My July Nightstand

My July Nightstand

This month I’ve been reading quite a bit. The summer days are long and full of activity, but the evenings can be lazy and terrific times for opening a book. I mentioned that I’m rereading Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? in my Mid-Month Musing writing, but I’ve also dipped into An English Garden Murder by Katie Gayle and Miss Aldridge Regrets by Louise Hare. I have samples of Suburban Dicks by Fabian Nicieza and The Drowning Sea by Sarah Stewart Taylor on my Kindle. I want to see if either of them are cozies before I recommend one or the other. Ellie Alexander’s Hold on for Beer is waiting for me to read faster as is Verity Bright’s A Lesson in Murder. The two are each in their respective series and the heroines are steadily growing in complexity.

            While I’ve been concentrating on adding to my “cozy” repertoire, I’m attempting to write one. It’s long, hard work that starts and stops in spurts of energy and terror that I’m making a fool of myself. I’ll let you know how I’m progressing. I’m part of a serious group of campers in the July NaNo Sisters in Crime Writing Camp. There are no camp songs – just hard silent work. I’ve grown to respect my group members. They’re gracious and humble about their individual tasks.

            Since my “camp” work has a finite amount of time to it, and I want to either finish or show that I’ve made amazing progress towards the finish of my proposed novel, I’m very conscious of the calendars around the house. I have one calendar hanging above my office desk. This one has monthly photos of teatimes, both old and modern. Accompanying the large photo of elegant teapots, sugar bowls, and creamers is a well-researched bit of history about the porcelain offerings. This month the information is titled “In the Garden” and discusses the Rothschild Bird pattern. Apparently back in the 19th century the Baroness Rothschild lost a pearl necklace while walking in her gardens. A couple of days later the necklace was found by a gardener who noticed a couple of birds playing with the pearl necklace. What a good beginning of a plot for a cozy mystery! It reminds me that I’m announcing our summer contest at the end of the month. Think about plots, characters, and villages. Constructing your own world for the contest should be immensely entertaining for a hot, languid August!

            N.B.: This Sunday, July 24th, Landis Wade speaks to our group about his newest book Deadly Declarations. RSVP whether you’ve read the book or not. You’ll get some information about how authors approach their craft besides getting to meet a very accomplished “recovering attorney!”

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