START YOUR WEEK WITH JAN AND FRAN!
Like the other Sleuth Sayers, I'm a writer of mysteries. My Callie Parrish Mystery Series, published by Berkley Prime Crime division of Penguin, USA, and Bella Rosa Books, are my best-known works, but I've also had articles and stories in magazines including Pages of Stories (Canada), Living Blues, Bluegrass Unlimited, Bluegrass Now, Ladies Home Journal, and Field & Stream. At the moment, I'm working on the first mystery in a new series.
Considering what to write about in this first essay, I began to think about peanut butter. Yes, that's what I said--peanut butter! Decades ago, I was a yo-yo dieter whenever I needed to fit into some special outfit for an important occasion. Before my wedding, I adopted a popular diet of the time--one of those so specific that it dictated every mouthful for each day of the week. It may have been the one that allowed steak and four ounces of ice cream one night a week or the one that required grapefruit every morning, but what I remember most was that on Mondays, the dieter was required to eat peanut butter.
There are all kinds of peanut butter--creamy, crunchy, extra crunchy, mixed with honey, and even swirled with grape jelly--but it's still possible to grow tired of peanut butter. I began to dread Mondays, not just because they signaled return to work after the weekend, but because of that danged peanut butter. I'm the total opposite of OCD and I've always tended to do things my way, on my own time. When on writers' panels, I stumble over the questions, "When do you write?" and "Do you have a routine?" The answer is that I write morning, noon, and night--just not on the same day.
What does peanut butter have to do with SleuthSayers? I, the queen of commitment phobia (unless it's a contract deadline for a manuscript), am making a vow to you. I promise not to give you the same old thing every Monday. I'll share ideas and stories about writing and words, but I guarantee you that each column will address something different--sometimes smooth and creamy, sometimes chunky.
At times, I'm sure I'll be tempted to write about my personal life, including stories about my grandson. He calls me "G-Ma" and I call him magnificent. (That's his picture at the head of this essay. Yes, the photo is posed. I don't let him eat peanut butter off spoons that big.)
I may even occasionally write about the origin of recipes from the Callie Parrish crowd. We can explore where story ideas originate, how characters develop, and what will make agents and publishers sit up and listen. I didn't begin writing fiction until after my retirement, and my next column will be about getting a late start in the writing business. I hope you will enjoy reading my blogs as much as I will enjoy writing them for you.
If you'd like to know more before I'm back here at SleuthSayers, please visit my website at http://www.franrizer.com/. Until we meet again– take care of YOU!