March 13, 2013

The gunshot, muffled, sounded more like a gasp.

No. That was Harold taking his last breath.

It’s the last thing I remember before the funeral. Lilies all over the coffin. Not because Harold gave a damn, but because Lilies are my favorite.


I don’t go out any more. Can’t.

No matter how much I love the city, I simply can’t. Not without Harold.

So, I tend the last of the lilies—of the month, that Harold bought me last Christmas, and think about muffling my own last breath.


Oh, what’s the use?

I know it’s a horrible thought!


This story is prompted by Friday Fictioneers and Rochelle Weisoff-fields WordPress Blog.

Talk About Your Wing Dings!

March 6, 2013

“I booked us tickets on the Homes of the Rich and Famous Tour.”

My daughter-in-law, twit that she is, didn’t think twice about her fabulous vacation “supplement.”

So, we go. I don’t say a word.

This is my view from the bottom of the stairs in the first house we visited.

I’m not in a wheelchair, but I have a bad back and knees. They had no elevator.

Some Rich and Famous people they are! Couldn’t spring for an elevator.

On the upside, my daughter-in-law was exhausted after hopping up that wing ding flight of stairs. Her sweat was priceless!


February 28, 2013


            I called up my friend, Chip, and said, “Dude, you wanted to borrow my convertible caddy? Come on by and pick it up.”

            The last I saw of her was on the Tuesday before Fat Tuesday. He took it to New Orleans, by way of his local supermarket, I guess—judging by the photos of her in impound.

            He gave her some modifications, chopped her top, enjoyed Mardi Gras and got himself arrested, and her impounded.

            I see by the photos, his latest girlfriend was my last girlfriend.

            Needless to say, we’re no longer friends.

            For sale for impound fees.

Friday Fictioneers Photo Prompt Flash Fiction Wednesdays

February 28, 2013

Try and say that title five times fast. Or one time real slow. Either way, check it out. Rochelle Wisoff-Fields is the moderator over at the “global community for blogging writers.” On Wednesdays, there is a photo posted for flash fiction competition, 100 words. See how clean your storytelling can be! Good luck.

You can find them at  or


Ozarks Writers League (OWLs)

May 21, 2012

The Ozarks Writers League meets in Branson on a quarterly basis: Feb, May, Aug, Nov–the third weekend of the month. On Friday, they do a meal and mic reading. Currently, that occurs at the Boxcar Willie Inn in Branson. On Saturday, at the Plasters Auditorium, College of the Ozarks, speakers are brought in from virtually anywhere and everywhere. If you’re a writer, It’s definitely a place to get hooked into the local writing hub. Saturdays also include an open book signing. Tables are free. Come join the menagerie.

I was nominated…

May 15, 2012

I was nominated for a liebster award:

I want to publicly thank the nominator. Check out my other blog (Carys Weldon on Check out the actual nomination there, if you would. It came out of the blue, but is just so darn nice of someone–whom I don’t know–to post. Thanks!


May 10, 2012

Mentally Unstable is an anthology of 21 twisted mystery stories by Jennifer DiCamillo published by Under The Moon Press. It’s bloody messed up, that’s what it is. You should hunt it down and kill it–with a quick read. The mysteries range from cozy to hardboiled, from funny to deadly serious. And then there’s a weird psycho tale or two thrown in to keep the thing completely off balance.

On Commas, Spaces, and Find and Replace

August 28, 2011

So, in some circles I’m referred to as the comma queen. That is because I love commas. I put them in way too much. I love the terminal comma–but I blame that on my upbringing. I was a child of the seventies, and they taught the addition of a comma before and as is used in this sentence. I have since learned that “we” don’t use terminal commas much these days and the reason being is simple, we’re conserving paper. You remove a bunch of terminal commas from a full length manuscript and you save 2 or 3 pages, sometimes 4.

Every page is money. Which is also why we no longer space twice after a period. Now, you would think that ebooks wouldn’t mind that extra space in there, but the truth is, publishers like to set up the manuscript once. Why have two spaces after periods in a manuscript, then change it to two spaces after a period in another version. Seems silly, doesn’t it?

The truth is, in my first manuscript, I had two spaces and was told I needed only one, so, being a novice writer, I went line by line and changed each one. Now, I have learned that the find and replace feature in WORD allows you to do the space change with a single maneuver.

Find and replace is a wonderful tool, but I learned something very important from using it. I had a character named ROB in my first two novels, same guy, second book was a sequel. Love that name for some reason. Maybe because the Rob in my first novel is such a great guy. Anyhow, I thought I’d do a find and replace on his name for the second book since I was using a different publisher and they wanted the book to stand alone. I used the find and replace. I ended up learning a very important lesson. The letters in the name ROB are in many different words. The word PROBLEM became my heartache. I didn’t realize how many times I’d used it in that 160,000 word manuscript. Now, when you’re doing a line by line, word by word edit, you have a lot of work on your hands.

Solution: Name your characters something creative like ZIGGY or something. Then, if you want to change it, you can do it with a simple find and replace maneuver.

To do a find and replace on anything from spaces to words, go up to EDIT and drop down, there you will find FIND.  There, you can search for words or let the drop down feature work for you, and replace all instances of that word. You can also replace all terminal commas by typing in: , and    replacing with  and, no comma.

I hope this saves you from hours of intensive editing hours. Lord knows I could have used it numerous times before someone explained the feature to me.


August 3, 2011

I’ve been a nurse for forty years, a writer/artist almost as long.

My first novel, “Privy to Murder”  Book 1 was published by Eternal Press Publishing in October 2007.

The “Bloody Murder” Book 2 released in October 2008

“Museums Are Murder” Book 3 released January 2009

Interests – Pastel painting, classical music, bird watching, writing of course, my children and grandchildren always and the state of healthcare.

Favorite Music – Classical, new country, traditional country, folk, classic rock, celtic and whatever else strikes my fancy.

Favorite TV Shows – Dresden files, even though it’s cancelled, Saving Grace, love Holly Hunter, Jerico, Eureka, Big Love.

Favorite Movies – Mystery, thriller, horror, period, some romantic comedy, adventure, fantasy. “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” “Indiana Jones” “Stardust” all the Harry Potter

Favorite Books – Mystery, Horror, lately anything by Kim Harrison and Jim Butcher’s Wizard series. Loved Nancy Drew as a kid and all the classic sci-fi, Agatha Christie and Jane Austen.

School – Years ago

Occupation – Writer, Artist, Nurse

“Fairy Dust” an urban fantasy came out in January 2008.


July 25, 2011

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Who are you and what do you write?

 It all depends—sometimes I’m F. M. Meredith, the author of the Rocky Bluff P.D. series and I’m alsoMarilyn Meredithwho writes the Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series. Obviously I’m writing mysteries right now, but in the past I’ve written historical family sagas, romance with a touch of the supernatural, psychological horror and Christian horror. ( I can see your eyes popping—those are really scary books with a Christian element.)


On the personal side I’ve been married forever to the cute sailor I met on a blind date. We raised five kids who now have kids and some with grandkids.


Where do you live? And what does your workspace look like?


We have lived all over the place, now we’re in the foothills of the Southern Sierra with beautiful views of theTuleRiverand the mountains surrounding us. Prior to that we lived inOxnardabout a mile from the beach. I use both places in my mystery series.


I’m fortunate to have an office with lots of storage space. Unfortunately, when I’m writing it tends to get messy—or at least that’s my excuse.


When do you generally write?


Morning are best for me creatively. I may do editing later on in the day. I do try to write every day except Sunday. While I’m promoting a book, though, I find more and more time taken away from my work-in-progress, but promotion is a big part of the writing life. After dinner, I’m not much good for anything except reading and watching TV—movies on DVD preferred.


How long have you written professionally?


Since doing anything professionally means getting paid for you work, I could say ever since I was a kid. I put out my own magazine and charged a nickel for it eons ago when I was in junior high. I did manage to sell a few articles to real magazines when I was raising my family. However, it was 1982 before I sold my first book to a publishing house—and this was after nearly 30 rejections. Since then, I’ve had about 30 books published—and many rejections for a lot of them in-between.


Do you have any suggestions as to what a writer should avoid? Any warnings?


Things are changing so fast in the publishing world. Not too long ago, I would have suggested not going the self-publishing route as it was too hard to get the word out about your book. This really isn’t true anymore with Amazon doing a publishing program as well as others.

Back when I began, I wish someone had given me a few warnings. I was published by two different presses that had great reviews—and then the owners turned out to be crooks. One took all the money that should have been paid to the writers as royalties and gambled it away inLas Vegas. Yes, he got arrested. The other one fled the country.


I did self-publish one books with an outfit that also had good marks—got my first set of books fine, never could get anymore, and of course, nary a royalty came my way.


Same thing happened with an e-publisher who also published great-looking trade paperbacks. Never saw a single royalty until I threw a fit and pulled my books.


Two of my publishers died—as a writing friends likes to say—Marilyn just steps over the bodies and finds someone new.


Right now I working with two small presses I really like, Mundania and Oak Tree.


Any cool stories about meeting other writers who have influenced or helped you?


I learned more from the writers in my critique group than I have from any writer’s conference or books, in particular Willma Gore who primarily wrote non-fiction for any number of magazines when she was active in our group.


Mary Higgins Clark I met twice, once at a small mystery writers conference, and many years later at an event during Edgars week inNew York. She is a lovely and most gracious lady. Jan Burke is another mystery writer who is always friendly. Spent a delightful couple of hours waiting in an airport with her and her husband once. William Kent Krueger is another one who is always easy to talk with. Dennis Lehane, who besides being a brilliant writer has a wry sense of humor which my husband and I were treated to while eating dinner in the only bar in the hotel.


I could go on and on because I’ve attended many mystery cons and when you go to a lot, even the famous writers begin to recognize you and act like you are one of their best buds.


What might be more fun is talking about the writers who are snobs. (Oh, no, I really won’t do that there.)


What is your latest book?


I have two because I write two books a year. The latest in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series, Angel Lost, came out earlier this year.


Blurb: As plans for her perfect wedding fill her mind, Officer Stacey Wilbur is sent out to trap a flasher, the new hire realizes Rocky Bluff P.D. is not the answer to his problems, Abel Navarro’s can’t concentrate on the job because of worry about his mother, Officer Gordon Butler has his usual upsets, the sudden appearance of an angel in the window of a furniture store captures everyone’s imagination and causes problems for RBPD, and then the worst possible happens—will Stacey and Doug’s wedding take place?


Invisible Path, Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, came out last fall.


Blurb: The murder of a popular Indian on the reservation, a suspect with the unlikely name of Jesus Running Bear, four friends of the victim who are out to avenge the death, a militia group with a secret agenda, lead Deputy Tempe Crabtree in a race to find the true killer before someone else dies.


Where can we learn more about you and your books?


My website is and my blog is