Artists can paint. They may not be painting what they want to. They may hate what’s on the canvas. It’s boring and useless, they may think, drivel rather than art, gimmick rather than truth. By they can apply color to the canvas. That’s painting.
You may think you’re blocked, but you can compose a FB message or a tweet or an email. You can write a blog, even if in your mind it’s boring and useless, drivel rather than art, gimmick rather than truth.
Artists can re-paint. They can change perspective or techniques or even style. They can paint for fun or for anger, to share laughs or to anticipate burning, a ritual bonfire of the drivel. Every stroke of the brush moves them out of the stoppage they found themselves in.
The writers’ truth? We also survive gimmickry. We can re-write. Those boring, useless, driveling words? We can apply a new viewpoint or setting or changed outcome. We can toss off a quick note or pen a diatribe, share it for laughs or get the fire out of our blood, a burning of what angers us and never needs to enter the sunshine. Every keystroke on the laptop moves us out of the stoppage we find ourselves in.
“Into the Labyrinth” is Remi Black’s story of her passage to publication. She offers it as advice for new writers just beginning their journey.
I have written stories all my life. I enjoy opening the great door into the unknown of story, each step lighting a path that once was only darkness.
Writers pick up bits of string, tie them together, wind them into a great ball, and
then enter the labyrinth of story, hoping to defeat the monster before it eats them.
Several, several years ago, after I had written a few manuscripts, growing as a writer with each one, I penned Dream a Deadly Dream.
I thought Dream/Deadly would be my break-out novel. I said to myself, “Here’s a story with intriguing characters and a twisty plot and a catchy title. This is thebook. This is the first book that will be published by the official big publishing houses.”
I sent out the original manuscript with great hopes.
And it bounced back, usually with a “nice” rejection letter attached.
When Constable Hector Evans returns to Chalmsley Court, he doesn’t expect the violent crime to be the murder of one of Lord Chalmsley’s guests.
His lordship wants a quick resolution, before gossip about the crime’s salacious nature and trap-like killing becomes widespread. With no murder weapon, no identifiable clues, and no eyewitnesses, Hector has little to build a case. He has plenty of suspects, even when he realizes the murderer must be a woman.
Even though other guests could have killed the man, Hector finds himself focusing on the Chalmsley family. Was it compulsive Cordelia? Obsessive Portia? Mad Aunt Beth, who gives him riddling clues as snippets of ballads. Hector would blame George, who grew up tormenting his sisters and torturing small animals, but George left two years ago for a rest-cure in Vienna. He can’t have returned, can he?
Bee Seddars, the girl who broke his heart, is a distraction he doesn’t need, especially as she and her cousins are among those celebrating recent engagements. Bee is as lovely as he once thought her and seemingly the most rational member of the Chalmsley family, but he wonders if a few brief months so many summers ago could possibly give him an understanding of who she is.
Hector can’t get Bee to open up about the Chalmsley family secrets. Unlocking those, he believes, is key to solving the murder. Yet she mistrusts him—while he thought she was the one who broke the trust between them, since she refused to write him after he was sent away to join the Bow Street Runners.
In his first twelve hours on the case, the murder scene is torched and the victim’s journal is burned.
In his second twelve hours, a second fiancé is murdered with the missing weapon. And Hector’s suspect lists remains an ell long and a grief wide.
With madness looking like the strongest motive and only circumstantial evidence to build his case, will Hector find the murderess before she strikes again? Or will he discover his lost love is causing bloody death?
He needs The Key to Secrets at Chalmsley Court.
A cozy mystery of 66,000 words, The Key to Secrets is the seventh entry in the Hearts to Hazard series of Regency mysteries. Each book is a standalone novel, complete unto itself, with loose interconnections of characters.
Constable Hector Evans was first introduced in The Danger to Hearts, the sixth Hearts in Hazards.
Here’s a free glimpse, the first chapter of Edie Roones’ fantasy Summer Sieges, a story of ordinary people battling extraordinary odds and foul sorcery. This book is Edie’s second publication, after her short story “A Matter of Trust”.
Her body jerked.
Beren muddled her way up. Slowly. Into the pain.
Return was . . . sluggish. A great darkness. A lesser one. She wanted to retreat from waking, crawl back into the deep blackness, but pain pulsed in her head and throbbed along her arm, denying any escape.
Her body jerked again.
Hands were on her. At her hips. Metal clinking. A lift. She groaned.
The hands stilled then gave another jerk that peeled something from beneath her.
And then a growl, deep, predatory. As black as the darkness. Danger as old as time.
Whoever had pulled at her scrambled away. She tried to open her eyes then realized they were open, to night-black. The dancing lights weren’t in her throbbing head. They were torches bobbing, some bigger and brighter, others distant, like the will o’wisps that hovered over deepest springs and in magickal glades.