Sunday, November 30, 2008

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The greenest green that ever greened

"Ferngully," by Andif.

I love this photo so much I may never take it down. It's a photo that makes me wish my novels came with pictures of their scenery. I wish I had written a novel with the words, "magic forest," and if the reader clicked on those words this photo would appear. Be sure *you* click on this photo, to make the bigger version appear, so you can see it in all of its green greener greeniest.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

May this day. . .

. . .bring us chances to say, "Thanks!" and to have it said to us.


Happy Birthday, Farfetched!

Happy birthday to the multi-talented, incredibly hard working, always good-natured (around here at least!) writer, dad, husband, chicken master, computer whiz, poet, helper-outer, blogger, and more, our own Farfetched!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Before they're gone

Here's one of what will probably be one of our last glimpses of the leaves of Andi's forest this year. We've had so much pleasure from them! Soon we'll get some of those dramatic bare tree photos she does so well. As we change seasons, in real life and photographically, I want to take a moment to express my gratitude to our House Photographer. Thanks, Andif, from all of us, your appreciative viewers.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Warm hands

I love this hot chocolate photo I found on the web, 'cause even though it looks as if there's a pat of butter (?) on top of it, it imparts that wonderful feeling of wrapping my hands around a warm cup of something on a really cold day.

May your week not be so cold as to require hot chocolate, but if it is that cold may there be a cup of hot chocolate to warm your hard-working hands.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Library Appreciation Sunday

This is the Baxter Springs, Ks. library, built in 1872 as a courthouse.

Do you have a favorite library of memory or of current use?

In Kansas City, we used to have public libraries in some of our high schools. I remember frequenting those with my mother, and we also took the trolley (yes!) to the main library downtown. The very best thing about the libraries of my childhood was that they had Nancy Drew novels. Not every library in the country allowed those books on their shelves, because a lot of people considered the books to be trash and bad influences. My libraries allowed them, however--thank you!!-- and I am convinced that is why I'm a mystery writer today.

Friday, November 21, 2008


This photo by Andif has, I think, interesting contrasts to make a writer--or anybody--think. There's the fuzziness of the mist in the background vs. the sharpness of the branch in the foreground. There's the red vs. the green. The light vs. the dark. An I missing some contrasts in my list?

Once I had a manuscript to which my editor responded by saying, "You need to make your heroine stronger." I had to sharpen her, like that branch, toughen her up a bit, darken her a little, give her some edges so she didn't fuzz into the background. Finally, it was easy to tell who was the focus of the story.

Once, I turned in a book to which the same editor said, "You picked the wrong villain." Oops. So I had to fade that dark branch into the background and shine light on another branch that had been hiding in plain sight in the background all along.

This photo brings up all kinds of manuscript stories and issues for me, but I'll stop with just those two. Oh, heck, no I won't. See that spot of diffuse light in the center? That kind of thing just appeared mysteriously in a manuscript one day and demanded a certain amount of attention. And darned if it didn't enrich the story, just as that light enriches Andi's photo.

And *now* I'll stop. See you in the comments for coffee or tea.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Early winter

Photo by Andif
Thursday by you

Monday, November 17, 2008

A writer and his agent are like. . .

Friends, business partners, ballroom dancers?

Some writers say that writers should not be friends with their agent and editor. Not me. I think that's crazy. Personally, I don't want an agent or editor who isn't also my friend. That's what has worked best for me. Your Mileage May Vary.

But here's the question that really puzzles me: when you're trying to find an agent, is it okay to send out multiple and simultaneous submissions? Honestly? I don't know and never have known if there's a right answer to that. The longer I'm in this business, the more I tend to come down on the side of whatever answer to any question most benefits the writer, because baby, it's tough out there. But the answer to this particular question can go either way. Submit to one agent at a time and you will satisfy the ones who think that's the only ethical way to go, but then they may take a year to get back to you! Or submit to a lot of agents at the same time and some of them will accept that easily, but others will be jerks about it. And if you do submit your work to more than one agent at a time, do you let all of them know? Arrrghh.

Do any of you have any opinions/information about these tricky questions?

Photo by Andif

Hockey Birthday, Janet!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sunday Scenery for Maryb

I couldn't fine a perfect New England seashore shot for a cold and gloomy Saturday in the midwest, but this one of Cape Cod is pretty nice. Put on a warm jacket before you take a walk here, though. And then come back for the warm garlic rolls that farfetched baked. And a mocha latte with whipped cream.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thank Marmot, It's Friday!

What a glorious poetry day yesterday. Thank you and cheers! to all of you for making it smart, funny, beautiful, and inspiring.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Poetry Day!

And me without my poem! I'll bring one later on.
The poetic photo is, "Majesty," by Jimf.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008


Here's a cool photo from our own Lisa of a tree she saw on her weekend sojourn in the Texas outback. It has kind of a Tolkien flavor, I think, and also reminds me of Andif's "pattern" tree photo. I think this one could scare kids on Halloween, which is probably why Lisa calls it "Jack O Lantern Tree." Thanks, Lisa!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Andi's deer

Every now and then I just have to post this photo by Andif, 'cause I love it.

What's peeking out at you this week, maybe something a little shy, a little wary, and all too ready to leap away if you move too fast? For me, I think it's both of the books I'm working on. It's finally time to get back to them, even if I haven't heard from my editor. I think I'll sneak up on them today (Monday) and see if they hold still, or if they squirm away from me.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Come, ooonnnnn, you guys!

Photo by Andif.
Composition by Giddy, Sniff, and Bebo.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Photo by Andif

Well, that was a fun political binge!

What's hanging over your head? Me, I sent my manuscript to my editor on September 1 and haven't heard a word yet, except from an assistant editor who claims to love it, but who won't say anything more until my editor, his boss, is ready to talk about it. Meanwhile, I started the book to follow, but I don't want to write much on it until I know whether or not it's approved to BE my next book, and I can't get that approval on it until I get approval on the manuscript that I sent to my editor on. . .

This is what passes for normal in my publishing life.

What passes for normal in your life?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

History to Tell Our Grandchildren

Nov. 4, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama, with his wife, future First Lady Michelle Obama, and their daughters, Malia and Sasha.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The real porch!

I finally took photos of Sally's Famous Porch!