Friday, August 20, 2010


Plot Alerts!

Writers are always on the look-out for plots, settings & characters. Even on vacation, it's hard to turn that part of the brain off.

I'm just back from a 2 week trip to Sicily with my choir. You'd think that performing 5 concerts, plus rehearsals and all the excursions (to the Aeolian Islands was breath-taking), of course the shopping trips (one of which included a kiss of the hand by a traffic cop!), the truly wonderful meals even if we ate supper at those crazily late hours, the lack of sleep and just the fun of traveling in a group of 60 who could burst into song at the drop of an olive....that would be more than enough to keep one's mind occupied and away from thoughts of murder and mystery. Not so.

While waiting for the elevator just outside the spa going back up to the lobby, the hall lights would suddenly go out. They're on a timer & you just press the button to brighten things up. But it's totally dark in that cavernous arm and for a few moments, there's a body on the floor.

That spa has a Turkish bath, a sauna, steam room, pool in a dimly lit (romantic or sinister--take your pick) area...all spots ideal for dumping a body. And think of the effect of red blood against those magnificent white ceramic tiled floors and walls. Even at the outdoor pool, tucked in with the various palm trees and other lush plant life, there's a steep drop-off behind the fence, which affords a magnificent view of the village but also an ideal body dump.

How about a not-so-gentle push as someone is leaning over edge of the small touring boat, gazing at the tiny sea creatures clinging to the rocks? All the others are craning to see the amazing rock formations one will notice.

Not all thoughts were sinister, I must admit. How could they be? Sicily is an amazing place, an island of beauty with quaint village upon village, marvelous seaside beaches, history at every turn, a pace of living that's addictive, and of course, all that heat & sun. I'd go there again, in a gunshot. And maybe, I could do some serious research and pay for the trip.

Isn't there some place where you'd like to do the same?

And, here's a mea culpa from my last post....I can't believe that I forgot to list my fellow Ladies' Killing Circle cohort & friend Barbara Fradkin's latest Inspector Green novel, Beautiful Lie the Dead, which will be out this fall. Don't miss it!

Linda Wiken


  1. Linda - what a fabulous and inspiring trip. Your descriptions will do more for Sicily than their tourist bureau could do.

  2. Oh, I think I must find inspiration in Sicily! Soon. Linda, what a wonderful trip. Thanks for telling us about it.



    Charlotte Adams mysteries

  3. i remember lights on a timer in Rome, especially at the lesser museums and churches, where you'd have to put money into a slot to turn on the timer, and invariably the lights went off just as you were about to take a picture

  4. " And think of the effect of red blood against those magnificent white ceramic tiled floors and walls. "


    My first mystery play (and later novel) plot was inspired by the restoration of a beautiful white/gray marble rotunda circa 1913, in the Moose Jaw Public Library. I had a persistent vision of a woman draped over the second-floor railing, with a dagger visible in her back and blood trailed down her arm and then on down the gleaming marble of a pillar. Beautiful!