Saturday, March 31, 2007

If this is Saturday, it must be my turn

I have never blogged before - is there such a word-to make things more exciting, I couldn't even log on without great assistance, thank you Morgan. As all who know me will attest, I am technologically challenged, greatly challenged.

I finally made it, exciting news, now I am staring at this blank screen, and staring, and staring, the blight of all writers, no words on paper, or in this case the screen.

What do I say, what do I say...

Then I thought about my start as a writer, I love to travel, I love art and I found out I love to write, so I combined all three and came up with a story, actually finished the manuscript, got the appropriate rejections, and miracle of miracles I sold it to Echelon Press. A Hotel in Paris is coming out June 2008.

Till next Saturday,
Margot Justes

Friday, March 30, 2007


I've discovered a new site out there for mystery/crime readers and writers called Crimespace.
It's kind of like Myspace, but more focused. It's a great place to learn about the genre's coming events. Authors and publishers list their booksignings and conferences and other doings in an Events Section.

There are discussions constantly going on in which any of the members can contribute. I found it quite easy to become a member and also had no troubling acquiring friends.

The members keep adding more and more videos and photos. Some are about their books, others not. Each member has a blog area, plus room to add excerpts, book covers, you name it.

The only problem I see with the site is it makes me want to buy a lot of books. I'll have to watch my charge card!

Crimespace is located at:

My site on crimespace is:

Come on in - You won't want to leave!

Morgan Mandel

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Thursday's Deadline!

How do you spell procrastinator? Yep, me the self-starter when the mood strikes, also known as the biggest procrastinator this side of the Rockies ...
I also hate to miss a deadline ~ which I know seems like an oxymoron, but I admit I'm am a prompt procrastinator. Of course until this moment only a very few were privy to that tidbit to my psyche.

Deadlines serve a good purpose. Without that line in the sand, or if you prefer the sand slipping through the hour-glass - nothing would get accomplished. I know I would dally the day away and then the week, and I've learned time can either be my friend or my darkest foe. Since I'm not much of a fighter, I prefer to keep time on friendly terms.

I make daily deadlines. Do I always meet them? Heck, no. But those times when I fail, I guarantee you I come back more determined than ever the day after. I'm armored with conviction, blustery confidence and a vow to get the job done today.

My deadlines vary from writing a certain scene to completion, editing what I wrote the days before, re-writing what got omitted in the first draft ... you get the idea. But by the end of my writing time - I reward myself with a sense of accomplishment. I've learned small victories are still victories and should be savored like a bite of dark chocolate... I've been known to reward myself with that too!

By hurdling those small daily deadlines I gradually reach and complete the bigger ones. Taking pride in meeting a deadline should be every writer's goal. Writing is a business and we writers need to keep a professional hand on our time, make it work for us so we don't end up in a panic with a huge deadline closing in like a threatening tornado.

So, I urge you, encourage you, no... challenge you to begin a deadline regiment. Don't wait for an agent, or an editor, or even a publisher to give you a deadline. Make one yourself. This is your career - yes, career even if you are not published. If you write, then think of it as a career and focus on accomplishing, completing your work.

For those of you who already have a deadline regiment ... post a blog and share what works for you ~ or what doesn't! We writers are ravenous for information on how to get something worthwhile down on paper... especially in a timely fashion! So come on, cough it up, spew it out or simply and politely share what try and true routine works for you.

So here it is, hours before my deadline and I've completed my first official blog. The big tornado didn't get me, my computer didn't crash and I found my way back here to ACME AUTHORS LINK all on my own ... I put it in my Favorites and hope you will too!

In closing I will share with you a quote from a gal I bet had a deadline regiment of her own. Her name is Dorothy Dix, who was one of America's highest-paid and most widely read female journalists.
"I have learned to live each day as it comes, and not borrow trouble by dreading tomorrow."

Yep. She knew all about deadlines!

Til next time ...

DL Larson, author

Memories Trail, Nov. 2004
ISBN 09723011-8-6
Midwest Book Review: "... A story of war, passionate friendship and honor. It will grab your heart and not let go."
Promises To Keep, Nov. 2006
ISBN 09778205-6-4
Midwest Book Review: "...A story of life, good and bad; it's challenges and the hope of new beginnings. Excellent read!"



I know I've got some form of obsessive, compulsive disorder. I'm obsessive about making sure the house is safe. I always unplug the toaster and check the gas stove before I step out the door. Before I go to bed each night, I again check the stove. I check all the door locks, too.

I do the same type of stuff when I write. I can't just leap into my work in progress and continue where I've left off. I always need to go back a few pages to refresh my memory and get back into the flow.

The trouble is, lots of times when I do that I stay mired in what I've already done, thinking over better words to use, better ways to phrase, finding other ways to change it, instead of proceeding.

It's hard to forge ahead. That's the DANGER TERRITORY, where I'm forced to invent. It's scary being in there. What if I can't think of anything to say this time? What if my novel never gets finished because I've written everything in my head and there's nothing more there?

If I hate writing so much, why don't I just give it up?

There's nothing like living in my own make-believe world. When I'm in the flow, I'm not thinking about my own boring life. I'm living other people's.

Without leaving my computer, I travel where I want, think what I want, invent my own job, friends, family, anything in the world. By living through other people, I can make myself happy, sad, mean or nice, do whatever I want to and suffer no consequences.

In my books, I can be a mathematician, a scientist, a homeless person, or an Academy Award winner. I can be really rich and live in a mansion or terribly poor and live on the streets.
I can reside here in the U.S.A. or in some far away place like Uganda. The possibilities are as endless as my imagination.

I'm a woman, but in my books, I can be a man. As a matter of fact, in my mystery, TWO WRONGS, published by Hard Shell Word Factory, I'm the brother of a murder victim. I'm also a wrongfully accused man who goes to prison and morphs into a criminal.

That's right! I can be more than one person in the same book. I can be as many of them as I want.


I suspect there are other writers out there in the same boat. I invite you to add a comment below on your affliction so I don't feel alone.

Also at:

TWO WRONGS by Morgan Mandel, a tale of vengeance and the healing power of love, set in Chicagoland, is available in print and e-book at,, & by order at bookstores.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

If it's Tuesday, this must be a blog

Welcome to Todd or Terri Tuesdays on Acme Authors. Every Tuesday you'll get a something from one of us, and on bonus days you might get us both. Such lucky people you are. My turn today, but today there is but little news from the writing front: my agent is "having a look" at my next book proposal, I continue to work on new ways to promote Novelist's Boot Camp, and my list of potential writing projects keeps growing longer. The latter is happening because of too much effort on the item before it, I'm afraid. Much more fun--and often much easier--to do online promo type stuff than to actually put one's imagination to work creating something. It's certainly easier to raid the chocolate chip cookie stash than do either of those.
Speaking of cookies, I'm suddenly hungry.
With chocolate comes insight--since sending off the proposal, I have been trying to decide what to write next. Start a new novel. Keep working on the main body of the book I proposed (if--no, use the secret, WHEN someone bites, I'll need to have made progress), or go back to one or more of the other projects on that too-long list? No decisions (except to have another cookie), but some insight. For me, the question is not will I write something else, but what will I write next. Sigh.
This calls for another cookie.

I Think I Can, I think I can!

As I signed up to become a blogger for this site, I felt like The Little Engine That Could. Blogging is a new concept for me ... and it took several tries before up popped the site and I had arrived. Don't ask me how - it's so far beyond my comprehension. But ... during the process I wasn't sure if I would succeed. I kept telling myself ~ I think I can, I think I can... and I'm grinning now much like the little engine that could.

Hopefully I will find my way back here each Thursday ... that's only a few days away. Eeek!
Deadlines! I have agreed to one more deadline in my life. What was I thinking?????? I tell you on Thursday. Til then ~

DL Larson

Monday, March 26, 2007

getting my feet wet and refusing to drown

Okay, I'm first in the water for our new joint blog. It's always better to have the resident humor writer go first because, in this case,

1) I'm a swimmer and not afraid of water ... except acid rain, and, ... uh, that mosquito larvae-infested water on the top of my pool cover, ... and that stuff that they use to melt witches ... and when somebody drops a watermelon on me ... and the brown water in the gutters that my brother drank once on a dare (by me) ...

2) Because after me, there's nowhere to go but up.

3) Always let the bald person go first, since he can light the way with the reflection from his bald spot.

and most of all,

4) Because a humor writer can find something funny in just about anything (except a teenaged daughter - no, wait, especially with teenaged daughters).

Thankfully, I qualify in each of these areas, plus I have a beach towel.

Anyway, we have all kinds of mystery writers in this blog, plus me, where it's more a mystery that I'm in this group in the first place. Still though, a great group of people, and if you truly can be judged by the company you keep, I'm probably going to jail... no, I mean, I can be judged truly great.

See you guys around, asquare, atriangle, and other geometric shapes.

Norm Cowie
The Adventures of Guy ... written by a guy (probably)
and the upcoming The Next Adventures of Guy ... more wackiness


Hi folks,

We've got a great group together and very soon this blog will be up and running.

Our authors write mystery, romance and humor, so there'll be something here for everyone.

We don't have the rotation fixed yet, but you can look forward to posts from Robert (Rob) Walker, Norm Cowie, Margot Justes, Deb Larson, Todd & Terri Stone and myself (Morgan Mandel). We may also add an additional author or two from time to time for variation.

Until then,
All the best,
Morgan Mandel