Tuesday, May 5, 2020

What We're Writing--the Hank edition

                
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: What we're writing?  Everything but what I'm supposed to be. I have NEVER been in so many live and taped events, reading and teaching and talking and interviewing, and it's fabulous. But as a result, all the things on my to do list get nicely crossed off-- except the one that says "Write."


The good news? Look at THIS!! 

THE MURDER LIST hit NUMBER ONE legal thriller on Amazon. I am--floating, crazy, and fell off my chair. Honestly?  I just sat and stared at the screen, gasping with delight. (It got that lovely green Barnes & Noble bestseller banner, too! Number 9 in ALL Nooks!)

And then look at this: how awesomely awesome to be on the same page with Anatomy of a Murder? Amazing. (And look: it says "Your best e-book deals this week." Got to love it.)

(If you don't have THE MURDER LIST, might I prevail on you to check it out for $1.99? Maybe as a Mothers Day gift?  Every sale matters, it really does.) 

And yeah, all that proved to me that sometimes it can work. I just have to DO it. (Are you having troubles like this?)  And try to peel off the weird veneer of terror that I understand is throwing me off my writing game. But I will persevere! I was going to show you a bit of my 15,000 words that should be 30,000 words, but next time, okay?

So. The response to the new book, THE FIRST TO LIE, is beginning to tickle in, and it's a dearly lovely trickle.

For instance: 

"Hank Phillippi Ryan is one of my favorite authors of suspense. Her latest, featuring the colliding worlds of a cast of intriguing female characters, is tailor-made for readers who are drawn to taut, propulsive plots with twists that do more than just surprise - they take your breath away. Book clubs will gobble up THE FIRST TO LIE."    --Sarah Pekkanen, internationally bestselling author of The Wife Between Us and You Are Not Alone

         Ooh. That's pretty darn reassuring.
         
   
    So--wanna see the pre-chapter one beginning of THE FIRST TO LIE?  It's not labeled "prologue." It just--is. And in this font, too.
  
        
 Without any sneaky fine print and totally knowing everything you know now, if you could start your adult life over as someone else, would you do it?
Say you could choose the person. Where they live and what they do. You could choose what parts of your prior knowledge to retain, and what parts to “forget.” Family baggage? Discard it. Friends and lovers and commitments? Erased, along with your vanished past. Obsessions? Obsessions could stay.
How you look and how you sound, your goals and motivations and deepest desires. Whatever you want, you could do it, be it, love it, lose it.
Sound good?
I fibbed. There is one bit of fine print. You. Every time you’d look in the mirror, you’d remember.
Mirrors make such false promises. They tell you: look here, and you’ll see yourself.
But that’s the first lie. You see a face and a body, sure. But a mirror doesn’t show your true self.
That you have to find on your own. By looking inside. And  no seductive piece of silvered glass can help you.
Still. I know all it takes is a tweak here and a twist there to become someone else. So, would you do it? To get what you always wanted? Sure you would.
All you have to do is lie.

HANK:  It's so funny, reading that. I wonder where it came from in my head. 

(Did I tell you THE MURDER LIST is--briefly--just $1.99? And Lucy's DEATH ON THE MENU is, too!  (We are relying on you, loyal and trusted readers!) 

Reds and readers--how are YOU doing? Are you accomplishing what you're supposed to accomplish?

89 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Hank . . . it’s exciting to see “The Murder List” at the top of all those lists [I already have my copy . . . Lucy’s book, too . . . and Julia’s . . . and Jenn’s . . . .]

    This bit of “The First To Lie” is quite intriguing.
    Would you, if you could, certainly gives the reader a moment of introspection, thinking about that tantalizing “What if . . . .”
    And now, of course, I’m really anxious to read the rest . . . .

    These days, my biggest accomplishments are popping things in and out of the oven . . . I really need for the world to get back to something approximating normal so that things are open again and I can go back to work . . . .

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    1. Oh my goodness, the cooking! And the agony of shopping, and the planning, and prepping,… I have never spent so much time in the kitchen in my life! And then I think… We are lucky to have food. So terrifying! and then I think: one day at a time. It’s very difficult, and I am relieved at least, that we are all in it together.

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  2. It's month end at work (my day job is an accountant for a company), so I am getting the things on my do list done. However, just when I think I have everything done, I get something else shoved at me. It's frustrating. I just want to be done and move on to other things.

    But I'll stop because otherwise I'll be whining.

    My reading is going well. I'm reading faster than ever right now. I'm enjoying escaping into other worlds. I've come to the decision that writers are essential workers, so thank you all for keeping me sane.

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    1. Well thank you, Mark! Yes what would we do without it?
      And I have to say I am trying to stop myself from whining, too. it’s difficult! Because… Well, you know.

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    2. I think we'd all agree that writers are essential workers Mark! Not in the same category as medical workers and scientists and grocery store people, but still...

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    3. I agree, writers are essential workers

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    4. I sympathize, Mark. I used to have to plan my life around due dates. And they were solid January through May.

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  3. Congratulations, Hank, on the #1 spot in legal thrillers for The Murder List! It's a great read and so deserving of this honor. And, I have to say that I always love your titles so much. They catch the attention, and then they weave in and out of the story so cleverly.

    I have a couple of more books I need to read and review before I hope I can get to The First to Lie. The beginning excerpt seems to tease and challenge one to both look inside to find your true self and to lie to create the self you want others to see. Once that first lie is told, others must follow. Oh, what a tangled web we do indeed weave when first we practice to deceive. (That may be the first line to my review.)

    I would love to say that I've been doing more reading than ever, but to be honest (or, should I lie, Hank? hahaha), my reading has been way off. Lack of focus at first when I was watching too much news. Then, I started cooking and baking to beat the band. And, for the last three weeks, my mother-in-law's declining health (not COVID related) has had us scrambling to be there for her. I really don't mean to belabor the subject of my MIL, but it's taking a lot of attention right now, and stress levels for all are high. Of course, reading is still a comfort, so that's good. And, I had the delightful diversion of Hallie's sisters' play last night. I loved Love, Loss, and What I Wore. The part about the purse had me absolutely laughing out loud. Other parts had me close to tears. It was just a wonderful hour and a half of a great play acted by amazing actresses. Thanks, Hallie

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    1. Oh, Kathy, so glad you watched it! ! A brilliant idea to put it on.
      And oh my goodness, that extra stress. So very difficult…
      You are so wise! We have also cut way back on watching the news. It is just… Unnecessary.

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  4. Yay, Hank, for reaching #1 for The Murder List!

    That opening piece for The First to Lie is teasing and intriguing. I just got approved for a Netgalley ARC so I am a happy girl.

    I am still not reading anywhere near my normal speed and the ARCS and recently ordered books are piling up but there are worse problems to have.

    It is 40 steps to do a circuit in my apartment, so I can manage to do about half of my normal daily step count (6,000-8,000 instead of 12,000-15,000). Walking this restricted circuit is tedious but I can do for an hour. I now sympathize for those zoo animals that pace back and forth in their cages!

    Joining in all these virtual events that you (and other authors) are holding is defining a lot of fun. Sorry it is keeping you from writing your new WIP, but at least the mystery fiction community is getting together and we are cheering you on remotely.

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    1. Oh, thank you Grace! And hooray for net galley. Do you listen to audiobooks when you walk? You ate so brave and wonderful to do your circuits! I have to admit, I do a lot of the same thing! It is unbelievably strange.
      Yes, I agree – – we are so lucky to have the technology to meet on the Internet!

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    2. Hank, I never liked listening to either music or audiobooks while exercising, and that has not changed. But I am listening to audiobooks when doing boring household chores (washing dishes, folding laundry). Otherwise, the apartment would be too quiet!

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    3. Yes, those are perfect tasks for audiobooks! I don’t like to listen to audiobooks when I am walking outside, because I think well, I want to be present in my surroundings. But maybe inside… It would be a different story.

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    4. No, I tend to zone out while exercising. So, the quiet is preferred, even when doing my circuit indoors :-)

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  5. Congratulations, Hank.

    I am doing all right. The nicer weather got me out in the garden, spreading compost, planting early things, so that helps. I've been keeping up my word count (well, with a couple of days being distracted by my brand new, ahem, Agatha award...). And reading more.

    But the fear factor is always there - it's a wicked bad virus, and nobody knows when the world will be safe again. Underlying worry is unsettling. I just hope I can mine those feelings in my writing.

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    1. Edith! , congratulations congratulations! You must be so thrilled to win the Agatha! Tell us about your celebration ! 🍾🍾🍾🍾🍾!

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    2. I am hugely thrilled and honored, of course. It was actually a weirdly lonely celebration, but the hundreds of online congratulations helped.

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    3. Yay, congratulations, Edith on your AGATHA AWARD. Charity's Burden was a great read, and I think the Quaker midwife series is getting better with each book!

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    4. I didn't know about your award Edith: congratulations ! I loved Charity's Burden and all your midwife series.

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    5. Thank you so much, Grace and Danielle! It's a series I felt called to write.

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    6. Congratulations, Edith, on the Agatha! I wish we could all celebrate with you!

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    7. Hooray for you and your Agatha! I just started reading Murder on Cape Cod last night. It is moving fast!

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    8. Add my congratulations, Edith, on winning the Agatha Award! So happy for you!

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  6. So excited for the new book, Hank! And I so loved The Murder List!

    I love your description, "weird veneer of terror." That absolutely nails the way I feel these days. And yet, we must keep working on the next books. Good luck.

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    1. Yes, to you too! One foot in front of the other... xxxxx

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  7. Congratulations, Hank!

    In general, I do okay. But yesterday was one of those, "This is it, this is the world now, I'll never be in the company of anybody except the people in my house RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE, never be able to go to the store without a mask, never hug again" kind of days. It will pass.

    I'm doing okay on my writing.

    Oh, and Julia - just finished NO MORTAL FLESH on my quest to read your entire Russ and Clare series. Wow!

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    1. You know, I am hearing that more and more, people having just the tiniest little meltdowns, and then recovering. I don’t blame us, right?

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    2. "It's okay to have a meltdown. Just don't pitch a tent and live there."

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    3. Love that, Liz. I had a meltdown yesterday, so am trying to pick myself up today.

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  8. So excited to see all the accolades for The Murder List! Congratulations, Hank!!

    I am blessed to be able to work from home, but honestly, it is in many ways a lot harder than working at work. Just had an incident yesterday where a colleague and I were operating under different assumptions and stepped on each other's toes. Would never have happened when we were all in the office, where a quick stop by the other's office with a quick question would have prevented it. And of course there are so many uncertainties out there...The biggest part of my job is grant writing, and many foundations have delayed or suspended their grant processes. It worries me.

    I actually said to my husband yesterday that I keep seeing memes about the groups who are not OK in the crisis (like huggers), and I have one to add: The planners are not OK. I am one of those. Usually, when my mind isn't busy with a specific task, it will wander to what I'm doing the rest of the week, in six weeks, later this year, for vacation next year, etc. But all of those are just big question marks now, and I find myself unsure what direction I can safely point my mind to fill that void.

    OK, now I'm slipping into whining, too. Sorry! To end on a brighter note, thank God -- and all of you writers -- for that. Though I am not reading at my regular volume, I am still reading every day and am so grateful to all you writers for creating such wonderful escapes.

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    1. Susan, I am also a planner! By now my summer travel to Europe would all be in place Now I wonder when I will ever want to get on an aircraft again

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    2. The planners! Yes yes yes, you are so right! That’s very interesting, psychologically, and I never thought about it that way. Those of us to who like to plan certain things, with deadlines and expectations, or thwarted now. So interesting!

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    3. No airplanes in my future for a long time.

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    4. I'm with you, Susan. I want to plan a trip, or figure out a place to rent for a month or two to try it out. But the question is when? Just when.

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  9. Intriguing opening to "not a prologue and not chapter one".

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    1. Yes, Hank, intriguing "not a prologue." I'm struggling with something similar and I can't quite figure out how to structure it...

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  10. Congratulations,Hank! Don't car what anyone says, I always knew you could do it! And we loved it!

    Not sure why, but I'm not doing so hot. I was fine in the beginning and reading a lot of new and wonderful books - 5 stars all! But now I'm feeling this will go on forever. What tipped me over the edge was the governor saying the schools will be closed for the rest of the school year. I had so counted on them reopening, at least for a few weeks. And, really, what difference does it make to me anyway? I think it's more a symbol, something that says 'we are getting there.' With schools closed that means libraries closed too, when if you think about it doesn't make a lot of sense.

    Maybe now that I've had this little rant here I'll be better. I look outside and Mother (Nature, of course) is going about her business as usual, without a care in the world. Same with my critters.

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    1. Repeat after me: one day at a time. One day at a time. We have no idea what will happen, and we have to embrace that, right? xxxx

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  11. Congratulations on being #1 Hank, though I'm sure we all already knew that without the Amazon Seal of Approval.

    Am I accomplishing what I'm supposed to? Well, yes and no. For the most part, I'm getting done what I should get done while I'm at home. I do the housework and pay the bills on time. I'm making the deadlines for my Cassette Chronicles articles as well.

    But then there's the CD review I have due. There isn't a formal deadline for that but within two weeks of release is a rule of thumb. The problem is that I'm still waiting for it to show up in the mail. Can't review what I haven't heard. And since I do not listen to the music online when I'm doing a review, I can't do the article that way.

    And I have yet to work up the ambition to clean up the yard of the branch debris that has fallen during the winter.

    I guess getting things done just depends on exactly how much I decide to push myself on a given day.

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    1. Right! The backyard seems less compelling when you have so much time to do it, you know? and I love your day by day approach.

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  12. Huzzah, Hank! So excited for your continued success, and the rewards for all your hard work. Even though you make it look easy, I know it isn't.

    I'm doing okay, too, but Susan, I'm also a planner, and I'm kind of in my element here. I keep a stocked pantry and freezer, anyway, so I spend a lot of time right now making sure all our supplies are topped up enough for the foreseeable future. Any minute now the lettuce I planted a month ago will grow more than 1/4", and then we'll be fine. I'm hoping. Wish I could also plant bananas and cereal for my husband, and figure out a way to keep us in coffee, but that isn't happening.

    Like Liz, I am missing my peeps, and all the hugs. But I have a champion hugger on premises, thank goodness, and we are being very kind to one another, more than we ever have before. We have kept busy finishing projects around the house, including planting the new vegetable garden and landscaping around the yard.

    Who I really miss is my mother. She lives an hour away, and she's fine, living with my brother and his wife, which is a huge relief. But it's been 2 1/2 months, which is probably the longest I've ever gone without seeing her. My brother suggested my sister and I come over for a surprise Mother's Day "socially distant" gathering this weekend, but I still have this persistent cough, and I dare not endanger her. She's in pretty good health, but she is 90 years old.

    Grace, your daily exercise accomplishment is enviable! You inspire me.

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    1. Karen, I know many of us are itching to satisfy our green thumbs by planting and watching things grow. I did start last week, but now I have squirrels digging up my new seedlings, so it is disheartening that I have to start again. And now we have this damn polar vortex coming down bringing freezing temperatures this week (and into next week). So I had to bring my plants indoors...it is true that in Ottawa, we are supposed to wait for our Victoria Day long weekend (this year May 18/20) to plant outside, but I was impatient, and am now having to do this musical chair thing to save my plants.

      And ha ha, if you could plant and grow bananas and coffee, we are in real trouble in terms of a global temperature rise!

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    2. I heard they grow coffee in Iceland in greenhouses over hot springs! Iceland...

      I have peas, lettuces, and onions in the ground, but they'll be fine on the weekend - we'll have cold temps but not as cold as Ottawa!

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    3. I have been focused on food planning, too, Karen. (Not a gardener, not even during a pandemic. Praying life doesn't MAKE me become one.) But I want something more to think about! I had cultivated the habit, over the years, of holding planned future events like carrots out there in my mind.

      In fact, now that I think about it, I guess I've always been that way. It was a source of conflict in my first marriage (which ended 35 years ago.) He used to say that I built things up so much in my mind that they could never live up to my fantasy. My reply was that anticipation was half the fun, so even if things disappoint in the end, I had fun imagining them.

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    4. Yes, the gardening thing is irresistible, isn’t it? I have ordered a bunch of stuff to be delivered as soon as the growing season here starts… We shall see .
      And I too am worrying about food, and trying to keep my pantry stocked. I i’ve never spent so much time worrying about these things, and it is very consciousness-raising. and, oh, thank you for the kind words, dear Karen! maybe it is time for a zoom Mother’s Day, though :-) xxxx there are many ways to show your love, and maybe protecting your mom is one of them!

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    5. We just realized that we will get below freezing temps three mornings starting Friday, so my poor tomato plants will have to go under covers for a couple of days. I jumped the gun planting them the other day, I guess.

      Edith, wouldn't that be awesome, to be able to have a hot spring under a greenhouse?

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  13. Congratulations, Hank! How exciting to see The Murder List doing so well as you gear up for the release of The First To Lie. And I love the not-a-prologue opening.

    I made it through the end of the semester and got all the grades in on time, which was a much bigger accomplishment than usual— teaching online felt way more exhausting and time-consuming than regular classroom teaching. All of the household cleaning fell way behind, and I’m already getting deadlines and questions about preparing for classes next fall. Right now everything about next fall is totally up in the air, so planning is also exhausting!

    But I am deliberately ignoring everything I can for a few days to have a break. Reading and ordering more books to read, catching up on tv shows like Killing Eve, and taking walks are all I plan to accomplish right now, and I’m happy to say I have been very successful : - )

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  14. Oooh, I love that voice. Tricky business. Can't wait to read the rest!
    And as for me, I'm trying not to make myself crazy by giving myself must-dos. Get through the day without melting down seems like a bar that's high enough. And not eating too many oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookies.

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    1. I agree about that bar, Hallie!

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    2. Yes, absolutely! I agree! And Hallie, that voice is that one page only. Crossing fingers .

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  15. Congrats, Hank! I'll go ahead and say it, even though it won't make any difference--but, don't worry so much about what you write, Hank! :-) Love this intro to your next book! As Kathy Boone Reel points out, it inspires both a certain introspection on the part of the reader and sets up anticipation for what's about to come! Superb!

    Edith, big congratulations on your Agatha win and a virtual hug in celebration!

    As Ohio begins to cautiously open up, I am filled with a new sense of dread. On the few trips outside of my home, I see so many people who aren't taking this situation seriously--no masks, no attention to social distancing. I'm not so much frightened for myself, but for those I love--so I teeter between terror, trying to get outside and fend off terror with the joy of springtime, and sitting comatose with a plate of cookies or fudge or.... by my side. Even the guys have said, 'enough cookies, already, Aunt Flora!'

    And Ohio's Dept of Health deemed libraries 'entertainment,' so they weren't allowed to open this week! Libraries are so much more! Locally, our library is opening in two weeks--patrons will call in or place a request via the internet, and their books will be delivered curbside. Bless them!

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    1. Thank you, so much! And I will think about you this afternoon when I sit down, trying not to worry, and trying to write. Crossing fingers! and I wish you could bring some of your cookies over here.
      Plus, I have to agree, there is a lot of dangerous magical thinking going on.

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  16. Your "not prologue" grabbed my attention very smoothly and thoroughly.YOU are accomplishing! It is comforting to read, though, that even you are off your pace somewhat. I sure am, along with so many others. Due to pub world changes, exactly whet I should be working on was unclear even before this pandemic hit, and my brain is even foggier now.Trying to work anyway and I am moving along. But slowly.

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    1. I hear from friends that people who make their living from writing are very put off by all this… It’s not just us, darling Triss! Hooray!

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  17. I draw so much comfort and inspiration from this JRW community, and I'm always thrilled to celebrate best sellers (Yay, Hank!) and award winners (Yay, Edith!)...it all helps to keep me going.

    I still "go" to work every weekday in the living room and it's getting to feel quite normal (how odd is that??). My reading is stuck in the "sporadic and short bursts" rut; I cannot seem to sustain attention. But I have two creative endeavours on the go that fuel my spirit: I continue to make pieces to add to my "COVID-19: end date unknown" collage series; and I've set myself the challenge to post a piece of writing to my blog every day in May (https://fiveyearsawriter.blogspot.com/). Call me crazy, but I enjoy both the pressure and the satisfaction of that daily deadline. Maybe it's because I've created it myself and I hold myself accountable for it? Anyway, it's fun.

    Oh, and I try to get in a morning walk before 'commuting' to work, but that doesn't always happen every day. Even with all the time on my hands, I still run out some days. And that's weird, too!

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    1. Thanks, Amanda - I didn't mean to hijack Hank's excellent news!

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    2. No highjacking involved, Edith: There's plenty of love and admiration here for each of you wonderful writers!

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    3. There’s no hijacking at all, Edith! And cannot wait to celebrate you in person next year! You will have double the accolades!

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  18. Not surprised for your #1 on Amazon, Hank, The Murder List is a very good read.
    I'm a little low this morning. It is snowing here and I didn't need that. I'm so looking forward to a warmer weather. At least, there are buds appearing in the trees.

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    1. Oh, dear: snow in May is just plain rotten, Danielle. So sorry. If you're on Facebook, check out the page that Lucy mentioned a while back View From My Window; people post a pic of their view and it is simply wonderful to see our world this way -- and in some places, they have never seen snow, never mind in May!

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    2. Yes, it is rather depressing to have cold enough weather for snow in May, Danielle. This polar vortex is supposed to last into next week. And here, our Saturday forecasted high is 3C (37F)!

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    3. I am facing the opposite, Danielle. It will be 105 in Phoenix tomorrow. Too hot to venture onto my patio

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    4. Snow?? So ridiculous! Mother nature is just a little off her game, too. Seems like. But count blessings you are well enough to complain about it, right? And sit in the sun will be out!

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    5. Amanda, I'm not on Facebook but I've been able to look at many beautiful pictures, very soothing.

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    6. On Friday our forecast is for rain/snow showers. I’m planning a movie marathon then!

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  19. Hank, when you are talking about the mirror, do you mean like the mirror of e ? in Harry Potter or when you look at yourself in the mirror? I was reminded of something else while reading your post. Sometimes when I look at a still photo, it looks like the people are talking with facial expressions and years later, I saw a similar thing in Harry Potter! What a coindidence.

    What am I trying to accomplish? Unfortunately, I have not accomplished as much as I wanted to, except for reading! I really need to find a form with the exact number to send to my medical supply so I can get a replacement for broken equipment, which broke just before I went to San Diego for the conference. It was really tough not hearing anything! Luckily, some people speak clearly so I could lipread.

    Diana

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    1. That is so interesting about the mirror! Let me think about that. And it seems like you and J. K. Rowling are on the same wavelength :-)
      And oh, you should be able to get whatever you need online, shouldn’t you.?

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  20. Thanks for the reminder about The Murder List. I just ordered it for my Kindle!
    Accomplishing? Well my husband cleaned out his closet and then I had to find a place to store it until the Thrift Shop opens back up. My closet is next.
    I have tried to keep to a schedule. Tuesdays are for changing the sheets and watering the plants and probably ordering food and supplies from Instacart.

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    1. Oh my goodness, thank you thank you thank you! Every book counts, and I am very very grateful.
      And isn’t it fantastic to have a clean closet? So gratifying! And yes, having a schedule is so important! Plus—Jonathan and I are very careful that a weekend is a weekend.

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  21. Hank, I think we all find it comforting when even you, the most organized and dynamic person I know, is off kilter. I'm still having trouble concentrating, and while I've managed to cross a few things off my list, I'm not hitting my writing goals. I'm determined this month will be better, however.

    Oooh, and congrats on the #1 slot for The Murder List!!

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    1. Oh, thank you! Yes. it's thrilling.
      And aw...yes, I share your determination! xoo Thank you!

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    2. No matter what is happening as long as I do something important to me, that keeps me going, and determination gets me through the worst.

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  22. I love that opening, Hank! I've always wondered if I could go back in time, knowing what I know now and not changing my future drastically, you know all the ifs, where would I end up? And it's always been back to my first couple of years of college in Austin. I would worry and study less, and party more. Sounds so mature, right? But so much was going on that I missed out on completely. So there!
    As for accomplishing anything? Not much. I started working on my corner of the kitchen that is my office. I'm trying to clean, rearrange, and toss. And shred. A lot. I have financial records for my parents that need to go. Currently my space looks worse than when I started. I also need to do the final review for our tax return. I put everything in a couple of weeks ago and printed it out. But I haven't felt like taking the final steps yet. My major project has been cracking the whip at Frank to get him to finish up various projects around the house. Unfortunately his priorities are different. He's spending his time meeting people up in east Texas to do work on the land he purchased a couple of months ago. He's been disappearing for a few days at a time for weeks now, getting things done. Just the wrong things.

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    1. Speaking of determination! And organization has its stages, right? xxxoo

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  23. Congratulations on the success of The Murder Lust and what a great start on your next book

    Kudos, Edith, on winning the Agatha! What an accomplishment.

    I can’t say that I’ve checked many boxes on my to do list, must less written anything other than mindless Facebook posts. Can’t imagine trying to be productive during these times.

    Today I went to see my ortho surgeon for an injection in the shoulder, my first trip out to a public place. Dear lord they are careful. I’ve seen no greater infection control anywhere, including the OR. I felt safe.

    Our lives are arranged around our governor’s press conferences. Today I feel so fortunate to be a resident of New York.

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    1. Thank you! :-) Yes, your governor is hitting it out of the ball park. xooxooo. And glad you felt safe. Very scary.

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    2. It’s worth listening at least to the first 10-15 minutes today when he spoke on the value of one human life. In his opinion it is priceless.

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  24. I make a mental plan for every weekend. I've yet to accomplished any of them. I just want to read, escape to other places and times. I have finally picked up my crochet hooks, working on one of last year's Christmas blankets again. I find I'm ordering more books because I want to support my local bookstore. My biggest challenge is still grocery shopping because I still go to the office. I truly don't want to shop at 7am on my weekend. Your new book hits home, Hank. There have been times I thought I'd love a do over until I remember who else might be affected and not always in a positive way.

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    1. PLANNING! Brilliant. DOING THE PLAN. Very difficult. xoxo

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  25. After the second week, I learned that doing a bunch of things that I don't like when I can't do many of the things that I do is downright depressing! So I backed off and do my regular chores, read, watch TV. and am on the computer. Every once in a while I do a bigger chore. Our nursery just reopened so I bought plants and am busy with the garden. That's not work for me.

    Our grocery's senior hour is 6 AM. No way I'm going then. I usually get up around 7:30. Congratulations on your awards. Stay safe, everyone.

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  26. Why does this blog never end up in my email until so late??? Does anyone know how to make it show up earlier?
    Anyway, you convinced me, Hank, and I bought The Murder List. But I don't know if I'll have the nerve to read it. I don't do well with suspense. If a show is suspenseful, I leave the room, hide on the other side of the door, and let the others tell me when it's safe to come back. I can't do that with a book!

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  27. Congratulations, Hank. You never cease to amaze me!

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  28. Soooooo incredibly excited by this book! The ARC is taunting me while I try to hit my deadline. It's going to be my reward!!!

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