About Me

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May - 2016: Upcoming, I'll be participating in Desert Sleuth's Donald Maass Workshop. I'm afraid it sold out months ago, but if you have questions, contact me.

Apr - 2016: A 2nd Kami Short will release in the Malice Domestic anthology in Bethesda MD. I'll also be moderating a panel with authors Karen Pullen, Sue Cox, and Gretchen Archer. Don't miss the fun! I'll have special edition signed copies of the 1st Kami Short from the SinC - Desert Sleuth anthology to hand out for free.

Apr - 2016: An adult short story, Big Horn Mountain Carnivores, was selected as the adult category winner in the Tempe Community Writing Contest loosely associated with Arizona State University! The e- & print release where I read a portion of the story was the greatest fun. Thank you everyone who came by! Free download here (scroll to bottom): 

Aug - 2015: Politics of Chaos was released at an event attended by the awesome NYTimes best-selling author Sara Paretsky! Also, a flash fiction entitled, "Lightning" was 3rd runner up in the national 2015 Writers Police Academy's contest.

July - 2015: NYC FBI headquarters. Many thrilling authors were there, the presentations were fantastic, and the experience was a solid 15 on a 10 point scale. Thank you to the International Thriller Writers for inviting me. Thank you to the men and women of the FBI.

MAY - 2015: The Poisoned Pen submitted Chaos Theory for the 2015 Edgar's young adult novel award. Please note that submission is NOT a nomination. Still, it is an exciting development.

MAR - 2015:Tucson Festival of Books booksigning! Great time by all.

FEB - 2015: CHAOS THEORY, released by The Poisoned Pencil, an imprint of The Poisoned Pen Press - one of the nation's largest publishers of hard-back mysteries.

MAR - 2013: Meg was honored to receive a year long mentorship from author Jan Blazanin through the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators - Iowa. Ms. Blazanin praised Meg's multiple characters' distinct and age appropriate voices.

Her writing blog is located at megevonne.blogspot.com contains reviews and writing craft tools.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

So I'm giggling...

Someone I greatly respect posted this link on a forum that I frequent. *cough, cough..jim-butcher.com* It was so refreshing to see some simple honesty from the author who e-mailed the request and person who replied. Now I have a new blog to follow.

http://www.maxbarry.com/2010/05/25/news.html

Enjoy and as you're giggling, remember it's because we all know we could be the next to mess up the process, ruin a perfect opportunity, stumble in life--whatever. We're here for the ride, let's enjoy it folks!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hope in Palindrome Submission to AARP

Carol M, from across the pond sent me this. It's
a palindrome (no that isn't Sarah) and reads the same backward as
forward, with quite different conclusions! It was a video that was
submitted in a contest called, "u @ 50" sponsored by AARP. It won
second place. When they showed it, everyone in the room was awestruck
and broke into spontaneous applause. Brilliant, simple, true, and
ultimately full of hope.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42E2fAWM6rALove
Meg

Friday, May 14, 2010

Writing has No Free Lunch

A friend made a rather harsh comment on one of my forums. My friend was 100% correct in her opinions of another writer's work. I know she didn't mean to perhaps crush the other writer, but it certainly was a possibility. When I decided to perfect my writing craft, I didn't think that learning to judge other writers' levels in the process would be so important. It is. My response is below. Just a nice recap on what I think it takes to become a master of the writing craft.

Handing *** some coffee...

Liger, The writing craft takes time--a ton of time, usually over years, and it takes commitment. It takes a thick skin and a thicker skull while maintaining a brain that takes what it needs to learn from a variety of sources with a variety of opinions without prejudice.

Write, the rest will come--if you commit to extreme hard work and set easy but steady increases of complexity in learning goals you WILL LEARN the craft. First and foremost write for yourself. If your goal is solely on getting published, getting fame and fortune... Well, crank down the ego by six million and start over.

Write because you must to satisfy something within you whether others read it or not. If you're writing to find a cushy career, then there are tons of easier ways to do it.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Creative Mind

Interesting discussion on how the creative mind works based on a discussion with Harvard psychologist Shelley Carson. It concerned how to harness your brain state for optimum creativity. You can read the blog here, if you like and thank you to Livia Blackburne. I'm glad you decided to add me as a twitter pal! I'm going to enjoy your blog a great deal. http://blog.liviablackburne.com/2010/05/understanding-brain-states-for-optimum.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+LiviasBrainyWriterBlog+%28Livia+Blackburne%3A+A+Brain+Scientist%27s+Take+on+Creative+Writing+%29&utm_content=Twitter and her guest blog at http://www.problogger.net/archives/2010/05/09/how-to-make-sure-youre-functioning-at-your-creative-best/comment-page-1/#comment-4834153 and also at

I’ve been derided by some writers who’ve claimed I was either 1. a freak of nature, or 2. lying. I write in my sleep. It began with a determination to record and interpret dreams. Somewhere in the process I gained control and could direct my dreams (your first creativity mind set), while pulling freely from the subconscious ether of swirling ideas during free sleep.

The end result is a rich, unique solution to problem solving. It’s also a great way to free associate clues to find out, ‘who done it’.

As I head into sleep, I’ll focus on what scene I have coming up, or how to get my character out of the dilemma I’ve placed them. Frequently by morning I’ll have it worked out in my head. I’ll spend the day with it perking on the back burner and after my normal work, I can sit down and write it out.

I’m glad to see proof that I’m 1. not a freak of nature and 2. that there is proof that I am not lying!

Thanks for the reaffirmation! Meg

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pace/Tension Issues in Action Sequences

I'm setting up a crit page exchange with a local author and put together this short guideline on pace/tension issues to consider. Sort of a road map of items that I've learned. If it's helpful, let me know.

So in this action sequence, I’ve hit a lot of pacing problems, which just as well could be called tension problems. It’s not unusual in first drafts, but important to keep in mind.

1. Pace/tension requires complete control of what action happens where.
2. Motivations direct your action sequence. Make sure actions match your character's motivation in the scene and that the actions fall in logical sequence.
3. Chose the best, most descriptive, active verbs you can find to use and then place them where they will count in the sentence. Cut weak ones.
4. Never (all rules are made to be broken) use reported or telling in your writing but it’s a cardinal sin in action sequences. If you must, make it a conscious writer’s decision and keep it short.
5. Shifting POVs in action makes the reader work to decide what lens they are looking through and drags the reader out of the action unconsciously---slowing down the pace/tension. If you must, make it an easy shift for your reader wiht limited number of those shifts.
6. Tighten, tighten, tighten. Keep it simple. If 36 syllables can be accomplished in 14—go for it!
7. Generally shift to shorter and shorter sentences and paragraphs as you build the tension and increase the pace. Seek out actual white space in the print in action sequences and avoid areas of dark print in action. It mentally drags the reader down. These are like non-verbal body language that the mind picks up and interprets beneath the surface of thought.

And 8. In my reading experience, only the best (my favorite author, #1NYTimes Jim Butcher) can take these amazing philosophical side steps into the mind and make it work during action scenes. He uses it to tease us away with a wicked sense of humor and murderous planned reader abuse and, addicted, we love it, even as we beg him to get back to the action. (I think this applies to love/sex scenes too. He’s postponing the climax and we…yeah, you get the idea. LOL) At one point in a book, he pulls back from the tight hard action to give me like six ways that people experience hospitals or pain or types of fear and it works! I love his segues like that, but for the rest of us—we’d better keep to the straightforward action…