Guest Post

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Sunday, March 17, 2019

Get your green on !

cj Sez: Wishing you the luck of the Irish.
   I spent March 16 at the Mobile Literary Festival, and I’m sorry if I missed seeing you.
Carolyn HainesSusan Tanner and Rebecca Barrett, the Madcatters who write about Trouble, the Sherlock of Cat Detectives joined by moderator Cj Petterson at the Mobile Literary Festival for a panel on "The value of shared characters.”

   The whole day was a fun event—complete with best-selling authors, a TV celebrity author, and the managing editor of a newspaper. We’ll have to do it again next year. Let’s plan on it, shall we?

Tips from my personal How To folder together with points gleaned from one of today’s workshops:  
   1.      Don’t wish it, don’t dream about it, do it…Decide To Write.
   2.      Make a plan to write at least a paragraph a day for three months. (I’ve read that it takes that long to create a habit.) If you don’t have a story idea in mind on day one, start journaling. Whether it be a personal morning journal of the day’s plans or an evening journal of the day’s events, write something. You’ll find your “writer’s voice” in those journals, and you never know when the words in them might become the nucleus of your next novel.
   3.      Commit to learning the process … the do’s, the don’ts, and the must-haves, especially good grammar, punctuation, and spelling skills, either your own or a hired proofreader.

If you’re serious about becoming a published writer, those three bullet points will help you get started on that path.

That’s it for today’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.


Mirabel Campbell is a brilliant but bored scientist and amateur astronomer who wants to trade in her microscope and telescope for a career with a little more excitement. When she spots what she thinks might be a new comet in the California desert night sky, she abruptly gets her wish and her life is transformed into nothing less than high adventure. International intrigue, hired assassins, and a romantic hero with an Irish accent abound in the midst of all that fast-paced excitement.

OPENING EXCERPT:  I am not going to die. I am not going to die. Mirabel squeezed her eyes shut as the plane’s wheels lifted off the tarmac of the small landing strip on the outskirts of Mendocito, California. Her throat worked, but she couldn’t swallow her fear of leaving the ground with nothing but a thin slice of sheet metal beneath her.

NOTE: Print copies of my books are becoming scarce. HOWEVER, you can support an indie book store and order a signed copy of my books here: The Haunted Bookshop

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Sunday, March 10, 2019

You are cordially invited...

cj Sez: If you’re in the Mobile, AL, area, here’s a (FREE) writer and reader festival you won’t want to miss:

   Attend a workshop, sit in on an author panel, admire the  artistry of Maurice Sendak on display at the library, brown-bag it at the noon poetry readings, buy signed copies of local authors’ books. Whew! Lots of stuff to see and do. I hope to see you there.  

   At 2:00 a.m. this morning, you were supposed to “Spring Forward” and set your clock one hour ahead to mark the beginning of Daylight Saving Time. I remembered to do that before I went to bed Saturday night. Did you?

   By the by, the Vernal Equinox, aka “Spring,” arrives on Wednesday, March 20, promptly at 5:58 p.m. Eastern time…no clock adjustments necessary.

Laissez les bons temps rouler! 

“Oui, cher.”

   The 2019 Mardi Gras season in the Mobile area started on February 2 when the krewe De La Dauphine rolled on Dauphin Island and ended on March 5, Shrove Tuesday, aka Fat Tuesday, aka Mardi Gras. The formal Mardi Grass balls and the sixty major parades are now a fond memory as revelers recover and count how many Moon Pies, stuffed toys, and beads they caught. 

   There were 60 major parades in the area, and the one that impressed this writer most was the Infant Mystics event—their theme was “Turn the Page.” All the floats were constructed and decorated to feature a book. Way to go, Infant Mystics!

cj Note:  The parade photos© were taken by The Haunted Bookshop. You can support an indie book store and order a signed copy of my books here: The Haunted Bookshop

A last note on literary trusts from Jane Friedman:

That’s it for today’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

Choosing Carter has a little mystery, a little adventure, and a little romance . . . 
Bryn McKay has always tried to save her brother from his risky choices, but a near-tragic truck accident landed him in prison and her in the hospital. Now, a year later, he's converted to radical Islam and escaped, vowing revenge on the people who put him there, including his sister.

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