Monthly Archives: February 2014

The Vanishing Hairdresser

My third published Sean and Cindy story finds our heroes helping local Sheriff Ollie Gustafson to solve a mystery – what’s happened to Cindy’s hairdresser, her husband, and their three miniature schnauzers? This story, while it stands alone, depends on my two previous Sean and Cindy stories for full character development.

I tried to write this like a classic mystery complete with red herrings and a limited point-of-view (Cindy’s) so that the reader can slowly discover facts as the POV character does.¬† These red herrings, or false leads are part of what I love about the British mystery shows I eagerly devour, shows like George Gently, Touch of Frost, and Foyle’s War.

Here’s the link:

Vanishing Hairdresser

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Taking A Break

I really just had to stop writing for a while. It can be so frustrating, so unrewarding. In business, I did something and I saw the results, usually right away. And people told me what they thought about what I did – good or bad.

But it’s not like that for a writer. You get a LOT of rejections and usually there’s no explanation. Even when something gets published, the feedback is minimal. And there’s this growing feeling I’ve been having¬† that science fiction stories just don’t matter as much as securing the computer networks of large corporations – which is what I did in the business world. And it’s true! SciFi stories are just entertainment. But an unsecure computer network can cost a company billions, cause people to lose their jobs, upset who-knows-how-many customers, etc.

I got to the point where I couldn’t write anything. It was probably triggered by the repeated rejection of a story that’s one of my personal favorites – a story I’m convinced is better than dozens of published stories I’ve read. I originally called it Intelligent Designers, then changed the name to Just a Minor Firmware Upgrade. Although it’s gotten its share of form rejections, there have been two odd personal rejections, one mentioned earlier in this blog in THIS post, and one a few days ago – two words long – “Not Bad!” That’s it. A form rejection with Not Bad! tacked onto the end of it. Thanks a lot for nothing!

I know that rejection is the universal experience of the writer (unless you’re already a celebrity or someone in the public eye), and that a thick skin is a prerequisite for this trade. So maybe I’m just not someone who ought to be doing this.

But then, this morning, I wake up, the sun shining, Tucson basking in unseasonable warmth. I’m feeling good and I think – “who cares? I’ll write what I want to write, I’ll make it the best it can be. If they reject it – well it just wasn’t for them, but it won’t be because it was poorly written.”

And so it goes – one day discouraged, the next day motivated. Am I unusual? I doubt that!

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