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Sunday, January 28, 2024

Mobile Literary Festival

cj Sez: For readers and writers: Mark your calendars and

SAVE THE DATE. . . March 23, 2024 . . . 

for an upcoming one-day reader and writer event—The Mobile Literary Festival at Mobile’s Ben May Library in conjunction with the Mobile Writers Guild. Published authors will present panels on character development, setting, marketing, and plotting. You can also purchase a book and have it signed by the author! And best of all, this amazing literary festival is FREE. 

  For more information, click this link: 

  Here’s a perspective I hadn’t thought of, though I’d like to think this truth was swirling around somewhere in the back of my mind: “Mystery, thriller, and suspense (MTS) stories are the villain’s story, as told and perceived by the protagonist.” 

  Author and book coach Samantha Skal dives into ideating twists that work when writing thriller and mystery stories. To read more of her post on Jane Friedman’s blog, click the link here:

  I know, I know. The first day of spring is about two months away in the Northern Hemisphere, but I’m antsy so I wanted you to know that U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard ice cutters are getting ready to clear the shipping lanes in the Great Lakes.

  Makes me feel happier already. On Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024, the U.S. Coast Guard announced the annual onset of icebreaking in the lower Great Lakes. According to their press release, they gave the task the tongue-in-cheek name of Operation Coal Shovels. The picture (left) shows U.S. Coast Guard icebreakers in operation as seen from the cutter Mackinaw. 

  (On a side note re the cutter Mackinaw: The name of the five-mile-long “Mighty Mac” bridge connecting Michigan’s peninsulas is spelled Mackinac yet still pronounced “mackinaw.” The Mackinac spelling is from the Mackinac Bands of Chippewa and Ottawa Indians. a state recognized tribe of Ojibwe and Odawa Native Americans who called the area Michilimackinac. 
The Mackinac Bridge

  The spelling was shortened to Mackinac and pronounced “Mackinaw” by the French who settled in the area. That’s my Googled history lesson for the day.)

  All those wintery-gray months of ice and snow helped convince me to move from Michigan to the Gulf Coast, and what a difference 1,200 or so miles makes. 

  The picture (left) is of about 50 feet of my side yard in Mobile. Son Jeff took the photo last February. 

  I’m hoping for the same kaleidoscope of color this year (“hoping” because we suffered a severe summer drought).

  Okay, that’s it for today. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same. Raising prayers for a happy and safe you and yours.

  Now some words from my sponsors:

  Available! Two Mobile Writers Guild anthologies filled with wonderful short stories and poems to celebrate upcoming special days. Mardi Gras season is alive and well in Mobile, with parades and moon pies bringing crowds to downtown streets. Laissez les bons temps rouler

  Also for your to-be-read stack: My novels, THE DAWGSTAR and DEATH ON THE YAMPA are fast-paced, thriller/suspense stories with sassy banter and a touch of romance. The books are available on Amazon or through your favorite eTailer and bookstore. Got a library card? You can read the ebooks free from Hoopla.

  The Haunted Book Shop has signed copies of my paperback books in stock. TO ORDER, contact:  

  If they happen to be sold out, shoot me an email. I have a small stash available for a discounted price plus shipping.

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