Writing

Freelance/Feature Writing

As a long time food writer and farm girl, I’ve long held a passion for sharing what I know whether it’s about wine, farm-to-table meat, and artisanal cheeses or my city’s culture and the arts.  Even better, I enjoy writing profiles of the people who produce, grow, and create these tasty treats.  A longtime blogger, I’ve written for Indianapolis Monthly, Dine magazine, Midwest Living, and NUVO.  As a long-time food judge for Dine, I’ve judged everything from pizza to pie to quiche to soups.  And in my capacity as a publishing professional, I’ve written on education, platforms, and author success.

An experienced contributor, I’m comfortable reporting, following style guidelines, and meeting deadlines.

Food/Wine:

Arts and Culture

Publishing and Authors

Fiction —  Dakota Stone Untitled #1 and #2

While 2014 was a tough ride from a family perspective, 2015 was a year when I was finally able to breathe.  Even so, I faced entirely different challenges as my sister and I renovated our family home and sorted though 50+ years of our parents’ life.  However, 2015 was also the year I started to realize I could create again.  Broken, stressed, lost and exhausted, I found writing was something I could do over many hours on airplanes, in airports and between hotels.  It was a mental activity to plot a book, make notes, research forensics, and put words on paper.  At first, it was a way to feel I was making progress on something, anything in my life.  Later, it was a learning experience and a reminder that I could create something that meant sometime — if only to me.  Having spent my entire career in non-fiction publishing, writing fiction was something wholly new and wholly foreign to me.   I’ll always appreciate Dakota and Jacquie for helping me out.  (I also often curse them for making revisions and later plots points so difficult!) (As an agent friend of mine said: “Every editor thinks they can write a novel. They can’t.”)

But after all that work, I made something!  The first book — Dakota Stone Untitled #1 — is nearly revised and Dakota Stone Untitled #2 (Screwed) is underway.  A friend recently said to me “you need to make it real” and for me, it’s real when it’s out there, not just living on my laptop but announced to the world.  So, here we go, I’m saying it out loud.  It’s real!

Who Is Dakota Stone?

Genre: Mystery

Synopsis  Dakota Stone Untitled #1

After a career of undercover work in the FBI, someone wants Dakota Stone to retire.  When you’re pushing fifty, winning a knife fight isn’t as easy as it used to be.  So when Special Agent Stone finds himself set up by someone inside the Bureau, he seeks outside help from former flame Jacquie Daniels. As the bodies pile up along with the international intrigue, Daniels, a former prosecutor turned wealthy widow, is only too happy to help, even when the killers get too close for comfort.  From Italy to Indiana, these two realize it’s time to re-examine their lives as one fights betrayal and the other boredom.  Readers will enjoy a fresh take on the genre as Dakota and Jacquie find that life and work aren’t worth dying for.

Synopsis  Dakota Stone #2 — Screwed (working title)

When Jacquie’s personal attorney turns up dead in a Chicago hotel room, alarm bells start ringing when police find he’s been murdered with a rare, antique corkscrew in his ear. Luckily,  Jacquie knows exactly who to ask for help.  Infiltrating the world of wine collectors, Dakota Stone is quickly up to his neck in intrigue when Jacquie rescues him — again.  As the bodies pile up, they follow a shady criminal underground from France to Istanbul.  And who knew escaping from an old cemetery in Croatia could help them discover just what matters more in life — work, love or staying alive.

I had some help along the way:

  • Nanowrimo.org — Huge props to Nanowrimo.org for keeping writers like me moving.  I’ve participated in several rounds of November as National Novel Writing Month and also Camp Nanowrimo in April and July.  If you thinking writing and these sorts of free group endeavors are important, become a supporter.  You’ll make a difference!
  • Scrivener — Not every writer loves Scrivner from Literature and Lattes, but if you’re writing a novel and need a place for notes, note cards, storyboards, and trackable characters, plus photos, research, and web links, Srivener is the robust software you need.  It’s a little difficult to map in your mind at first, so take advantage of the tutorials you’ll find online. You can draft in the program or draft externally.  Either way, you’ll find it invaluable, especially if you’re working on academic works or series writing.

Want to know more about my writing or Dakota Stone? Contact me and ask!

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