Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Time for a Redo on My Website

Over the years, I've had many changes done to my website. Once I'd finished the re-editing and self-publishing of all my books (with a lot of help), I realized I needed to update my website as much of the information, the books covers and the links were wrong.

I also wanted it to be de-cluttered. I didn't need the first chapter posted, and certainly not the places I'd be appearing as this isn't happening this year. 

I toyed with the idea of building a website from scratch so I could up date it myself, but decided that would be daunting even if I used Blogger or another of the do-it-yourself sites. Not easy when you have over 40 published books.  So I contacted the gal who has served as my web-maven for the last I'm not sure how many years and told her what I wanted.

Fortunately, she agreed, so now the updated website is ready. I'm sure I may find things to tweak, but it looks so much better.

You can check it our yourself: http://fictionforyou.com/ And yes, I kept them same URL because it's on all my business cards.  (Though now I really need to make new ones. Oh, well, one big project at a time.)

If you see something that should be changed, feel free to let me know.

And now I have time to get back to my writing.

Marilyn aka F. M. Meredith

The last (or is it) in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Killer Nashville, The Pandemic, and Me

The Killer Nashville Writers’ Conference, held annually in late August, recently cancelled under the ominous cloud of the COVID-19 pandemic. Did this surprise me? No, but my personal reaction and mixed emotions to this cancellation did.

In mid-March my employer sent me and many of my co-workers out of our offices and to our homes to conduct business. All this time, companies have been closing and people losing jobs, the stock market a miss-mess of confusion, my 401(k) drooping, and I continue to work from home. Yet, it was only when I recently heard that the Killer Nashville Writers’ Conference was cancelled that the pandemic felt truly real and hit home for me.

I’ve attended the Killer Nashville Writers’ conference every year since 2009. This year I held off paying the registration fee after watching what was happening in China. When we were told we were in a pandemic in March, I decided not to attend this year’s conference. Still, Killer Nashville went on preparing for the event, scheduling the panels and the presentations. They continued to work to make it happen right into this month.

Even though this was not a surprise, it still blew me away. Clay Stafford, the founder, stated online: “Thanks to all of you for a wonderful 15 years. I’m sorry, very sorry, we couldn’t pull it off.”

I’m sure many of you are aware of other author/writer conferences that have had to do the same thing. For some reason this felt personal to me.

A picture of the last time my husband and I went out to dinner on his birthday March 13th. Mexican food and Margaritas. Afterwards we went to Great Clips and got hair cuts. We’ve pretty much stayed home since. Bummer.


Amazon Buy Link

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

On Superwoman and Humanity

by Janis Patterson

Am I the only one tired of Superwoman? You know the kind of heroine I’m talking about - when challenged she can leap six feet in the air and take out half a dozen attacking bad guys with a symphony of martial-arts moves, all without mussing her hair or make-up. She has an encyclopedic knowledge of all kinds of esoteric knowledge and can solve a crime with a single piece of exotic evidence. Locked in a dungeon? She picks the lock with a hairpin, overpowers another gaggle of bad guys then goes home and cooks a gourmet dinner for her adoring stud-of-the-week.
Oh, there are other examples of Superwoman, some not as extreme but all redolent of the bad old days of the early feminist movement when average women were told they not only should be but were expected to be Superwoman.
Now I don’t want heroines to revert to the simpering, cloying wimps they were in the early days of the last century, incapable of much of anything except looking beautiful and allowing the hero to rescue them. They are just as unbelievable as Superwoman - and just as if not more annoying.
But - doesn’t there have to be some sort of a middle ground, one with which most people can identify? Of course there are extant examples in real life of both Superwoman and the wimp, but even their admirers admit they are rare.
I’ll admit I don’t like fantasy. Witches, shapeshifters, goblins, alternate worlds where the denizens have magical powers... they all leave me cold, and quite frankly I put both Superwoman and the incompetent wimp in that category of unbelievability. Now those of you who love fantastical stories, I wish you many joyous hours of reading and writing them... just don’t expect me to join you.
I prefer reality - at least, a reasonable simulacrum of reality. People whom you could know in everyday life, not the extremes. To me it is much more engaging to read about a heroine (or a hero, for that matter) who could be my next door neighbor - or maybe even me. Thoroughly human, with some skills others might not have but lacking others, yet all on a human scale. To me that is encouraging, heartening, something to strive for - that someone as ordinary as I can triumph in ordinary circumstances.
Maybe I should learn more about the denizens of fantasy worlds, get myself more in tune with Superwoman. Maybe not. I’m happy with ordinary fallible humanity. If they can rise above their very ordinariness and do great things, maybe I can too.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Putting One Foot in Front of the Other--Sort Of

All of the books in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series are now completely re-editrf and with new covers--and self-published. Here's the cover of the last one in the series:

Available from Amazon for Kindle and trade paperback:

Once these were all done,  I realized my webpage needed to be completely revamped. I spent a lot of time deciding what should disappear and what should be on it. I sent the new information, links, and covers to my webmaven. 

And while working on those files, I was reminded that I had some of my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series on audio books and I'd never received any royalties for them. First, I had to get the rights back from the now defunct publisher. Took some doing with the help of Lorna Collins who did all the republishing of both series. The audio books can be accessed here:

The way I work, or plod along, is by making a list and tackling the most important or time-sensitive or hardest project first. I take great satisfaction in crossing what I've completed from my list.

"What's up next?" you ask.

It's time to get busy and write a new Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel. I do have two pages done, but I need to do more research and planning for more crimes and what happens next in my characters' families. 

And like all the rest of you, I am praying for this virus to be over so we can get back to at least a semblance of normal life.

Marilyn who writes the Rocky Bluff P.D. series as F. M. Meredith