Friday, December 20, 2019

Take the Challenge Take Charge Program

www.takethechallengenow.net

Why am I posting this? As an author of mysteries, I avoid violence in my stories. Although a death has to take place in a murder mystery, it happens off-stage. No shooting scenes, no violence. The result is a great story with red herrings, interesting characters and plot lines.

Since the Sandy Hook Massacre in December 2012, I realized that the violence in our society was like a three legged stool. One of those legs is violent video games/media. It is everywhere. I believed this, but couldn't see that anything was being done. Until now.

A book recently recommended to my husband confirms my beliefs of the last seven years. My husband said I should read it. Since it was the 7th anniversary of Sandy Hook, and I was distraught over the craziness happening in our state of Virginia, I told him I couldn't. I was too emotionally fragile. He said just read the last two chapters. Those chapters cover what we as a society can do to combat the epidemic of violence. Positive steps.

The book is Assassination Generation by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman. 

I read the last two chapters plus the appendix and co-author's note. It gave me hope. But only if we all talk to our children, grandchildren about the violence in media and video games. Research has shown it takes up to three days to detox a child from violent media. The SMART Curriculum cited when screen time was reduced, so was student aggression, and obesity/overweight issues.

Take the Challenge Take Charge Program, developed by Kristine Paulsen, educates on the result of excessive media viewing. Let's begin detoxing our nation's children. I know we can do it.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

The Perfect Gift


Looking for gift ideas? A book to curl up with and read during the winter months is the answer. My books are available on Amazon or Barnes and Noble online under author M.E. Maki. 

A question is whether there will be another book available for the next holiday season. I am working right along with my new suspense story that features a new protagonist and a much faster pace. The learning curve is going well. So far the chapters have been well received by my two writing critique groups, an incentive to keep writing.

Already the characters have changed things up. I expect that now and am not surprised. The character that I originally drafted to be a prepper, sort of a sad personality has now shown me that he lives the way he does because he is a survivor. Through the story I hope to capture what is tormenting him and help him find inner peace. 

In the meantime his sister, Alaina, has to alter her life plans for the better good. 

This story is going to be an interesting ride for me as well as the reader. Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Murder Gets Even and Death in the Dune – by John Molino



Similar to my experience – someone who never planned to write and publish a book, one of my neighbors, John Molino, has done just that. He develops the most interesting plot lines and characters. His first book, Murder Gets Even, published in 2018, is a fascinating story set at Cameron Station Military Installation in Alexandria, Virginia in the Summer of 1970. Colonel Fleming Andrews is the kind of character that you love to hate. Mr. Molino crafts this character, as well as the others in the book, so that the reader is drawn into them, and the story line. The story grips the reader and won’t let go until the last word is read. 



When John finished Murder Gets Even, he said that was it. One and done. But a year later he comes out with another cleverly crafted story, Death in the Dune. The story begins in 1617 Virginia Settlement with an unfortunate incident, but by the second chapter it is present time and the Dune, located along the Chesapeake Bay is up to it’s old tricks. The dune is located as a barrier between the bay and a condo complex where retired Commodore Bob keeps a watchful eye from his “lanai.” It is he who notices the change in the dune, and warns his neighbors. They, along with the authorities, listen to Bob with much skepticism and wonder about his mental faculties.

John Molino is a gifted storyteller, and I await his next book – next year, John?

Saturday, November 9, 2019

NANWRIMO

The National Novel Writing Month officially began on November 1, but it is not to late to get started on the book you always wanted to write. 

The goal of NANWRIMO is to get authors in the habit of writing every day. Write a little; write a lot, but just write. Work on your story. 

I'm part of the NANOWRIMO Rebel group. I found that on most days I can't make the 1,167 word limit that would get me over the finish line of 50,000 words for the month. Life interrupts. NANOWRIMO Rebels still write every day, but the goals are much more attainable. We all need that feeling of success.

I'm working on a suspense story now. I am also in a memoir (life stories) group at the library. I have other things I'm involved with. And, I want at the end of each week to not only meet my goal, but exceed it. 

This year for NANOWRIMO I set my weekly word count at a conservative 3,000 words. I barely made it this week. But I did and more. Another goal is to compose a new life story piece, which I have not done. Yet. Maybe I can squeeze that in at the end of the day. 

Good luck with whatever you are writing. And remember, it is important that you get into the habit of writing, get into your project, and in time, finish it.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

The Death of Cassie White news

 
Now in Large Print

Several readers have asked, "Are your books in large print?" The answer, unfortunately, was, "no."

I hated seeing the disappointment on readers' faces, so I asked Kindle Direct Publishing. The response came right back, "Yes. There is a little box in the set-up page that you have to check." The book has to be reentered and assigned a new ISBN number. 

I was so excited. I immediately reformatted the text and my cover designer offered to redo the spine width and not charge me any more. 

So The Death of Cassie White, the newest Caitlyn Jamison Mystery is now in Large Print!

Why I Don't Use Goodreads

This is a frustration post, so feel free to disregard. I just don't understand why the Goodreads website has to be so darn difficult. 

On my marketing schedule today was to add my new book, The Death of Cassie White to the Sisters in Crime website bookshelf. I got that done in no time. Next on the list was to add the book to my author page on Goodreads. I can't say how long it took to figure out how to add the book, but I finally clicked through enough (over and over again) to find the new title page. Unfortunately, when I did that, I missed the very small print at the top right that said upload image. I filled out all the required boxes and checked the box - I am not a robot. 

The entry appeared but with a plain cover. I tried over and over to find where I could upload the cover. No obvious place. Again, I just circled around. Went to YouTube, and that is where I learned about the small print wording. Went back in, but can't get to that unless I upload the book, but can't do that since it is already uploaded - sound like a Catch 22?

I went to their question section. Again, no help. Most advice had to deal with how you CAN'T change cover photos. 

If anyone has the secret answer - please let me know. 

Thursday, October 17, 2019

The Third Caitlyn Jamison Mystery is Published

I've been so busy (explained in previous post) that I've neglected to share the fact that I published the third Caitlyn Jamison Mystery on October 4. I've been holding off on formally announcing the publication until I receive my shipment of books - just to make sure. I'm not especially happy that it is taking two weeks for my books to arrive. In the past, book shipments always arrived a day or two or more ahead of the stated shipping date. And, with CreateSpace, they also honored my small orders and not bundling them, which then moves the arrival date ahead by several days.

And so I wait. The time is not wasted. I'm now able to focus on setting up the timeline, plot line, and characters for the suspense story I've started. I attended a workshop at the library last Saturday where I learned about taking each major character and listing their strengths, weaknesses, misbelief, and personal goals. I started this on Sunday morning and realized how difficult that is. It is forcing me to dig deep into each character's thoughts, feelings, and beliefs that drives them, and the story will be richer because of this. I'm concentrating on finishing this part of the project, as well as finishing my draft outline so that on November 1 I can start NANOWRIMO and accomplish my personal writing goals for each week.

Speaking of NANOWRIMO, I am a National Novel Writing Month "rebel." Instead of setting myself up for certain failure by adhering to their 1,167 words a day to get 50,000 words in the month of November, I'm setting my writing goal to 430 words a day, which is more reasonable for me. Another goal is to write one new memoir piece per week. I'm setting my goals low so hopefully I will exceed them and feel success. We have to do whatever works. The important message of NANOWRIMO is to get in the habit of writing. And that I applaud.