Archive for October, 2015

The changes of the season.

In the woods
IMG_20151018_150153374the light of fall penetrates
IMG_20151018_150202909as the leaf canopy opens
IMG_20151018_150212623to the sun.
IMG_20151018_150233116In the old orchard, the sharing of the pears,
gravity being generous to the deer.
IMG_20151018_152104755Inside on the kitchen table
IMG_20151018_180301853_HDRthe last roses clipped before the first frost.

Turn, hang on, and finally fall.

They’ve all turned,
IMG_20151025_155359115_HDR half down, half still hanging on.
IMG_20151025_155348063_HDR We’ve peaked,
IMG_20151024_141410362and it’s been gorgeous,
IMG_20151025_155342490intense and varied.
IMG_20151025_155324311_HDRWhatever unknown mix it takes of sun and rain and chill,
IMG_20151024_141449608_TOPthis year has come round right.

Walnut row.

It continues to be a splendid season for leaves.
IMG_20151025_155316554_HDRExcept, the walnuts have mostly dropped theirs.
IMG_20151024_141417301But all along the row,
IMG_20151024_141531246half still attached to the branches and
IMG_20151024_141523256half on the ground.

The green husks fire off the mower blades
like little mortar shells.

Blow up.

While appreciating the sweep of fall below the hay field
and up the south-facing ridge,

there’s a funny blob on the grass, way over on the right.

Oh, yes, it is: the ever elusive ground hog,
seeking presumably additional ground to hog.

Perched in plain sight
if your eyes are sharper than mine.

Just imagine.

All my writerly instincts go to presentation: show, don’t tell. You shouldn’t explain, just give your story what it needs, enough oxygen for your characters. Good writing serves this end. If a reader is pulled out of your story by clever language, that’s a mistake not a score.

My firm belief. Except, every once in a while, when something is both exceptionally brilliant and moves the story. I’m reading a Greg Iles book, just now, a Penn Cage mystery, dirty dealings in Natchez, one of several. And here’s the sentence:

The past was fighting its way to the surface like a sunken corpse filling with the gasses of decay.

It’s taut and graceful and strong. Right on the edge of just too pretty. But, damn, it’s in a paragraph about dredging a swamp to pull up the bones of long-ago murder victims.

And that makes it okay? Yeah, it does. Probably it’s okay anyway.

Free Fall.


There’s always room for a new reader.


from the Ellen and Geoffrey Fletcher Mystery series

For five days in October 2015, the 16th to the 20th, Friday through Tuesday.

Try one book (or both) for FREE.

      Free on (the covers below are links), available only in Kindle format. If you haven’t got a Kindle Device, Amazon will send a drone to your home (when they know that you are sleeping) and upgrade your microwave, or install a Kindle-reader ap on your computer or tablet or any reasonably intelligent mobile telephone (totally free). You will be everafter able to access many hundred thousand ebooks, not just mine.

Every three months Kindle Direct Publishing invites all authors who sell books on their platform to trade income for exposure and offer books free, or at a reduced price. It’s a worldwide deal on all the Amazon stores (US, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, India, Australia, Japan, Mexico, Brazil). People who wouldn’t pay for a book from an author they’d never heard of will go for free stuff. So as the returns roll in, you get to see whether this will be the time there’s finally a bite from the Netherlands or Italy (the only ones I’ve never gotten), or whether that firestorm in Japan (well, four books) will reignite. You take what fun you can find in the marketing process, and hope you pick up some new readers.


The Asheville Story.

Heart Attack

The Williamsburg Story.

review snippets (good ones only)

    Fit to Curve is a skillfully written mystery with complex characters and such a fascinating plot that I’m way behind on my chores.

    This series is a favorite with interesting plots and wonderfully drawn characters. Wish the author would write more of them. The type of book you don’t want to end.

    A bed and breakfast mystery. Super characters, well developed. You’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. A mouth-watering, good read. Love the old lady with the sharp wit. I’d like the recipes, too.

    The plot builds very slowly. But once I got into it, I was hooked. I liked the characters, and you get a lot of insight into them.

    This is too fine a novel to be mired in the mystery/suspense ghetto. It’s a good mystery, with a complex plot, all the mystery trappings, but the characters are rounded and attractive. The theme seems to me to be a consideration of morality – not just sexual morality (or immorality), though there’s some of that too, for those who like to read such descriptions, but all kinds of morality: for how high a price might you sell your soul?

    Heart Attack is a great read!

    This couple are a great addition to the mystery genre. Sharp and interesting with a bit of humor and spice.

    Snappy dialog. Geoff and Ellen are a great team. He has a definite intuitive method of assessing info and arriving at conclusions that baffle and irk his cohorts. Ellen is more conventional and together are a great team. Unusual mystery not easily solved.


Ghost Walk sample                                                                                                             Little Fishes sample


The Charleston Story: seeking agent

Little Fishes

The Atlanta Story, editor ready