Tag Archive for writing

More Assisi, and a little Bastia

I had the best of intentions of blogging often. I was thinking Ah, I’ll be lounging about, drinking a little cappuccino, laptop on my lap… My tenth year here at Art Workshop International in Assisi and I still haven’t figured it out. Between teaching and hanging with my buddies, between walks and art and my local friends I only see once or twice a year, all that lounging time doesn’t exist.

So here I am, belatedly, back again, with some photos. Most of them are from Assisi, though we took a little trip — and I mean little, literally 4 minutes on the train (though of course you have to walk down to Santa Maria degli Angeli to get the train, and then wait for the train, so from the hotel the trip is about an hour and 4 minutes) — to Bastia, and strolled around.

View from our favorite cafe

 

Breakfast at the Hotel Giotto (plus a little fruit for lunch…)

 

The hard-working guys holding up the rose window at San Rufino

 

Below street-level plantings. Don’t show this to Grow Dammit, he’ll feel insecure.

 

Flower pot on the wall

 

Sunflowers, almost ready for harvest

 

Bastia: the market’s over

 

Bastia: painted wall

 

Filipina nuns in habits and identical straw hats waiting for the bus.

 

Bastia: I don’t think this is the police station any more…

 

…or else some cop has a very green thumb.

 

Dragon sings karaoke

A life-changing journey in the Himalayas!

Take your writing to new heights…

I’ve been invited to teach in KATHMANDU in September. For real! Come join me and Meredith Cole. We won’t be climbing Everest, but your prose will soar!

And if you’re not writing a mystery but you want to come anyway, OF COURSE you can. Writing is writing. Come to Kathmandu!

High Crimes: Mystery Writing in Nepal

with SJ Rozan and Meredith Cole

10-day writers workshop, and life-changing journey in the Himalayas!

Sept. 18-28, 2017

Learn more.

The pond at the edge of the 100-acre wood

The Wisconsin Writers’ Association Novel-in-Progress Bookcamp, where I’m Writer-in-Residence, is held at the Cedar Valley Retreat Center. 100 acres of woods and streams surround the buildings, which include the main building where the guest rooms and classes are held, a larger meeting house, a chapel, and a small screened outdoor room. Here’s the pond, where a pair of killdeer are nesting on shore and the trees are full of tweeting, chirping, chipping, and singing. A certain amount of honking and quacking can also be heard.

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4 Storytellers/4 Friends

Tomorrow night, Tues. the 22nd, at the Center for Fiction, 17 W. 47, NY NY. Joe Goodrich, Honor Molloy, Jonathan Santlofer, me. Free! We’re expecting you.

SantloferRozanGoodrichMalloyB

Wherein I run my mouth again

Here you go, Episode 80 of the Speaking of Mysteries podcast, in which I’m interviewed by the excellent Les Klinger and his partner in this particular kind of crime, Nancie Clare (Les has many partners-in-crime as he’s involved in many crimes).

Family tree

I have spent four days — FOUR DAYS — working out the family tree of Lydia Chin’s Mississippi relations. Its importance to the story means it has to be right but gack it has driven me nuts. I think I’ve finally got it. In its reduced form (a number of branches that don’t make it into the story have been left out) here it is. Now I can get back to writing the damn thing.

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It’s the latest it’s the greatest it’s the Library

Anyone remember that jingle? It’s from so long ago I can’t even say when.  I’ve always been a big fan of libraries, especially the New York Public Library, my hometown system.  Never as much as now, however.  Because of construction in the apartment above me, I’ve been forced to flee and find other places to write.  That’s how I discovered Malcolm Gladwell’s café (no, he doesn’t own it, he just writes there) and some other fine spots around the city; but by far the best is the DeWitt Wallace Periodical Room at the 42nd Street Library.  The building where the reservoir used to be (there, a fact for free) with the lions, Patience and Fortitude, flanking the steps outside.  You sit here surrounded by other hard-working people — some of them actually reading periodicals — and by carved moldings, high windows, and frescoes of NYC buildings, with faux-marble frames.  What writer couldn’t get something done here?

 

photo 1(2)carved ceiling 30 feet above our heads

 

photo 2(1)high window and hard-working people

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fresco with faux-marble frame

 

Action scenes, action scenes, oh how I hate action scenes

I’m close to the end of my new Mongolia-set thriller.  I’ve got my six bad guys and five good guys all in the same place.  Now come the big confrontations, battles, deaths, heroic sacrifices, and finally the revelations of What It’s All Been About.

To do this I have to start separating these eleven people into small groups and showing each little confrontation, battle, death, and heroic sacrifice.  Otherwise it’s just one big confusing shoot-out with the reader waiting for the dust to clear.

Right now I’m working on two good guys and two bad guys on a hillside.  The bad guys have more guns but the good guys have more brains.  There’s a lot of climbing around on rocks.  Shooting, hitting, shooting, missing.  I think someone’s about to cut someone’s throat.  I hope so, because there are seven people to go and the author has a deadline here!