Friday, August 21, 2015

My Mystery Reader Selection

North Sea Cottage by Dorte Hummelshoj Jakobsen, Candied Crime (2014) was my selection for this month’s Mystery Readers. Because the book was translated into English, some of it comes across as awkward, but the plot and its pace kept pulling me along.

The story takes place in Stenbjerb, Denmark located in Jutland in the northern part of the country. Tora Skammelsen, a writer, has retreated to her aunt’s north sea cottage to recover from some unspecified tragedy revealed later in the book. Her aunt, Bergtora, the owner of the cottage is temporarily in a nursing home to a fall.

 Tora is barely settled when there’s a storm, and a lightning strike sets the stable on fire. Fireman put the fire out, but in the aftermath, she discovers a trap door in the stable floor. In the space underneath she sees a skeleton, animal bones she thinks, until she sees a skull. The police are notified and an investigation ensues. The bones turn out to be very old.

 A flashback takes us back to 1943 during WWII and is told through the eyes of Bergtora, our heroine’s aunt, a 12 yr. old child when the German army occupied Denmark. Times are hard, food is in short supply. Bergtora’s father is part of the resistance movement, a very risky business made worst by neighbor informing on neighbor. Late one night her father leaves, never to be seen again, apparently fleeing to Sweden.

 As the story moves back and forth between the years 2012 and 1943, Tora and the police officer in charge of the investigation become friends, collaborating to untangle family secrets in order to find out who was buried under the stable.
 
Though the ending was not very satisfying because it leaves the reader to wonder what happened after the identity of killer is learned, this twisted tale is enjoyable due to its fast moving

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Is Social Media Important Once You Are Published?

Tulare Kings Writers will meet in the Blue Room of the Tulare Public Library in Visalia from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, August 15.

Featured speaker will be Lorie Lewis Ham. She will speak on the topic of social media and its importance once your book has been published.
Lorie has been publishing her writing since the age of 13 & singing since the age of 5. In 2010 she became the editor-in-chief and publisher of Kings River Life Magazine www.KingsRiverLife.com. She has also found time to write and publish 5 mystery novels. You can learn more about her mystery writing on her blog http://mysteryratscloset.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Confronting Historical Controversy

Local historian Newell Bringhurst will present "Confronting Historical Controversy--Its Risks and Rewards: My Varied Encounters with Tulare County's Colorful Past,"  a talk that will include his research and writing on such controversial subjects as the local Ku Klux Klan, the Visalia Fox Theatre, the history of College of the Sequoias, and Walt Disney's efforts to develop a controversial ski resort at Mineral King, during the regularly scheduled meeting of the TK Literary Networking Group founded by Steve Pastis in the "Blue Room", on the second floor of the Tulare County Library, 200 W. Oak Avenue, Visalia, from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, November 15.
There will be time to network, so bring your business cards – along with your writing friends and associates.
Contact Steve Pastis at 280-9774 for more information.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

A VOICE IN THE DARK by Patty Sabatier

I am so pleased to announce that A Voice in the Dark, Patty Sabatier's book about her journey through bipolar mental illness to mental health is now available to everyone. It can be found at Amazon.com. This book should give hope to individuals who suffer from the same type of illness, and to their families. In this book, Patty is candid about the ups and downs she struggled with, about periods of almost normal function to periods when hospitalization was necessary. And in the end, her triumph. At present, Patty is a registered nurse of forty-three years, living and working in California. She continues using art (note the cover of the book) and poetry to express her inner spirituality.

From the back of the book . . .
From childhood, through adulthood and into the beginning of her older years, Patty traces for us how imagination and emotion led her to wholeness and integrity. Using a Jungian spirituality and art, she walked her way to the healing of her bipolar mental illness. She learned to view mental illness as a gift of sensitivity. Patty uses a rational story line to show us her lived experience of irrational encounter with the unconscious self. Patty's book is written for people who struggle with mental illness, their families, and the therapy team. With specific guidelines, she encourages a Jungian approach to mental illness. Her meditations at the end of her book reveal her spiritual struggle and journey.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wandering Through The Weeds

It happens to all of us at some point. Writing is going along well, and then boom. A problem or stumbling block comes along. The question goes something like this.

If I let the protagonist do that, the next scene won’t work, OR, she has to get herself out of this mess. How is she going to do it when she left her weapon at home.

Sometimes I begin to question my original idea, but most often I try a few strategies first.
One is to sleep on it. Somehow my brain goes to work when I sleep, and sometimes I wake with a solution.

Gardening in very therapeutic. My brain can work on all kinds of ideas while my hands are pulling weeds.

A good long walk is kind of like gardening. It’s undisturbed time to mull over ideas and besides, exercise is always good for the brain.

Sometimes I get someone else’s take on the problem, like my son. I get a guy’s angle on it.
And then, in the end, I may just let the protagonist do what I don’t want her to do and see what happens. After all, there’s always the delete key.

Maybe other people don’t run into stumbling blocks when writing. But if you do, how do you handle it?