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Happy May and Grape Dumplings

May 4th, 2016

Writing state of mind

Writing state of mind

May is here, Dear Readers, hard as it is to believe. May is the last of the fabulous weather here in the Phoenix area. Usually we have a few lovely days left before June and the onset triple digits until October. In fact, the day I’m posting this entry, May 4, is forecast to reach 102 degrees. Never fear, though. We’re supposed to be back in the 80s tomorrow.

My promotional activities for All Men Fear Me, which came out in November, are pretty much done. For the next few months, I’ll be doing general writerly things like attending meetings with author groups and posting my regular blog entries on the 26th of every month at the Poisoned Pen Press website and  every other Thursday on the multi-author mystery writers’ blog Type M 4 Murder–which by the way, you can see my May 5 entry on never letting a good story go to waste here. I’m involved in a new writers’ group, part of the Society of Southwestern Authors, the Valley of the Sun chapter, that has recently started up in Tempe. We meet on the last Sunday of every month from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Tempe Public Library. Programs concentrate on the art and craft of writing.

On May 7, I’ll be attending Cozy Con from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Poisoned Pen Bookstore. I’m not one of the presenters, but many of my  fellow mystery authors will be, including my friend Hannah Dennison, author of the Honeychurch Hall mysteries.

But the main activity that I will be pursuing during the month of May is writing. I have finally finished a late draft of the next Alafair Tucker mystery, and I’m reading through it for continuity right now. My guess is there are changes in the offing, and even after I finish the book to my own satisfaction*, after I give the manuscript to my first readers there will be lots of rewriting and repair to do before I send it to the publisher.

This month’s recipe has not been used yet in any of the Alafair novels, but it will be because it’s just too good to omit. Grape dumplings are a traditional Southern Native American treat. I first heard of it as a Cherokee dish, but the Creeks, Choctaws, and Chickasaws all make grape dumplings in the spring, when the wild grapes are ripe. Click on the “Recipes” link above, and enjoy!

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*”Satisfaction” is a subjective word. “Exhaustion” is probably more like it.

p.s. Photograph by Yours Truly.

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