Okay, writing books is my profession these days. My business. And I figure everyone reading this blog also enjoys books. That’s what A Slice of Orange is about.
I can always keep busy writing–yes, busyness. My mind keeps plotting away, even if it doesn’t need to. Ideas keep flashing into my brain and not letting go. Good thing my computer is usually nearby so I can at least start jotting down those ideas, and potentially flesh them out later. And I’ll also bet that a lot of the people reading A Slice of Orange can really identify with that, too.
Over the time of the pandemic I haven’t had many books published–just one so far, in February 2020. I’m used to more, but that’s okay. Things have changed a lot in many ways lately.
It’s especially okay since I will have two new books published later in 2021 and at least another two published in 2022! I always say I love to include dogs in my books, and I do that as much as I can, although sometimes I may think about dogs, and obey my own dogs while I’m writing, but not all of the books I’ve been writing lately can actually include dogs.
My upcoming books? Well, first will come Her Undercover Refuge, the first Harlequin Romantic Suspense book in my new Shelter of Secrets series–in August. And yes, it includes dogs.
Next will be Uncovering Colton’s Family Secret, the tenth in the Coltons of Grave Gulch series also for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, in October.
And then in February 2022, my next mystery, Bear Witness, an Alaska Untamed Mystery will be published by Crooked Lane… under a pseudonym. It does include a dog as well as Alaskan wildlife including–what else?–bears!
I’m working on another Colton book for HRS which will be published in 2022, and there may be more books as well… info to come.
So… Yay! Yes, I’ve used this blog post to talk a lot about myself and my work, and my business and busyness. It’s all about me–but not entirely. I hope it gives other writers inspiration to leap on ideas, and encourages them to stay busy as well. Assuming they’re not already, which they probably are.
And I certainly wouldn’t mind if any of you pick up one or more of my upcoming books when available, and read them.
By the way, I’m really thrilled that I’m A Slice of Orange’s featured author this month!
Okay, I’ll admit it. I have been getting a bit lonesome as the pandemic continues, even though it may be easing up a bit—depending on where you live.
I still see relatives and neighbors and a few friends—and my dogs, of course—but I miss going to writers’ meetings and seeing more friends in person.
Oh, I do attend some meetings on Zoom and get to literally see some of those people, but it’s not quite the same as getting together with them as I did in the old days. I belong to several writers’ organizations and their local chapters, including Romance Writers of America, and the Orange County and Los Angeles chapters, Sisters in Crime and the Sisters in Crime Los Angeles chapter, and Mystery Writers of America and the Los Angeles chapter.
In the old days, I attended a lot of monthly meetings and got to chat with members before and after, and to some extent during, those meetings. I learned what they were up to and told them what I was doing and just felt caught up. I sometimes attended even when I wasn’t too excited about the speakers or their topics, mostly just to get together with, and be supportive of, friends.
I also tended to attend a lot of writing conferences, like the RWA National Conference, Left Coast Crime, Malice Domestic and more, often several in a year. I was often a speaker, or a panel member, too.
Things are a bit different these days. And I wonder if they’ll ever return to anything like the past. Guess we’ll just have to see.
Meanwhile, I’m hanging out at home, but imagine me waving at you, saying hi, chatting about writing and the rest of life.
I enjoyed it before and hope to enjoy it again—but I never imagined it would disappear even for a while.
For the last couple of months, my posts here included some of my take on what was happening with the Corona virus and how it was affecting my life–and how the changes had become my new normal.
Then there’s the economy, and all the people suffering because we mostly need to stay at home. Businesses are closing. People are losing their jobs. Where’s the money??
My new normal now also includes worrying about the protests occurring in many places in our country–including areas of Los Angeles, which is where I live. Oh, I sympathize with the protesters who are out there marching peacefully against racial inequality. The death that precipitated it all this time shouldn’t have happened. But now looters are using the protests as an excuse to get out there, break into stores, and steal a lot. And injure others. A lot of businesses in areas near me that haven’t experienced the riots are all boarded up, just in case.
And now here, and in other blog posts I’ve done, I’m wondering what’s next.
I’m writing, of course. Right now I’m working on my third book in the long-running Colton series for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, featuring characters in one of the many branches of the Colton family spread all over the country. I keep thinking about the second one I wrote, when much of the action was precipitated by an earthquake–Colton First Responder.
Are we due for an earthquake as yet another major issue in our existence, like a pandemic and riots? After all, as I said, I live in Los Angeles. And there was an earthquake worth noting in Ridgecrest, a location not far from here, this week.
Other areas may be deluged with hurricanes or other storms.
Or will our next problem–no, read “disaster”–involve something else?
Well, I am a writer and my imagination never stops. And I keep telling it to calm down and imagine instead what things will be like when there’s at least a small semblance of a return to normal.
Although what normal will be next…?
Anyway, I hope that all of you who are reading this are well and safe and not subject to any of those or any other major issues.
Who knows? Next time I post here, things may be quite different… again!
I’m a writer. A fiction writer. And right now my world, and everyone else’s, has been highly modified nonfictionally by a situation I never imagined would happen: The Covid 19 pandemic.
Because I’m a fiction writer, my mind is always spiraling with ideas for new stories. At the moment I think I’ll have three new books published next year: two Harlequin Romantic Suspense novels plus a potentially stand-alone mystery that I’m currently writing.
All that keeps my mind and my fingers busy. But that mind of mine–well, when I’m not focused on what I’m writing, I’m always considering potential new ideas. They kind of just slip into my thoughts based on things I see or do, or don’t see or do but still tiptoe in and become creative plots or people or pets.
Or unusual backgrounds…
Yes, I’ve already done a blog here not too long ago about what to include, and what not to include, in stories. I focused more there on whether or not to include references in what I’m already writing to the pandemic and other current issues it has been causing.
Now, I’m wondering whether I ought to write something new that features the pandemic and how it involves a protagonist, probably in a mystery. At least my mind keeps telling me to consider it.
If I did, would people want to read it, or would they rather stay away from awful things like that which are affecting their real lives–even fictionalized versions of it?
Don’t know yet–but I’m kind of leaving my mind loose to consider it.
What do you think–would you want to read about it?
Because it’s me, the story would also most likely involve dogs, who are now being recognized as wonderful companions as we all stay far from others outside our households a whole lot more than we used to.
But of course no dogs would be harmed.
November? Already? This year is nearly over. Where did it go?
Well, we still have over a month to go. Then what?
One thing, though, is that I think we all need to relax. There’s a lot of stress in our lives because of the pandemic, its health and economic results, politics lately, and more.
So how to handle it?
Well, when I first started trying to come up with a topic for my post this time, I wanted to use a theme of fun in writing but relaxation, if possible. So what did I come up with?
Oh, they’re not for everyone. But they’re definitely for me. I like to do at least two daily, the first online, and the next after dinner while watching TV–print versions, often in various newspapers.
I feel like they keep my mind active in similar but different ways from my writing. Love to keep up with, and increase, my vocabulary! And of course anything I learn in a crossword might be usable in a story somehow. Plus, yes, I find them relaxing.
I also enjoy doing other kinds of word puzzles, particularly acrostics. They’re crosswords in a way, using definitions, but you then plug parts into a grid and come up with a saying or message. Fun!
So, okay. I don’t really have anything else to say about crosswords right now, but I’d be delighted to hear your opinion. And me? Time for me to do my next online crossword!
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