One of My Favorite Writing Things to Do

(Everyone was following along on the handouts I gave them about Simple Editing Tips.)
I love going to a school class room and talking to kids about writing. I've gone to high schools, grammar schools, and yesterday to talk with 7th and 8th graders.
This was one of the most attentive and interested group of kids I've visited with, I say visited, because though I shared some brief editing tips, they asked great questions. Questions makes a session like this not only more enjoyable for them but also for me.
This was a country school--and I mean way out in the country. Took about 40 minutes to get there from my house.
I know the teacher, though it's been a long time since I've seen her.
Guess they enjoyed the visit, because I've been asked to come back near the end of the year. The plan is to put together a mystery. That will be fun!

I have no idea what I was looking for, but it didn't stop the kids from being attentive. I had a great time and I think they did too…

Writing, Writing, Writing

That's what writers do--write.

Though I know there are some who don't do as much as others. 
I write everyday, but not always on my work in progress. In fact, I don't really have a work in progress at the moment.
What I do have is a book that is completed, but I still have to read the last chapter to my critque group then send it off to an editor.
I have ideas, a title and the first two lines for my next book.
What I have been writing:
This blog post.
Bits and pieces for two newsletters. 
Two program designs for people wanting to open residential facilities. (I'd rather be working on the new book, but these bring in much needed income.)
And what's been taking most of my writing time working on the re-editing of the Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery series.This is something I need to get done ASAP. It takes a lot of time, but is enjoyable since I've truly forgotten a lot about these books. 
That pretty much sums it up--but remember, besides writing I have a husband and h…


My tenth Alafair Tucker Mystery, Forty Dead Men, has finally been released into the world. I’ve been gearing up for the personal appearances that go with a launch. This entails a new outfit and a new hair color. I always plan on it entailing a 20 pound weight loss as well, but as yet that goal has never been accomplished. 
I am particularly proud of this book, which deals with the psychological effects of warfare on a veteran of the First World War. They called it shell shock back then. Now we call it PTSD. George Washington Tucker–a young veteran of the fighting in France during World War I, returns home to the family farm in Oklahoma. Overjoyed, his family gives him space to ponder what to do with his life. Only his tiger mother, Alafair, senses that all is not well with her elder son. One morning when she tidies up his quarters, she finds two cartridge boxes under his pillow, boxes that once contained twenty “dead men” each. All the bullets are missing, save one. When Gee Dub become…

How Did You Learn to Write?

A friend and fellow writer asked me this recently. I know that he teaches writing at a college, and of course has a degree in writing. I think my answer surprised him.
I didn't take writing in college--I have an AA degree in Early Childhood Education--but this is what I told him:
I have always read a lot( and still do) and that's where my learning began. 
When I wrote my first book, my sister took chapters to a critique group (I couldn't find on in my area), and they taught me a lot, especially about point of view.
An agent, who didn't sell my book, gave me a lot of feedback on how to make my first book better.
I subscribed to and read Writer's Digest faithfully for years. And I read books on various topics about writing.
Attending writing conferences always taught me something new. (I'm talking about conferences not conventions.) I've been to so many some strictly about general writing, others aimed at the mystery genre. 
And probably the most valuable of …

What I've Been Doing the Last Few Days

My intentions were to write a new blog post while I was away from home. Of course, that didn't work out since I didn't have the password I needed to get into this site.

With daughter Lisa driving, we headed off to Ventura early Thursday morning. The main reason was for me to attend the Public Safety Writers Association's Annual Board Meeting. We meet in a hotel for 3 days and talk about what we should have done better the year before and what we will be doing the coming year--with a big focus on who is going to do what and the conference in July.
We work hard, but it's also great to see the board members who we sometimes only see once or twice a year. (We do keep in touch via email.)
My husband spent the time with our daughters and their husbands while I was busy working. We did all have some meals and visits together.
While we were there we also toured some of the devastation of the Thomas Fire which began in Santa Paula and burned all the way into Santa Barbara. Seve…

New Press Release


Fun Facts About NO BELLS

I just finished re-editing No Bells. I love this book.

This is Gordon Butler story. He's a favorite among the Rocky Bluff P.D. readers. Nothing seems to go right for Gordon despite being an upstanding, honest, and likeable police officer. Things don't change much for him in this offering.
He gets all the odd-ball calls to investigate from poop to a menacing seagull. 
Cellphones finally make an appearance.
The economy at that particular time period plays a part in the plot. 
He has fallen for the woman of his dreams--and she becomes the major suspect in a murder case. He's determined to clear her name.
A young man with Down syndrome is an important witness.
The title, No Bells, came from something one of my son's girlfriends said to him.
There is no cover as yet because the new publisher is changing them all.
I am so grateful to Mike Orenduff of Aakenbaaken & Kent for bringing this series back to life.
Marilyn aka F. M. Meredith