Monday, November 26, 2012

The Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing was started to help female authors promote their current work in progress by answering ten questions and then "tagging" a few other women writers inviting them to share the status of their own current works-in-progress.

JMR's Next Big Thing

1. What is the working title of your book?

Ding Dong Bell (the title of the short story from which the novel emerged; it will change.)

English village in the Somerset countryside
2.  Where did the idea for your book come from?

I love English villages, or rather more accurately, I love "literary" English villages, the ones that exist in books, but not necessarily in real life. I delight in unusual and/or eccentric characters of the sort you'd find in stories by Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle, Caroline Graham, Susan Cooper, Louise Doughty, and Susan Hill. I'm also fascinated by unusual, bizarre, or shall we say "unique" methods of murder. So, in order to please myself, I created the kind of English village that I'd like to live in; developed the kind people/characters who would live in such a place; and worked in a bizarre method of murder that I came across some years ago in a book about the history of Jack Russell terriers.

3. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A Detective Chief Inspector and his Sergeant are dispatched to a picturesque village in Southwest England to investigate the murder of a despised rag and bone man whose brutally beaten and mutilated body has been discovered on the property of the wealthiest woman in the village.

4. What genre does your book fall under?

Russell Crowe
Ding Dong Bell is a rural, as in village and countryside,  Britcrime, as in a crime committed in the UK, in this case England, police procedural.

5. What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I've always thought of Russell Crowe for my Detective Chief Inspector. And the other characters could be played by the many wonderful British character actors who populate the series programs seen on the BBC.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I hope to be represented by an agency.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I wrote the first draft of Ding Dong Bell in 30 days during National Novel Writing Month in 2009. I let the manuscript sit for year as I was working on other projects. In 2011, I began restructuring and rewriting.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

The Killings at Badgers Drift by Caroline Graham.

An English Murder by Louise Doughty

A Place of Execution by Val McDermid

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My inspiration has always been to write stories that I want to read.

10. What else about your book might pique readers interest?

I've been a student of English village life, ancient and modern, for more than ten years and of English village mystery and crime stories for much longer. My book has all the elements that readers look for in an English village mystery -- an idyllic rural village with secrets going back generations, a close, tightly knit community, everyday true to life characters abounding with quirkiness, eccentricity and charm, depictions of authentic village life, an appalling murder, a passel of suspects to be sorted through, a twisty-turny but believable plot, and a handsome, sharp-witted, somewhat heroic protagonist with a personal tragedy in his past that drives him to uncover truth and seek justice -- with a twist of midnight throughout (I must confess, readers witness the murder). And for cat lovers ... there are cats! (For those, like myself, who want to know: No cats are harmed in this story.)

A big THANK YOU to author and editor, Ramona DeFelice Long for inviting me to participate in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. Please click on over to Ramona's blog where she answers the same ten questions about her awesome book in progress, SACRED WRITING TIME.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My Haiku Published in Red Fez Magazine Issue #51 (November 2012)

One of my haiku, "A Beat Style Haiku" was recently published in Red Fez Magazine Issue #51 (November 2012). You can read it here.

Ice-sealed pond

Haiku originally titled: Sacred Circle #2
Image from The Water Garden Blog. Link to website.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

MiniWriMo -- An Alternative to NaNoWriMo

A short history of MinWriMo ...

I started the Written Remains Writers Guild MiniWriMo three years ago AFTER writing a 50,000 word novel during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). If you're interested in how and why that came about you can find out in my article the Origins of MiniWriMo.

The first year only Written Remains guild members participated. In our second and third years, MiniWriMo was open to the public. The second year we had 20 participants, the third year 22. This year, our fourth, as of this writing, we have 33 participants officially signed up and 10 more considering taking part. Many of the folks who have participated in past years have continued to participate every year. This year we also have an unprecedented number of new participants.

More general information about the 4th Annual WR MiniWriMo can be found on the WR Guild blog.

Once folks have done a MinWriMo, they start to see the beauty and usefulness of it. Yes, it's a page-a-day challenge, BUT, you can write as much as you want. If you want to write 1,667 words a day and have 50,000 words at the end of 30 days, you can, BUT you COMMIT to writing no less than 250 words/1 page a day. This challenge is almost fail proof because most folks, if they had to, could write the minimum number of words/pages, 7,500, in a day or two. This is a good thing because people want to succeed and MiniWriMo gives them a way to succeed under almost any circumstances. In MiniWriMo you can also expect a better quality manuscript and less extensive editing than you'd have to look forward to from a NaNo novel.

If you're interested in signing up, you can do it here at the WR MiniWriMo Facebook group.

Since I started participating in the WR MiniWriMo three years ago, and more recently in the MinWriMo spin off, the 250 Plus Facebook Group for Writers, which also sponsors the Summer Writing Challenge, my writing output has experienced a huge increase. I'm not a fast writer by any means and I'm deep into re-writing and editing a novel, but with MiniWriMo and the 250 Plus Group I've consistently written at least four short stories / novellas each year, and a number of poems, articles, and blog posts. This may not sound like a big deal to a lot of writers, but believe me, it's a big deal for me.

Some good news related to MiniWriMo that I'm announcing here first is that the story I wrote during last year's MiniWrimo, The Future of Flesh, has been accepted for publication and will come out in an anthology from Smart Rhino Publications in early 2013. You can find me here on the contributors' roster.

This year I'll be working on another story for an anthology to which I've been invited. I'm eagerly looking forward to November and the challenge for which we've been preparing since mid-October.

The WR MiniWriMo has been growing every year since its inception. This year we have participants from England and France. Slowly, but surely MiniWrimo is building a global writing community.

Maybe you'd like to join us.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Why You Should Get Out & Write!

This Saturday, September 22, 2012, my guild, the Written Remains Writers Guild is hosting our autumn Get Out & Write! Community Free Write at the Kirkwood Public Library. Each Get Out & Write! begins with a talk by a featured author from the Guild. Weldon Burge, Executive Editor at  Smart Rhino Publications, is the featured author. Weldon will begin with a 30 minute author talk about his writing, which frequently juxtaposes humor and horror; and he'll discuss his evolution from author to owner and executive editor of a publishing company. The featured author also leads the free writes and Weldon tells me he has some very cool visual prompts to get everyone's creativity going. After the free write, there'll be 30 minutes to talk with Weldon, check out his books, and meet other writers. Those are just a few reasons to Get Out & Write! Take a look below the "postcard" for a few more! 

Here's a link for more information about this Get Out & Write! with Weldon Burge: More information

Here are a few more reasons Why You Should Get Out & Write!
  • Meet other writers. I'm always surprised by the number of writers I meet who ask me: "Where can I find other local writers?" Believe it or not, Delaware is full of writers and you can meet a bunch of  them at Get Out & Write! gatherings.
  • Connect with other published authors, editors, and workshop leaders.
  • Network! Are you looking for a writers group, a critique group, beta readers, publishing opportunities, or editorial services? Chances are some one you meet and talk to at a Get Out & Write! can provide the information your looking for.
  • Connect with members of the Written Remains Writers Guild. Because membership in the Guild is by invitation, people always want to know how they can get involved. The absolute best way is to get to know the guild members by attending our events. And attending a Get Out & Write! is a great place to start.
  • Have fun writing! Get Out & Write! gatherings are not critique sessions or competitions to show off how well you can write. They are spontaneous writing sessions so writers can relax, loosen up, try new things, and just let go and let the words flow. There in no comment on or judgement of your work and reading aloud is completely optional.
  • Learn something new. The featured authors who facilitate Get Out & Write! gatherings are diverse and have a multitude of experience in a variety of genres. Whether you're a newbie writer or have years of experience, you're bound to take away a new technique, idea, skill, resource, or contact that will help move your writing forward.
  • Find out about other events for writers in our area.
  • Support local/Delaware authors and your local writing community. By attending Get Out & Write! gatherings and other local events for writers you help our writing community grow and become bigger, stronger, and better connected. Supporting events for writers helps those events continue and encourages development of more events of all kinds for our writing community. 
I hope you can join me and the Written Remains Writers Guild on September 22 for a not-to-be-missed Get Out & Write!

A Study in Scarlet (Review)

A Study in Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes, #1)A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the second or third time I've read "A Study in Scarlet." And, as before, I very much enjoyed the story. This is the very first Sherlock Holmes novel; the reader is not only introduced to the characters Holmes and Watson, but learns their individual histories, as well. An interesting feature of this novel is that it actually contains two stories. The first story is the case which Holmes and Watson investigate. This story is interrupted after the apprehension of the killer and the second story takes over, telling the tale of the characters and events that bring the killer to London. The second story takes place primarily in America. At the end of "A Study in Scarlet" the reader is returned to Holmes and Watson as they hear the confession of the killer, who has managed not only spellbind Holmes and Watson with his story, but greatly impress them as well. An added bonus at the conclusion of the case is Holmes' explanation/description of his investigative process to an increasingly astounded Watson, who vows then and there that he will let the world know of Holmes' genius in spite of the glory-grabbing tactics of the London police detectives. Despite being written with many of the literary conventions of the last century this book is a page turner, and I would go so far as to label "A Study in Scarlet" a great action/adventure story!

View all my reviews

Sorry about the weird book cover (the title is spelled wrong). :-(  It's from Goodreads and I can't seem to change it.

Friday, June 22, 2012

My Writing Life ... Summer 2012

I'm working diligently on the rewriting/revising of my Britcrime novel. I'm about a third done. It's hard work, but I'm determined. And even though it's nearly a full-time job, I still need to produce new work and get it out to publishers.

So, I'm also revising a short story for an anthology to which I've been invited to submit. And, I'll also be submitting the same story to a contest.

Another short story is waiting patiently in the revise/rewrite pile.

On Saturday, June 23, 2012, my guild, The Written Remains Writers Guild, is sponsoring our summer Get Out & Write! Community Free Write. The free write will be held in the Community Room at Kirkwood Highway Public Library from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m.  National and international bestselling suspense thriller author and WR Guild member, Greg Smith, will be our featured author. Get Out & Write! events are a lot of fun and the best thing is, you can very often go home with the foundation for a new story! At this Saturday's free write we'll be learning suspense thriller writing techniques and strategies from a master!  

In July 2012, I'll be leading and participating in the Summer Writing Challenge at my 250 Plus Group for Writers on Facebook.  I use these challenges, in July and November, to write short stories. Committing to write a minimum of 250 words a day works for me. I often write a lot more. I've gotten so much writing done this way! Check us out and join if you want encouragement and support for getting a writing project done, or if you want to work on establishing a daily writing habit!

On August 11, 2012 I'll be reading at Second Saturday Poet's Haiku Night sponsored by the Delaware Literary Connection.  

I'm planning our first Fictioneers reading. The event will take place in August at the Adria Cafe in Newark, Delaware and is sponsored by the Written Remains Writers Guild and will feature the work of the WR Mixed Genre Critique Group and other WR Guild members. We'll also have an open mic following the featured readers.

My critique group, The Written Remains Literary Critique Group, will be presenting a literary reading in October 2012, so more planning and prepping for that.

I'll be editing a Second Written Remains Anthology of short fiction with Weldon Burge, Executive Editor at Smart Rhino Publications. The new anthology will be published by Smart Rhino later this year or early next year. 

Even though a new anthology is in the works, I don't want folks to forget about WR's first anthology Stories from the Inkslingers. There are eight superb stories in this collection, two of which, Transfusions and Street Smarts, were nominated for a Washington Science Fiction Association Small Press Award. Inkslingers didn't get nearly enough exposure, but the reviews it has received have been excellent. I'd like to appeal to folks who have read Stories from the Inkslingers and enjoyed it to please post reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. It would really help a lot! And if you haven't read Inkslingers, please consider doing so. The Kindle e-book is just 99 cents!

My new website, JM, is being designed by Justynn Tyme. Those of you who are familiar with Justynn's work know that means the new site will be artistically spectacular! And more content is on the way as well. I'll make an announcement on the blog when the new site is ready to roll out. Check out the genius at his website The Artisticness of Justynn Tyme.

I joined Goodreads yesterday. Wow! I don't know what took me so long. Another great resource for both readers and writers.

And last but definitely not least, I am loving my Kindle Keyboard. What an incredible tool for writers. The Kindle came loaded with two dictionaries, one of which is the OED. I can easily carry all my favorite writing books with me, subscribe to lit mags - some are free -- plus get apps for a calendar, checklist, notepad, address book, and buy new fiction. I discovered that much "classic fiction" is free! And that's just the beginning of what you can do with a Kindle! 

How do writers get ahead? Hustle. Loyalty. Respect. Hard work. Never give up!

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Persistence of Dali

The Persistence of Dali by JM Reinbold

This year, my contribution to Dalikrab Day 2012 is a mixed media collage, The Persistence of Dali.

Everyone is welcome to Create,  Manipulate, Repeat

Founded in 2005 by Justynn Tyme, Delaware's only Dadaist, Dalikrab Day occurs annually on 31 March. Dalikrab is a day, a kind of odd holiday, for artists, writers, musicians, videographers, poets, anyone and everyone to have fun creating mash-ups of Salvador Dali and crabs. This is the "create" part. Weird, right? Yes! And, for some reason, surprisingly appropriate when you think about it.

Another component of Dalikrab is "manipulation." Contributors are invited to manipulate the work of other Dalikrab artists and repost the work giving credit to its originator. Manipulation doesn't necessarily mean changing another artist's work. It can be a creation inspired by the work of another artist. For example, Ralph-Michael Chiaia's story was inspired by my collage "The Persistence of Dali." You can read the story, "The Sickle of a P," on his blog.

Dalikrab contributors can create, manipulate and repeat as often as they wish.

31 March is the official Dalikrab Day, but, the fun continues as long as artists continue to create and contribute. Today, 9 April 2012, is Dalikrab Day 10.

Dalikrab Day attracts contributors from around the world. You can view/read all the Dalikrab 2012 contributions on the Dalikrab blog.

I started contributing to Dalikrab in 2010. You can see my 2011 Dalikrab contribution, a diary, here. And my 2010 Dalikrab, a poem, here.

And here is my Dalikrab Diary page for this year!

Why Dali and why crabs? I don't know and I expect the answer to that lies in the mists of Dalikrab past. Only the creator knows for sure. Or maybe not.

31 March 2013 is Dalikrab Day next year! I'm already planning my next Dalikrab project!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Reinbold and Tyme Exhibit on Newark's February/March 2012 Art Loop

(I am the one who cannot be contained)
by JM Reinbold

Update: Our exhibit will remain on display throughout March!

Justynn Tyme and I have a joint exhibit of artwork for the month of February on the Newark Art Loop. As of this posting, there are two days left to view the show. But, if you're in the area and you have an opportunity to stop in at the Newark Natural Foods Co-Op, our artwork is hanging in the cafe gallery.

I have six pieces of SoulCollage on display. The grouping is titled: A Conversation with Many Selves: Works of SoulCollage by JM Reinbold.

I enjoy this type of collage art because I can remove images from their original context and perceived meanings and by revisioning and recombining create a new context and new meanings. Working with SoulCollage is a form of "sacred play" and feels to me like creating dreams from paper.

If you're interested in finding out more about SoulCollage, visit the SoulCollage website.

The Pearl of Beeland by Justynn Tyme
Justynn has four pieces of digital collage and two illustrations on display. His artwork is intended to "amuse and confuse." Justynn is Delaware's only Dadaist, and an experimental artist who works in the mediums of nonsense and senselessness the way other artists work with pencils and paints.

My favorite picture in Justynn's exhibit is the "Pearl of Beeland."

You can see more of Justynn's work at The Artisticness of Justynn Tyme.

Prints of Justynn's exhibited art work are available from Radio Active Mango Recordings.