Monday, April 01, 2013

Loss of a Working Stiff

by Joyce

For those who haven't heard the news, longtime Working Stiff Wilfred Bereswill passed away suddenly on Palm Sunday. ("Passed away" seems inadequate when a death is so unexpected.) I first heard about it on Easter Sunday, when Jenna Bennett/Jennie Bentley posted a link to her blog on Twitter. To say I was shocked doesn't begin to cover it. It was all I could think about for most of the day.

The only time I met Will in person was at Bouchercon in Baltimore. When Annette and I ran into him, it was like a family reunion.
Joyce, Will, Annette
It's strange how someone you know mostly through blog posts can make such a lasting impression. It's a testament to his ability to tell a story that so many people feel like they lost a good friend.


Will posted often on China and Hawaii--two of his favorite places. He wrote about his work, his books, his every day life, and a very poignant post about losing his father at a young age to colon cancer.

Will's every day life got hectic and eventually he had to drop writing for Working Stiffs. His last post with us was on March 7, 2011. Read it. It was titled So Long, Farewell & Amen.

Amen, indeed.

So long, Will. We miss you.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

This is it...

...our last day. It's been loads of fun. We've enjoyed getting to meet each and every one of you. We hope you'll track us down elsewhere and stop and say hi.

It's with tears in our eyes we bid you adieu.

Until we meet again,

C.L., Gina, Martha, Kristin, Annette, Paula, Joyce, Jenna, Pat, and Ramona

xoxo

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Death and Taxes



According to Benjamin Franklin, “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Let me add change to that list. Nothing stays the same. Take Facebook for example. As soon as you learn how to navigate it, they change everything.

Spring seems an appropriate time for making changes. Mother Nature is trading in the drab monotone shades of winter for greens and yellows. Gray skies give way to blue. So not all change is bad.

Which of course brings me to all of us Working Stiffs. This is my last post here. Like all my fellow Stiffs, I’m feeling a bit nostalgic. Over the years, since Nancy Martin introduced us on September 3, 2006, regulars and guests have come and gone from this site. Only Joyce, Gina, and myself have remained throughout.

We’ve written through good times and bad. We’ve celebrated book launches and mourned family deaths. We’ve covered serious topics such as senseless murders in our own hometowns and we’ve gotten just plain silly more than once.

What I hope we’ve always done (sometimes with more success than others) is to entertain.

I’m still going to be around cyberspace. I’m on Facebook and Twitter. I have my own blog, Writing, etc, where I’ll continue to write about whatever tickles my fancy on any given day. My website needs to be updated, but feel free to stop in there, too. You’ll be able to find the real me (as opposed to the virtual version) at the Pennwriters Conference in Lancaster PA this May (17-20), where I’ll be teaching a workshop Thursday afternoon. And I’ll be at Bouchercon in Cleveland this October even if I have to walk.

So at the end of the month, Working Stiffs may come to an end, but it’s simply another of life’s changes.

Happy Spring! 

Monday, March 19, 2012

New Beginings

by C.L. Phillips

Today is my final post for the Working Stiffs.  I'd like to thank Joyce Tremel for taking a chance on an unknown mystery writer from Austin, Texas.  Prior to blogging here, I'd made a few posts on the Sisters in Crime blog.  Joyce kindly offered me a home away from home, gave me a chance to find my blogging voice, and introduced me to the most amazing group of mystery writers.

I confess I'm a little sad and excited to see the end of Working Stiffs.  I've decided to strap on my big girl pants, grow a pair and launch my own blog at  C.L. Phillips, where I'll be waxing Texan about:


  • True crime (yep, it's massively stranger than anything I could create)
  • Flash mysteries (like two of my later entries on Working Stiffs, here and here)
  • Interviews with cool people who love reading and writing mysteries
  • The Story behind the Novel (or the true story of how I come up with crazy ideas to write)
The focus is narrow.  All mystery.  All for readers.  I hope to provide a place of fellowship and discussion for people that love to read mysteries, of all types.  Like most of my work, there will be irreverent humor, veiled sex, and more than one story you can tell at the bar with your friends.

I hope to see you there, and I'd love to keep in touch.  You can find me on twitter, and this summer I am launching two books, FIRST MISTAKE, and KILLERS ANONYMOUS,  Some of the Story behind the Novel will be hilarious, so you might want to stop by and find out how I created an ex-stripper-turned-psychic-channeler who channels a fifteenth century Irish Catholic priest and what happens when said priest drinks tequila.

And I hope to see you all at Bouchercon in Cleveland, where rumor has it, there is tequila at the hotel bar.  Cue the Eagles, and Hotel California.  You gotta admit, when you hear the line, "you can check in but you can never leave", you wish the song was a full length mystery novel, no?

Joyce, my deepest and sincerest thanks.  And to everyone else, I'm buying the first round at Bouchercon.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Jane Austen Sequels and ReWrites

By Pat Gulley

I think Dear Jane’s work is about the most rewritten and sequels added to in a category other than Science Fiction. It all started in 1913 with Old Friends and New Fancies by Sybil G. Brinton and has been roaring along ever since.

I’ve read a bunch of them—the sequels, not the rewrites. I don’t like rewrites, they seem too presumptuous, as if they know better than the original author. Sequels allows us to find out more about secondary or lesser characters. Some of my absolute favorites are The Lydia Bennet Story, Charlotte Collins, The Diary of Captain Wentworth, and Mercy’s Embrace—a three book series about Ann Elliott’s sister Elizabeth. Oh, you are not Janites, okay, Lydia and Charlotte are from Pride and Prejudice and Captain Wentworth, Ann and Elizabeth are from Persuasion, which is my all time favorite Austen Book.

I even have a sequel started myself. It isn’t one of my files that I open frequently due to the fact that one must be in the mood for the totally different speech patterns and spellings necessary to keep the time period right. (I’m assuming all historical writers understand this, but OTOH, I have seen some written with totally modern language. Most Janites would disapprove.

So it occurs to me that a lot of famous books might deserve sequels and I’d like to see what you think.
Without doing Jane, or Conan Doyle or Shakespeare, and not taking up the ones that already exist in SF, like Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate, and not Harry Potter, what great stand alone book or famous character from fiction of any kind would you like to write a sequel to? No, we won’t demand you get to it, just a little bit of daydreaming about if you could or maybe someday should.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Saying Good-Bye

By Paula Matter

Two weeks ago this time, I was grateful I still had two weeks to come up with today’s blog post. My last one here at Working Stiffs. 
Saying good-bye isn’t easy.
Two weeks ago, I’d written about the sudden death of Davy Jones. Last Saturday I went to a memorial in Beavertown, PA to say good-bye to him. (There are tons of photos and videos on Facebook and Youtube. I have a couple of videos at both places).
Saying good-bye is not easy.
It helped that the atmosphere, the whole event wasn’t totally sad or somber. Lots of funny stories and good music helped ease the sadness. His life was celebrated and I was there with 500 others to help do it.
So that's how I decided to end my last post.

Y'know how you're suppose to give the audience what they want? Darcy Flynn, this one's for you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0emLj0d66DQ&feature=player_detailpage

Or you're suppose to leave 'em laughing?

My favorite clean joke:

Do you know why seagulls don't fly over bays?

Because then they'd be bagels.

No? Not laughing? Okay. Tell you what. Since this can't possibly be the last time we'll be together, next time we meet, I'll tell you some of my better, dirtier jokes.

Thanks, fellow Stiffs, and dear readers and commenters, for all of the good times.

Til next time. . .

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Meet Amelia Fortune : And vote for a cover

by C. L. Phillips

Amelia Fortune, a twenty-four year old widow, is unjustly convicted of wrongful death of her husband, Tommy.  After the verdict, she's viciously beaten in county jail.  The ADA offers her a plea deal.  The catch?  Amelia must trade what she values most in life, her integrity, and confess to being responsible for Tommy's death.  In exchange, she escapes prison, and will be placed in a 12-step program for people like her.

Killers Anonymous. Seven years. A convicted felon.

Against her better judgment, Amelia swallows her pride, and takes the deal.  She trades truth for safety.

At her second 12-step meeting, she learns a serial killer is stalking members of the 12-step program.  When the medical director of the program, Dr. Barton Ponder, thwarts her escape attempt, Amelia realizes her only choice is to find the killer before she becomes the next victim.

Killers Anonymous.  Where nobody is innocent.  Will Amelia do whatever it takes to survive?

Now that you know a little about the story, please help me choose the cover art.  Killers Anonymous will be available in Summer 2012 from Amyst Books as an e-book, available at all your favorite places such as Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, and of course, through my web site.  And if you'd like to be on my mailing list to receive a sneak peak and learn more about Amelia's journey, send me a direct tweet at www.twitter.com/clphillips787, and I'll put you on my dear readers list.


Your cover choices are :  Silhouette or Face.  Don't be shy.  Pick your favorite.  And thank you for your support. I really appreciate your help.