Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas from Mystery Lane

As usual, life happened and I haven't posted any more regularly. Hope springs eternal, so maybe next year! More writing, more submitting, more posting.

Meantime, here is a most unusual Christmas tree that should appeal to anyone who loves books. I sure like it. Thanks, Mary Murtz, for allowing me to share it. Click the link for her blog.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Posting again - maybe!

Maybe I will get back to posting at least a couple of times per week. Some major undertakings have now slowed down a little!
I'm on the Planning Committee for the annual Appalachian Heritage Writers Symposium, which took place June 17-18 this year so it is now in the past. The Symposium was successful, by comments received. Seems like the year of planning and then implementing it went by very fast. We reconnected with old friends, writers, that we don’t see very often. Workshops were informative and helpful. Some sessions far exceeded expectations in their popularity but all gave tips and advice that will very likely bear much fruit in coming months and years.
Keynote speaker, Lee Smith, noted Appalachian author, was a highlight of this, the third AHWS. Her informative fiction workshop and Q&A were the icing on the cake. The committee will have to work hard to equal or top this Symposium but no doubt they will so mark your calendar for June 15-16, 2012. Highlights of this year's Symposium and winners of the writing contest associated with it may be found here
In addition to Symposium planning meetings and some family events, as a member of the Board of Directors, I also work with the Applachian Authors Guild. After becoming a chapter of the Virginia Writers Club this year we have redone our By-Laws and planned a couple of major meetings for our widespread membership, which has also taken some time this spring and summer. Read about the activities of Appalachian Authors Guild on our website, which I also attempt to maintain!

Soon I'll get back to one of those three books I wish I'd bought, read and studied a long time ago!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Books, books, books

...but not mine - yet! I have just at my elbow a three tier bookshelf filled with books on writing. But somehow I had missed buying three books I think every writer should own. Maybe if I'd bought them sooner I'd be seeing my books in bookstores by now. Or not. Who knows. I'll post about the other two books in later posts.
The first one I'm talking about I actually have meant to buy for several years. I wanted to order it from the company which published it, Gryphon Books, and kept putting it off. Don't make my mistake. Goal, Motivation, Conflict, the Building Blocks of Good Fiction by Debra Dixon is a gem. My daughter is now reading it and taking copious notes, as she is wont to do. Ms. Dixon shows writers how to distill the three items in the title for protagonist, antagonist and any other characters for which they are needed. She uses classic and well-known books to demonstrate the principle.
Goal, Motivation, Conflict can be ordered from Amazon and other sellers on Amazon, not cheaply, but I ordered from the publisher in Memphis, TN., link below:
Gryphon Books
No compensation was received for this recommendation! I'm just so happy that I finally ordered it.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011



Just Me

I write in several genres. Mystery being my favorite. But my first venture in getting my writing into book form was Eight Miles of Muddy Road, a memoir of growing up as a sharecropper's daughter in (very) rural central Georgia. Available from moi and Amazon, in print and ebook format.
Prior to that first venture in producing a book, I 'd had a couple of mystery/crime stories published in small circulation print magazines, several published online and more since. I've also had stories published in print anthologies and an ebook anthology by a traditional publisher. That publishing contract for a novel length mystery still eludes me though. But we persevere.
Two of my mystery characters, both female, star in their own series. Well, the first book of their series anyway. And one is under consideration by a publisher. Others are WIPs.
Meantime I gathered several of my mystery short stories and self-pubbed a book, Best Served Cold, Revenge a la Carte. Also available from me, the author, and Amazon. More about it later.
I welcome comments and/or if you'd like to send me an email, here's the address: Sylvia

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Who would have thought

that coming up with a name for a new blog would be so difficult? My other blog, Post Oak Chronicles, was originally going to be my writing blog. But it kind of morphed into a chronicle of family doings and thoughts about my home town and the beautiful area of East Tennessee in which it's located. Worthy subjects for a blog, but I need one to 'showcase' my mystery stories and novels. Hence, Mystery Lane Rambler. My main writing website is So I decided to stay with the 'ramblin' theme. Along with 'rambling on' about my writing, I'll be posting bits of writing advice and titles of writing books that have helped me through the years.