Michael and Sharon – Muskie and Murder presentation June 27. Shane Joseph photo.
Muskie and Murder with Michael Robert Dyet (Muskie) and me, Sharon A. Crawford (Murder) made its debut presentation last evening at S. Walter Stewart Library. It was my East End Writers’ Group’s second event for 2018. Although I was disappointed in the small number of people who attended (probably to inaccurate weather forecasts for torrential rain) those of us there were really engaged in the presentation. I’m not talking just Michael and I and our guest speaker, Shane Joseph (editor at Blue Denim Press – our publisher), but the whole audience of writers and readers.
There was a continual conversation going on among all of us and I think we learned a lot. I know I did.
Using four different set-ups, we were all looking at what Michael so aptly titled The War between Literary Fiction and Mystery Fiction. We discussed questions dealing with plot and characters in both and not only discovered there is both in both types of fiction, but we found out we all read more than one or the other. Margaret Atwood (she of Alias Grace and The Handmaidens Tale) and Stephen King (Pet Cemetery,The Shining, The Outsider) entered the conversation – at least their names and writings did. So did memoirs – another “M” area of writing. Perhaps we should add Memoir to future presentations?
Then Shane asked Michael and I questions on plot and characters and then he asked us how often do we write and do we write regularly.
Not as often or regularly as we would like. The other stuff of life (Michael’s day job, my teaching writing and editing, the garden, and house problems ), all took up necessary time. But there are a lot of other things in our lives that can be pruned or purged and some of what is still there can be manouvered somewhat.
Michael and I read parts from our books based on a theme (not telling what – we want to use it at more presentations).
And then it was skit time. Michael played Norah Watson from “Slipstream”, the novella in Hunting Muskie and I played PI Dana Bowman (although Dana might argue about the latter as she thinks she wrote Beyond Faith and is a separate person. Hmm.) Norah had reluctantly hired Dana to find a missing family member, but Norah and Dana are like oil and water.
You can imagine how that went. If not you’ll have to catch a Muskie and Murder presentation in the fall.
PI Dana Bowman and Norah Watson. Shane Joseph photo.
Meantime, this whole presentation, particularly what the writers and readers in the audience said, has inspired me to get back on my creative writing track. Not just writing book promo blurbs and the like, but my own M and M – Mystery and Memoir. I remembered that I used to always write at least two afternoons a week – Friday was sacrosanct for my creative writing, with Wednesday afternoon another one.
Earlier this year I started the fourth Beyond mystery book, started another rewrite of a black noir mystery short story, and returned to my memoir writing – both the book and some shorter pieces for possible magazine publication.
And anyone who dares interfere with my writing time, let’s just say it could mean “murder”.
Well, between the book covers.
Do you write regularly?
How do you do it?
Sharon A. Crawford
The Mystery half of Muskie and Murder.
Michael and Sharon with Muskie and Murder. Shane Joseph photo.