07 July 2021


 I didn't do much writing during May.  I wasn't having a health problem or writer's block.  I just had another project that took up the same time and mental energy.  (I was preparing a speech about my book When Women Didn't Count for the Eastern Tennessee chapter of Sisters in Crime and another about Rex Stout and Nero Wolfe for the Academy for Lifelong Learning.  There; you forced it out of me.)

But this break in the routine had interesting effects.  For one thing I came up with three story ideas. Two are for series I am writing and the third is for an anthology. Whether any of them will be finished, much less published, is yet to be determined, but I have finished a first draft of one and am halfway through a second.  Number three is, so far, just a topic and a motive for murder.  

The finished first draft is the story I am aiming at an anthology.  Therein lies a problem.  You see, the preferred length for the anthology is 3,000 to 5,000 words and my story is running to 7,700.  Oops.  I figure I can cut out every third word and call it experimental fiction, or leave off the ending and claim it's mainstream literature. 

Better yet, I think I will beat it into a more-or-less finished shape and then start trying to pare it down.  But I'll keep that full-length finished piece and send it elsewhere if the anthology rejects it.

Another interesting thing that happened in May: I sold two stories.  One publisher required me to send them an invoice for my services.  That has never happened to me for a short story before.  The other publisher just sent the same generic note to all his accepted authors that said, basically, "I want the story.  Usual rights. Payment is X.  Let me know if that's okay."

Two very different ends of the formality continuum.  And the funny part is: they were both English publishers.  

Anyway, that's how I spent May and June.  How about you?

Oh, one more thing: At 7 PM tonight, Pacific time, the Mystery Writers of American - Northwest chapter has a free event: authors reading some of their works.  I'm on the list.  Join us, won't you?


  1. I hope I remember the reading! I'd love to see it!

  2. I wrote a short story for the SleuthSayers anthology and got it out to Michael in May. I spent June getting back into the pen, mostly. That and caregiving takes up a lot of time. But I am working on another story right now, and have a couple of ideas percolating for others.

  3. Eve, do you ever write stories about the prison?

  4. Yes, I wrote "Iron Chef" (AHMM, Nov. 2016). And I plan to write more.


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