Tag Archives: NaNoWriMo

And we have a winner!

As you can see from the widget to the right, I have once again “won” National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo. The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. I’ve written the first draft of several of the Jamie Brodie Mysteries this way.

Image_of_a_ghost,_produced_by_double_exposure_in_1899 (1)

By The National Archives UK (Ghostly sighting?) [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons

This year I tackled book #17, Haunted to Death, which will be published late next year. It’s the first time that I’ve managed to keep myself from editing as I wrote, which is a bad habit of mine. Even so, I ran out of story at about 47,000 words, and had to supplement it with a couple of new short stories (coming within the next year) and some scenes from Cloistered to Death, the next book in the series, due this spring. (I figure if I wrote it in November, it counts, right?)

Anyway, I am not crazy about Haunted to Death in its current first-draft form, but I guess that’s to be expected. It’s great to know that I can depend on my writing group to fix its flaws eventually.

And I am so glad that November is over.



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Once more into the breach…

Image_of_a_ghost,_produced_by_double_exposure_in_1899 (1)

By The National Archives UK (Ghostly sighting?) [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons

Happy Halloween! Truth is, I’m not a huge fan. I’m far more interested in what comes after – November 2, All Souls Day, the day in the Christian faith that we set aside to honor the dead. That’s not a “thing” in America. I think that’s unfortunate.

But there’s another reason that the beginning of November is exciting. Yes, once again, I am “competing” in National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo, or NaNo for short. It’s not much of a competition, really; everyone can win, as long as you write at least 50,000 words of a novel during the month of November.

I’ve written the first drafts of several of the Jamie Brodie Mysteries during NaNo. Researched to Death, Psyched to Death, Talked to Death, and Trapped to Death all began their lives during NaNo. This year, I’m tackling the book that will be JBM #17: Haunted to Death.

Haunted will take place in late summer of 2018. (It won’t be published until next November.) The entire Brodie clan is headed to Scotland on holiday, to stay in Brodie Castle and attend a clan gathering in Forres, the nearby town. Brodie Castle in reality isn’t haunted, but there was a tragic death there in the 1700s – and that will form the basis of a ghost story involving spontaneous human combustion, a vast conspiracy, old feuds, and a local constable who knows more than he’s telling.

I’m excited to start writing tomorrow! You can follow my progress with the widget to the right of this page.


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One more week!


You may be thinking – one more week until what? The election is two weeks away. Trapped to Death won’t be out for five more weeks. Ah – but it’s one more week until NaNoWriMo!

As you can see by the icon to the right, I’ve signed up for the 2016 NaNo. It starts next Tuesday. I’m looking forward to it – not only because it’s fun, but also because it will be a terrific distraction from the last week of election noise.

The book I’ll be writing is Cloistered to Death, which will be Jamie Brodie Mystery # 16. It’s the one that my writing group and I have been unofficially referring to as “Clinton’s book.” Its original title was Defined to Death, but then the plot changed significantly and Defined didn’t work anymore.

It’s required some research – into the Benedictine order of monks, monastery retreats – and money laundering. How does money laundering fit? Well, you’ll just have to wait and see. 😀

You can follow my progress by watching the word count climb on the NaNo word tracker in the right column.

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NaNo winner!

Whew! Today I was able to validate my novel and claim winnership (is that a word?) in NaNoWriMo. You can see the word count in the icon to the right. I’m not quite done, so the word count may shift upwards a bit over the next week.

But – the first draft of Landscaped to Death, which will be JBM #14, is done! I’m finishing up a short story which will accompany it. I hurried to finish this year because I’m spending the next week in rural North Carolina with no wireless access. I write in Google Docs, which I can do offline, but I prefer not to. Plus, you know, when you’re writing all the time, your relatives ask what the heck you’re doing, and it’s rude. 😀

Happy Thanksgiving to all my USA friends!


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Once more unto the breach…

And awaaaaay we go!

And awaaaaay we go!

Yes, it’s that time of year: NaNo time! I officially signed up yesterday. I’m going to use November to write the first draft of Landscaped to Death, which will be JBM #14. You won’t see it for a while – for one thing, it takes place a year from now! For another, there are three more to come before it. So it’ll be closer to two years before publication.

I’ll write the first draft in a month, then put it away and not look at it for several months. It’s always interesting to see how much I end up keeping and how much I end up trashing.

This is my fourth Nano. Researched to Death, JBM #4; Psyched to Death, JBM #6; and Talked to Death, JBM #9, all began life as NaNo books.

I’m itching to get started. 😀

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54,506 words



I don’t know why the PDF itself won’t load. But it looks cool.

Not all of those 54,506 are on Talked to Death – a few of them leak over into Avenged to Death.

More later…


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Getting ready for NaNo

This will be my third year of NaNoWriMo. Yep, I’ve signed up again. Every year when it’s over I think, “I’m not sure I ever want to do this again!” But when the following year rolls around, I find that I have something that I want to get written. Both Researched to Death (Jamie Brodie Mystery #4) and Psyched to Death (#6) began as NaNo projects.

This time I’ll be writing #9, with the working title of Talked to Death. Jamie, Liz and Jon are presenting a talk on the use of library research in law enforcement at the California Library Association annual meeting; Pete is there to cheer them on. The conference takes place in Oakland, at a big hotel/conference center. The victim is one of the presenters, a library director disliked by nearly everyone who knew him. All kinds of people had motive and opportunity – but who actually killed him?

Talked to Death takes place over the shortest period of time of all the books so far – 48 hours. I got the idea for it a year ago, when I was at a conference myself, sitting in the hotel lounge, watching all the different groups of people interact. I think a conference is a great place for a murder.

Before November 1 I’m finishing the rough draft of Stoned to Death, which follows the just-published Stacked to Death. I’ll set Stoned to Death aside for the month of November then return to it once NaNo is over.

I think it’s time to update the list of Jamie’s adventures…

1. Cited to Death

2. Hoarded to Death

3. Burdened to Death

4. Researched to Death

5. Encountered to Death

6. Psyched to Death

7. Stacked to Death

8. Stoned to Death – tentative publication date February 2015

9. Talked to Death

10. Avenged to Death

11. Played to Death (that title may change to Scored to Death)

12. Launched to Death

13. Filmed to Death

14. Pictured to Death

15. Accounted to Death

After that…?? 🙂


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