Wednesday 28 November 2012

Men and Women - Women and Men. It will never work. Reprinted with permission

If you really want to get back at a man, drag him through a lingerie department.  Any place that sells women’s flimsies will do, but for best results, pick one of those speciality shops where the entire store is pink.  Try to find one where the sales clerk looks like his mother.

What is it with men these days?  They may be raised on pin-ups and admit to viewing the odd (VERY odd) clip on the net, but drag them through a female gauchie department and watch them turn…well…pinker than the ridiculous teddy set my man bought me recently.

Which is why we were in the Lacy Love store in the first place.  Returning it.

“Darling, “ I say, holding up two pieces of flimsy fuchsia lace held together by a two inch thread.  “Do these nipple holes serve a purpose, or did you get this at a fire sale?”

“It looked good on the dummy,” he mutters, looking remarkably like a twelve year old.

“Dummies don’t move.  They are made of firm molded plastic.  I am not.  If I could get away with wearing something like this, I wouldn’t need it.”

The sales clerk comes over to the desk where we’re standing.  Correction:  where I am standing and he is cowering.  It’s even better than I hoped.  She looks like his grade eight English teacher.  All six feet of her.

“May I help you,” she says, beady eyes shifting to the chiffon thingy on the counter.  “Returning this?”  She chokes back a snort, then turns and yells, “Hey Gladys!  Take a look at this.  Somebody actually bought it.  Can you believe it?”

She holds it up for everyone to see.  Florescent light shimmers through the nipple holes, casting two adjacent circles on the far wall.  Naturally, the place is packed.  Women peek out from behind change-room curtains.

Gladys, who looks a lot like Maude from Golden Girls, sticks her head out from behind the bras and hoots like a jackal.  “You’re kidding!  I thought we’d never get rid of it.  Present?”  She looks at me sympathetically.

I nod.  The woman next in line stares at my guy as if he is some sort of sex pervert escapee from Penetanguishine.  She backs away, cautiously.

“It doesn’t fit,” I say stoically.  Meanwhile, the ‘original purchaser’ is apparently engrossed in counting ceiling tiles.

The sales clerk shakes her grey head as she writes up the credit note.  Then she looks up at my man – who is quietly trying to sneak out of the store - and her eyes turn sharp.

“Wait a minute.  Weren’t you in my English Lit. class  in 1982?”

Thursday 22 November 2012

WHY I BECAME A WRITER - 14 author blog hop!

Today, 14 professional writers with blogs have gotten together to write the same post “Why I Became a Writer.” Please stop by any or all of their blogs to comment and find out what drives us in our favorite obsession.

John Brantingham and Sunny Frazier
Marta Chausee
John Daniel
Cora Ramos
Melodie Campbell
Chris Swinney
Carole Avila 

Why did I become a Mystery Writer?  It’s the Maze.

A horrible crime occurs.  Murder most foul.  The police are stumped, and it looks like the criminal will get away with it.  Then along comes an amateur detective who follows a set of clues, and with supreme logic, solves the mystery.  Justice is served.

I want to say I write mysteries and suspense because of a deep-seeded need to see justice done in the world.  I really want to say that.  But it’s not true.

I love to read and write mysteries because they are clever.  They invite me to use my brain.  Who is the killer?  Can I come to the same conclusion as the detective, at the same time, following the same trail of clues?

Traditional mystery novels are like a chess game.  In writing the novel A Purse to Die For, I discovered that mysteries must be plotted carefully, strategically.  It is a convention of mystery writing that the reader receives the information at the same time as the detective.  Anything else is considered cheating. Clues must lead to the solving of the crime.  The reader must be able to go back and see the trail, once he/she has finished reading the ending.  But the ending can’t be too obvious – that’s no fun.  So it’s the clever mix of laying several trails like those of a maze that intrigues me as both a writer and reader.  The trick: only one leads to the fateful conclusion.

A good mystery with a bang-up ending – logical, but original – gives me a kick like no other book.  I marvel at the cleverness of the author.  In short mystery fiction, I devour that twist at the end.  In my own fiction, you can count on an unexpected ending.  

I love the wonderful delight that comes from stumping the reader…in making them say “Ah! Didn’t see that coming.”  I’ve given them a challenge, and hopefully at the end, a smile.  There is no greater high.

Melodie Campbell is the author of 40 short stories and three novels, including the classic Agatha Christie-style mystery A Purse to Die For, co-authored with Cynthia St-Pierre.  She has won 6 awards for short fiction, and was a finalist for both the 2012 Derringer Awards and the Arthur Ellis Awards.

The victim wore haute couture…
When fashionista and television celeb Gina Monroe goes home to attend the funeral of her late grandmother, the last thing she expects to encounter is murder.  Who is the dead woman in the woods behind the family home?  And why is she dressed in Milano designer clothes?

“Fast, funny, furious. A great read and proof once again that Canadian crimewriters are among the best in the world.”  Janet Kellough, author of Sowing Poison
Ebook and paperback available on,, and European Amazon sites.


Thursday 15 November 2012

THE ONE-LINERS....from my comedy days

As most people who read this blog know, I got my start writing comedy.  This involved writing longer monologues for newspapers and stand-up, and short one-liners (actually, most of them are three-liners...did you ever notice?  Who picks these terms?)

By popular request (thanks, kids!) here is a post of my favourite one-liners (and two, and three...Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition).  As in all comedy, delivery is important.  So imagine the great Phyllis Diller delivering these lines, in that deliciously low, crusty voice.

I had the flu once.  It was horrible.  I couldn't eat a thing for three hours.

I tried one of those expensive anti-aging creams recently.  It worked.  I broke out all over and looked about fourteen

About my recent passport photo. Seriously? I harbor this secret fantasy that border guards are going to take one look at my passport and say, "Hey!  This isn't you!  Take her away."'

Back in the day I used to be a beach babe.  Over the years, my body has morphed into 'beach ball,' and is now on it's way to 'beached whale.'

What is is about guys in cars?  Why do they all turn into demonic Richard Pettys?  Hands clenching the wheel in a death grip, ready to smash the gas peddle through the floor JUST IN CASE the guy in the next car manages to pull away from the light one second ahead?
Women don't behave in ridiculous ways like this.  We're much too busy shopping for things we don't need.

Recent studies show that approximately 40% of writers are manic-depressive. The rest of us just drink.

Sunday 11 November 2012

Giving Thanks to two Grandfathers Today

To the Grandfather I never knew...the one who was busted down twice from corporal for insubordination at Ypres and Vimy...the one they say I am most like:
Thank you.

To my other Grandfather...the Italian one who served in the Canadian Army in WW1, a new immigrant to Canada and immediately sent back to war-ravaged Europe:
Thank you.

Both died as a result of lung damage from mustard gas, years later.

Both are remembered with love and reverence, today and always.

Thursday 8 November 2012

Author Writes Cheque for $425 to Hamilton Literacy Council!

Many thanks to the 75+ people who came out to the launch of THE GODDAUGHTER mob caper, at the Hamilton Library!

It was truly a pleasure to present the Hamilton Literacy Council with a cheque for $425 from the proceeds of book sales at the event.

My personal thanks to Gareth Bond, Chair of the Literacy Council, for Emceeing the night with such panache, and to Cathy Astolfo and Alison Bruce for conducting the author 'roast' (I is still smarting from some of the questions).

Thanks also to Orca Books for donating a class set of THE GODDAUGHTER to the Hamilton Literacy Council.

THE GODDAUGHTER is available in Chapters/Indigo stores, independent booksellers, Barnes and Noble, and online at Chapters/Indigo, Kobo, Amazon and other retailers.

Thursday 1 November 2012

Click here to get $1 off A PURSE TO DIE FOR