Elizabeth: April Short Story

Has it been another month already?  Seems like the year just started and it’s already a third of the way done.  Where’s that ‘slow down’ lever?”

This month’s short story was inspired by a recent parade I attended.  I was trying to keep an eye on my son (who was playing in the parade) and I kept losing him as the band members marched and moved in various patterns.  I couldn’t help but think how (theoretically) easy it would be for someone to slip out of formation, commit a crime, and return to his position with no one being the wiser.  One idea led to another, and the result is the short story below.

Enjoy. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – The Sleepy Edition

Fridays are normally a day off work for me (or at least that has been the case for the past few months), but this week Friday means a pre-dawn wake-up call and a high-profile morning meeting with local corporate executives.  It’s all part of a really great project I’m working on, but dragging myself out of a warm, comfy bed will be a real challenge.  If everyone has a super-power, then sleeping is definitely mine.

The promise of a Starbucks “Unicorn Frappuccino®” after the meeting might be just the extra motivation I need to get up and out the door on time.  When I was getting coffee this afternoon, the woman next to me had one of the Unicorn Frappuccinos®.  I asked her what it tasted like and her (whimsical) answer was:  “hopes and dreams with a sprinkling of sunlight.”  Seriously, who could pass up a beverage with that kind of promise?

Early morning wake-up and delightful beverage notwithstanding, what better way is there to close out another week than with a round of Random Word Improv?

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Writer Conferences

This summer, Romance Writers of America (RWA) will be holding their national conference in Orlando, Florida.  I had initially intended to skip this conference, planning instead to be in studying in Oxford at that time.  Regrettably however, the class I enrolled in was cancelled (gasp!) and my second choice – “Lovers and Libertines, Spinsters and Spendthrifts, Radicals and Reformers:  The Treatment of Love and Money in Selected 19th Century Novels” – was full.  Who’d have thought it?

Oxford’s loss was Orlando’s gain and I was able to register for the RWA conference and, amazingly, book a room at the conference hotel.  This week the preliminary list of conference workshops was released, so I’ve been going through them, deciding which ones I want to attend so I can make the most of my conference investment. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – The Easter Edition

Though you wouldn’t know it from the current rainy / cloudy weather in my part of the world, Easter is fast approaching.  The grocery stores are filled with eggs waiting to be colored, baskets ready to be filled, and candy ready to be eaten.

There will be no Easter egg hunting here at the writing castle, though the lawn in the front yard, which has flourished thanks to recent rains, would be perfect for it.  I have at least stocked the refrigerator with eggs, ham, and asparagus – Easter celebration requirements – though the decorations remain tucked away in a box in the garage.

What better way to celebrate Easter (or at least the arrival of another weekend) than with a Random Word Improv.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Reader’s Remorse

Have you ever finished reading a book and wished you could go back in time and prevent yourself from ever reading it in the first place?  A friend posted that question a while back and I thought it was an interesting one.

Flaubert’s Madam Bovary is definitely one such book for me.  I read it in a “Reading the Classics” course for a creative writing program I was in and I can unequivocally state that I despised it.  Considered Flaubert’s masterpiece, the story didn’t work for me because I found the characters to be so unlikable.  Frankly, by the end of the story, I was actively rooting for them to get the unhappy endings they so richly deserved.  I’ve read other books with unlikable characters, and I certainly don’t expect to like all of the characters in any story, but I do expect to be able to connect with or, at a minimum, sympathize with at least some of the characters.  On the bright side, at least I didn’t have to slog through it in the original French. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – Murder in the Library

As I mentioned previously, I’m currently working on a murder mystery story.  For inspiration, I’ve also been working my way through the mystery novels in my TBR pile.  All of which has me thinking of both books and murders as this week comes to a close.

What better way to end the week (and kick off the weekend) than with a little murder mystery inspired Random Word Improv.

Care to join me?

Whether you’re a fan of mysteries, looking for a distraction, or just feel like playing with words, a few minutes of Random Word Improv are a great way to have a little fun and get some words on the page.  I’ve got a long day of meetings in my future, but as soon as they’re done I’ll be breaking out the notepad and pen and taking a stab at today’s words (oh, who am I kidding, I’ll probably be surreptitiously doing that *during* the meetings).

Ready to write? Continue reading

Elizabeth: New Book Squee – This Time Around

I’ve been going through a reading phase lately, due in large part to the staggering size of the TBR pile that is threatening to swallow up my library.  Since the story I’m working on is a mystery, I powered my way through a number of books in that genre this week, both for pleasure and for inspiration – Josephine Tey’s Brat Farrar, Dashiell Hammett’s The Thin Man, and P. D. James Death Comes to Pemberly.  After all that murder and suspense however, I was in the mood for something a little lighter as a palate cleanser before (finally) getting back to work.

Lucky for me, I recently joined Tawna Fenske’s “street team” (aka grass-roots marketing team) , and had an Advance Reader’s Copy of her latest novel, This Time Around,  just waiting to be read.  Like Jilly’s novella squee on Sunday, it is a second chance romance and can be read in a sitting (well, it is if you stay up really late), but the similarity ends there.

Here is the official blurb: Continue reading