Category Archives: Writing

True Crime as a guilty pleasure

True crime podcasts are wildly popular as of late. I mainly listen to True Crime Garage and Sword and Scale.

Sometimes I wonder if there is something morally questionable about being entertained by the activities of criminals, and the suffering of their victims. Is true crime socially acceptable porn? But even porn is socially acceptable these days.

I might have been a detective in a past life—I’ll post about my belief in reincarnation another time.

I’m intrigued by the process of investigating a crime. The detectives examine the crime scene and collect evidence. They look into the background of the victim to figure out who they associated with and who might have had reason to harm them.  Sometimes the victim happens to be at the right place at the right time for the perpetrator. In these cases, investigators hope to find someone who witnessed the crime or saw something before or after the crime occurred.

This post is not meant to be a primer on how to be a criminal investigator. I am not qualified to write such a primer. However, my consumption of true crime entertainment and detective fiction is filling me with fodder for writing my own crime fiction. I could refer you to previous posts about me not writing enough, but blah, blah, blah.

This entry (if I can call it that) sort of went off the rails. I need a blogging plan. I need all sorts of plans. Here’s a list.

  • Eating
  • Exercise
  • Art
  • Blogging
  • Fiction writing
  • Plans for plans
    • sub plans
      • sub sub plans

Get the picture? Now watch as very little comes of any of it. I guess a Little is better than nothing.

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Work doodle

 

 

 

 

Handwriting Anatomy

A prompt from Writer’s Digest.

I’ve come to romanticize the idea of writing by hand. I imagine avid journal writers sitting in cafes filling the pages of their leather-bound notebooks with momentous thoughts. They use fancy expensive pens, and their handwriting is, of course, a sight to behold.

I want to be like these people, so I buy Moleskine notebooks and fill them with my deep thoughts and not-so-deep doodles. However, I don’t journal regularly, so I feel like I’m not doing it right. You hear about those people who have stacks and stacks of journals chronicling their lives from 2nd grade until their time in the retirement home. Having that kind of record of your life would be nice.

walk through my cloud

This post is about handwriting and the fact that I don’t like the way mine looks. When I’m writing quickly things get messy. The only way for me to write neatly is to slow down and practice mindfulness. Even my legible writing is not pleasing to my eye. I envy those art journalers who include nice looking handwritten words with their drawn and painted images. I’ve really been digging the work of Teesha Moore.  She creates journals that include collage, handwritten text, and drawings. I thought about buying one of her journals, but the one she had for sale on Etsy was out of my price range at $1,400.

I have been making an effort to improve my handwriting. My lowercase d and a are looking better, and I’m trying not to let the tail of my f and the top of my t get too curvy. I’ve considered practicing handwriting by copying poems. My writing would improve, I would learn some poems, and I might get the bug to write poetry. I used to write poems regularly, but I stopped for some reason.

It always comes back to giving myself more things to do; more things for which I don’t have time.

I’m worried about Kinsey Millhone

Detective novelist, Sue Grafton, died on Dec. 28, 2017. She wrote the “alphabet series” of books featuring a private detective named Kinsey Millhone. I have listened to every book on audio read by Judy Kaye from A is for Alibi to Y is for Yesterday. I love Kinsey Millhone. She’s the type of gutsy, independent woman I wish I could be.

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Sue Grafton’s death reported on CNN

I read that Grafton’s last book in the alphabet series was to be Z is for Zero, and because her family said she would not have wanted a ghostwriter, Y is the end of the line. I have never liked the idea of a ghost writer continuing where a novelist left off, so I’m okay with no Z.

The thing is, I have this feeling that Kinsey is out there in the fictional Santa Teresa, California waiting for something to happen. She’s waiting for Sue to write a new adventure. Maybe she goes over to her landlord Henry’s apartment and talks to him about their next steps as he busies himself in the kitchen baking bread. I know she and Henry are not real, but they are kind of real. Aren’t they?  I want them to be okay.

Yep, I might be slightly crazy.

I almost want to write some Sue Grafton fan fiction. I won’t do that. This world belongs to Grafton, not to me. I am considering developing a fantasy for myself that puts me in Kinsey’s world. I don’t really relish the idea of going back to the 80s in this fantasy. Would I go back as an awkward teenager or as me of today? Who would I be in this world?

Maybe I need to write my own female detective who happens to be a Kinsey Millhone fan.  She might have a bit of a Stephanie Plum vibe too.  Janet Evanovich had better stay healthy!

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Confessions of an outsider

The prompt is confess.

I often see myself as an outsider.

At work, I am one of the writers, but I don’t have a degree in English, so I feel that I am not one of them. A writer writes. I write.

I don’t know what writing most of the others do outside of work. One of them writes fiction and is working on a novel. Another attended the recent IU Writers’ Conference, so I know she must be legit.

I stumbled into my current job. If I had applied, I wouldn’t have been considered, because I majored in Dance. Someone in human resources would have discarded my resume because it shows no English or Journalism degree. I wonder if my grammar skills would be better if I had majored in English.

I’m reading Stories from the Twilight Zone by Rod Serling. I found a preposition at the end of a sentence in the first story in the anthology, The Mighty Casey. I wonder if editors were less persnickety about the preposition rule at the time of this writing. Today you’ll find articles explaining why the rule should be abolished, but I continue to follow it when writing something for work. I wouldn’t want people to think I wasn’t an English major.

I’ve always felt like an outsider in the dance world despite my Master’s degree in the field. My dance technique was never great, but I made up for that with my choreography skills.

I make art and jewelry, but I have no formal training. I could go on about this, but I imagine you get the idea.

In the end, none of this matters. I do what I enjoy doing, and I give it my all. I’m willing to try and fail. Being an outsider sets me apart from the crowd. I like feeling special.

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I never claimed to be an athlete, but I did play softball in my youth.

Comfortably Unhappy

I’m going to call these pieces writing sketches. They’re short and meant to go nowhere.  I might do something with them one day.

Edmund wore a hat on most days because he thought it made him look friendly.  Theresa thought he wore the hat to hide his receding hairline. He was one of those balding guys with long hair. He played guitar in a local band that was destined to remain that way. But he refused to give up his rock star aspirations. Theresa had been his on and off girlfriend since their freshman year of college. She believed she could find someone better than Edmund, but didn’t have the will to leave. They were both unhappy, but comfortable with the lives they were living. Making the smallest change seemed too risky a proposition, so the couple kept any hopes and dreams in check.  Then Sam came to town.

Guy with bike and polar bear.

Sam was what you’d call a go-getter. Edmund and Theresa met him at the university. He was a business major who was always thinking of new ways to make money. His schemes worked about 40% of the time, but he looked at each failure as a stepping stone to success. You would expect someone like Sam would achieve a moderate amount of success in life. Don’t be too quick to make assumptions.

What would happen if these characters met a woman and her imaginary polar bear?

Polar Bear

There doesn’t seem to be a way to ignore the world’s realities anymore, so Cassie is ready to create a world of her own. She has adopted an imaginary polar bear named Gordon.

Gordon appears to her when she’s anxious. He show’s up when feelings of doubt creep into her mind. He reminds her that life is good regardless of what the newspapers say.

Gordon doesn’t talk. He’s simply a presence. If Cassie is feeling down, Gordon does things to entertain her. He dances, juggles, wears funny hats–anything to brighten the moment. The bear will not let his friend succumb to negativity.

Cassie understands that Gordon is not real, but she also knows that he is. Does that make sense? Can we know what is real? Is reality just something everyone agrees on?

She has considered telling her friends about Gordon, but worries they will think her crazy. She is also  little concerned that one of her friends might try to get in on the Gordon phenomenon. Cassie knows how greedy and selfish that sounds. She will try and do better.

Polar bear

 

 

 

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