Tuesday, December 30, 2014

An Attitude of Gratitude

Heading into the New Year, we reflect. But shouldn’t we be doing that all year? What’s with this penchant for saving up reflections for the end?

2014 was not always the best of times, what with major eye surgery for DH and my mother dying and … well, other stuff that was so painful.

2012 was another challenging year for me. Is there a pattern forming for even numbered years? That year I had a stroke, broke my arm, and my father died.

That is life. It hands you events, experiences, sorrows, and joys. You greet them with expectation and positivity--as best as you are able. You try to grasp the features that shed hope. In the challenging years, I try to find those positive things that happened alongside the tough ones.

In 2014, oldest son graduated from law school after being first in his class each semester. Youngest son decided on a career path and applied to graduate schools. Oldest son and wife announced another pregnancy after suffering a miscarriage. I got another book contract. A good friend finished a year and a half of chemo treatments and is cancer free.

So on balance, it is balanced. I am trying to be more aware of both large and small blessings, to develop an attitude of gratitude and mindfulness about the good things that happen to me each day. To search out the positive elements even in negative events. They exist. And the search is worth it.

So, bring it on, 2015. I greet you with high expectations for another fabulous year. And if--no, when--you throw me curve balls, I am prepared to make the best of it. I will practice positivity. I will cope with what I am given; the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Because I know, in the grand scheme of things, I am surrounded by the love and caring of family and friends. I am living my dream to publish fiction. Life is so good. Ring out the old and ring in the new. I am ready for come what may. (Please don’t take that as a challenge, Fate Gods!)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

How to Write Urban Fantasy Mysteries in 11+9 Steps

Okay, so this got a week delayed due to the post on holiday parties. Sorry!

Urban Fantasy mysteries are categorized as speculative fiction. Speculative fiction, a term created by Robert Heinlein in 1947, is fiction with supernatural, futuristic, and/or fantastical elements. You might wonder why we need a term called “speculative fiction” since we have genres for paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Speculative fiction is not clearly one or another of these, rather it is a blended sub-genre.

Urban fantasy mysteries have fewer readers than most of the other sub-genres, but they are passionate ones! To me, an admittedly naïve reader of urban fantasy mysteries, I see similarities with graphic novels. Maybe it is the fantastical. Maybe it is the subject matter which has an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. feel but without a supernatural hero (usually).

Like the other sub-genres, urban fantasy novels owe a debt to the basic elements of the traditional mystery. Nevertheless, each has its unique elements as well. So this week, we deconstruct urban fantasy mysteries.

1) The mysteries are a puzzle to solve.
2) All clues are revealed to the reader but obscured with red herrings and false leads.
3) These mysteries feature a murder (most often) or a crime of great substance.
4) The sleuth may or may not be a professional.
5) The power of reasoning is trusted to restore order and solve the puzzle.
6) Violence often takes place “on stage” with varying degrees of explicit violence or gore described.
7) The murdered person may or may not have been a character in the mystery before death.
8) The mystery uses plot devices to further the confusion of clues, suspects, and timelines.
9) The language of sleuth and suspects is closer to colloquial use and reflects social status.
10) The villain is the intellectual equal of the sleuth.
11) The murder/significant crime occurs near the beginning, often in the opening pages. Usually there are multiple crimes.

In addition to the 11 steps from traditional mystery, to be an urban fantasy mystery:
1)   Most are set in contemporary times but they can be futuristic or historical.
2)   Urban fantasy mysteries contain supernatural elements and must be set in a city.
3)   Urban fantasy mysteries is set in a real world modified by fantasy (magic, demons, vampires, shape shifters, mythological beings, etc.)
4)   Urban fantasy mysteries are often written in first person for immediacy.
5)   Urban fantasies are often a series.
6)   There are often female protagonists.
7)   There is an element of vigilante law enforcement.
8)   Often the urban fantasy mystery is written in a dry, even acerbic sparse tone.
9)   Some urban fantasy mysteries might be considered contemporary works in a Gothic style.

Urban Fantasy Mysteries to read:
Steven Loton--Riker-Night of the Vampire (Vampire Trilogy Book 1)
S.M. Reine--Witch Hunt: An Urban Fantasy Mystery (Preternatural Affairs Book 1)
Joseph Nassise--The Heretic: An Urban Fantasy Mystery (Templar Chronicles Book 1)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Holiday Parties: 'Tis the Season for Family, Friends, Food, and Fun

I interrupt my mystery writing series to bring you a timely post!

This post can do double-duty. You can plan a holiday party and plop that into your next book. How much fun is that??? I can see Alli and Gina catering at some holiday party right before somebody bites the dust. Could your protagonist get caught up in a murder or robbery?

That glittery New Year’s Eve party was perfect until the popular hostess dropped dead in front of distinguished 50 guests.

The 8th night of Channukah seemed to be going so well for the gathered family and friends until Cousin Sue found Uncle Ben dead in the upstairs hall bathroom.

Christmas Eve cookies and cocoa might never be served again after Aunt Mildred poisoned the next door neighbors.

On the other hand, maybe you just want to have a rip-roarin’ good time yourself. For whatever reason, planning a holiday party doesn’t have to be stressful. The point is to have fun with family, friend, and food!

First things first:
How many and who can you invite? In the Phoenix, AZ area, it is still warm enough for the party to spill over to outdoors. But inventory your space. This is finger-food eating, not sit-down-dinner, so perhaps you can invite more. Or not, if you want a more intimate party. If you decide to make it a family party you will have to plan activities for the kids and adults.

So, make your list and check it at least twice. How many is the right number for the party you see in your head?

What foods will you have? The Internet is loaded with holiday recipes right now. It’s super easy to plan a party with gorgeous and delicious comestibles.

Make this a heavy appetizers party. Ask each family to bring two appetizers. Now here’s my bias: Tell everyone that you are doing the sweets, so they should bring the savory. Obviously you can do a true potluck appetizers party, but I think that’s more work for you.

By focusing your attention on one category only, sweets, you will pull off a great party. One- or two-bite sweets are especially appreciated so people can sample from your array. Make tiny cookies, shot glass puddings and parfaits, mini-fruit tarts, cupcakes, and the like. Having a lot of different desserts will make it look more sumptuous than a couple of cakes sitting beside a plate of cookies.

Will you have a punchbowl with alcoholic and non-alcoholic options or stick to fruit juices and wine? Unless you have a dedicated bartender, I’d suggest not serving mixed drinks or having too many options. You want this to be as easy as possible. Letting people serve themselves frees you up for other things, like having fun at your own party.

What about entertainment? Will you have a TV in another room playing classic Christmas movies all night? Will you put on dance music like “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas”?  Or will you let sparkling conversation drive the evening?

A very fun thing to do is decorate gingerbread people. Make (or buy) a batch and put out the icings. People really enjoy this. If children are present, the rules are pretty obvious, right, about how to depict them? No kids? Go for it!

I also like to buy clear glass ornaments in bulk and let people fill them with beads, tinsel, or other small items OR paint the inside or outside. It’s amazing how creative people can get with just a few suggestions.

Playing board games or old favorites like charades with holiday-themed book, quotes, movies is easy entertaining.

If you have the fixings for simple holiday candies or no-bake cookies, everyone can make a box to take home if they like cooking activities.

With kids, one thing I have done is provide a room with gift wrap and adult supervision. Kids bring the gifts for their families and wrap them at your house. Parents will appreciate your effort, and it keeps kids busy for a long while. Have a holiday movie playing in the room, too.

What about decorations? You have this one nailed. You’re already decorated for the holidays. Plan the party between the time of put up and take down. With low lights, no one will notice the dust!

Getting it all done:
I’m huge on list making. Write down every single item in a column, arranged in categories (like these headings) and figure out each tiny step. Planning now saves headaches later.

After you have your menu planned, you choose the hardest, most elaborate, or expensive items for yourself. Make sure you prepare enough food so if people “forget” their assigned dish, you don’t run out. Divvy up the other menu items and get the directions/recipes for each.

Send an invitation to each family you’re inviting and ask them to bring two savory appetizers, telling them the desserts are all by you. If they can’t come, have them let you know well in advance so you can adjust the amount of dessert.

Your invitation should specify who’s invited, when and where the party is, and the dress code.

There! Here you have everything you need to pull off the holiday neighborhood party of the year. It truly is merely a matter of organization supplemented by Internet ideas!

Here’s some help to get you started:










Still looking for a present for a foodie friend? Maybe you could give Mission Impastable, a tasty treat of a mystery with recipes. Sort of a two-fer! http://amzn.to/1eYJ4AY It would certainly make MY holiday brighter!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

How to Write Steampunk Mysteries in 11 + 9 Steps

As I worked on this post, I knew that there would be some dissenters with my perspective and interpretation of the sub-genre. Steampunk has some fierce advocates, purists even, who are appalled when someone dares to modify the sub-genre they identify so strongly with. 

Just like purists in the cozy mystery are upset with the increased violence and sexuality in cozies, so, too, are some of the steampunk people upset with the natural evolution and extension of their sub-genre. Really, all I can say is, get over yourselves. Writers are going to mess with sub-genres and cross-blend genres and change the definition. It happens. And that’s exactly how steampunk was created by blending Gothic elements with the supernatural and other features to create something new.

Steampunk mysteries are categorized as speculative fiction. Speculative fiction, a term created by
Robert Heinlein in 1947, is fiction with supernatural, futuristic, and/or fantastical elements. You might wonder why we need a term called “speculative fiction” since we have genres for paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Speculative fiction is not clearly one or another of these, rather it blends sub-genres.

This sub-genres of steampunk mystery shares, with next week’s urban fantasy mystery, the distinction of being outliers in the mystery world, both because of subject matter and because they have relatively fewer readers than the other subgenres.

Like the other sub-genres, steampunk and urban fantasy novels owe a debt to the basic elements of the traditional mystery. Nevertheless, each has its unique elements as well. So this week, we deconstruct steampunk mysteries. Come back next week for urban fantasy mystery elements.

1) The mysteries are a puzzle to solve.
2) All clues are revealed to the reader but obscured with red herrings and false leads.
3) These mysteries feature a murder (most often) or a crime of great substance.
4) The sleuth may or may not be a professional.
5) The power of reasoning is trusted to restore order and solve the puzzle.
6) Violence often takes place “on stage” with varying degrees of explicit violence or gore described.
7) The murdered person may or may not have been a character in the mystery before death.
8) The mystery uses plot devices to further the confusion of clues, suspects, and timelines.
9) The language of sleuth and suspects is closer to colloquial use and reflects social status.
10) The villain is the intellectual equal of the sleuth.
11) The murder/significant crime occurs near the beginning, often in the opening pages. Usually there are multiple crimes.

Additionally, to be a steampunk mystery:
1)   Most are set in a futuristic or historical time period and are often a hybrid genre.
2)   Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction featuring steam-powered machines as technology.
3)   Often steampunk mysteries are alternate histories of what might have been or are post-apocalyptic tales when people had to go back to steam.
4)   Fictional machines are created and used. “Contraptions” are common.
5)   Steampunk mysteries are often a series.
6)   Steampunk is a re-imagining of a world where there was never electricity.
7)   In steampunk place is less important than time.
8)   Nostalgia is an important element. Men and women’s roles are clearly defined, manners matter.
9)   In the steampunk world, wood, copper and other natural elements are used. There are no plastic or fossil-based products.

Steampunk Mysteries to read:
BecMcMaster--The Curious Case of the Clockwork Menace (London Steampunk) Michael Corlim--Bartleby and James: Edwardian Steampunk Chronicle (Galvanic Century Book 1)
Abigail Blanchet--Lady Sophia-Part 1-Death in Winter: A serial steampunk murder

Monday, November 24, 2014

Guest Post: The Importance of Food in the Tempe Crabtree Series by Marilyn Meredith

Let me begin by saying, I always disliked mysteries where the characters never bothered to eat. This series doesn’t center around food like some do, but my characters are real people with healthy appetites.
Often Tempe and Hutch eat at the Bear Creek Inn. The part owner and chef is Nick Two John who cooks some wonderful meals, but never shares the recipes. His reasoning is if Hutch cooked them at home, he and Tempe might not come to the inn for meals.
Hutch is a good cook, though tends to cook simpler means that those served by Nick. One of his dishes favored by Tempe’s son, Blair is macaroni and cheese. Nothing like the boxed kind, Hutch’s macaroni dish has lots of cheddar cheese, butter and sour cream. He always cooks it long enough so that the topping of American cheese browns around the edges.
In River Spirits, Miqui Sherwood has opened her house once again to guests, the producer/director of a movie being made on the Bear Creek Indian Reservation, and his assistant. On a Sunday after church, Miqui invites Tempe and Hutch to dinner and serves Indian tacos.
Most of the ideas for the meals Nick prepares come from dinners I’ve eaten in a restaurant that I really enjoyed. I also try to figure out the ingredients and make the dish at home. Sometimes I’m successful, sometimes not.
When it comes to Hutch’s cooking, his choices are much like what I cook. As for recipes, I’m one of those who dumps some of this in, a bit of that, and a sprinkle or two of a spice I particularly like. I’m fond of crushed red pepper—not much, but it adds a zip to lots of things like stuffed green peppers, beef stews, soups, and chili beans.
I’ve had plenty of practice cooking, having been married for sixty plus years, raising five of my own kids, a few grandkids, feeding lots of extras at every meal, and for twenty-two years I ran a residential care facility in my own home with six developmentally disabled women. Eating was one of their favorite activities and I fed them well—along with whoever else was around to join us at the table.
So, of course food is going to play an important part in the lives of my characters as it does in my life.
Blurb for River Spirits:
While filming a movie on the Bear Creek Indian Reservation, the film crew trespasses on sacred ground, threats are made against the female stars, a missing woman is found by the Hairy Man, an actor is murdered and Deputy Tempe Crabtree has no idea who is guilty. Once again, the elusive and legendary Hairy Man plays an important role in this newest Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery.
Marilyn Meredith is the author of over thirty-five published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the latest River Spirits from Mundania Press. Marilyn is a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. She lives in the foothills of the Sierra. Visit her at http://fictionforyou.com and her blog at http://marilymeredith.blogspot.com/

Contest: The winner will be the person who comments on the most blog posts during the tour.
He or she can either have a character in my next book named after them, or choose an earlier book in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series—either a paper book or e-book.

Come visit me tomorrow at Buried Under Books, http://buriedunderbooks.blotspot.com/
I’ll let you know why I keep on writing.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Guest Post: Edit Until It Hurts by J.L. Greger

I am fortunate to be able to claim Dr. Janet L. Greger as colleague (we both publish with Oak Tree Press) and friend. Janet is smart, droll, witty, and a great person to have as a dinner partner. She is uniquely qualified to write medical thrillers, and I am so happy to host her again today to share how she gets her books ready for print.You can read an earlier post by Janet about diets here.

My thriller Malignancy appeared this month. That means I’ve spent much of the last five months editing the adventures of my heroine epidemiologist Sara Almquist as she tries to escape the clutches of a drug lord and accepts a precarious assignment in Cuba. I guess all Sara’s risky behaviors put me in the mood to be foolish enough to share my editing checklist.

My basic mantra when editing my novels is: edit until it hurts.

The day after I write a chapter, I do a “find and replace mission” that includes the following steps.
1.     Eliminate overused words. My overused words are: that, just, very, really, still, some, perhaps, maybe, and since. Yours may be different. I think the “Find” option in the Window’s Edit list is my best friend during this process.
2.     Convert sentences from a passive into an active voice.
3.     Replace weak verbs with action verbs.
4.     Change run on sentences spliced with a comma into two sentences or one sentence spliced appropriately.
5.     Find “-ing” words and evaluate their usage.
6.     Look for common misspellings missed by Word, such as form for from. 
This process is a humbling experience and keeps me from rhapsodizing about my “beautiful prose.”

After I’ve complete the first draft of the whole novel, I look for gaps in logic.
I start with the easiest task first. I reduce the number of named characters. Any name, mentioned less than ten times in a manuscript, I delete completely or at least eliminate the character’s name. Now I’m a bit contrary on this point. Some authors reduce the number of named characters in their books so much, I know who the villain is after the first thirty pages because he or she is the only extraneous named character. In other words, I like a few “red herrings” in my books.

I check time sequences. I can’t be the only author who discovers Character A knows something before it occurs. At this point, I often delay or reduce clues to sharpen the suspense in my thrillers.

I repeat the find and replace mission (mentioned above) because gremlins creep in and reinsert problems in my writing.

As I do second, third, and fourth edits of the novel, I look at manuscript in different ways. My dog Bug thinks I’m being strange when I read dialog out loud, but it helps me smooth out conversations.

After I think the manuscript looks pretty good, I print it out. I always find hundreds of points that I didn’t notice on the computer screen.

Next I send the manuscript to a professional editor. Then I pray that together we’ll catch all the errors, but know I’ll probably catch more errors when I really the galley for my novel. Somehow errors not obvious in my typed manuscript glare at me from the printed galley.

Now it’s your turn. What do you look for when editing your work? I hope you’ll read Malignancy, and find I did a good job of editing it.

Blurb for Malignancy: Men disguised as police officers shoot at Sara Almquist twice in one day. The real police suspect Jim Mazzone, a drug czar who has tangled with Sara before, will order more hits on Sara. Thus when colleagues in the State Department invite Sara to arrange scientific exchanges between the U.S. and Cuba, she jumps at the chance to get out of town and to see the mysterious Xave Zack, who rescued her in Bolivia. Maybe, she should question their motives.

Malignancy is available from Amazon: http://amzn.com/1610091779 and Oak Tree Press: pressdept@oaktreebooks.com.

Bio: As a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I honed my story-telling skills as I lectured on metabolic pathways to bleary-eyed students at 8:30 in the morning. Students remember chemical reactions better when the instructor attaches stories to the processes. 

Now I have two great passions – my Japanese Chin dog, Bug, and travel. I’ve included both in my novels. You can learn more about me at my website: www.jlgreger.com and blog (JL Greger’s Bugs): www.jlgreger.com. I also answer question directed to: JLGreger@oaktreebooks.com

Thursday, November 6, 2014

POTLUCK: My Plan to Win NaNoWriMo

The entry that won my National Novel Writing month contest at Write on Sisters was Potluck
book three in my culinary mystery series. In that post, I showed you what I was going to do to plan Potluck for NaNoWriMo success. Here’s some of what I did before November 1st to plan my novel. I completed all the steps described in the link above.

Book Blurb (~250 words)
Making food mixes to infuse with medical marijuana seems the perfect way for Alli and Gina to supplement the income from their personal chef business. Complications to that plan arise when someone dies and Alli is accused of the murder. Alli still wonders where she belongs and who she is as she lives with a surrogate family, visits her jailed biological brother, fends off a romantic
relationship, and anticipates a visit from someone from her past. Potluck contains recipes to add medical marijuana to as well as recipes for large-portion dishes for neighborhood potluck dinners.

Creating mixes for ganja foods gives Alli and Gina’s personal chef business a boost that goes up in smoke

Family is fundamental but what constitutes family is a shifting landscape.

1.    Insecurities affect relationships and interactions.
2.    The search for identity can be uncomfortable.
3.    Impulsivity has both good and bad sides.

Character Sketches:

ALLI WESSON and Gina, her best friend since 2nd grade, are partners in a personal chef business that is still struggling to support the two of them. Alli always has ideas of expanding that strain their relationship. Alli is a cork-screw curled dyed red head whose impulsivity leads to as much trouble as her creativeness leads to brilliant successes. Abandoned by her parents as a teen, she moved in with Gina’s family and lives in a casita on the property. Her brother Cal showed up in the last book and is in prison for murdering his and Gina’s boss at the hospital.

GINA SMITHSON admires Alli’s contrastive personality until they clash over just how far to go. Still, the bond between them is strong and loving. Gina’s husband died so she lives with her mother for financial, emotional, and caregiving reasons. Maria helps with Nicky and Carrie’s childcare and general housekeeping. Gina is wound tight. She needs to be in a relationship but has had trouble letting go of her dead husband, Nick. A tall, thin streaked blond, she is attractive but doesn’t play to her assets.

MARIA MARTINI is Gina’s language mangling mother who took in the teen Alli when her parents deserted her. They share a bond and a passion for cooking that Gina is jealous of. In Potluck, Maria’s arthritis triggers her getting a medical marijuana card for chronic pain. She hides it from the family for a long time. Maria can be interfering but it always comes from a place of love. She is about as tall as she is wide with graying black hair.

EVAN KATZ is now a homicide detective on the Glendale police force. He and Alli have had an on-off romantic relationship for years. He wants to make the relationship permanent, but Alli is resisting. He knows she loves him, but she won’t commit and that puzzles him.

CAL WESSON wants a sole relationship with his sister Alli and resents her having a boyfriend or living with Gina’s family. He claims the murder he was imprisoned for was accidental, and while Alli wants to believe that, she is uncertain. Cal holds out the hope that Alli can be reunited with other family members that Cal claims to be in contact with. He knows family is important to her and uses her need to control her.

PEARL is Maria’s best friend and as a former hospital supervisor, she got Gina her job there. However, she was very supportive when Gina and Alli started their personal chef business. She helped Maria navigate getting her medical marijuana card through a doctor she knew to be an easy prescriber.

MOS SAENZ is a high school friend of Alli’s who owns Mos Taco, a biker bar and grill in a shady part of town. He’s always been in love with Alli but their timing for getting together has never worked. He puts Alli in touch with Bodie, a local grower to help with her questions. Tall, athletic, there isn’t a part of Mos that isn’t tattooed or pierced. Maria never liked Alli hanging out with Mos’ older crowd in high school. But Mos is a softie who loves to cook and serves his mother’s recipes at his place.

BODIE, Mos’ friend who grows pot to supply local distributors, is a ganja expert on varieties, doses, and ways of medicating. He has both legitimate and illegitimate business associates. He has more enemies than friends because of their interactions. A botany major in college, Bodie is the premier grower in the Valley. He finds Alli attractive and hits on her.

DR. FINNAGILL is a doctor who generously prescribes for medical marijuana cards, especially if you slip him some extra money. His patients are mostly men in their 20s who want to buy street cheaper marijuana but with a card that says they can have the drug legally. He also gets marijuana from local growers by recommending them as suppliers to the distributors. He gets kickbacks from both. Except Bodie. Bodie resists paying the money. The doctor threatens to stop recommending the purity of Bodie’s products to distributors and promoting the products of others unless he get a kickback.

NURSE ZOEY STEVENS is Bodie’s girlfriend. She thinks he’s seeing someone else because he’s so busy all the time. She knows about doc trying to screw Bodie over distribution, milking Bodie for money. She plays both sides.

REPRESENTATIVE NATHAN WILLIAMS is an outspoken foe of the medical marijuana legalization in Arizona. He fought hard and used the issue as his main platform plank for re-election. The problem is he is a drug addict beholden to his supplier, Bodie. If his addiction is made public, he loses everything. Bodie has indicated that if Williams changes his mind on the legislation and offers protection, that would keep him quiet about the Congressman.

DONNY BUTCHER  is another friend of Mos’ who is a druggie known for petty thefts. He robs local growers in small quantities so he won’t be caught. But Bodie confronts him with evidence and threatens to call the police. Donny, who uses more than MJ, gets very angry and threatens Bodie as well. He also knows about the Congressman’s addiction.

SETH STEVENS, a rival grower, is jealous of the success of the varieties Bodie is growing and mixing and providing to suppliers. He knows Bodie is doing something underhanded and files charges with the police to interfere with Bodie’s business, but he can’t gather enough evidence to convince the police. Bodie also was romantically involved with his sister while he and Bodie were initially in business together. They separated over ethical issues. Seth knows that the doctor is putting the screws to Bodie over distribution issues.

BELINDA FRIDMANN, cousin of Evan (but Alli doesn’t know it); journalism grad student writing thesis; enrolled in cooking school to do investigation, hates cooking and is bad at it ; helped Alli solve murders. Graduated now and working free lance doing investigations and articles.

Key Events:
1.    Maria’s arthritis is so bad she gets a medical marijuana card for chronic pain and a customer can’t inhale marijuana so Alli and Gina create recipes. to add MJ to leading Alli to want to market the MJ-friendly mixes.
2.    Alli wrestles with her relationship to her brother Cal, just released from prison and with Evan her boyfriend.
3.    Through a high school friend who distributes marijuana, Alli finds a grower as a resource for recipes and dosages.
4.    While visiting the grower, she observes a threatening note, overhears a phone conversation, and witnesses a confrontation.
5.    The pot grower is killed.
6.    Alli receives a mysterious letter and afterward acts distant and testy.
7.    Alli is arrested for killing the pot grower and her recent behavior seems to point that way.
8.    Out on bail, Alli begins to track down various suspects to uncover the real murderer.
9.    Alli is kidnapped by the killer but manages to save herself and get him arrested.
10.Alli reveals a high school pregnancy and that her child wants to meet her.

Point of Scene
What Happens
Maria, Pearl, Dr. Finnagill, Nurse Zoey. Bodie
Medical Marijuana Clinic
Morning, early Sept
Maria gets med MJ card to treat arthritis; Bodie arrives with shipment, argues with Doc; see neighbor as leaving
There early so maybe no one will see them; Pearl and Maria talk about how to hide from family; concerned MJ will not be available because of what heard; decide to get different devices and use at Pearl’s
Alli, Gina, Ms. Peterson
Peterson’s kitchen
Same morning
Woman undergoing chemo wants to adjust meal plan
A & G concerned woman can’t eat but must. Plan a bland diet with lots of nutrients; woman asks if they’ll help her put MJ in food; shows them a food (recipe)
Alli, Gina, Maria, Pearl
Maria’s kitchen
Labor Day
Potluck neighborhood party makes Maria worry about discovery
Gina and Alli overhear Maria talking to Pearl about being outed at the potluck (recipe)
Alli, Maria
Family room
Early next afternoon
Alli discovers Maria is hiding her pot use and confronts her
While doing Internet search, Alli finds pot sites; smells pot on Maria; pot to eat
Alli, Maria
Alli’s kitchen
Late afternoon
They try to make a food product and both get too buzzed
Alli and Maria try to adapt a (recipe) for Maria to ingest her med mj so no one else in the family knows
Alli, Gina
Next day, morning
Alli tries to get Gina to agree to make mixes for Med MJ
Gina appalled at the idea; has no idea Maria needs it, too. Refuses Alli’s idea without more research; don’t know what they’re doing; fixing casserole for dinner (recipe)

I continued this way for 40 scenes, which printed off, were glued to 5x8” cards for me to turn over each day as I work my way through the scenes.

Well, back to turning over scene cards. Onward to NaNo winning! Oh, and my word count stands at 14, 111--ahead of schedule! So far.