Sunday, December 09, 2007


My sickness lingered then morphed into another strain which made it impossible for me to go to the signing of A Hell Of A Woman on Thursday night.

I was disappointed on several levels. The obvious one and the thought/feeling that this might be the last signing I’ll ever be a part of.

No, not because I think I’m going to die. But because of the publishing world as it is today.

I plan to start a novel on the 7th of January. If you know me at all, you know I could never start on Jan. 2nd because that’s the middle of the week! Anyway, should my idea blossom and should I actually write my 20th book, will anyone publish it?

Just for the hell of it let’s say some house does. Will there be a signing anywhere? It would be 2010 or 2011. I doubt that publishers will be sending out writers who aren’t stars, anymore than they are now.

Maybe there’ll be a special way to do a signing on the Kindle! But that won’t be the same anymore than reading a book on a Kindle is the same as having that book in your hands.

So, I was disappointed because it might have been my last chance to be at that sort of event, and to meet a bunch of writers I didn’t know and wanted to meet.

I hope some of you got there because I hear it was a lot of fun.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


"I get a lot of letters from people. They say "I want to be a writer. What should I do?" I tell them to stop writing to me and to get on with it."

Ruth Rendell

Monday, November 26, 2007

Back Without Bells

Just so you know: I haven’t been too busy to blog because I’ve been writing or sulking.  I’ve been sick.  Nothing life threatening, but lousy enough to keep me from here.  I’m still not 100% (have I ever been?) but better.

I don’t have a lot to say.  Except, once again, I think I have an idea.  Right before I got sick I sent for some books I need for research.  Haven’t been able to read them yet. I’ve been reading bubble gum books.

So this idea.  I’ve had it for quite awhile but I’ve never been sure how to do it.  Now I think I do. Before I got sick my plan was to start writing today.  I’m going to put that off until after the 1st of the year.  I feel eager to start.

I’m hoping between now and then I’ll come up with a title as I prefer to start a book with one.  I’m also hoping this isn’t another false start.  If it is I will sulk.

I hope to have some things to say here before I start writing.  Mainly I want to be well enough to get to that book launch in NYC on Dec. 6th.  So cross your fingers for me.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


"Write with nouns and verbs, not with adjectives and adverbs. The adjective hasn't been built that can pull a weak or inaccurate noun out of a tight place."

The Elements of Style

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Well, I'll Be Damned!

The story I wrote for A Hell of A Woman has been chosen for the Anthology The Year’s Best Crime and Mystery edited by Ed Gorman and Martin H. Greenberg.  The book will be published next year by Pegasus.

I couldn’t be more surprised or delighted.  I must get the word NO out of my vocabulary or, at least, keep it off my tongue and at the back of my throat.

BTW there’s going to be a book launch for AHOAW on December 6th at Partners In Crime bookstore on Greenwich Avenue in New York City.  It’ll start at 7:00.  A lot of the writers will be there including me.

Please introduce yourself if you attend.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


"Find a subject you care about and which in your heart you feel others should care about. It is the genuine caring, and not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style."

 Kurt Vonnegut

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Hell Of A Woman

Remember how resistant I was? Why is it that NO is the first word that comes to mind when I’m asked to write something I’m not used to doing?

A Hell of A Woman is the title of the anthology. My story is Everybody Loves Somebody. Megan Abbott is the editor with an introduction by Val McDermid. The other writers are:

Lynne Barrett, Ken Bruen, Charlotte Carter, Christa Faust, Stona Fitch, Lisa Respers France, Alison Gaylin, Sara Gran, Allan Guthrie, Libby Fischer Hellman, Vicki Hendricks, Naomi Hirahara, Charlie Huston, Annette Meyers, Donna Moore, Eddie Muller, Vin Packer, Rebecca Pawel, Cornelia Read, S.J. Rozan, Zoe Sharp, Sarah Weinman and Daniel Woodrell.

It’s a hell of a group of stories and I’m proud to be included.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


I’m back from my mini-trip, which was great fun, and it did, among other things, spark ideas.  I hoped this would happen. 

A few weeks ago  Patti Abbott suggested I take a ride on a bus and listen to people’s conversations to pick up ideas for stories.  I told her there were no buses where I live.  I knew what she was getting at because I used to do that all the time when I lived in NYC.  But, alas, it was hard to do that here.

My mini-trip involved both bus and boat and I was able to hear some delicious conversations.  And, of course, they gave me ideas.

I guess I should go away more.

On her blog today Patti raises the question of should you or shouldn’t you describe a setting in your novel?  It’s a good question.  In the Nineties I wrote a series that took place in NYC and almost every critic said that the city was as much a character as my people.

I did this in little ways.  And never more than using a sentence or three.  I see nothing wrong with getting your setting into the reader’s mind as long as you don’t go into great long descriptions.

I’ve noticed in some crime novels writers do things like this: ‘We turned at 4th Street, made a left on Kenneth and another left onto Clinton Avenue.  A few streets down we made a right at Van Ness.’

I find that strange.  What does it tell us? Nothing. If it’s a big city like NYC or San Francisco and the streets are real it might inform people who know that city where the action takes place.  But I don’t know what it does for those who don’t know those places.  And if it’s an invented city or town, it’s really meaningless.

But to describe your setting is important.  And it doesn’t have to happen through dialogue. A cleverly placed description of one or two sentences will do it and won’t slow down the story.


Monday, October 08, 2007

Mixing It Up

I’m no longer depressed.  In fact, I feel quite hopeful.  I have a few ideas floating around in my head.  Nothing concrete yet. 

I’m going away to a place this Thursday and Friday where I’m bound to get some ideas.  At least I’m getting out of here.

The fat lady hasn’t sung … yet.

Monday, October 01, 2007

I'm So Short!

Actually, I am.  But that’s not what I mean.  I spent some of last week rewriting a short story that I’d written a few years ago.  And then I entered it in a contest.  I think I might be losing my mind.

Wasn’t it about a year ago that I said I didn’t like them and didn’t want to read or write them?  I think I have Patti Abbott to thank or kill for this.  Also Megan Abbott who asked me to write a story for A Hell of A Woman.

What I’m getting at here is that suddenly all I want to write are short stories.  I see the beauty of it now.  Not only in the form but in the time one has to devote to it.  And the almost instant gratification which I’m a great believer in.

Maybe this is what I’m meant to do right now.  Don’t care.  I’m doing it.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


"If you're going to write, don't pretend to write down. It's going to be the best you can do, and it's the fact that it's the best you can do that kills you."

Dorothy Parker

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Here I Don't Go Again

Yes, I'm giving up writing the book I started last week. I'm grateful that I didn't write more than 8 pages.

All along I've been questioning whether I could sustain reader interest in this one. I realized that I couldn't. If it's anything it's a short story. Maybe.

I can't make this work as a novel and I don't think I want to. Yes, I'm a little depressed because I don't have another idea. It's hard to adjust to not having as fertile an imagination as I once had.

I think I so wanted to start the "school year" with a new book that I pushed myself into writing something that really wasn't for me.

I'm going back to reading and thinking and hoping something will hit me that I can't wait to write. The truth is that even though I may complain while writing a book, I'm the happiest when I'm doing so.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Three Day Week

I only worked three days this week and didn't get a lot done. Tomorrow I'm going to the movies. Those of you who've been reading my blog for awhile know that this is what I do during the first draft. I go to movies on Fridays. Well, maybe not through the whole first draft but a lot of it.

I look forward to having three days off. I need to think more about this novel before I go on and I'll do that over the weekend. So that's not having time off, is it?

At least I've made a start even though I'm not totally comfortable with the idea I've chosen.

Haven't I been here before?

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007


"If you're going to write, don't pretend to write down. It's going to be the best you can do, and it's the fact that it's the best you can do that kills you."

Dorothy Parker

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

What A Difference A Day Makes

I thought about my protagonist a lot yesterday and last night.  Couldn’t fall asleep. Sounds good, but it wasn’t because I’m very tired today.

But aside from that I can’t stop myself from wondering why anyone would stay with this…keep reading about this character.  Wondering if I can sustain this voice.  Sustain interest.

So it didn’t go as well today.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Over A Thousand Words

Yes.  Four pages and a half.  It was hard to start and by the 2nd page I thought, I can’t do this.  By the end of the 2nd page, and some caffeine, I let myself go with it and it felt good.  Not that what I wrote is necessarily good.  I don’t know about that yet.

Don’t like writing without a title. 

Saturday, September 15, 2007

For Real

I’m extremely anxious about this coming Monday.  I feel it’s actually going to happen this time.  Or at least I’m going to try to make it happen.  By that I mean I’m going to sit down here and bring up Word and hit the keys.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Up and Almost Running

No, I didn’t start writing on the 10th.  I couldn’t.  I was still knocked out from the procedure I had on Friday. Actually, the anathesia.  It was dumb of me not to realize that this would be so.  Sometimes I amaze myself that I live in such denial.

Today is the first day I feel well enough to be doing this.  Or much of anything other than reading and sleeping.

So my new target is Monday September 17th.  I honestly felt sad about not being well enough to start on the 10th. 

Now that’s what I call progress.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Very Good Essay

Jim Huang has written a wonderful essay about book publishing.  I think it’s essential reading.

Thanks to Jess for this heads up.


Friday, August 31, 2007

The Last Excuse (I hope)

About a month ago I told myself that after Labor Day I’d try to start a new novel.  But that’s not going to happen.

A week from today I have to have minor surgery.  I know that leaves me Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, but I can’t concentrate because I’m nervous about the surgery.  Maybe others wouldn’t be, but I am and that’s that.

So I’ll start on September 10th.  How do I feel about that?  Anxious.

I also hate to give up all the reading time I’ve had these last months and months.  Despise having to get on a schedule.  I know I posted awhile back that I wouldn’t have to be on one, but I know me.  I need that structure.

I’m not going to be able to take my laptop down to the new Starbucks and sip coffee and write.  That’s a fantasy.  I’m going to be right here, staring at a blank page in Word on my nice flat Xerox screen.  During my writing hours I’m not going to peek at email or log on to Sarah Weinman's Blog to see what I should read next.  And I can’t check Ed Gorman's Blog for interesting reflections or pop over to A Writer's Life to see if Lee Goldberg is writing about me again.  I kid my Lee. 

Nope can’t do any of that stuff.  I have to sit here from nine to noon, or a little later, and tap out what I can.  Yes, I have an idea.  I still don’t know if it’s viable, but I have give it a try.

If it ends up like my last attempt, 200 pages or so and not being able to finish, I don’t know what I’ll do.  I won’t swear that I’ll hang up my computer, but I might.

The lure of writing that 20th novel is still with me.  I’m going to give it my best shot.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Eye of the Beholder

Lee Goldberg has posted his response to my blog of the last few months.  He’s upset that my posts have been down.  He writes: “I find her posts disturbing and sad”.

I tried to tell him that my blog is about the ups and downs of this writer’s life.  I’m not going to write positive posts when there’s nothing positive to say at the moment.

Lee also writes, “It's unpleasant to see her in such a self-defeating, bitter retreat.”  Unpleasant?  Where does it say that I have to be pleasant? Self-defeating?  I don’t see it that way.  Should I get some positive mantra?  Should I lie on this blog and write only good thoughts?  Bitter?  Well, perhaps some are bitter.  The ones about publishing probably are.  On the other hand I don’t see them that way.  I see them as telling it like it is.

I state at the top of my blog that the blog is about writing and not writing, good and bad days.  It’s true that my bad days have lasted for quite a long time now, but I think that’s important for other writers to read.  To see that they’re not alone.  Because if Lee thinks I’m the only writer who feels this way he’s living in a dream world.

He goes on to write, “And I'm not so sure it's healthy for her career to be posting about it on her blog...then again, that's probably exactly why she's doing it.”

Healthy for my career? At this stage of my life I don’t think this way.  Lee is a completely different kind of writer than I am and probably it wouldn’t be good for his career to post some of the feelings I have, if he had them. Lee is in the middle of his career, and it doesn’t have a lot to do with the publishing world that I deal with.  This is not to put Lee down but merely to explain that our careers live in two different worlds.

“then again that’s probably why she’s doing it”?  What does that mean?  I’m writing these posts to make my career healthy?  I don’t get that.

I think Lee entirely misses the humor in these posts.  Many people don’t.  That’s not to say that the humor mitigates what I feel.  I recognize the humor in my thoughts as well as the plain ordinary truth of what I’m feeling.

In his response to my comment he writes, “Read your posts. They are bleak and depressing.”  So what?  I don’t see them that way, but even if that’s true, so what?  Does Lee want me to put on a happy face?

He writes that even when the posts aren’t about myself I express, “dark views about the state of publishing.”  Don’t we published writers know that the state of publishing is dreadful?  Why shouldn’t I write about that?  That might be helpful to a new writer who is getting rejection after rejection.

Lee writes, “Surely there are some "ups" in your writing life (or in your thoughts)

Well, no, Lee.  If there were, I’d post about these ups as I have in the past. And if any come along (as I hope they will) I’ll post them immediately.

To be fair to Lee he says some very nice things about me as a writer.  And I thank him for that.

Lee, you’ll be the first to know when I start a new novel.  And I hope that’s soon.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Baker's Blog

What phases are involved in the creation of a text?  This is the question John Baker asked a number of writers to answer.

He’s been posting them since July. There are a lot of interesting answers, descriptions of the way a writer works.   Many have things in common, some are different, all are worth reading.

Well, sure … I’m there, too.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Why am thinking about writing this book that I’ve had in the back of my mind for a few months?  What do I know about the things I’d have to include?  Who would be interested in this? 

I’ve said to myself and maybe here that I would probably start after Labor Day.  That’s 21 days away.  On Labor Day I’d be facing writing the next day. When I think of that it makes me sick.

If I start in September and don’t have interuptions (this has never happened) it’ll take me four to six months to complete a first draft.  And another one or two to rewrite.

And then what?  Give it to my agent?  She’ll hate it.  So maybe I’ll have to find another agent.  Not easy.  Or maybe my agent will decide to try and sell it.

Nobody will buy it.  Or even if somebody does it will fall through the cracks and three people will read it.

Why bother?

I’m going back to bed.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


"The novel remains for me one of the few forms where we can record man's complexity and the strength and decency of his longings."

John Cheever

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Vin Packer

Remember the non-fiction piece I was writing and whining about in May? It’s out now in Crimespree Magazine. The piece is about Vin Packer (Marijane Meaker).

She loved it.  The article was a surprise to her because I hadn’t let her know I was writing it.  I’m so glad she was pleased.

Marijane said I should write more non-fiction. I said, no.  She said, it was so much fun doing the research.  I said, I liked to make up stories.

I wish I did like writing non-fiction but it doesn’t speak to me.  You have to stick to facts and you know where you’re going and none of the people can be invented.  That is, if you’re doing it honestly.

No, it’s fiction or nothing for me.  And speaking of that, I had about two minutes yesterday of being bored by NOT writing.  Only a few minutes.  Still….

Saturday, July 21, 2007

No Thoughts

A writer friend of mine emailed me yesterday wondering why I wasn’t posting my thoughts here.  My first reaction was, how nice that she cares, and my second was, what thoughts?

I’ve been reading a lot and I have thoughts about the books I read, but this blog was meant to be about writing thoughts, as it says above.  The problem is I have no writing thoughts.

About once or twice a week I get an email from a fan who is waiting for the next book in the Faye Quick series.  That makes me think about writing for as long as it takes me to answer the writer and tell him/her that there won’t be anymore Faye novels because my contract wasn’t picked up.  And then I don’t think about writing after that.

Actually, I just realized that I’m lying.  Occasionally I think of what I might write if I start writing.  These are fleeting thoughts and certainly not worth posting.

I have thoughts about politics (who doesn’t?) but that’s not what this blog is about.  I also think abouth movies I’ve seen.  Not about that either.

But thoughts about me writing?  Nope. We’re halfway through the summer and I guess I had a secret thought that I might start a new book after Labor Day.  And I might.

Here’s the thing: I don’t miss writing at all.  I have no idea how long that will last.  Maybe forever.  Maybe until Labor Day.

Sometimes I think about other writers.  I read about their deals and hope that huge sums of money won’t ruin their careers.  Or I notice that a very good writer has disappeared from the scene.  In fact I could probably do a whole post about Whatever happened to…?

Still, that’s not about my writing thoughts.  Maybe I should branch out and write about some of the things I mentioned above.  But a lot of people write about those things and better than I would.

I know I’ve posted about publishing before.  So what more is there to say?  We all know it’s only going to get worse.

This doesn’t mean I won’t post again until I know what I’m going to write.  Something will rile me up or spin me around and I’ll put my two cents in.

So, stay tuned.

Friday, July 06, 2007

No Place At The Table

A friend of mine, who has published at least 10 novels in the crime genre, has written a new one.

She was unable to get an agent, (some didn’t even bother to call her back or return her email) despite having been published, so she decided to send it to editors herself.  Not cold.  Editors she’d met at various conventions, etc.

Here, from an editor at a major house, is the last paragraph of a rejection letter that praised her novel.

“This is a fine piece of work, as you no doubt are painfully aware, but I’m not sure that we could convince the big stores to buy thousands and thousands of copies.  And that is my mandate these days.”

It just makes me feel all warm and cozy.  And it definitely makes me want to sit down in front of my computer and hit those keys.  Not that I intend to write a book that will make those big fat stores buy thousands and thousands of copies.  And that’s just the point.

Who is going to publish the books I write…the books that you write?  I know the mid-list category for fiction is nonexistent but I didn’t think it was happening in the crime genre.

The editor’s mandate.  Discouraging and depressing.  I’ve never sold thousands and thousands of copies to the chains.  Most of us don’t.  We all know who does.  Ten, twenty at most.  And they’re the people who get major reviews and big time ads.  Over and over again.

I know there are quite a few independent publishers and I certainly wouldn’t mind being published by one of them.  I’d like it.  Still, the idea that unless you can be sure you’ve written a BIG book that will have the BIG stores buying thousands and thousands of copies is, in a word, disgusting.

The stores run publishing now.  Not news, I know.  And the sales people at the publishing houses help decide who will be published. 

Where does a new writer go?  How does he/she get an agent?  Agents also think about those thousands and thousands of copies. And on and on.

I’ve always believed that a good book would eventually be published.  I’ve changed my mind.  That won’t happen unless you fulfill an editor’s mandate.  And trust me, this isn’t an isolated approach to publishing.

So, what to do? I think there are three choices.  Write what you want, anyway, get a job if you don’t have one or retire from the whole thing.

It’s up to you.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Another Country Heard From

Maybe I’ve been wrong during this fallow period.  I’m always saying that writers don’t retire.  Annie Dillard doesn’t agree.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

What I Know

Before I begin writing what I want to say today, I’d like to ask you not to comment that I’m lucky with the career I have (I know) or it can still happen (it can’t) or I should be grateful, or accepting or any of those things.  I am.  I do.

Many people have written me to say they like my honesty.  So that’s what I’m doing here.  I’m being honest.

On Amazon they let you have a wish list.  This is my writing life wish list.

I wish I had Ed’s productivity.  Janet’s energy.  Sue’s popularity.  Mary’s name recognition.  Dan’s money. And most of all I wish I had Laura’s career. 

There was a time when it looked like I was going to have some of those things but it never happened.  I believe it was because of the choices I made.  And a little bad advice.

I believe I’m a good writer.  Not great. But Good.  And that should be enough to have some of the things I’ve enumerated. In fact we all know of bad writers who have some or all of those things. Timing and luck are a big part in this hellish game we play.

I hear about the new upcoming writers and I read them.  Some are damn good.  I wish I could be part of them, in their grade, their class, so to speak.  But it’s no longer my time.

Twenty years ago I was in the class with a bunch of new writers.  Some became household names others are like me and still others can’t get published anymore.  They’ve disappeared.  Some should’ve disappeared, others not.

I know the breakthrough book isn’t going to happen for me.  That’s okay.  I had my chance.  Now, despite my wishes, which, by the way, are for the forty year old me, I don’t have any idea if I’ll publish again.  Or write again.  I’m inclined to think I’ll write, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be published. That’s not okay.  But there’s not a damn thing I can do about it.

I hope the next book I write is good.  Still, it won’t be the kind of book that’ll make me a household name or bring in loads of money.  That’s okay, too.  I want whatever I write to see the light of day and make back the money I was paid. At this point in my writing life that’s all that’s important. 

Am I committing publishing suicide by writing this?  Maybe.  But I’m still naive enough to believe that if I write a good book whatever I say here won’t matter.

And one more time:  I’m grateful for the career I have.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Still Crazy After How Long?

How long has it been? I don’t know. It seems like months. It is months? Huh. Actually it seems more like a day. That’s how much I’m enjoying it. It being not writing.

We all know that if I write again it won’t be this summer. That girl is still around and occasionally whispering in my ear. And sometimes I hear other things on TV or radio or even from the women I go to Curves with. And sometimes I write them down. But spending my time reading and watching movies seems to satisfy me right now.

Of course when I read reviews of books on blogs or in print it gives me a pinch. Notice, pinch not punch. I think, oh, sit down and write. And then I forget about it.

I’m beginning to suspect that the lack of discipline idea I wrote about a few posts ago isn’t going to fly. My schedule is too ingrained. I’m not going to be able to start at 11 or 1. That’s not me. If I start writing I’m sure I’ll go back to the schedule I’ve been on for 50 years.

And should I write this book that’s now and then in my mind it shouldn’t take me very long. It’s that kind of book, unlike my last fiasco. The 200 pages I abandoned. This one should be fairly easy. Of course none of them is easy. It’s all comparative. The one I’m vaguely entertaining should be easy in comparison to some others I’ve written. Maybe I’ll find out, maybe I won’t.

Anyway, I thought you should know I’m here and not writing. And crazy.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


"To write it, it took three months; to conceive it - three minutes; to collect the data in it - all my life."

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Yesterday I heard from the people at the magazine I wrote the non-fiction piece for and they liked it a lot. I guess it will be in their next issue. It’s Crimespree. It made me feel good that they liked it. Of course it did. Why wouldn’t it?

Yesterday I had coffee with a writer who’s waiting to see if she is going to be accepted into a writing group. This is an important group. Many people in it get published.

I feel for her. If she gets rejected she’ll lose confidence about her work. She’s written a novel that needs a rewrite. She has an agent, but I think it means a lot to her to be accepted into this group. Of course it does. Why wouldn’t it?

So is that the other part of being a writer? We want acceptance. Your first reader is the start. If he or she doesn’t like what you’ve done depression can set in for days.

Then comes your agent, if you’re lucky enough to have one. If he/she doesn’t like it where the hell does that leave you? You’re not accepted. You have to go back and make the book right so the agent will accept it.

It’s not only the non-acceptance of the work, it’s you. They say you’re not what you do, but I don’t buy that. Of course we’re many things, but a writer or an artist is different. I’m so closely connected to my work that if someone doesn’t like it I know I translate it into that person doesn’t like me. I’m better about this than I was when I started years ago, but I know that’s still in there.

Then comes the editor should you get one. Acceptance but with changes. The book is published and you’re out there. No control. Reviewers. More acceptance or not.

Readers. They write you. Friends. They lie to you and you know it. Some genuinely like it. But this is all about acceptance again. It’s a bitch.

Why do we do it?

Thursday, May 31, 2007


"A story is a way to say something that can't be said any other way, and it takes every word in the story to say what the meaning is."

Flannery O'Connor

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Have Got a Clue

I realized yesterday as the holiday was coming to an end, that if I knew I had to get up the next morning and write I’d be depressed.

I’m a disciplined person and have been writing in a disciplined fashion for 50 years.  By disciplined I mean being at my desk by 9, writing for 3 or 4 hours 5 days a week unless I was sick.  Year after year.  That schedule has served me well.  But I think I’m tired of it.

I know that there are other writers out there who’ve been doing it longer and for more hours a day and more days a week.  I salute them.  But I’m not in a contest.

It’s not the writing I’m tired of it’s the method.  The trouble is I don’t know how else to do it.  This schedule works for me.  Can this old dog learn new tricks? 

I can’t imagine sitting down to write whenever I feel like it.  Maybe for an hour.  Ten minutes.  No.  These aren’t the rules.  The rules I made for myself.  If I made them I can break them.  Easily said.  But can a willy-nilly writing method work for me?

I’m not a night person so that wouldn’t be viable for me.  I’m best in the morning.  So what if I sat down at my computer at 10 or 11?  What would happen?  Or what if I gave some time in the afternoon a tumble?  I know there’s only one way to find out. 

This is still in the thinking stage and I’m not ready to test it yet.  Maybe next week.  Maybe not.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Thought Drops Falling In My Brain

As you can see below I’ve been relaxing and reading among other easy pursuits.  And I’ve been enjoying it.  Until yesterday.

Thoughts have been interfering. Book idea thoughts.  Opening lines.  This when I’m trying to read.  I don’t care for that.  But I can’t stop it.

There’s this girl.  There’s this girl who keeps talking to me. I’m not sure I know what she looks like.  I know how old she is.  I know where she lives.

I have to admit I did write down a few things she said.  But now she’s saying something else.  Something that makes what she said before irrelevant.  I’ll be damned if I’m going to listen or change what she said before.  I don’t have time for this.  I have the new Elmore Leonard to read.

I want her to shut up.

So far she won’t. 

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Dick Cavett's Article

Below are portions of the article no one could get to.


“You should sue your publisher.”

Those attention-getting words were uttered by a man who was invariably referred to as “the grand old man of Chicago book dealers.” That, rather than “hello,” was his greeting when my co-author and I once entered his shop.

“I ordered 50 copies of ‘Cavett,’ H.B.J. sent me nine copies, and I sold them all that morning,” he said. He was referring to Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, our publisher. “It’s three weeks now that I can’t get any more copies out of your publisher. People come in for it every day. Do you have a good lawyer?”

How could this be? How could they not send the books?

How could the book not be in a popular bookstore? Any comfort from thinking maybe this was an isolated case quickly dissolved. “And the Kroch-Brentano chain of stores,” he said, emphasizing the word “chain,” “can’t get it either.”


It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, doesn’t it?

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Sorry about the link below.  I didn’t realize people couldn’t get to it.  I’ll try to copy some the article and put it here tomorrow.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Publishing Hell

You’re not alone.  This is well worth reading An Author's Nightmare . See for youself what you’re probably in for.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


I finally finished the non-fiction piece and sent it off today. No response but I wouldn’t expect one yet.

First I sent it with the pages unnumbered. Then I said I was sorry I’d done that and here’s the right one. Accept I forgot the attachment. I made it on the third try.

So now what? I have no interest in writing. Although I noticed my mind noting some news articles. Not sure what that means.

When I think I’ll never write again I don’t feel panicky as I have in the past. It feels okay. I’m enjoying hanging around. I read a lot. I answer email, visit sites on the Internet. I talk to friends. And a Starbucks has opened in my town.

That may seem like nothing to many people, but out here it’s something. It’s set back from the street and is tastefully done inside. This is one with easy chairs. The big difference is that you can’t sit and people watch. What I mean is, there aren’t a lot of people walking by. So it’s a good place to bring a book and have a coffee. Or meet a friend.

The summer people will be here in another few weeks and things will change. I won’t leave my house on the weekends. But that’s okay with me. I have a lovely house and comfortable places to read. A hammock outside.

I don’t want to write and I’m not going to unless I want to. Yes, money matters, but my track record won’t bring me lots of money. Or even okay money. So I’ll have to really want to write something to do it again. And that could happen any time. Meanwhile I’ll wait for the brass ring in my hammock.

Friday, May 04, 2007


I don’t know how anyone writes nonfiction. Or why they’d want to. I finished the first draft of a piece for a magazine yesterday. It’s true that I don’t feel like writing anything now, but this had to be done as I had agreed.

I don’t think writing nonfiction is fun. I also don’t think writing fiction is fun, although it has its moments. It doesn’t feel like there is anything creative about nonfiction. Things are pulled from here and there and, in this case, from my memory.

It’s much more like filling in a puzzle to me. I suppose I should like puzzles considering what I usually write. But I knew the end of this puzzle and I didn’t have to invent characters. I didn’t have to invent anything and I think that’s why writing nonfiction leaves me cold.

This is a first for me. I hope the editors will be happy with my effort. I can’t help worrying that they’re going to reject it.

I have to believe that if they do reject it it’s because the piece is lousy. And then I should be grateful that it won’t be read by anyone else. Shouldn’t I? Will my ego allow me to view it this way?

I doubt it.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Another Nonevent

“On the first of May, it is moving day.” It’s also the publication day of my paperback of TOO DARN HOT. Does anyone care? Certainly not my publisher. To be fair no publisher of a paperback (unless by a high profile author) ever cares about the release of a paperback.

But as I sit here at my desk, in my new chair, I wonder if this is the last time I’ll experience this nonevent. This isn’t a whiny thought. It’s perfectly possible that this might be the last time.

Of course, I don’t have a chance if I don’t write another book. And as the days go by I don’t seem to be doing that. Yes, I have that idea I mentioned awhile ago, but you can’t just have an idea. You have to apply seat of pants to chair (new or not) and hit those keys. In other words, write.

Someone asked me yesterday if I was writing. When I said no, she said well I guess you have to take a break. A break? I don’t think this is what I’m doing. I think what I’m doing is not writing. There’s a difference.

Taking a break is planned. And vacations are involved. Sleeping late. Going to bed late.

Not writing is not writing. There are parts of this state that I like. No deadlines loom. No jumping out of bed to be sure that I get to my desk by nine. No thinking. On the down side there’s brain boredom. Don’t get me wrong, I’m never bored. I’ve always said that anyone who reads can’t ever be bored and I still think that’s true. Brain boredom to me is when I’m not creating. Not writing.

I have no impulse to start. Even the research part doesn’t get a rise out of me.

I know that this book will be quite dark and the reader won’t love the protagonist. And there’ll be no redemption. At least I think that now. And if that’s true it’ll be hard to get it published. So it all seems futile.

No, that’s not it. I’m a writer and a writer writes. So what’s going on? I’ll be damned if I know.

Friday, April 27, 2007


The results are in. Some of us are thrilled, others aren’t. And I don’t mean the winners and losers. I’m talking about the readers and some of those are writers. At least I hope the writers read.

It’s great to win prizes. Or to be nominated. I know, I’ve had both things happen to me, although the book that won was under the name Jack Early. A Shamus award.

And I hope I get nominated and/or win something again. I’m not sure what it does for sales, but it does a lot for ego. Nothing wrong with that.

But the real deal is writing. Finishing a book is the first reward, the first prize. The second one is getting it published. Let’s face it, none of us wants to put that 400 page manuscript into a drawer.

Still, I have to focus on the work. Because that’s the important part.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Up and Running

My computer is working but I’m not. Writing, that is. How can I write when I have to get all my programs working? What a pain this is. I think I’d rather be writing. Well…..

A few thoughts. Why do people write novels with nameless characters? Or nameless narrators. Or nameless places. I don’t get this. Am I not understanding something? And I don’t want to hear the Everyman answer.

I dislike nameless anything. Names are very important to me. I find a nameless protagonist irritating. Half their personality is missing. And why a nameless city or state? What’s gained from this?

Another thought. Why do people think you want to hear something like this: “I liked your book so much I loaned it to a friend.” I’m glad you liked it so much, but I wish you’d told your friend so and encouraged him/her to go out and buy it.

Once my computer is exactly like I want it I’ll be able to continue my research. Still not ready to take the plunge. I wonder how much this has to do with how little is being done for my paperback which gets published on May 1st? Did I say how little? How about nothing.

I didn’t expect anything. After giving me a purple cover because five others that were being published that month had red covers, I knew where I stood.

And I don’t care who reads the above. Sue me.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


I have no idea if this will work because my Windows program crashed and I've been dealing with reinstalling and frustrating attempts to get on the Internet. Seems I can't get onto my home page which also means I can't get mail. So if anyone has sent me mail and I haven't answered it's because I can't. Same goes for Crimespace. I feel like I'm in Internet hell...or is it simply computer hell? Not writing, of course. Even if I wanted to write I couldn't because of this mess. Lost all my mail, but saved my addresses and bookmarks. But what good is that if I can't get on.

Well, let's see.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Still Here

I’m continuing research for the new idea.  Worried that this novel will be too dark.  I know, I know…no novel in this field can be too dark.  Crime field, that is.  But I think it’ll be too dark for my agent.  What am I talking about?  I haven’t written one word.

And speaking of writing one word, here I am on Sunday so happy that I don’t have to actually write tomorrow.

I’ve been thinking that even though my disciplined schedule has worked for me through 19 books maybe that’s enough discipline.  Maybe I can do something different this time.  The thing is I’ll have to write to find out.  But I’m not ready yet. 

Will I ever be ready?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A Little Different

I know the video below doesn’t fit the purpose of my blog but I thought it might be fun.  And interesting.  Bruen has become very successful in the last four or five years.  He’s not a household name, but writers love him.  See what you think.

Ken Bruen Reading Cross

Monday, April 02, 2007


"I have written a great many stories and I still don't know how to go about it except to write it and take my chances."

John Steinbeck

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Light Bulb

If I had a picture of a light bulb I’d put it here.  Yes, I have an idea.  Or the beginning of an idea.  Actually, that’s not true.  I have the whole idea, but not the middle.  Strange for me but I have the end.  Or what I now think is the end.  I have ideas about my protagonist.  And the title came to me this minute while writing this.  It’s a title I’ve used before.  A long time ago and in another medium.  I always wanted to use it again.

This idea requires research.  Research that might be great fun if it doesn’t eventually drive me insane.  I think it’ll be both hard and easy to write.  I know that’s confusing but I can’t explain or I’d be telling too much.  I never talk about a book I’m thinking of or writing.  I believe if you talk about it you don’t write it.  Talking it away, is what I call it. I may be telling too much now.

  I know that this could all crash and burn.  I’ll be disappointed if that happens, but after putting 200 pages in a drawer this year I think I’ll survive.

How did this come about?  After reading Laura Lippman’s new book it made me want to write.  That’s happened to me before after reading a good novel. This isn’t about competition. It’s the kick in the pants I needed.  That, coupled with all the reading I’ve been doing, relaxing, and not uselessly grasping for an idea.  Suddenly there  it was.  But it wasn’t anymore sudden than noticing your hair’s turned gray. 

Here’s the rub.  I don’t feel like writing.  Or giving myself a start date.  For now it’s enough to think about it….not talk about it.  I know I’ll hit the keys one of these days.

Congratulations are not in order. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Laura Lippman

I’ve never written this kind of post and perhaps will never write one again, but I decided it fit here because it’s really about the growth of a writer.

This is not a book review, but I must say something about  Lippman's new book, WHAT THE DEAD KNOW.

I have not always been a fan of Lippman's writing. I read her first book and I think the second and dismissed her. She will tell you herself that her first five books aren't her best.

I kept reading the raves about her. The winning of all the prizes. I'd see special sections devoted to her in bookstores. I couldn't understand it and I began to hate her. I didn't know her, we'd never met. I hated her because I was jealous.

Then last summer we were on a panel together. I found her charming and bright and funny. I immediately got a copy of NO GOOD DEEDS, which I liked a great deal. It's a good book.

I was looking forward to WHAT THE DEAD KNOW and now I've read it. The novel is wonderful. Thinking back to that first book I'm astonished at how much this writer has grown. We all want to get better as we go on, but not everyone does. Some get worse.

WHAT THE DEAD KNOW is a great accomplishment. I almost felt that I was reading a different writer, but that's because she's written a novel that's taken her eleven books to get to this place. Practice, practice, practice. And I'd guess she's learned a lot from reading.

So, run, don't walk, to your nearest bookstore and get a copy of WHAT THE DEAD KNOW.

If Laura Lippman doesn't get a bunch of prizes for this I'll be astonished. And mad. I'm not jealous anymore. I'm delighted for her.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


“The writer who possesses the creative gift owns something of which he is not always master- something that at time strangely wills and works for itself."

Charlotte Bronte

Friday, March 16, 2007

Building Blocks

I haven’t posted in awhile because I don’t have much to say.  Still, since this is a blog about writing I guess it’s important to say I’m still not writing.

A friend suggested the other night that I have a block.  That would be a writer’s block.  I don’t think that’s what it is.  I’ve had them in my life and they were very different.  They were “I want so much to write but I can’t.”  One time, when I’d sit at my desk I’d feel faint.  This time I simply don’t WANT to write.  Not now.  I hope it’s only for now.  But how long is now?

That’s the only thing that worries me.  How long?  That’s scary. What if it goes on for years?  What if I die before I write my 20th book?  Well, so what?  If I do, I do. In the grander scheme of things it won’t make a bit of difference.

Now and then a half-formed idea squiggles through my brain only to die young.  Maybe I kill it because I don’t WANT to write.

I’m enjoying reading and not being on a schedule.  Still, every time a writer I like publishes I feel a little ping.

But it’s not a block.  I don’t have the desire or the will right now.  And for the moment I feel all right with that.  But how long will a moment last?


Saturday, March 03, 2007


"The human brain is the laziest apparatus in the world. If you start to revise before you’ve reached the end, you’re likely to begin dawdling with the revisions and putting off the difficult task of writing. Unless I find I’ve made some drastic mistake in characterization or basic structure, I never go back until I’ve written the last page."

Pearl S. Buck

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Yes, We've Got No Ideas Today

I found this comment on my blog today:

“You haven't posted in awhile. I trust you've wrapped your mind around an idea and you're flying with it. :) “

She put a smiley there so I guess she must know that had I an idea I would’ve posted.  I do have a few snippets..little pests.  But no full grown animal.

Since Friday I’ve been helping two friends who have been very sick.  One in the hospital, the other at home.  So I keep saying to myself it’s a good thing I’m not writing.  That’s true, in a way.  I’d be a bit resentful if I was in the middle of a book. But I’m not.

Tomorrow will be the 1st of March.  I blew January and February, my favorite months to write.  Maybe it’s all over for me.  Maybe there won’t be a 20th book.  We know I’m not a Gorman or a Randisi so this might be the end.  Nineteen books isn’t a bad record.  Still, I’m not ancient and have all my marbles.  So why would it be over for me?

Think of Harper Lee.  One book and out.  I’m not comparing myself as a writer with her, but who says one has to write book after book?  I made this 20 book goal for myself so I can break it if I want to.

But I’m a writer and writers write.  I know you’re not supposed to define yourself by what you do.  Actually, who said that?  I do define myself that way.  So I’ll keep reading and thinking and hoping.  That’s all I can do right now.

Friday, February 23, 2007


"Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand. For all one knows, that demon is simply the same instinct that makes a baby squall for attention."

George Orwell

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I'm Not Alone

Yesterday I got a call from a writer friend who told me she was very depressed.  Why?  She’s about my age, has published 13 books and cannot find an agent.  She has a book she finished and is ready to go.  But none of the agents she wrote to wrote her back.  This is someone in the crime field who has had two series and a stand alone.  This isn’t an unknown. No agent even had the decency to say they weren’t interested.

So now she’s going to try writing to editors she’s met, but doesn’t know.  Her hopes are not up.  And she said to me, “I feel like I’m starting all over again.”  Didn’t I just write that very sentence in a post?

It’s not as though we’re baseball players and can’t cut it anymore.  And she has an actual finished novel.  Unlike me.  So you’d think someone would take a look at her novel, wouldn’t you?  We’ll see.

Meanwhile I’m in the pits.  A blank brain.  Nothing to write after I bought an new expensive chair for my office.  It’s not here yet, so maybe by the time it comes….nah.  Unlikely.

I feel terrible I have nothing to write and I also don’t want to write.  So what if I don’t publish twenty novels.  Who’s counting except for me?  The thing is, I feel I must write, I should write, I have to write.  WTF.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

False Start

Thank you to everyone who wished me good luck and who were happy for me that I’d made a decision and started something new.

After that first chapter I realized that the form I’d set was leading me to write about myself (fictionally) and my family.  I can’t write about myself.  Just can’t do it.  Not unless I’m totally disguised.  I wasn’t disguised at all.  I might find another way to do this, but for now it’s going in the recycle bin.  At least Chapter 2 is.

Am I depressed?  Not exactly.  I’m worried.  Time is passing and I’m not sure how much time I have left.  Yes, I know, nobody is.  But I’ve reached a certain age where time is very important.  I’m so much closer to the end than the beginning.  Or even the middle. I feel pressured.  I’m pressuring myself, of course.  No one else is knocking down my door, or phoning me. It’s as if I’ve just begun on this journey and have no connections. 

And for me the ideas don’t come fast and furious as they once did.

Back to reading and thinking.

My advice? Carpe diem!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Chapter One

I started a new novel today.  Two and a half pages.  Here I go again.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


I’ve finally decided to give up the novel that I’ve been working on for over a year.  I’ve never spent so much time on something and then quit.  But I know in my gut that it’s the right thing to do.

I’m going to start something new.  I have a glimmer of an idea and I hope to get a first chapter done this week.  That may be all I do for awhile as I’m unsure of this and have to think more.  Or, writing the first chapter may give me the spark I need to go on right away.

You never know, do you?  Ain’t we got fun!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Days Dwindle Down

I approach the start of another work week knowing I won’t be working.  I’m getting a bit tired of this now.  This week holds some medical stuff for me so I’d be interrupted anyway.  Still, I have to get a handle on what it is I’m going to do.  Nothing isn’t an option.  I’m still not sure which path to take: continue or start something new.  By next week at this time I hope to have that answer.

January and February are such good months to write, especially if you’re in the East.  It’s cold here, finally.  And I like writing during these months.  I’ve pretty much lost January and February is slipping away.  Okay, March is good, too.  But I don’t want to start up in April. I can pretty much tell that this summer will be a working one, unlike last summer.  Hate that.

As it is if I finish and sell a novel it won’t be published until 2008 or ‘09 and that’s not good.  Too long out of people’s thoughts.

But I’m reading and thinking.  It’s not a total loss.  Or is it?

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

More Will Be Revealed

Still not writing.  Reading.  Thinking.  Don’t know what I’m going to do.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


I’m not writing.  I’m thinking.  I keep vacillating between trying to find a way to finish this book I’ve been working on and starting a new one.  I seem to have an idea for a new one, but who knows?

I’m also reading.


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Having a Terrible Time, Wish You Were Here

Anyone, that is, who could save me.  I’ve hit the wall.  Really. I decided I was going to toss the book.  First Reader said not before I read it.
So FR read it.  She didn't give me the reaction I wanted which was, "You can't toss this.  It has the makings of a good book.  You have to do X,Y,Z and then this is how you'll get them down that slope to the conclusion."
She liked a lot of it and said I had hard work to do.  Way too many characters, which I knew.  And she had no idea how to get to and write the 2nd act.  She had some ideas on what I should do with what I have.  But I had to coax the words "Don't toss it" out of her.  And they weren't quite those words.  I've blocked what they actually were but they meant the same thing. Grudgingly.
I've often had false starts and given up, but I've never had over 200 pages and quit.  I've always said this was the kind of crime novel I couldn't write and it seems that it's true.  But I don't want it to be true. I'm so depressed about it.  I know I could take the things FR told me and rework everything but then I'll eventually get to the same place.  I think.  FR doesn't think so.  She thinks if do some of the stuff she suggested it'll give me ideas on how to go on and resolve the sucker.  Maybe so.
Why not?  I don't have an idea for another book and can't imagine starting something else even if I did.  I don't have that secret novel I've always wanted to write. 
I guess there's an option to stop all together.  But that's a false option.  I might be able to do that for a week or two, but then I'd want to write something and I still might not have an idea and blah, blah, blah.
All the options are lousy.  Tomorrow looms.  What will I do?  I have to take some action.  I guess I'll get out those 4x5 cards that Martha O'Connor suggested awhile back and start putting the names and alliances on them, then tack them to my bulletin board.  I haven't had to do this for 30 years.  And that was with Some Unknown Person.  Come to think of it that had a cast of thousands.  But I always knew where that was going and didn't have trouble getting there.
I think I have to give it one more try. 
And please don’t tell me I should’ve outlined.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Why Can't I Be More Like a Gorman?

Or a Randisi?  Or a McBain?  A Westlake?  Ohmigod I can’t think of a woman.  Oh, well, the point is they’ve written hundreds of books.  Each one of them.  Especially Randisi and Gorman.  And while they’re writing novels they’re compiling anthologies.  And editing magazines and all kinds of stuff.  And they’re not writing in one genre either.  Gorman and Randisi write westerns as well as crime novels.  And horror novels.

I’m struggling to write my 20th novel but nothing stops them.  McBain is dead so I can only look back.  But the others are very much alive.  And very much writing.  And publishing.

Okay, after my day off last Wednesday I did write on Thursday.  Not much.  But I wrote.  Then I went to the movies on Friday.  I bet Randisi and Gorman don’t go to the movies on a possible work day.  I’m sure they don’t.

And will they take off tomorrow because it’s a holiday.  Of course not.  Will I?  Of course. There’s one last movie I have to catch before the Golden Globes tomorrow night.  You have to have priorities in this writing life, afterall.

Yes, I know.  Mine suck.  On Tuesday I’ll try again to be disciplined.  I do want to finish this 20th even if no one publishes it.  And I’ll probably want to do a 21st.  But I can’t get ahead of myself this way.

How do Randisi and Gorman and Westlake and the ones I’m forgetting do it?  Even if I worked seven days a week I could never write as many books as they.  And please don’t start thinking they’re hacks because they most definitely aren’t.  That’s not to say that every book they publish is wonderful.  But a lot are very good.  So it’s a mystery to me how they do it.

But I wish I could.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I Didn't Want To

That’s right.  I came into my office, turned on the computer, clicked on Word.  I finished a chapter yesterday so I had to set up a new chapter.  I did that.  And put the page number in.  And then I stared at it for a few seconds, minimized it.  I remembered I’d d/l a program yesterday that I hadn’t set up.  So I did that.  And that was the end of writing for the day.

Not because I distracted myself with a toy.  But because I didn’t want to write so I distracted myself.  I know from experience that if I go to email or launch my browser or do anything but bring up Word I will be done for.  So it wasn’t that I was an innocent in any way.

I didn’t want to write today.

Yesterday and the day before went well.  I liked what I wrote.  Didn’t read it again, but I felt it was good.

I didn’t want to write today.

Yes, I feel guilty.  But only a little.  Still, it isn’t what I said I was going to do when I started writing again after my hiatus.  I thought I’d get in at least a four day week.  I still could if I don’t go to the movies on Friday.

Oh, hell.  I didn’t want to write today and I didn’t.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Pulling Teeth

That’s what it was like.  Even so I got a chapter done.  But these people are not cooperating with me.  They change what they’re doing from one paragraph to the next.  And they’re still talking and talking.

A plan has been made by one person, but I’ll believe he follows through when I see it on the page.

I have no idea why I’ve started talking about my characters like this.  Am I trying to get distance?  Do I want to relinquish responsibility?  What the hell is going on?  Has anyone else ever had this attitude toward characters.  I never have before.  Maybe it’s because I’m NOT in control.  I mean by that that the characters are getting away from me.  I hope that’s not the case. 

It’s true that if I’d outlined this probably wouldn’t be happening.  But then I wouldn’t care.  So I’d rather be in this quandry.  I have to admit some of it has to do with my memory. A lot does.  It’s a little scary.  I’m not sure how to solve this problem.  If anyone has a suggestion, a tip, or a trick other than outlining I’d like to hear it.

Tomorrow I’m going to a movie…exactly as I said I would.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Tomorrow and Tomorrow

Tomorrow is almost here.  Why do I care?  I have to go back to writing my novel. I both dread and look forward to it.  I know what’s waiting for me, of course.  I have to get these people moving.  They have to make plans. Get schemes in place. Strategize.

They’ve put things off for too long.  All the duos or trios are made up of the right people.  Now I need to see some action.  Talk, talk, talk. They have to take matters into their own hands and get that money.  At least go after it.

This will start the second year (with lots of breaks) on this book.  And it’s only halfway done and is a first draft.  If I’m ever going to get it finished I can’t take so many vacations.  From now until about June I have to keep going.  Stick to my schedule.  I’ll still take Fridays off if there’s a good movie around.  But that’s it.  By June I’d like to have it done.  Final version.

Okay.  Tomorrow.  Barring acts of God I’m going to hit those keys. For sure.