I seem to have lost my momentum over the holidays. Not that the holidays got in the way of my writing. In fact, I don’t do much in the way of celebrating, and since everyone else was insane for the period, I had little freelance work and much more free time to write. But I didn’t write.

Instead, I got bogged down in the story The Embezzler Didn’t, and had to set it aside for a while. But more importantly, even knowing that I had a March deadline (self-imposed) for Ben Bones and the Uncivil War (BB#4), I had no plot for the story and didn’t know where my characters were going. I had the characters, sure. That’s the easy part. And I had the genealogy that ties the characters together all worked out, and I knew the two precipitating Civil War battles that started the story running… but that wasn’t enough. I needed a murder (a victim), a weapon, a logical motive, and a murderer.

Finally, things are looking up. I awoke one morning a couple of weeks ago with the murder scene playing like a movie for me. I knew who got killed, and I knew what the weapon was. (It’s a stolen relic cavalry sabre from one of the two battles… but don’t tell anyone just yet.)

So now I’ve started into the writing. There’s research mostly done, background material worked out, historical appendices, and the opening chapter that introduces Ben Bones to the reader and explains why he’s hired for this research gig. No plot yet, but I’m cogitating. But most exciting, I’m writing again.

Speaking of what some of you might think of as “writer’s block…” I don’t believe in writer’s block. I think that a “real” writer should be able to sit down any time of any day, in any season or weather, and write. It might not all be deathless prose, but it’s output. I consider the periods in between writing to be fallow periods. Just as soil has to rest and not be planted for a while to regenerate, I think the same holds true for the creative mind. There are simply times when it needs to recharge. That’s what I’m now coming out of. And off I go again.

A Featured Presenter

I’ve been banging around the writing scene for a while, running a mystery writers critique group (, writing like a madman, etc., and finally, with 9 titles on Amazon, someone noticed.

I’ve been signed up as a featured presenter at Blue Ridge Bookfest (April 26, 2014) in Hendersonville, NC. They want me to talk about Ben Bones, my Consulting Genealogist character, how he came into being, and what’s going on with him. No problem. I get an entire hour all to myself to spout my theories about writing, research, and the writing life. I promise it will be interesting.

By the way, Blue Ridge Bookfest in Hendersonville, North Carolina is a free annual spring event for writers and readers. Please accept my personal invitation.