Thursday, September 30, 2010

Research in Real Life

You know, I have a great reason for missing my last Sunday blog post. Really, I do. I was doing mystery, not official "book" research, but real life experience research.

What did I learn?

*Court cases are interesting things; sometimes lawyers are terrible rhetoricians.

*An entry wound from a gunshot is distinguishable because it has something called Abrasion--a dark ring around the central defect (wound) that looks very similar to a bruise.

*Exit wounds are irregular in shape because when the bullet exits the body, it splits the skin rather than puncturing as it does upon entry.

*New Mexico has a state Office of the Medical Investigator that "investigates any death occurring in the State of New Mexico that is sudden, violent, untimely, unexpected, or where a person is found dead and the cause of death is unknown," which means that I need to fix references of autopsy in TO DIE FOR because autopsy would have been performed by the state of New Mexico.

There was more, but I can't really go into detail about it. Turns out some things that people think are tedious are a mystery writer's best friend--who says jury duty has to be a terrible experience?

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Well, I almost missed my self imposed weekly due date, yet again. But, I didn't. Aren't you proud? In lieu of a regular post--because I'm tired and I've been reading depressing novels all day for my classes--I'm going to post something a little bit out of the ordinary for this blog: poetry. Why, you ask? Because I've been corrupted by the awesomeness that is magnetic poetry. Go ahead, Google it. I dare you.

Who never wanted,--maddest joy
Remains to him unknown;
The banquet of abstemiousness
Surpasses that of wine.

Within its hope, though yet ungrasped
Desire's perfect goal,
No nearer, lest reality
Should disenthrall thy soul.

--Emily Dickinson

The words transfix themselves,
Mere shadows of eternity,
To one more neat-pressed page--
express uncertainty.
Perhaps the path is right,
Perhaps I've lost my way,
And so the writer seeks for light
Amidst the brilliancy of day

--Courtney Foley

Pain follows, surely, surely
I can feel her kinship grow

I've cast away love, run from mercy
and only pain will follow now

Perhaps she serves a greater master
Perhaps true love has sent her here

Pain follows, that's all I know now
and either way the end is near.

--Courtney Foley

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


There's something to be said for the wonders of coffee.

Every morning when I wake up early, drag myself out of bed, and head out the door for another long day of classes and work, I stress prevent by telling myself that, if I don't have enough energy to make it through the day, a cup of coffee is always at hand. And it is. I can buy it at the library, I can snag some at home, I can get some in the Languages and Literature building, or the main campus hub.

As a writer, I feel the same way. On those rare, glorious days that I know I have time to work on my manuscript, or a short story, or whatever it is I'm writing, the plotline looming large before me full of potential and a slight amount of pressure (will it still be good? am I good enough to publish?), I know I can always take a break and have a nice cup.

Now if only coffee could give me about twelve more hours in a day. That would be something.

Friday, September 3, 2010


First, let me note that THIS POST will stand in for Sunday's post. I'm heading outta town. Gettin' the heck outta Dodge. Leaving the computer behind.


Normally, I try to stay positive on social media like blogs, facebook, and etcetera. Nobody likes a downer, for one thing, and I'm fairly sure that stories should be relevant to the reader. Most people just don't care what happened to your second cousin's third cousin on his twenty-third birthday (even if it wasn't pretty--and it wasn't).

Anyway, the above paragraph was not to tell you that I am making an exception to my rule--even though I could, and fascinate you all with my maudlin tales of melancholy and woe. I crafted it specifically to lead up to the following point:

Writers and readers have a very symbiotic relationship. Without readers there would be no writers, and without writers there would be no readers. That's just the way it is. So, wouldn't it be advisable for writers (and I include myself here) to criticize, analyze, objectively judge their works and TRY to make their words relevant to a significant audience?

By the way, have I ever told you about the time I hit myself in the eye with my car door? No? Well, it's fascinating, really...