Deus ex Machina and Silly Women

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Two things I hate in a novel: Plots that turn on highly intelligent perceptive women doing obviously dangerous and/or stupid things. The other is a Deus ex Machina ending. And I hate them even more when they show up in a mystery. And I hate them MUCH, MUCH MORE when it’s a really well-written mystery. And this just happened to me.* And I was so excited about figuring it out. Then about 25 pages before the end, the antagonist went into a two-page monologue filling in most of the blanks and the MC went back into the house with him even though she knew he was going to try to kill her. End of rant.

*I won’t mention the author’s name but it rhymes with Flanya Mensch.

Not Your Average Reading

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You know how it goes. Bookstore owner gives author glowing introduction. Author reads. Author takes questions. Not when Julie Berry is the author. She opened the program by playing a portion of the Beethoven Pathetique Sonata and Maple Leaf Rag on a keyboard. Between the reading and Q&A she played and sang more songs. So go buy her book and attend one of her readings. The End.

Critiquing my new Critique group*

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Here are some reasons I love my new critique group.

  1. It’s small, and we can get through everything in 90 minutes.
  2. Nobody gets defensive (which helps with #1).
  3. I agree with 90% of their comments**
  4. We all live within a relatively short ride of each other***

I hope they also bring good snacks, but that might be too much happiness.

*With apologies to my old ones, because they were also quite wonderful.

**So they are clearly brilliant and insightful.

***Unless it’s rush hour, because, you know, Northern Virginia.

In re business calls

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Writers, do you believe the woman sitting next you making business calls on her cell for over an hour in your favorite coffee/writing spot should get a life sentence without hope of parole?*

*Rhetorical question