My First Book Buzz

Pages 43-45

Pages 43-45

This one is just fun. My debut as a book columnist. Thanks to Malena Lott for recommending that I try it. I’m open to book recommendations from the Big Five, small presses and indies—as long as they are on the shelf in Oklahoma City. (Even if it’s just in one indie bookshop.) And I’m especially partial to Oklahoma publishers like Buzz Books USA and OU Press, or Oklahoma authors.


pp. 43-45

pp. 43-45


In the Company of Forever

I’m so happy to share that my short memoir, “In the Company of Forever” has just been published by Outside In Literary and Travel Magazine. It’s the story of my spring break in Shetland Islands while I was studying at the U of H campus in London. The trip to Shetland was life-changing.

Click to read it at Outside In Literary and Travel Magazine

Click to read it at Outside In Literary and Travel Magazine

And check out the other stories and wonderful editor’s note on the main page for issue 17. Very uplifting. I’m honored to be in their zine.

Writing Art: Working with Light


For Wayback Wednesday:

Originally posted on reverse perspective:

When creating visual art, the artist utilizes light from around him, from within the painting or sculpture, and as a part of the void where his medium is not. The lighting becomes an integral piece of the final statement and smart artists spend hours ensuring that their work is displayed in the best possible light.
For my research on noir fiction, I watched many “B” movies that practically bashed me in the head with the conscious manipulation of light. Shadows through doorways, light through vertical blinds or screens, and the headshot with light coming from behind were the most cliche. I’m always searching for fresh ways to use light in writing. Throughout my books, I describe light in fresh ways such as the cottonwood tree that’s “a random symphony of strobe lights.”

Yet most often when I bring up this aspect f my work, I’m told that most mystery authors…

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Writing Art: Arsenic Gold

For Wayback Wednesday:

I am not an artist but in my Adele Proust mysteries, I have to make the readers feel like they are painting. I use rhythm, action, colors and feelings, but also the legends within oil painting, especially the pigments. Embedding legend into my modern story, sort of connects my tale to history, adding depth. And for crime writing, a pigment made from arsenic provides both mystery and intrigue.

Orpiment image from Wikipedia, formerly from the US Geological Survey’s “Minerals of the World” and is in the public domain

Orpiment has been treasured by artists for centuries.  A most beautiful golden color, it’s created by grinding crystals of arsenic sulfide–highly toxic.  Once believed by alchemists to be an important ingredient in their quest to create gold, orpiment is said to have the healing effect of creating clarity in thinking,  It’s toxic effects may have actually helped to drive those alchemists insane.

Modern healers believe orpiment to be filled with innocence, purity, goodness, and emotional intimacy. That contrasts quite severely with the human lust for gold through the centuries.

Using orpiment in a painting scene allowed me to bring all that history and conflict into the moment.  By explaining some tidbits about the pigment in an earlier scene, I was able to weave the use of arsenic, the lust for gold—and just plain beauty—into Adele’s simple brush strokes.  It happens fairly late in the story so I won’t post that scene here, but I hope when you read it later, you’ll come back and let me know if I did the pigment justice.

My next book will feature another ancient pigment, mummy brown.

Staying focused

Rest, it’s a great thing. When your mind feels overwhelmed, a little bit of sleep can be priceless. When you’re recovering from a brain tumor it can also be debilitating.

A body in motion tends to stay in motion.
A body at rest tends to stay at rest.

So I get up every day and do as much as I can. If I start spinning or aching, I take a small rest, but the key for me is to keep getting up, to keep pushing my limits. Today’s victory was walking to the neighborhood hill with my boys. About 3/4 mile with just minor dizziness. The sunshine lifted my spirits.

No matter how big your challenges, keep getting up.

No matter how small your victories, celebrate them.

Interview with Artist Andy Fish


Really cool artwork, Peggy and Andy. Good luck with the book.

Originally posted on Peggy Chambers "Views from the Hammock" site:

Andy Fish     From the blog “Fish Wrap” by Andy Fish

Andy Fish is a comic book artist, writer, painter, pop culture archaeologist and film historian.  He has written and drawn numerous How to Art Books, Graphic Novels, Screenplays and Comic Books.

He lectures on art related subjects and even has a painting in the collection of the National Gallery in Washington DC.

This blog will attempt to focus on all manner of art film and pop culture, but don’t hold much hope that it will stay focused.

He lives 40 miles outside of Boston, MA with his artist wife Veronica Lane Fish.”

I’m once again interviewing an artist that has made my book look wonderful. Andy Fish illustrated the cover of The Apocalypse Sucks and I had a few questions for him. He was kind enough to take the time from his busy schedule to answer.


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