Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I firmly believe it is important to know your limitations. A friend of mine has as his signature: " 90% of being smart is knowing what you're dumb at." This is a very smart man, my friends. By knowing what you don't do well, you can avoid some of those lovely little moments in life when you end up looking like a complete idiot. Some not all. There will always be those that sneak up on you, but wouldn't be nice to be able to reduce the number?

A woman writer I know blogged today about the idea of identity theft and how could we possibly protect ourselves from this. Now Kelly Kirch has an incredibly inventive mind. If you've not read her blog or been following the epic saga she has been writing with Anny Cook and Amarinda Jones, you have missed some of the most outrageously creative work I've ever seen.

But back to my point. She included in her blog the idea that this would make an excellent plot for a story. It would. A wonderful plot. For someone else, not me. Such a story would by its very nature be a mystery. I suck at mysteries. Yep, I do. I can write action. I can write science fiction and fantasy, I can write romance and erotica. But not mystery. It's sad really, because I love mysteries. I used to devour The Mrs. Murphy Mysteries by Rita Mae Brown (until the last one that seemed like an excuse to use her new hobby of growing grapes as the plot for a book that was dull as dirt) and Lillian Jackson Braun's Koko was one brilliant cat until that series too, jumped the shark. Agatha Christie, Patricia Cornwell, Robin Cook, I love crime books with deeply logical plots and a good dab of science and fun.

But I can't write them. One of my works in progress is a fantasy piece that involves the stoic Captain of the Queen's Guard. In one chapter there is a bit of a mystery. A man the captain knows is accused of murder and it is neatly and quickly resolved. Despite this, my intrepid reviewers and workshop partners managed to rip holes in the chapter that made me want to cry.

I may one day have to write a fanfiction mystery. Yes, fanfiction. It is one of the best ways to learn elements of writing. I use it with my students. But that is a topic for another blog, and another day.

For excerpts, cool links and more information about Jacqueline Roth, visit

Please remember to check out Access Denied Now available from Cerridwen Press.

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