I Have A Patreon!

I’ve wanted to create a Patreon for two years, and just this week I finally did it! What stopped me in the past? I couldn’t think of unique rewards that patrons would want from me. After I hosted The Writer’s Edge Patreon for Writers discussion with Ksenia Anske, Robert Sawyer, Lucy A. Snyder, William Bernhardt, and Jason Sizemore, my brain finally started working outside the box. The very next day I created my Patreon page!

Click here to see it!

The monthly reward levels are $1, $3, $8, $15, and $25. Each reward level includes rewards from the level before it, and all levels include early access to my pre-recorded videos.

  • I’m offering weekly original haikus for just $1 a month that you’ll see before they appear in my upcoming haiku book. Sneak peeks for almost nothing!
  • $3 gets you all manner of updates, including writing updates, a look into my research (there’s a free one of these up on my page now!), scans from my writing journals, and more. These are for your eyes only, they won’t be shared elsewhere.
  • $8 includes a once a week movie chat in either written or video format. You’ll find out about movies you may never have heard of, and if you’re a writer, you’ll see the way the characters were built, how suspense was created, and more. I have a free one of these up right now about the movie All My Sons, where I talk about what it did really well and the strategy used to slowly roll out the drama. These posts will be similar to my blog posts about Humoresque and The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry—only now they’ll be on Patreon only…and regularly!
  • At the $15 level, once a month you can send me your book blurb to critique and/or help you refine your pitch.
  • For $25 per month, you’ll get all my books and short stories for free digitally. You’ll also get upcoming ones for free digitally! I’ll share with you never before seen deleted scenes as well as the scenes I didn’t end up writing and why, and more.

I made sure to include suggestions from my Facebook friends, and thank you so much to them for their helpful input! Head on over to my Patreon page and see what I’ve got up already. I’m excited to share much more with you as my generous patron!

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Shadow of a Doubt…About Loose Ends

Alfred Hitchcock is a master of suspense as well as a wonderful director; that part of the 1943 movie Shadow of a Doubt isn’t in question. But an unfortunate loose end is. Hitchcock didn’t write this screenplay, so we can put him aside as having committed no crime. Whew!

Actually, this movie was very good, and if you get the chance to see it, it’s worth a watch. Classic suspense. I have only one complaint: an unfortunate loose end.

We’ve got a situation in which Charlotte, nicknamed Charlie after her Uncle Charlie, is deathly bored at home. So of course when Uncle Charlie comes to visit, she’s all excited. He’s that interesting, well-traveled, generous type of uncle who likes to spoil his nieces and nephews. But Uncle Charlie starts acting very oddly, and unfortunately for Charlie, she catches on to his strange behavior a little too quickly, even pointing it out to him and guessing at what secret he might be hiding.

At some point during the movie, as suspicions rise about Uncle Charlie’s possible link to major crimes (no spoilers here!), deadly things start to happen to Charlie. By this time, Charlie is sure she knows the truth about her uncle. So when a stair breaks as she’s going down it, and then the family car is left running in a closed garage with no key in the ignition and she gets trapped inside, it all seems a bit coincidental with Uncle Charlie’s behavior and attitude.

Here’s where the loose end jumps in. Charlie’s mother—and Uncle Charlie’s sister, Emma—pauses after the car incident and realizes that Charlie’s “accidents” aren’t a coincidence and could’ve killed her. This is a super important moment since she has recognized a pattern: “I just don’t understand it. First the stairs, and then the…” The car drives away while she’s still contemplating.

Well, Emma’s realization gets completely dropped and never picked up again. Why bother having her recognize these non-coincidences unless she’s going to do something about them or draw a conclusion that affects the story? There are two ways this could have been fixed:

  1. Eliminate her realization. I’m sure the writers put it in there in the first place because…why wouldn’t Emma put two andEmma's moment of realization. two together? But at the same time, she has been proven relatively simple throughout the movie, taking everything at face value, never asking for details, and heavily relying on her daughter to make decisions instead of making them herself. In that way, it’s plausible that she really wouldn’t connect the dots, especially since she loves Uncle Charlie so much.
  2. It was stated a few times that if Uncle Charlie left and went home, Emma’s heart would be broken. Solution number two could be the following: when Uncle Charlie announces he’s cutting his visit short, instead of Emma predictably becoming very upset (which is also illogical since she clearly recognizes a pattern to her daughter’s near-death experiences), she could show no reaction or even agree that it’s a good idea, then pointedly look at her daughter to prove she’s in the know. That would lead cleanly to the final scene with Uncle Charlie…watch the movie and you’ll know why. 

Know anyplace looking for old movie critics? Because I’m ready to take my critiques GLOBAL! No? For now, I’ll just keep posting them here.

Love old movies? Like my Facebook page, Black & White Movies at Midnight!

I LEFT THE CORPORATE WORLD!

And no, I didn’t take another job! As of today, I’m officially running my editing business, Proof Positive, full time and dedicating more time to my writing. I never thought this day would come, but it finally has. Here’s a quick video talking about this difficult decision.

Thanks to everyone for supporting me along the way in my corporate, editing, and author journeys. I’m so grateful to my family, friends, colleagues, and fellow indie authors.

I have a number of announcements to make in the near future, updates about my publishing schedule, and changes across my social media—all things that were just waiting until I got the chance to live my dream 24/7. I can’t wait to share more news with you soon!

International Women’s Day: 19th Century Feats and Real Rosie the Riveters

Happy International Women’s Day, everyone! Today is a day to celebrate the incredible feats of women and the fight our ancestors put up for our rights. The 19th century is rife with examples of women making huge strides that had ripple effects all the way through to this very day. Here are some wonderful things you may not have know about American 19th century women, plus some real pictures of Rosie the Riveters from World War II—these pictures are hard-hitting far beyond the famous poster we all know.

19th Century Women’s Rights Advancements You May Not Know

1824   The very first time in history that women workers went on strike was in Pawtucket, Rhode Island when the mill they worked for announced a 25% wage cut for them and a one-hour workday extension for everyone. Children and men also joined the strike, and in a little over a week the mill owners caved.

1825   The first women-only union was formed: The United Tailoresses of New York.

1845   After several strike attempts and unfortunate fails that cost them cut wages, women cotton mill workers formed the Female Labor Reform Association in Lowell, Massachusetts. They fought for better conditions in the mills, including safety and sanitation, and to reduce the work day from 12-13 hours a day to 10. They even opened more chapters of their group in other mill towns. You can read more about their hard fight here.

1869   The Daughters of St. Crispin was formed in Lynn, Massachusetts as the first national union of women workers.

1881   Nearly 3,000 African American women laundresses held one of the most extraordinary strikes ever in the south. Taking place in Atlanta, Georgia, these women gathered so much support that they could have shut the city down. What did they want? Respect in the post-Civil War south—and $1 per twelve pounds of wash. Learn more about this groundbreaking strike here.

1888   A law that requires women doctors for female patients in mental institutions was finally gained by suffragettes. There was quite a lot of physical abuse by male doctors of female patients in asylums throughout the 19th century, so this was a major win for women’s health.

1899   Florence Kelley becomes president of the newly formed National Consumers League with the goals of women consumers fighting for better working conditions and laws to protect women workers.

Real Rosie the Riveters

Two of the most famous Rosie images are the one on the left by J. Howard Miller in 1942 (hired by Westinghouse, the company both my grandparents worked for!) and the one on the right by Norman Rockwell for the cover of the Saturday Evening Post in 1943.

As powerful as these classic images are, they don’t come close to seeing real women working what were considered men’s jobs back in the day. Have a look at these inspiring images of real Rosies—welders, airplane repairwomen, arms workers, mechanics, engineers, and of course that’s just the start.

And who’s that in the reddish picture? Marilyn Monroe before she was a movie star! That’s right, Monroe worked at a Radioplane munitions factory when she was discovered!

I hope this gives you some facts and images you didn’t know and hadn’t seen before! Happy International Women’s Day!

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Announcement: I have a publicist!

I’m so excited to tell you I was just signed by a publicist, someone I have collaborated with for a while now: Creative Edge! Some of you may recognize this name – they have sponsored The Writer’s Edge and brought on phenomenal authors who I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing. Now I’m fortunate enough to be a part of the Creative Edge family! Having a publicist is an amazing next step in my writing career, and I’m very proud to be part of such a killer team. You’ll be seeing me in lots more places soon!

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Win Signed Dark Victoriana Collection Paperbacks!

Enter to win signed paperback copies of Anatomy of a Darkened Heart and Locke and Keye on Goodreads! One of each is available in their own giveaways below, and they both end January 24, 2018. Good luck!


Giveaway ends January 24, 2018.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

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Goodreads Book Giveaway

Giveaway ends January 24, 2018.

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How to Ruin an Ending in One Easy Move

The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry (1945) was a fantastic movie. Heartbreaking, suspenseful, psychological. Yes, one hour and 15 minutes of it was great. The last 5 minutes, however, were horrendous. You see, this movie suffered from Cop-out Ending Disorder, and it ruined the entire thing.

Spoilers are included in this post, but don’t worry. If you watch the movie, you’ll be so confused by the ending that only the final screen’s warning will hint at what actually happened. “In order that your friends may enjoy this picture, please do not disclose the ending.” That was the only thing that told me the filmmakers hadn’t gone crazy. I had to really think about what on earth I just watched and only then did I finally understand. That’s when I got really annoyed.

Imagine you spend time writing a deep, sometimes slightly disturbing psychological suspense movie script. You write it all the way to the end and you have two choices: (1) satisfy moviegoers with something that fits the rest of the movie or (2) show that none of the intensity that led to the ending ever happened. That’s right, 30 minutes worth of movie were for naught. And somehow, for some unfortunate reason, Universal Pictures decided that #2 was the ending for them.

Even while you’re watching the bad ending, you think you know where it’s going. You think the main character has gone insane and it’ll end on a fittingly disconcerting note, slightly creepy and still within the movie code (in this time period, movies had to adhere to a movie code where everyone gets their just desserts, essentially). But no. It turns out none of the most satisfyingly dark stuff ever happened and everything is okay and everyone lives happily ever after. In other words, they’ve chosen the dream trope. Oh, thank goodness it was only my imagination!

I don’t know about you, but the disappointment in this kind of cop-out forces me to hate the movie as a whole and want to rewrite it with the much better ending it should been given the dignity to have. If you, reader of my blog, are a writer, please don’t do this to me or to your book. It’s not fair to your readers, your characters, or your writing in general. Do something with your ending that will satisfy and, if possible, surprise. It’s 100% worth the effort to come up with something that is, at the very least, appropriate to the rest of the story. If readers remember your book based on the last thing they read, your ending had better make the whole experience worth it.

That’s my editorial rant for the day.