Let’s Play Favourites!

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Let’s do that thing we aren’t supposed to and play favourites for just a moment. No, I’m not going to ask you to choose your favourite child or favourite pet, don’t worry.

Who is your favourite character? (Writers, this could be one of your own, or someone else’s)

Readers, and I hope all of us here today consider ourselves readers…who is your favourite character?

Let me know in the comments below!

A River, A Soccer Ball And An Elderly Woman Walk Into A Bar…

https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/author/carolyn-mcbride/

Adelaide put another stick of wood in the stove and closed the door, feeling every one of her 80 years. She filled the kettle and set it on the flat blacktop. Tomorrow, she would not have her evening cup of tea here. 

Hit the link to read the rest!

Or maybe this is more your style;

When she’d expressed an interest in retiring, Mack had laughed at first. At least until he realized she was serious. Then he’d peered at her through narrowed eyes and shook his head.

“People in our business don’t retire. You know that.”

“I don’t want to be someone else’s loose end, Mack,” she’d told him. “I want to live long enough to have silver hair and grandchildren.”

“Then you’re in the wrong business, Dante. You know that.” As if they’d not even had the conversation, he sent her out on another job….

Or maybe you prefer bodyguard tales;

Only an arm-length away from the first female president, a flash in the crowd caught my attention.

“Gun!” I screamed. “Down, down!” I dove for Alexis, felt she and Harper go down beneath me and wondered why Harper had punched me in the chest…

Three short, entertaining short stories that might surprise you. I’d love to hear what you think!

Measure of Devotion

This was a brilliant book backed by a realistic tale, held up by history, written by a talented author.

History has proven that many women did indeed pose as men throughout the years, so I had no trouble believing in Coop and Sophie. I appreciated the author’s dedication to research and getting the story right, and even though the battles, destruction and death were hard to read about, I knew that my discomfort was nothing compared to what real people felt during those skirmishes. Despite my best intentions, I read this in three sittings…the last half of the book was a marathon I couldn’t have quit even if I’d wanted to. Which I did not. I HAD to keep reading!

I connected with these characters, even Tim. Their struggles, their defeats and accomplishments and victories became my own and at many points, I thought I could hear the cannon fire and feel the dust as it rained down. To say this tale was gripping and immersive does not do it justice. To call it atmospheric does not go far enough to describe the absolute hold it had on my senses.
This was my first exposure to C.F. Frizzell but it will not be my last.

Measure of Devotion is a magnificent example of what lesbian historical fiction can be and should be recommended reading for every author who casts an eye toward historical fiction.

I am honored to offer up this honest review in exchange for an ARC of this wonderful novel. Many thanks to C.F Frizzell, Bold Strokes Books and NetGalley.

A Better Way To Deal With Hardcore Sinus Effluvium

Did you know the average daily tissue consumption for a single city is over 600 tons? And that’s just one city, using over 11,000 trees and about 12 million gallons of water for the sake of disposable tissues. That’s insane!

There is a better way.

We stop using disposble tissues. “But how will I deal with sinus drippings and…stuff?” I hear you cry.

Easy. We go back to using handkerchiefs. Not pocket squares, those are a different animal completely.

Now wait, before you snort (pun intended, sorry) and scroll away, hear me out. 100% cotton handkerchiefs get softer when laundered, can be found in fun prints, bandana patterns or serious solid colours too if that’s how you want to go. They can be disinfected easily and if there’s no store near you that sells them…make them! I promise, you don’t need to be a tailor or seamstress to make one. It’s easy-pesy! Head over to Morning Chores to learn how!

Save 11,000 trees and use a handkerchief. Your grandparents did, and many of your contemporaries are, too!

How To Be A God of Creation, Part 2

Yesterday, I talked a little about why I chose to build a fictional town for my Detectives Anais Quinn and her partner, Lorne Winters, rather than just have them live and work somewhere that already existed. I told you about the population of Sitka Cove as well as how it’s growing as a community. But growing pains are real in real communities, so of course Sitka Cove will suffer from growing pains as well.

With growth comes crime, and all sorts of cases for Detective Anais Quinn and her partner Lorne Winters to solve. 

The challenge for me was not just to create a town that I could build future stories on, but to make the town sustainable enough that it could grow. In short, provide Sitka Cove with a future as well as my detective. Cue the research into successful settlements of the past and why they were located where they were, sustainable cities, and urban growth. It’s been a wonderful rabbit-hole to get lost in. Another challenge is how much of all this new knowledge to use. Ideally, I want to use enough to give my reader a sense that Sitka Cove could be a real place, run by a real Town Manager. In turn, how can I use the Town Manager as a useful character, instead of a pointless walk-on? (I’m leaning heavily toward the Town Manager being either a jogging buddy of my detective or perhaps a fellow poker player. It remains to be determined.)

I see Sitka Cove as more than just a place for people to do things on their way to do other things. Remember I told you last time that Sitka Cove sits on the shore of Lake Superior? The Northern end of town is the oldest part, the first settled end of town, that the locals call “Old Town”. Lake Superior has been reclaiming that land, the flood coming in a little closer every spring and not really receding. So Old Town loses a little more of itself every year. The people that live at this end of town are here because they can’t afford to move anywhere else. They tend to live hand-to-mouth and life is not easy in Old Town. The houses are run down, the roads are not kept up and Town Council can’t quite figure out how to fix the problems of Old Town. Crime festers in neighbourhoods like this. Drugs, theft, vandalism…all stem from a lack of hope. Gangs are born in this environment, fed by frustration, and grow quickly in the absence of community leadership.

At the other end of town, there is growth. A new college has been built – clean, shiny and full of promise. It will keep the younger Sitkans closer to home while it teaches them skills they will need to make a living without going South. Without going “away”. Part of the college’s mandate is also to give older residents new skills. Re-educate them in new fields so that they have more choices, so they can be a productive part of Sitka Cove’s growth and future. Not all of the citizens buy into this, of course. Many call it “political bullshit”. They are too jaded to see anything but the rest of their lives spinning out exactly as it has for all their lives.

But Body In The Bush is not simply about disheartened and frustrated people taking out their frustrations on one another. It is more than just an investigation into who the dead man is under the pine trees. It is the story of finding one’s way back home again. Finding family, and love, and hope, and shining a light on the future that is full of possibility. But before you think the characters are going to break into song, remember this is a mystery. Sitka Cove is peppered with people that might live beside you. Or me. Conspiracy theorists, paranoid people making their way through life by playing on the mistakes of others, people just trying to make a living off the land, the lake or each other. People who want a better life, but just don’t see how they can have one. Folks who make poor choices, who are desperate, judgmental, angry, addicted or simply tired of feeling powerless. Body In The Bush is their story as well.  

I can’t wait to bring you Body In The Bush! These edits are going far slower than I like. Have you ever read a book that featured a fictional place that left an impression on you? Shout out in the comments and share it with us.