll, "The Walrus and the Carpenter"   "The Walrus and the Carpenter" was in my seventh-grade literature book. I fell in love with it included it in my poetry notebook, … Continue reading The Time Has Come

The Past Alive

  It used to be that the world had rested entirely on her father's shoulders. He was the steady one, the safe one—the person she could depend on when her mother was in a state. But even the thought of her mother, now, gave her a tugging feeling of loss, and she often found herself … Continue reading The Past Alive

Anne Tyler’s Clock Dance: “I’m Going to Ask?”

It's 1967, and two sixth-grade girls are selling candy so Baltimore's Herbert Malone Elementary School Orchestra can travel to regional competition in Harrisburg. Both girls have "sworn they would absolutely die if they didn't get to go . . . " * "Hold the whole carton up when they open the door," Sonya told Willa. … Continue reading Anne Tyler’s Clock Dance: “I’m Going to Ask?”

All You-Know-What Will Break Loose

  The next driver who honks at me while I'm waiting for a pedestrian to get across the street before I turn will find out I'm not so nice a person as I tell people I am. I don't mean I'm going make a rude gesture. I mean that right there in the middle of … Continue reading All You-Know-What Will Break Loose

Writing an Academic Mystery

Noreen Cedeno addresses the challenges of writing a mystery set in a real university in Texas. It’s more complicated than I thought. Her book comes out this month, so here’s an advance look!

Ink-Stained Wretches

SayersbksAMy books by Dorothy Sayers. Picture by N. M. Cedeño

Academic mysteries are a timeless subgenre in crime fiction. Found on almost every list of the best mysteries ever written, Dorothy Sayer’s Gaudy Night is the epitome of British academic mysteries and is one of my favorite books. Several British mystery series that have been adapted for television are set in the university towns of Oxford or Cambridge with students and professors as witnesses and suspects. Academic mysteries fill a popular niche in the world of crime fiction.

While I enjoy academic mysteries, I never planned to write one. Instead, I fell into it. When I was creating my Bad Vibes Removal Services paranormal mystery series and fleshing out my characters, I blithely imagined my main character Lea to be a graduate student in history who happened to have the ability to see ghosts and the ability to sense the…

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Why I Still Go to Critique Group and Can’t Afford to Stop

  I said to my critique partner this morning, The whole project is stinky it stinks it’s just nothing no hope. She read chapter 13 and said, But it’s so good so funny Molly is so funny it’s not stinky. I said, Yes, the first part of chapter 13 and the last part of chapter … Continue reading Why I Still Go to Critique Group and Can’t Afford to Stop

Then the Real Critics Come In . . .

If you haven't read the preceding post, "Disregard 15 Pages," please do so before reading on. That post isn't very long, but if you read it first, you'll get more out of this very short one. * So finally, after revising and revising and revising, you give in, and give up, and stop, because you … Continue reading Then the Real Critics Come In . . .

Disregard 15 Pages . . .

You know how even when you know what you've written isn't as good as it ought to be, you think you've gone as far as you can go with it, but you also know you haven't, and your deadline is tomorrow, about 18 months after your original deadline, so you give it one more going-over, … Continue reading Disregard 15 Pages . . .

I Heard Some Kind of Animal

Another report from Alien Resort. They’ve made peace with it.

Alien Resort

When you sit on the beach at Alien Resort island, you hear the eons-old rush of the waves meeting the shore. But tonight we’re in the middle of the island, gathered in front of Plucky’s spaceship, and that sound is very distant. The view of the sky here is as good as anywhere on Earth. Long ago we gave up hope of a quick rescue, and have made peace with living on this planet. All of us agree that there are worse places to be stranded. Lmao got lost on his planet and forest rescue couldn’t find him. He says he was up a creek.

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@ a Very Nice Retreat

"Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused." ~ Anon. I'm staying in a Very Nice Dorm on the campus of Schreiner University in Kerrville for the Writers' League of Texas' Summer Retreat. My job is to write. No classes, just write. Here is what I've accomplished … Continue reading @ a Very Nice Retreat

@ A Very Nice Hotel

    We're back from our stay at a Very Nice Hotel, a fine dining experience, a delightful breakfast buffet, all thanks to the City of Austin. Not funded by the City of Austin, but thanks to. Last week the C of A turned off the water (10:00 p.m., turn handle of faucet, Surprise!) and … Continue reading @ A Very Nice Hotel

A Disjointed Post . . .

. . . because my brain is fried. When we tried to medicate William last night, a pill fell into the pit between the seat of my recliner and the arm, and we weren't able to locate it. It's in there somewhere, or it fell through onto the floor under the chair. After a cursory … Continue reading A Disjointed Post . . .

Three Years Ago: A Writer Answers Our Ad

The latest installment in the continuing story of Alien Resort.

Alien Resort

After a few weeks had passed, we received a response to our “situations wanted” inquiry on Craigslist. A writer named David Davis wanted to make comics for newspapers but was having trouble developing characters. We sent him our bios and did a Skype; then he sent us some scripts. The arrangement has worked out better than anyone ever imagined. The four of us now have a workday we can look forward to, and Mr. Davis has been successful in getting our comics published in Earth newspapers. Lmao once bought a second-hand rover; it drove him up a wall.

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