The Strange Twisting of the Universe That Made Me a Mystery Writer

Posted: September 29, 2011 in Uncategorized
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For as much as I’ve always loved mysteries, I never thought I’d be writing one.  How on earth do all those mystery writers come up with those ideas?  What do I know about poisons and police procedures?  I never thought I could be so clever.

Then came one of those odd synchronicities that the Universe knows how to so cleverly deliver to us when we are least expecting it.  I bought an iPad.  For a ton of reasons, including that they are just so cool.  I’m a gadget lover.  Can’t help it.  It’s in my blood.  I inherited it from my father, and my grandfather.  My youngest brother caught the sickness, too.  It’s a good thing he lives on the other side of the country or we’d both be poor trying to out gadget each other.

Anyway, I bought an iPad.  One of the reasons I wanted it was to keep a journal.  Since I can’t read my own writing (seriously, I can’t no matter how carefully I write, and when you write carefully you lose your train of thought).  So I wanted something I could type on.  A tool that was light (relatively…. I need an iPad 2 for the lightness thing) and portable that would save files in a format that I could use in Word or something like that.  I wanted a tool that would save to Dropbox wirelessly, too, so I could back up my writings easily.  (Have I mentioned I’m a geek?  My day job is in software development.)  Laptops are too big and clunky and have no battery life.  The iPad met all those criteria.  It took me f-o-r-e-v-e-r to talk Cee (my partner of almost 23 years) to find the money in the budget.

So iPad in hand, I searched for a good app, and I found it in Chapters.  I love Chapters.  It’s perfect for journalling and the developer is a great guy.  Very responsive to his customers.  In his blog he mentioned that someone had used Chapters to win NaNoWriMo.  Googling that opened up a whole new world to me.  NaNoWriMo is the National Novel Writing Month.  You can read all about it at NaNo’s website.  If you’ve ever had a secret desire to write, NaNo is for you.  You have to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November.  1667 words per day for 30 days.  You write full steam, no holds barred, and just crank out the content.  The point is to silence your inner critic and force you to do the impossible, write your novel without prejudice or constant editing.

When I told a friend, Melissa, about it, she said, “Oh, are you going to make it a mystery?”  A mystery had been the farthest thing from my mind.  I was going to do a baby-boomer-coming-of-middle-age story where the heroine wakes up one day to find she has become the most boring person on the planet.   But Melissa had thrown down the gauntlet.  The idea was too tempting to pass up.  So now I’m writing a novel about a heroine who is the most boring person in the world, until she gets sucked into a swirl of suicide, murders and some serious high finance shenanigans.  But I can’t tell you any more than that.  I’d hate to spoil the surprise ending.

That’s how I became a mystery writer.

Now all I have to do is figure out how to be one.  Speak to me again, Universe!  Sock it to me!

  1. Cee Neuner says:

    It’s been a lot of fun watching you get excited about writing your novel!! I’m totally enjoying your enthusiasm!! And, of course, I’m looking forward to reading it!

  2. […] NaNoWriMo begins in a month.  (If you missed yesterday’s blog you can read about NaNoWriMo there.)  I’ve been thinking about it all last month when I decided to join the challenge.  […]

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