UnBlock Us!

I’ve done some thinking recently about writer’s block, the self-inflicted wound that almost all wordsmiths endure at least once in our careers. So much has been written about the subject that it almost seems presumptuous to add anything more. Indeed a Writer’s Block cottage industry has sprung up, complete with books, audio tapes, even counselors who specialize in the phenomenon. Nonetheless, I’ll throw in a few more paragraphs in the hopes that they might be of help to anyone battling the wretched affliction. For, if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that there can never be too… Continue reading

Endurance, Illinois: Only in My Mind

“Setting” is a key word on Mostly Mystery this month, and the setting of my upcoming novel, Three May Keep a Secret, is the small town of Endurance, Illinois. Because I’ve lived in the Midwest—specifically Illinois—most of my life, I wanted to write about a place with which I’m familiar. I realize people on the East and West Coasts feel like the middle of the country is a boring place to fly over, but I find a great deal of pleasure living in this part of America in a small town.

Winter’s Last Gasp – Please say it’s so!!!

I knew we were going to have snow again.  I knew and yet, I hoped that the weather person was wrong.  I love an occasional snow.  They were rare for me growing up in Texas.  But this winter has really been more than I wanted.

Buddha in snow (800x600) (640x480)I started out taking a few pictures but that wasn’t enough.  After being snowed in several days – I live out a bit on a gravel drive that is way more than I would ever shovel – I decided that I… Continue reading

Setting the Scene

Elements of Setting

According to this article in Writers Digest the main elements of a fiction story are plot, character, and setting.  The setting is the where of a story, although it can also be the what, who, why, when, and how.

The WD article lists the fundamentals of setting as: locale, time of year, time of day, elapsed time, mood and atmosphere, climate, geography, man-made geography, era of historical importance, social/political/cultural environment, population, and ancestral influences.

Tips for Setting

Here are a couple of tips I have picked up during my research… Continue reading

Location, Location, Location

                We all know setting is important to a story or novel.  It can add atmosphere or sometimes even function closer to a character.  I’m working on a short story that relates back to a specific time period and place.  Except that my story is now in present day.  My research started with the internet – doing what most likely other writers do as well – searching for answers as to the history of the place, landmarks, etc.  In this instance, I looked at… Continue reading