Monday Musings 13-09-23

Bogart as Phillip Marlowe
Bogart as Phillip Marlowe

My quote for the week:

“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”

Mark Twain, The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain

Reflections on my writing:

  • I’ve always thought the cliche, “…want it so bad I could taste it,” sounded odd. I mean really – taste it? What does success taste like? And yet, I find myself wanting to get my writing to the next stage so badly the phrase almost makes sense. What fits my mood these days is, I want it so badly: “my skin crawls with the wanting, my gut churns with a potent mixture of self-doubt and  anticipation and my head plain aches.” I’m not easy to live, and not proud of the fact.
  • Within a few weeks I’ll hear how I placed in two competitions I’ve finaled in, and will get feedback from their judges.
  • I’m letting the cozy novella I wrote steep, sharing a chapter at a time with my critique partner.
  • And I’m working hard on the second book in my Romantic mystery/thriller series about Maggy Malone. My working title is Ain’t Misbehavin’ and the first act is coming on strong. It started with the image of the first murder. It popped into my mind and I couldn’t shake it, so I’m running with it. I like Maggy’s people. Keeping company with them as I write the first draft for the next few months will be fun.
  • I’m working hard on the Scrivener course, meandering through its intricacies and holding fast to the pieces I like best. I’ll update you on my progress on Wednesday.

What I’m Reading

cleoI’m working through the Cleo Coyle mysteries, cozies set in a New York city coffeehouse (On What Grounds is the one I’m reading right now). Tight writing, fun plot lines and aPhilipMarlowe_S1 comfortable place to hang out. The last one I picked up on audiobooks and listen to it at night, when my eyes are too tired to read. On TV, PJ and I have been watching Phillip Marlowe tapes (from the library). Love the ambiance of “film noir,” and Raymond Chandler’s lines cut deep. Boy could he write.

I’ll leave you with a quote from his story, The Long Goodbye:

“To say goodbye is to die a little.”

Author: Jo-Ann Carson

About Jo-Ann Carson Where magic happens … Reports of Jo-Ann Carson’s death on a Gulf Island are greatly exaggerated or, at the very least, premature. The eclectic crew of ghosts that haunt her head spill onto the page in two series: The Gambling Ghosts and The Ghost & Abby Mysteries. A Viking with existential issues, a broken hearted Highlander, a Casanova man-witch and a Pirate with a secret are just a few of the males her strong heroines encounter in tales of fantasy, adventure and romance. A firm believer in the magic of our everyday lives, Jo-Ann loves watching sunrises, walking beaches near her home in the Pacific Northwest and reading by the fire. You can visit her on social media: Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook

4 thoughts on “Monday Musings 13-09-23”

  1. Busy girl, your head must be spinning. This is what I call the horrible middle when it seems to stall and you can’t make it jump into the next gear. But you are doing all the right things, working and filling the well, so to speak, so sooner or later, when the stars are aligned, I’m sure it will pay off and you’ll jump ahead. I”m so looking forward to finishing this edit on Jaguar and getting into working on the first draft of the next book. That’s such a magical time. Enjoy!


    1. Hi Judy
      Thanks for understanding and cheering me forward. Your Jaguar mystery must be getting very polished. Good for you.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
      Best Wishes


  2. Hey, Jo-Ann. Tried to post this earlier and had a fight with Word Press. LOL Here’s the deal. The reason you can taste this is because you are sooo close to being there. Fingers crossed you get good results from the contests and the positive news from the agents/editors you submitted to after Thrillerfest. I just feel it for you. Keep learning, keep improving, and keep sending out. I can’t figure why you haven’t gotten “the call” yet (whether by phone or email) because you put words together so beautifully. But it will happen!


    1. Hi Marsha
      Sorry to hear that WP gave you a hard time. I often wonder how many comments I lose through such situations. Thanks for persevering.
      And thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement. They help.
      Best Wishes


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