Nuts and Bolts of Writing

L-R Alison Bruce, Donna Warner, Liz Lindsay, Joanne Guidoccio

Yesterday evening, I participated in a lively panel discussion with three other mystery writers at the main branch of the Guelph Public Library. We are all published authors and members of Crime Writers of Canada.

We gave mini-presentations on our favorite nuts and bolts of writing—The Right Opening, Character Development, Self-Editing, Building Your Author Brand—and read excerpts from our recent novels. During the Q & A sessions, we delved into a variety of topics, among them short stories, writing and critique groups, conferences, and contests.

Thanks to librarians Andrea Curtis and Deb Quaile for organizing and facilitating this event.

To learn more about Guelph Partners in Crime, visit our websites:

Alison Bruce

Joanne Guidoccio

Liz Lindsay aka Jamie Tremain

Donna Warner


Giveaway–TRR 6th Anniversary Party

Today, I’m participating in an anniversary party for The Romance Reviews. Along with nine other authors, I’m offering a prize to one lucky winner. Scroll down here and look for my question:

How many ex-boyfriends are possible suspects?

Answer correctly and you could win an e-book of A Season for Killing Blondes.


My Word for 2017

Two years ago, I began this annual tradition.

In 2015, I ended a prolonged writer’s block by selecting Onward as my word of the year. In the twelve months that followed, I wrote articles and book reviews and released two novels—A Season for Killing Blondes and The Coming of Arabella. I also started several projects that were in various stages of completion by the year’s end.

Frustrated by these incomplete projects, I selected Focus as my word for 2016. I applied myself and finished editing Too Many Women in the Room (to be released in Spring 2017). I also wrote several short pieces and participated in NaNoWriMo, completing 50K words of A Different Kind of Reunion (to be completed in 2017 and released in early 2018).

As I contemplated my selection for 2017, I toyed with several words: upward, booming, soaring, flying, success, prosperity, and abundance. Clearly, I was headed in a very different direction, one less linear than previous years. Having proven that I can initiate and complete writing projects, I was now ready to raise the stakes. I also needed to cultivate a more trusting spirit and take more risks.

For those reasons, I have selected Thrive as my word for 2017.

I like this definition from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary…

1: to grow vigorously: flourish
2: to gain in wealth or possessions: prosper
3: to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances

And this quotation from Maya Angelou…

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”

thrive1

Thrive ♦ Prosperare ♦ Prospérer ♦ Gedeihen ♦ Prosperar ♦ Trives ♦ Blomstre


Have you selected a word for 2017?