4.5.2016 Journal Prompt
April 5, 2016: We never got along.
→Sorry, friends, for my absence. Traveling and battling the flu. ~PMc←
10.26.2015 Journal Prompt
October 26, 2015: There were better times.
9.29.2015 Journal Prompt
September 29, 2015: The first time I…
8.2.2015 Journal Prompt
August 2, 2015: She called him Baby.
3.13.2015 Journal Prompt
March 13, 2015: In the light…
3.9.2015 Journal Prompt
March 9, 2015: In the light…
9.9.2014 Journal Prompt
September 9, 2014: She was like that.
The Writer’s Handful with Patricia Skalka
Mondays + Writers = Finally something to look forward to.
Putting together your summer reading list? Looking for a smart, tough mystery to add to it? Check out the fist in the Dave Cubiak Mystery Series, DEATH STALKS DOOR COUNTY, the debut novel by Chicago author PATRICIA SKALKA. Publishers Weekly calls this book “A tight, lyrical first novel.” High praise indeed!
Here’s the thing, though, the book has already gone into its second printing (released just weeks ago!) and if you are looking for it in Chicago bookstores, you may find that it is already sold out in many places. Hang tight, though, and place your order; more are on the way! And for those of you who live in the Chicago area, you can hear Patricia read from the book at the fabulous Tuesday Funk Reading Series at Hopleaf on Clark in Andersonville (June 3), or head out to Winnetka to The Bookstall on June 12. To hold you over for a bit before then, here’s Patricia answering a couple of questions for us.
Did you write today? If yes, what? If no, why not?
I try to write every day, but today I did not. Death Stalks Door County, my debut mystery novel, was recently published and I was awash in promotional details. From there I met with my critique group and then spent the rest of the afternoon answering emails. My thoughts on writing and reading, however, can be found in a guest blog post that went online recently at Buried Under Books.
What’s the first thing (story, poem, song, etc.) you remember writing, and how old were you when you wrote it?
I started at about age 7, writing stories at the kitchen table — feet dangling above the floor, printing my tales on coarse lined paper that I’d staple together into “books.”
What are you reading right now?
Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 by Francine Prose, an absolute gem both in terms of story and writing.
What’s the most important advice you ever received? (Writerly or otherwise.)
My father once told me that anything worth having was worth sacrificing for. He wasn’t talking about writing but the advice certainly applies to anyone contemplating a career as a writer.
If your writing were an animal, what animal would it be? Because…
I’d have to say “cat” because I’ve done many different kinds of writing and so, like a cat, have found it necessary to be flexible and at home just about anywhere. At any rate, my cat usually dangles her tail over the keyboard as I write, and I have no doubt that she is sprinkling essence of cat into the work.
Death Stalks Door County marks the fiction debut of award-winning, Chicago writer Patricia Skalka. A lifelong reader and writer, she turned to fiction following a successful career in nonfiction. Her many credits include: Staff Writer for Reader’s Digest, magazine editor, freelancer, ghost writer, writing instructor and book reviewer. (bio from author’s website www.PatriciaSkalka.com)
→Thanks, Patricia, for the chat, and continued good luck with your debut and the series. See you at Hopleaf. And thanks, everyone, as always, for reading. -PMc←
TBT Memory ~ My First True Love
When I was five, I found a kitten on the street. I called my folks at work when I got home from school (kids, even five-year-olds, could return to empty houses in those days) and told them my boyfriend gave me a kitten, I would keep it in a drawer in the garage, they never had to see it, I would feed it and take care of it, please, please, please let me keep it. When my dad got home that evening, I took him into the garage where I had indeed put the kitten in a drawer, and the pretty marmalade thing looked up at us, mewing and wide-eyed. My dad picked it up, the kitten a tiny ball of fluff in his big papa bear hand. I carry this image with me, fifty years later. Cat in hand.
I named him Puddin.
The cat, not my dad.