Angel S1 E7

Buffy and the Art of Story Podcast Cover
This week on Buffy and the Art of Story: Angel, Season 1, Episode 7.  This episode covers how season-long antagonist The Master is the protagonist in the main plot. Also how the episode intertwines that plot with 2 subplots - one with Buffy as protagonist, one with Angel. And the way the episode serves as a Season Midpoint. As always, the discussion is spoiler-free, except at the end (with plenty of warning). Story Elements in Angel In this podcast episode we'll look at: How the mai...
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A Man In Search Of A Ring (Or Is He?)

Q.C. Davis short story
No New Beginnings “None of them jumps out at me.” Joe glanced at his phone. Nearly eleven. He’d spent hours researching online over the weekend, so he hadn’t thought finding the right ring would take more than forty-five minutes. An hour at most. Now he worried he’d be empty-handed tonight. He had lunch plans with a new client at twelve-thirty and a conference call after that. He could fit in more shopping late in the day, but he needed to stop at the grocery store, too. To get steaks for...
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4-Book Box Set, 5 More Days, 99 Cents (Sale On Awakening Series)

Nook Best Seller
Limited Time Sale This week The Awakening Complete Supernatural Thriller Series is on sale at a special price. If you haven't finished series yet (or started it for that matter) it's a great time to get it. The ebook editions of the complete 4-book series are 99 cents through Sunday, June 30, 2019. Kindle Kobo Nook Apple GooglePlay If you'd like a doorstop (or just love print), feel free to check out the paperback edition (but sorry, that's not 99 cents). Then And Now I finished ...
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Happiness, Anxiety, and Writing: Using Your Creativity To Live A Calmer, Happier Life

Happiness, Anxiety, and Writing
I struggled with anxiety for a long time before I saw the connection to creativity. The relationship between the two finally hit me while plotting the first book in my Awakening series. To figure out challenges for my protagonist, I kept asking What If?  What If she's determined to go to medical school and discovers she's pregnant despite never having had sex? What If her parents, usually supportive, think she's in denial about her situation? What If when she persists in her "story" they t...
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Chicago Printers Row Lit Fest on June 8, 2019

Please join me at Chicago's 35th Annual Printers Row Lit Fest under the Chicago Writers Association Tent on Dearborn Street between Polk and Harrison (around 730 S. Dearborn). I'll be there from 10 a.m. to 12:30 on Saturday, June 8, 2019. The fest itself continues all day Saturday and Sunday. Tons of books, demonstrations, and events. You'll find the The Charming Man, the latest Q.C. Davis mystery (set in Chicago), my entire Awakening supernatural thriller series (with the new covers),...
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Ex Machina: If An A.I. Were A Woman (Women & Men in the Movies No. 3)

This week I’ll look at how women are portrayed, and interact with other characters, in one of my favorite suspense/thriller movies, Ex Machina. (Find out more about 3 tests that guide the conversation in Women, Men, and Movies or just read on.) The Story In Ex Machina, a programmer, Caleb, is thrilled and overwhelmed when he wins a week at the isolated mountain retreat and research compound of Nathan, the brilliant founder of the search engine company where Caleb works. Nathan wants Caleb t...
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Women, Men, and Movies

In my twenties I lived with a screenwriter. We were broke, but every week we went to the local second run theater and saw a movie. We also borrowed a movie on VHS tape at our library once a week. (Yes, VHS, it was that long ago.) We talked about what we watched, and I learned a ton about character, plot, and writing. And had fun. Sadly, I've yet to find anyone who likes to take apart a movie the same way. (When I tried it with the next guy I dated he said, "Can't you just enjoy the mov...
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A Wheelchair, A Book Fair, And A Lot Of Nice People

This year I felt the most trepidation I ever have about bringing my books to the Printers Row Lit Fest (a/k/a the Printers Row Book Fair). And I had the best time I've ever had. The trepidation came because I'm still not able to put weight on my foot, which has 2 broken bones. I'm wearing a clunky Aircast, which is better than a regular cast, but still keeps me a bit off balance on crutches. With how crowded the book fair usually is, I felt nervous about getting through the crowds without ...
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Sneak Peek: Chapter 2 of The Worried Man

The Worried Man A Q.C. Davis Mystery
Read Chapter 1 of The Worried Man, Q.C. Davis Mystery #1. Chapter 2 The detective sat across from me at the worn kitchen table. His tan suit jacket was large and too boxy for his frame, but his tie was knotted in a perfect half-Windsor. Between that and his silver crew cut he looked ex-military despite the ill-fitting jacket. “What was your relationship with the deceased?” During the time it had taken the police and paramedics to arrive I’d pulled the armchair close to the couch and sat. I...
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Values v. Religious Beliefs (a/k/a Why Readers Ask About Cyril)

Last week in Questions, Abortion, and The Awakening Series I said that this week I'd write about why Cyril was my favorite character in The Awakening (after Tara, the protagonist). And I will talk about that, but first I want to say a few things about my mom and about religion, which will take us back to Cyril.  My mother was 42 years older than me. She grew up in a time when questioning church authorities simply wasn’t done. She and my dad memorized doctrine as children. They didn’t talk...
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