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Ask Away

October 8, 2021-October is all about challenging yourself as an author to write, explore, and create outside of your comfort zone. Today’s photo challenge will do just that!

Instructions: Using the photo prompt above, take a good long look at the word ASK. What does it mean to you? What is something that you’ve asked for that has yet to come to fruition? If it hasn’t happened yet, will you continue to ask, why or why not? Why does asking scare us so much; is it fear of rejection, or because we don’t believe we deserve it? Is there a scale to asking? Is asking for a pen different than asking for money? Why? Why not?  Write down how the word ASK makes you feel and why there is so much baggage attached to one word.

I decided to write a stream of consciousness for this exercise (yes, I do each exercise just like you!) here it is.

Before we could speak, we’ve asked.
For nourishment, for connection, for love.
As we grew and developed our voice, our asks changed.
We asked for birthday wishes, sleepovers, a pet, and to stay up just a bit later.
We matured and asked for the car keys, a longer curfew, for our parents not to worry.
Now we ask for the safety of our families, our nation, our collectiveness as humans.
We ask for strength, for wisdom, for patience, and for truth.
We ask why me? Why us? Why now? and Why not?
We ask for just a bit longer, for the departed not to go, we ask them and ourselves to hang on just a while more.
We ask for forgiveness.
We ask for absolution.
We ask for new beginnings and resolutions to old problems.
We never stop asking.
We can’t stop asking.


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I’ve Never Done That

March 12, 2021– We’ve got another great question today from a reader in Spain. They sent us an email asking a question that comes up a lot, here it is:

Q: “I’ve heard from a lot of people that you should write what you know. I really want to write a murder mystery set in my home country, but I haven’t any experience in law enforcement and wouldn’t know how to set up the scene. Should I abandon my goal and switch topics?”

A: This is a great question! Also, I would love to visit Spain one day and I hope to do so in the near future:) No, there’s no need to switch genres just because you have no experience with murder (LOL!). Thankfully, most people don’t. But, I commend your dedication to getting it right and your commitment to credibility. As we know, credibility matters not only to your story, but also to your readers. If someone is a detective or in law enforcement and they read your book, they’ll pick up on the inconsistencies and irregularities in your story; chances are that they won’t continue to read on. This goes for all professions by the way. So, if we’ve never processed a crime scene, how are we supposed to write about it? We bring in the experts. When I was writing my thriller Obsessed with Her (available here: Obsessed with Her Novel – Pandamonium Publishing House) I was fortunate enough to have the Head of Toronto Homicide consult me on the entire project. That means he was kind enough to explain how a scene is investigated, the protocol, the terminology, and the fine details so that I could get it right. I urge you to reach out to your local law enforcement or other professionals and tell them that you’re writing a book and that you could use some advice. Want to know something kind of cool and creepy at the the same time? I was advised that my book would be kept on file for reference should anyone commit a crime that was based in my book and that I would potentially be brought in for questioning should the need arise. WOW! Talk about epic and eerie all at once! I know of some authors (who shall not be named) that have had the opportunity to go on a ride along with some police officers in their city. So, you don’t know unless you ask! If your local law enforcement says no, or you don’t feel comfortable asking, you can research whatever you’re looking for in true crime books, true crime documentaries, and by watching police based shows such as Cops etc. Be sure to watch and read TRUE stories as sometimes the wording and processing on television is less than accurate. Best of Luck!