Karen Vaughan, Uncategorized, Writing Process

CAUTIONARY TALE OF WHY NOT TO WRITE WHEN STRESSED

Ok, so you are smack dab in the middle of participating in NaNoWriMo and things are going along tickityboo when suddenly there is a crisis in the family. What to do? Does the show really have to go on? My answer nope! Drop what ever crisis your character is experiencing–one character of a friend was stuck being suffocated by a pillow at the time of her loved ones emergency and may still be in limbo for all we know but the emphasis had to be on the family at the time. My personal crisis happened this year. My husband experienced critical episode this November. I had just reached 50k required to win the month but I had to put the book aside to tend to my husbands needs. He was hospitalized  so I had some time to finish the project when I wasn’t visiting him. Did I? No, I did not. 

So this brings me to the point that if you are dealing with such a crisis don’t even try to finish the book or whatever you’re writing. Ok maybe somebody has nerves of steel and can carry on. Not this girl. The muse has left the building. I don’t have any inclination to pick up the story until I know hubby is out of crisis. I have the time yes but I don’t think it would be a great ending to a story I poured my heart into, I want it to end with a bang or two so I am happy to leave the project til I can give it my all.

Do not feel guilty about leaving your characters in limbo. If they bitch tell them to suck it up and that you you’ll be back to deal with them. You need to do self care during this time so get rested and well fed. You will be glad you set the story aside when things are better.

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THAT SUMMER:MURDER AT CAMP SUMAC PART 13

karenwritesmurder

CAMP SUMACAcross town, Alf Cowling and Richard Beairsto had Tina Bouchard nee Willis in an interview room.

Tina sat there stoically “what’s this all about detectives?”

“The accident of May 18 of this year.” Cowling stated

“what about it?” Tina shrugged.

“You do realize you hit somebody with your car that day, right?”

“I did? How bad was it?” She deadpanned

Carolyn spoke up “Mrs. Bouchard, we have say you saw the person on the ground afterwords and just drove off.” He admonished

Tina was indignant “I did no such thing!”

“You did! Cut the crap!” Beairsto shouted in full bad cop mode.

“So, who was it that I supposedly hit. You are making it sound like a deliberate hit-and-run. You just get up every morning and say I’m going to mow down a total stranger!”

“Well it is what it is Mrs. Bouchard.” Beairsto commented

Tina huffed “no need to…

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Article, Karen Vaughan, Uncategorized

RESEARCH–IT’S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE OR IS IT? KAREN VAUGHAN THE LAZY WRITERS GUIDE TO RESEARCH

500715-129-636144621353792488_338x600_thumbPeople ask me how much research I put into a writing project. My answer, as little as possible. Why? Ok here goes. The bottom line is I am lazy. I’d never be able to write a historical novel as it takes too much time. 

I’m not saying I don’t research. I have done research for various projects. Here are some examples:

  • DEAD COMIC STANDING–I researched the City of Edmonton where the story took place. I researched where some landmarks where and main streets. 
  • LAURA & GERRY SERIES- I speak to cops about procedures. I researched different parts of Toronto.
  • JAMAICA DEAD—Looked at maps of the different places in jamaica I wanted to take my characters that I didn’t remember from a previous trip. I looked up Jamaican slang and talked to a friend whose significant other lived there about the patois the used.
  • HOLMES IN AMERICA-Looked up british slang and researched Manchester where my MC is from.

 

How I research.

So that it’s not a drag. Research can be done in many ways.

  • GOOGLE should be a writers best friend as is wikipedia. Gone are the days where you have to schlep your happy ass down to the library and pour over massive tomes of information. You may have to still use a library computer but it’s not as time consuming as looking through the stacks.
  • TALK TO FRIENDS WHO HAVE HAD EXPERIENCE WITH WHAT YOU ARE WRITING–I wrote about Florida for DAYTONA DEAD. My dear friend Dellani Oakes lives near Daytona Beach so she kindly let me pick her brain about the area. I also talked to a friend Kathie whose s.o at the time was Jamaican and they helped me with patois and jamaican expressions as well as places.
  • FOR MY LAURA AND GERRY SERIES/HOLMES IN AMERICA–I joined Cops & writers–a group on Facebook for people who write detective stories and Police Procedurals. The guy who leads the group is a police supervisor. He knows his stuff.
  • PERSONAL EXPERIENCE–You are the best source of info if you are writing about something u have done. For example: I went to Jamaica once with my first husband. We went to the Market in Montego Bay, Went to Fletchers beach for a party, climbed Dunns river falls etc. Sampled local restaurants near the resort. All this went into JAMAICA DEAD

As an aside, when I was learning about stand up comedy, I watched alot of Evening at the Improv. It helped with writing my routine and those in DEAD COMIC STANDING. My experience with standup has helped with writing all my stories as every one of them has sarcastic humor in it.

See It doesn’t have to be soul crushing torture! My pal Viv loves research as a part of her writing journey and that’s great. Others not so much but if you make it fun it can take the sting out of the hours you may spend on researching your project.

humor, Karen Vaughan, Sassy Sarcasm, Uncategorized

LET’S EXAMINE LITERARY INSULTS

WARNING MATURE LANGUAGE

 

FROM BRIDGET JONES DIARY BY HELEN FIELDING

bridget jones

OUCH!

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky.

dostoevsky

 

 

DON’T KNOW WHAT HE MEANT BY THAT BUT I WOULDN’T WANT TO BE THE SUBJECT OF THAT INSULT!

 

 

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

revolutionary road

DELIVERED WITH SUCH A SWEET SMILE I BET

 

 

 

 

ONE MORE FOR THE ROAD?

HERE GOES!

Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut.

kurt vonnegut

WELL SAID SIR, WELL SAID

 

 

 

 

 

SOURCE:12 LITERARY INSULTS TO MAKE YOU WEEP 

BONUS MATERIAL

BRITISH SLANG –A RECENT GUEST ON MY RADIO SHOW WANTED TO KNOW WHERE I GOT MY INFORMATION FOR SLANG IN HOLMES IN AMERICA

SOURCE: GOOGLE–IT HAS EVERYTHING

Image result for british slang words

 

Flash Fiction, Karen Vaughan

RANDOM ACTS OF DIALOGUE–STEVE AND PENNY BY KAREN VAUGHAN

Dialogue in any book is great storytelling.  Right after the hook to reel the reader in, dialogue is mover and shaker of any novel.

Dickens might have argued that narration and flowery descriptions were the backbone.  However, I beg to differ with him.

 

I thought of this scene were two former lovers meet again after 30 years.

Setting: a seedy bar in the downtown area of Toronto.

 

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Characters: Stephen Tiller and Penny Lane.

Steve walked in the pennies hideaway to hear the opening strains of sultans of swing what surprised him the most was that Penny herself was belting out the tune and she was nailing it.  He grabbed the table close to the stage so she would notice him.

 

There were too many patrons in the joint so he just sat back and enjoyed the show.

After the fact was done.  The meagre members of the audience applauded and Penny spotted him.  Coming over, she stood in front of the table.

 

Penny : what brings you here?

Steve: the cold wind!  How are you babe?

Penny: who told you I was here?  By the way, you lost the right to call me baby years ago.

Steve: a little bird.  Why so secretive?

Penny: I’ll tell you after you tell me who it was who sent you here.  It was Carmen wasn’t it?

 

Steve nodded.

Penny: some birds need to be shot!

Steve: don’t blame Carmen I beat out of him.

Penny: still, I made him swear on his sweet Nona’s grave that my location was to remain a national secret.

Steve: who are you running from Penny?

Penny: the crazy ex-wife of my last boyfriend.

Steve: last boyfriend?  What happened to Chris?

Penny: he blew his liver out.  I always said Jack Daniels would kill him one day, but like a typical man.  He wasn’t listening.

Steve snorted and then said, “I can’t remember if you ever singing like that.  What happened to that sweet voice?”

Penny: Two rounds of thyroid surgery to get the cancer out.  I can no longer warble like Stevie Nicks.  These days I can channel Mark Knopfler on a good day.

Steve: and on a bad day?

Penny: Keith Richards!

Steve laughed again.  “I see you haven’t lost your sense of humor.

Penny: oh, I save the comedy for the nights I can’t sing it all.  You should hear my Joe Cocker impersonations they bring the house down.

With that she croaked the first few bars of you are so beautiful.  Steve got the picture.

 

Steve: So tell me about the crazy bitch.

Penny: oh, you’ll love this one.  She claimed she was still married to Chris and think she was incredible to the inheritance I got when he died.  She wants her money or wants to kill me.  Good luck to her.  I gave it to a registered charity.  After I bought the bar.

Steve: You didn’t have any kids to leave it to?

Penny: oh, we had kids, but none of the little whelps deserved it.  As soon as they were old enough to leave home.  They never called us once except for – for money and then they went wasted it.  I was not about to handout good money after bad.  Four boys and a girl and not one of them lifted a finger to help me when their father was dying so to hell with them!

 

Steve: wow.  Sounds like a bunch of ingrates.  You’re probably well rid of the men, but I bet your life is lonely.

Penny: lonely my ass.  I’m 55 years old.  I’m the happiest I’ve been in years.  I’m going to live my life as I see fit.

Steve: well Penny I wish you all the luck in the world you deserve happiness.

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THAT SUMMER:MURDER AT CAMP SUMAC

karenwritesmurder

downloadAlf and Rich called us after dinner and wanted to come over. They had information or Janet Parsons you Willis and Donna Brown.

Patrick and I welcomed the men an hour later and since it was a nice night we decided to sit on the patio and share a picture of lemonade.

“So,” I said, but curious, “what did you find out?”

Aft decided to speak first “the people you mentioned from the dreams you are having are quite real.”

“You, and there I thought I was losing it.” I chuckled

Al shook his head “no. I even talked to the psychologist music department about the situation. She agreed it was common for amnesia victims to experience repressed memories will not be able to remember their present lives.” He explained

Rich spoke up this time “give it time Carolyn. It’ll come back to you.”

I nodded but said “it’s so…

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THAT SUMMER: MURDER AT CAMP SUMAC PART 8

karenwritesmurder

downloadI woke up the next morning with renewed energy, a feeling that my fault was lifting. While I didn’t remember a lot of my present still, I wasn’t afraid. I could feel better for me and I’m grateful that he is here supporting me. I know he wants his wife back but he’s been pacing.

In the kitchen, the nurse/home worker was making breakfast for me. If I were myself, I’m not sure I’d want another woman falling around my kitchen but things being what they are I accepted it. “Good morning” I said cheerfully.

She looked at me and smiled “hi, I’m Mandy. I’ll be here this morning and for lunch. Your husband said he was teaching summer school this morning and then he has a football meeting and you’ll be home by 2 PM.

I nodded my things and said “so, what’s up the agenda today Mandy?”

She…

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humor, Karen Vaughan, Mystery, Uncategorized

A SCENE FROM OVER HER DEAD BODY LEENA THROWS THE MOTHER OF ALL HISSY FITS!!!!

karen-ohdb-with-blurb.jpgI love writing fun scenes and this was one of my faves from OVER HER DEAD BODY (LAURA & GERRY  BK 2)

Laura and Gerry have been invited to a fancy dinner by their new friend Sandford Brown a.k.a Sandy. He didn’t invite the little woman and man is she pissed off!

Just when we were enjoying our aperitifs, in came Leena, screeching at the top of her lungs, displaying the lack of class I knew she possessed.  

“Where is he?” She was yelling at the concierge.

 

“Ma’am, you can’t go in there!”

 

“Don’t you ma ‘am me, and get your slimy paws of my dress, its Dolce and Gabana, pervert! Where’s the old coot?”

 

Call me a bitch but I love watching other women have tantrums. It brings them to a less than superior stance, and shows their baser catty natures. I may be a girl, but nonetheless hissy fits are highly entertaining.

Leena came strutting in, wearing a frock that did nothing to accent her sagging chest.

“Ha!” she yelled, “I might have known you’d be with these two low lifes!”

I felt a growl come up and tried to resist the urge to claw her eyes out. Gerry grabbed my arm – my good one I might add.  He whispered in my ear something about her not being worth a trip to the big house and that I looked hideous in orange.  Damned if he wasn’t right!

Sandy was fuming at his wife’s tirade.  

“Leena,” he said, “I don’t recall asking you to come along.”

“And no wonder!” she retorted, “Schmoozing with the help or going for a threesome?”

“That’s quite enough Leena!!!!  Be quiet!!!”

“No frickin’ way, I want to know why I was excluded from this tête-à-tête. What’s so important that you schlepped all the way up here?”

“If I thought you really needed to be a party to this you would have been included.  So turn around, go back home and we will discuss your behavior when I get home.”

“Fine.  But you’d better not be hiring these two as grounds help. If the way they take care of the building they run is any indication, they won’t last a week.”

It was Gerry’s turn to grit his teeth, and start growling homicidal threats at the broad. 

My only retort was to remind him prison stripes weren’t his style either and smile.

 

After Leena decided to leave on her own steam, we resumed our dinner meeting. We all agreed that the foundation was a fantastic idea and went on to celebrate with more champagne and no more mention of the gold-digging sponge.

OVER HER DEAD BODY IS AVAILABLE AT AMAZON

BUY ME HERE!!!!

COMING SOON AS AN AUDIO BOOK

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THAT SUMMER: MURDER AT CAMP SUMAC

karenwritesmurder

downloadI woke to discover it was late afternoon. I got up and made it out to the kitchen.

“Hey, look who’s away! Patrick stated. He was standing at the sink preparing dinner

. “Yeah, sorry I slept so long.” I said as I sat down at the table

“no worries carry. You must’ve needed it. I took the liberty to start dinner. I’m really chops and baking spots also made a salad.”

“Woohoo, a man who cooks. I like it!” I chuckled

“I’m king of the grill. I even have the teacher to prove it. You bought it for me with the kids were younger and can’t believe it still fits.” He said patting his belly.”

“Funny, so, am I a good cook?”

“You do well in the kitchen and no one has died yet I guess that’s a plus.” He said winking at me

I smirked. “Good to know. So…

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THAT SUMMER: MURDER AT CAMP SUMAC PART 6

karenwritesmurder

download

A week later, I was home as promised. Looking up at the stairs to the upper floor, I realized Patrick was right I’d never make it.

He led me to the den and I looked around. It had a a loveseat with a recliner at one end. In the corner, there was a sofa bed already made up. The loveseat faced a 50 inch screen television. The room itself is nicely appointed with one furniture and jewel toned accents. Patrick informed me that I had designed it. I was impressed with my work

. Suddenly, I felt tired and Patrick sensed it.

“You need a nap Carrie?” He inquired

I nodded “yeah, maybe arrest would be good.

“Do you want to lie down on the bed?”

I shook my head “no, the recliner is fine. I’m going to take a pain killer and sleep a while maybe if I put…

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