Category Archives: The Writer’s World

The Birth of a Novel

A Chronicle of Progress as I write my fourth novel.

gator official coverAfter completing my third novel, Gator Bait – A Tennis Team Mystery, I wondered which direction my next novel should take. I’ll be honest. I dithered around. I was busy preparing Gator for publication, marketing my other novels, and distracted from writing daily . . . because life happens.

Indecision stalled me at the pre-writing stage. Should I do another in my Backcountry Mystery series, continue with the Tennis Team Mystery series, or work on other half-completed stories in my files? I waited for inspiration to fall from the sky. Continue reading


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Happy Month of May!

I love to see the woods behind my house greening up. To me it means hope after a long winter. Today is rainy and overcast, but my backyard looks beautiful anyway . . . fresh and new.


Mr. Frog overseeing a fine patch of lungwort.











Speaking of fresh and new . . .

Along with reveling in that new growth and hope, I’m putting the finishing touches on my newest novel, Gator Bait – A  Tennis Team Mystery.  I think I got it! I’m finally happy with the cover and am clearing out the tiny formating errors that stand in the way of publishing and drive me crazy. I should be able to reveal this new series later this month. Yea! gator cover 10 sized for CS

Here’s a hint to the story: 

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CLUE / Golf Mystery Event

Our golf league asked me to create a mystery event. As a mystery novelist, I jumped on the idea of merging the golf game with the CLUE board game. clue display tableWe held the event this past Tuesday and the players raved about it . . . “The best event we’ve ever had.”

Partners in Crime

Golfers got in the act by dressing as CLUE characters: Miss Scarlett, Mrs. White and Mrs. Peacock. Their mug shots in front of the line-up board were fun to do and will be posted in the clue mug shotclub’s newsletter. The two golf pros dressed as Colonel Mustard and Professor Plum. Eight husbands donned police uniforms and badges to help out on the course.

“Knock ‘em dead,” I called out to the 112 players as they drove out to the course for the simple shotgun scramble. To each pin on the course, I tied an envelope containing one CLUE card. If the team shot a par or better, they opened the envelope. In their “detective’s notebook” they recorded the clue. Back at HQ they announced / guessed the solution to the crime.

Who dunnit? Miss Scarlett, with a rope, on the putting green.

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Filed under Crafty ideas, The Writer's World

Who cleans up after CSI leaves a crime scene???

Aftermath is a national company which prides itself on giving guarantees of 100% spotlessness after a bio-hazard or chemical spill, a violent death, or any number of ways bacteria from living organisms can be spread. Their job is to mitigate hazards, to disinfect and make the area inhabitable again.

That's a respirator we're holding.

That’s a respirator we’re holding.

Andrew W., Field Technician Supervisor, for Aftermath recently entertained a group of twenty plus mystery authors. He told spellbinding stories of real-life, horrific scenes of tragedy which became his responsibility to clean during his sixteen years in the business. He used images from “Carrie,” “Friday the 13th,” and other graphically violent movies as examples of how Hollywood sometimes got it right and, other times, got it wrong.

In attendance were members of Sisters in Crime and other authors from several mystery genres: police procedural, suspense, cozy, pschological thriller, all of which may include a murder and its aftermath. Since writers must describe scenes for their novels in detail and without technical error, the information given by Aftermath’s representative was valuable. Ghastly scenarios kept the authors asking questions well beyond Andrew’s allotted time.

Q: What was your most memorable case?

A: In a small town, a good, happy-go-lucky sixteen-year-old kid from a stable family, committed suicide in his bedroom with a shotgun. He was found by his twelve-year old sister. The scene was so violent, clean-up took weeks. During that time, Andrew talked to the girl when her parents couldn’t. Two hundred friends and neighbors came by with sympathy and food and the family took the cleaning crew in as if they were family. In the end, the girl hugged him and the parents thanked him for allowing them to get on with their lives by cleaning the boy’s room for them and giving them back their home.

Q: The work must take an emotional toll on employees.

A: It takes a certain individual to do the work, so Aftermath gives psychological tests before hiring and provides counseling whenever an employee needs it. Those who succeed in the job have an interest in forensics and see it as career experience.

Q: How long does the average field technician last?

A: Six to eight months.

Q: How have you managed to stay with the work for so long?

A: It sounds odd, but you have to be able to laugh. We use dark humor sometimes to take our minds off what we’ve seen. If anyone can’t shake the negative and dwells in the negative, they become the negative. I look at the positive side and think of getting the families back to some sort of normal after their tragedy.


Believe it or not, that’s how mystery writers entertain themselves! I found it enlightening, but will stick to softer, less graphic and violent mysteries. As the man said, if you dwell in the negative, you become the negative. So, my next novel is almost a cozy… The Tennis Team Mysteries.

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October 26, 2014 · 8:54 PM

Story Circle Review of “Rim To Rim”

It’s always exciting to have an unexpected review pop up in my e-mails. Here’s the surprise of the day from Story Circle Book Reviews.

An excerpt from the Story Circle review of Rim to Rim: 

gc hiker“The book’s characters, who besides the villains and protagonist, include a dewy-eyed young woman, a seasoned Grand Canyon ranger, and an experienced lesbian backpacker, all rang true. I have met real people, like the fictional ones who hiked through the pages of Meeks’ book, many times in real life. And in the end, as good mysteries should do, all the loose ends tossed out in Rim To Rim were tied up in the final chapter in Agatha Christie fashion.”

To see the rest of the review, check out their website.

I am impressed by the Story Circle Network’s mission statement:  

The Story Circle Network is dedicated to helping women share the stories of their lives and to raising public awareness of the importance of women’s personal histories. We carry out our mission through publications, a website, classes, workshops, writing and reading circles, and woman-focused programs. Our activities empower women to tell their stories, discover their identities through their stories, and choose to be the authors of their own lives.

And the Story Circle reviewer, Pat Bean, liked my novel. Not bad.



Filed under Book Reviews, The Writer's World