Monday Mayhem: 12/17/18

By the time you read this … oh wait.  That intro’s a little overly dramatic.  However, by the time you read this – I will likely be on an airplane heading to Florida.  Why no, this isn’t some holiday excursion … I’m going for work and I’m looking forward to spending a few days with my co-workers.  (And the fact that it gets me out of snowy Minnesota?  SCORE.)

That’s part of the reason I didn’t write a Friday Fare.  As is always the case with travel, whether it be personal or professional, the days leading up to the excursion are filled with the random and mundane things we need to do to prepare.  For me, that includes scores of laundry, some stress baking (pumpkin bread and chocolate chip cookies slightly alleviates the mom/wife guilt), and random ideas of “this is the perfect time to clean out the deep freeze / arrange the spice cupboard.” <– Seriously, this is how I prepare for travel.

Anyway – if I’m quiet over the next few days / week, it’s due to travel / holiday preparation.  But, if you miss my snark and overt charm – I’m sure that I’m going to be posting the requisite “beach at sunset / sunrise” photos and pictures from my random coffee orders on Instagram.  Come find me and follow me there!

This last-minute trip has derailed a few of my blog plans … I really do enjoy writing a “year in review” and want to list out my favorite things of 2018, but that might have to wait and appear sometime in the New Year.


Reading: There are a few books that I am at various places at now.  I’m reading Gillian Flynn’s “Sharp Objects.”  (That will probably be my plane book this week.)  I’m also reading Ava Black’s “The Bug Jar.”  (Ava is actually a good friend of mine and I am loving her debut novel.  She has an incredible voice.)  The other book that I’m halfway through right now is Caitlin Jans’s “The Six Month Novel Writing Plan.”  I’ll probably write more about that one soon – I really like Jans’ work at the site Authors Publish and bought her book out of appreciation for her work there.  Her “Six Month” book is slim, but helpful.  Finally, last weekend I took a total detour in the usual stuff that I read and I INHALED Grace Burroughs’ “What A Lady Needs For Christmas.”  Yes, this is one of those books that features a cover with a heaving bosom.  It was a fast and delightful read.

Watching: The week was busy, but I made time to watch the midseason finale of “Riverdale.”  Man … that show is just the best guilty pleasure.

Writing Life:  This week was a bit of a wash due to my travel prep / work deadlines.  I have a couple things that are percolating in the background though and am ever in the practice of just trying to write and improve.

Happy Monday, dear friends!

– Shelley


Monday Mayhem is what happens when I neglect to write a Friday Fare. Or it can be any kind of article that happens to be published on a Monday.  I hope that it provides a great start to your week!


Friday Fare: 12/7/18

Hello from snowy Minnesota!  My Friday Fare picture was taken on Sunday after my town got it’s first major snow.  Mister Owl is now currently in the garage, having been thawed and denuded of it’s snow cover.  He’ll go back out again in warmer weather.  It’s not unheard of for the upper Midwest to get snow as early as October, but if we get snow that early, it usually thaws or is washed away by fall rains.  A snowfall like the one we got this weekend is different – at that point, winter is not meddling around.  It is here in all of its cold and snowy glory.  So yeah … winter is here.

Once Upon A Crime is one of my favorite indie bookstores.  It’s a gem for a mystery aficionado and it cannot be understated what they do for mystery / thriller writers.  They’re struggling financially right now and could use an assist. 

This year marks a century since the conclusion of World War I.  My first exposure to World War I was through L.M. Montgomery and “Rilla of Ingleside,” the conclusion of her “Anne” series.  The Los Angeles Review of Books analyzed “Rilla” and other works from the time.  Reading this article makes me appreciate how progressive Montgomery’s works were.  (Incidentally, if you want to read a great WWI book, my dear friend P.S. Duffy wrote a stunner called “The Cartographer of No Man’s Land” – it is an incredible book.)

Tilda Swinton’s Christmas list.

Finally, one of the coolest things about being a writer is celebrating the news and successes of your fellow writers and friends.  I am so excited to see the cover reveal for “Murder-A-Go-Gos” a mystery anthology that’s inspired by the music of The Go-Gos.  Some of the authors included in this include my dear friend Jessica Laine, Lori Rader-Day, Bryon Quertemous, and Diane Vallere.  This anthology was organized and edited by Holly West.


Listening: I told my mentor the other day that I think this is the world’s most perfect song.  I could be wrong, but I don’t think I am:

Watching: I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I’ve made an exception for “Riverdale” which is a take on the classic Archie Comics as told through a Twin Peaks-esque filter.  It is seriously one of my guilty pleasures.  I also have watched a couple more episodes of Netflix’s “The Crown.”  Because I love Queen Elizabeth.  Oh yes, I do:

Writing Life:  I hit my December 3rd deadline.  Now it’s time to reassess my writing goals and how I can kick some ass heading into 2019!  Woo.

That’s it for this week – I hope that this finds you well and warm!

– Shelley


What is Friday Fare? As a recap, on Fridays I post link love to the various bits of arcane shiz I discover on the Interwebs.  I liken it to a glimpse into my mind, but without the 80s song lyrics or mental cobwebs.