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The Hot Mic - BEWARE the... 18th of March? - Issue #13

The Hot Mic - Mur Lafferty's Weekly Newsletter
The Hot Mic - Mur Lafferty's Weekly Newsletter
The Ides of March are over, and now the Caesar Murder Candy is on clearance at Target and they’re stocking the 10-99 Candy – I hate how they decorate for Tax Season earlier and earlier every year.
(US-focused joke. Sorry to folks in other countries)

Hot Mic logo in blue, yellow, black, green. Are these colors Tax Season Colors?
Hot Mic logo in blue, yellow, black, green. Are these colors Tax Season Colors?
  • Productivity Hack #814
  • What I’m Reading/Playing
  • Little Announcements and ICYMI
  • WiP Report
Productivity Hack #841
I call it D20 Nausea Factor. As things on my list keep moving from day to day without being done, they make me feel ill. So I decided to look at the things on my list and put the ones that made me feel bad on their own list. Then they all got numbers, and I roll D20 to see which one I’m going to tackle.
The randomness of dice rolling works for my ADHD brain, thank goodness. Making decisions is hard, and when I don’t want to do ANYTHING on the list, it really helps when the universe gives me a sign. Literally. (No I don’t believe a random number generator is driven by a greater being. I could pray to gravity instead maybe.)
This newsletter was #3 on the nausea list. I’ve mentioned newsletters are hard for me, since I get a big sense of “what if no one cares?” which is just my own inner bully trying to sabotage me. I wish I could get a bully-ectomy (Joe Hill explores this concept in the brilliant comic Locke and Key. I can’t recommend the comic highly enough, although it is a horror comic.)
See below: Kinsey, a main character, was tired of grief and rage connected to her father’s murder, so with the help of a magic key, she removed those emotions and put them in a jar. Grief filled the jar with her tears, so Rage devised a way to break free.
Locke and Key illustrated cover by Gabriel Rodriguez, inner rage & grief break free of jar.
Locke and Key illustrated cover by Gabriel Rodriguez, inner rage & grief break free of jar.
Consume! Consume!
Playing: Horizon Forbidden West. Will comment when I know more.
Reading: I just finished The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley, a book I had been eagerly waiting on. I was a huge fan of her previous mystery/thrillers in which she plays with the mystery concept by using flashback to keep both the victim and the murderer secret until the exciting finale. I was a little worried that I would be able to figure things out because I knew her formula (I figured out The Hunting Party pretty quickly, but it was still an enjoyable read.)
It starts out with Ben, a British journalist living in a (wait for it) Paris apartment. He has all the info he needs for this super important story he’s writing, but his sister Jess calls and asks if she can come stay for a bit. He’s annoyed but says yes. Then someone unlocks his apartment door and comes inside, and a lot of scary violence is implied. Shortly thereafter, the sister arrives to an empty apartment. Then we flash back and meet the people in the apartment building, a motley crew who seem to embrace unhappiness for multiple reasons. The rest of the book is told in flashbacks of the building residents, and follows the sister in present day trying to find her missing brother.
It starts slow, I won’t lie. The problem I’m learning from reading these thrillers is that you can’t develop the characters as fast as other kinds of books, because each one has a secret connection to the victim and probably something else in their past they’re desperate to keep hidden from everyone. So there’s a lot of repetitive “I look around my gorgeous apartment and fret about Ben, who ruined everything,” scenes, or, for Jess, “where the hell is Ben?” That doesn’t make us connect with any of the characters. But once the story gets going and we see the characters interact with Jess, we start learning more about them.
I’m delighted to say it does pick up and even though I did have a sneaking suspicion about one of the end reveals, the other one surprised me, which is what we want from books like this. The only problem with these kinds of books is you want to talk about them when people are done reading, and that kind of ruins it. Recommended.
The Paris Apartment cover, a photo of a tall building, heavily filtered
The Paris Apartment cover, a photo of a tall building, heavily filtered
Little details and ICYMI
Catch me on Twitch if you want to see me podcast or game live! M-Th, 3pm EDT.
Speaking of Twitch, Ditch Diggers returns live on April 4, noon, EDT! (and of course it will then go in the feed if you miss it.)
My merch store is online and official and stuff! Let me know if you see an item you want that I’m not offering. I was pretty sure no one wanted I Should Be Writing throw pillows or a shower curtain, but hey, if you want something I don’t offer, I will be happy to make one.
Reminder that 10% of my Patreon income goes to charity this year! This month is the Trevor Project, a program to help LGBTQIA+ teens. How is this writing-related? When kids don’t have the love of a family or face horrific harassment at school or online, they can’t really devote their time to creative pursuits. Some of these kids are forced to be homeless for having the courage to be who they truly are. I figure if I support them, I can help someone get stability needed for growing up, and then they could make something amazing some day.
Previous donations:
I Should Be Writing - Fiction Traps and How to Avoid Them
WiP Report!
A SWARM OF CUCKOOS (working title): 18829
Now, if you’re paying attention, this is much lower than I reported a month ago. I had been writing a bunch of different scenes, testing out what I liked and what I didn’t, and counting all those words. So now I have the first hunk of the novel, flowing together nicely, and the other scenes are waiting, uncounted, for their time to be pasted in (I love seeing wordcount numbers jump up.)
Roll Credits
I think I put too much pressure on myself to make super long newsletters, and I end up not doing it at all. So I’m going to try to keep things shortish. If there is something you would like me to address, please email me at
You can support me on PatreonJemi, or just buy me a Ko-fi. That helps support my many creative projects.
If you can’t support via financial ways, you can help by telling a friend about my work, or leaving a review of my podcasts or books, or forwarding this newsletter!
Just want to catch the podcasts? For I Should Be Writing, you can subscribe on iTune or take this RSS feed and plug it into your preferred player. Ditch Diggers is on hiatus but you can find back episodes here: iTunesRSS, and Spreaker.
Or just search I Should Be Writing, Ditch Diggers, or Mur Lafferty on any podcast site.
Podcast credits: ISBW production by Summer Brooks, ISBW theme song by John Anealio, DD theme song by Devo Spice, art by Numbers Ninja, site design by Clockpunk Studio and hosted by Libsyn.
This newsletter is BY-NC-ND 3.5 Creative Commons licensed.
See you next week time!
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The Hot Mic - Mur Lafferty's Weekly Newsletter
The Hot Mic - Mur Lafferty's Weekly Newsletter @mightymur

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