Was it murder--or something serious?
Philip Marlow in Murder, My Sweet

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Why, Where Am I?

It's a very strange feeling to try and resume an authorial persona you've essentially discarded and moved away from. That was my feeling this last week as I began sorting through an email box I hadn't touched in nearly three years (heck, I barely look at my regular email anymore either) and began setting up social networks.

I never actually intended to abandon "Diana Killian." Or did I? I tired of the cozy mystery thing very early on. Not the books themselves...well, be honest. Yes. The books themselves for the most part, though there are still wonderful writers here and very amusing stories of chefs and wine tasters and ordinary moms who fall into extraordinary circumstances. Extraordinary circumstances like...murder.

My writing had gone in such a different direction--I direction I found more meaningful as well as challenging.

But what I am sorry about is losing contact with readers and with losing contact with so many of my writing friends. It's like moving to a new school in a different state. No matter how fond you are of everyone, your life has changed and there really isn't any going back.

Yet here I am. I'm back. Why?

 Frankly, because that other writing world has proved too narrow, too insular...and because it is my nature to move on. I believe I'm starting to tug at the roots and look for the next thing to write about -- the writing being the only constant in my literary travels.

But it is an odd, almost entertaining thing to be a rock star in one corner of the publishing universe, and to be virtually invisible in another. I'm frankly enjoying it, enjoying operating in relative solitude. I can say just about anything at this point, and no one will hear. I'm building my Diana Killian writing career from something very close to scratch. I left all my blogs, abandoned my discussion lists, heck, I didn't even open email for nearly three years.

 The touching thing is that people continued to write me during that time. Touching and horrifying because of course the intention was never to ignore these readers and others--I think I sort of felt like a child does, that when I left the room, the room ended. :-D

So anyway, I'm back. I'm not ready to full participate again, yet, and I don't know where my writing will lead me this time,but I'm enjoying the journey--as I always enjoy my writing journeys.

And I hope eventually a few of you will join me on that journey. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

licensd thru shutterstock
The Vinegar Man


The crazy old Vinegar Man is dead! He never had missed a day before!
Somebody went to his tumble-down shed by the Haunted House and forced the door.

There in the litter of his pungent pans,
the murky mess of his mixing place
Deep, sticky spiders and empty cans
with the same old frown on his sour old face.


Vinegar - Vinegar - Vinegar Man!
Face - us - and - chase - us - and - catch - if -you - can!
Pepper for a tongue! Pickle for a nose!

Stick a pin in him and vinegar flows!
Glare -at-us- swear -at-us- catch - if - you-can!
Ketchup - and - chow - chow - and -Vinegar -Man!


Nothing but recipes and worthless junk;
greasy old records of paid and due
But down in the depths of a battered trunk,
a queer, quaint Valentine torn in two?

Red hearts and arrows and silver lace,
and a prim, dim, ladylike script that said
"With dearest love, from Ellen to Ned!"


Steal - us - and - peel - us - and - drown - us -in - brine!
He pickles his heart in a valentine!
Vinegar for blood! Pepper for his tongue!
Stick a pin in him and
...once he was young!

Glare -at-us- swear -at-us- catch - if - you - can!
"With dearest love" to the Vinegar Man!


Dingy little books of profit and loss
(died about Saturday, so they say),
And a queer, quaint valentine torn across . . .

torn, but it never was thrown away!
"With dearest love from Ellen to Ned"

"Old Pepper Tongue! Pickles his heart in brine!"
The Vinegar Man is a long time dead:

he died when he tore his valentine.


by Ruth Comfort Mitchell