Looking Forward to 2019!

Left Coast Crime 2019: A Whale of a Crime!

In March I will be attending Left Coast Crime 2019 in Vancouver, British Columbia. (Having just returned to our home in Florida, US, from a visit to family and friends in North Bay, Ontario, I can only hope Vancouver will be warmer!) I’m looking forward to meeting new and returning writers and friends. (I may even be included on a panel! I’ll keep you posted.) See you there. @leftcoastcrime @shortontimebooks #amwriting #writing #mystery #paranormal

Debut Mystery: Death Remembers

Anyone registered to attend who has not yet emailed in their book award nominations, please consider nominating my debut novel, Death Remembers, for ‘Best Debut Mystery,’ published in 2018 by Short on Time Books. So many wonderful books debut every year, there’s plenty to choose from! Please consider mine.

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Death Remembers, by Wendy Fallon

A year after the death of her husband, Arizona resident and recently retired California (Cali) May is feeling old, tired and obsolete. As she spirals out of emotional control, she begins to experience terrifying visions. Burdened not only with depression and overwhelming grief, but now also with learning to live with ghosts, she begins to use her new, controversial talent to uncover clues to past and current murders. Discovering her husband did not succumb to cancer, but was murdered, she enlists the help of Daniel Silvertree, a Native American Arizona State Park Ranger and the only one who doesn’t condemn her paranormal capabilities. Together they uncover the truth about the missing priceless Native American carvings, murder, and corporate corruption.

 

 

Death Remembers hits #1, Now Free!

Death Remembers #1

An amazing thing happened today!

The first book in my series, Cali May Mysteries, Death  Remembers, went to number one on Amazon in it’s category (Native American). Thank you to everyone who purchased, read, and/or reviewed it, and to all of you who have encouraged me to continue writing. And since it is a ghost story it is…

Free, just in time for Halloween!

Celebrate with me and download the first Cali May Mysteries book, Death Remembers, for free from Amazon, starting today, Oct. 25th, through Sunday, Oct. 28th. What better way to see if you enjoy a good haunted mystery set against the desert environment and history of Arizona, with a hint of romance. I’m hoping you will like the second book, Killing Rose, and the third book, Magnolia Murders, just as much.

 

Shake Up Your Six-Year-Old Inner Artist

ADULT COLORING CONTEST

RoadrunnerLeftTHB

Re-discover your Six-Year-Old Inner Artist by coloring my Road Runner and emailing him to me. You will receive a free e-book copy of Your Six-Year-Old Inner Artist Dream Journal, a Workbook, your artwork will be posted to this website, and you will be entered to have your piece appear on my next Workbook cover, Drawing the American Southwest (2016) along with an acknowledgment of your contribution.*

  1. Print out my Road Runner above,
  2. Color it in any medium you prefer,
  3. Take a photo of your finished artwork,
  4. Email it to me at fallondesigns@cox.net.

Discover, re-discover and strengthen your six-year-old inner artist by attempting an activity you never thought you’d try or enjoy, and surprise yourself!

* Visit my website, http://www.wendyfallon.com, for details and terms. Contest deadline 12/31/2015.

~ Wendy

See you at the WriteNow! 2015 Writers Conference

When: August 14-15, 2015
Where: Scottsdale, AZ
Details: http://desertsleuths.com/conference

I’m thrilled to be attending the Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths WriteNow! 2015 Writers Conference. I’ll be there with examples of my own work, and expect to come home with the very best writing tips from several talented speakers!

PROJECT UPDATES

Using ME diagrams for plotting

Using ME diagrams for plotting

~ Using ME Diagrams for Plotting ~

I thrive on learning new things, and I am currently applying my creative process, introduced in my book My Six-Year-Old Inner Artist, Everybody has one! to writing my first novel. As an artist, I find anything I can design visually, works best. Using a variation on bubble diagrams, I’ve been developing my plot, characters, relationships and action arc with ME diagrams.

~ Death on Devil’s Mountain ~

An American Southwest paranormal murder mystery ~ California May, recently retired and widowed, is searching for anything to help her feel strong, confident, or even relevant again. During one of the worst monsoons of the season, she experiences the inexplicable – a horrifying yet pleading manifestation of the brooding desert mountain behind her house. Just as she begins to think her overwhelming grief and feelings of obsolescence have pushed her over the edge of sanity, she awakes one morning to a dead body, washed up on the concrete shore of the dark ribbon of water in the canal adjacent to her property.

Planting Grass in the Desert & Bird-Doggin’

When we moved into our new-to-us house last year I wasn’t sure I would like it. One year later, both Tim and I are celebrating life in what has become a comfortable and secure home. What made the difference?

The most amazing things about this home include grass in the backyard and the multitude of hummingbirds that live along the canal that runs behind us. But best of all, this home has actually improved our lives in ways I could not imagine.

I’ve always had my writing and art to keep me busy and enrich my life, but Tim and I have had very few activities in the last several years that we could enjoy together. Tim had almost nothing outside of work at which he could relax and enjoy…until he became intrigued with nurturing and creating a lawn…growing grass.

He rakes, sprays weeds, waters and inspects just about every blade of grass in the backyard…and beware all birds! If caught feasting on the banquet of multiple layers of grass seed you will be subject to sudden scare tactics. Tim fully expects all of us to take part in protecting his domain…including Daisy, our mini-doxie.

So, the positives about this home are the creation of hobbies: creating a beautiful green lawn for Tim, caring for and feeding the hummers for the both of us, and bird-doggin’ for Daisy. Except Daisy isn’t into bird-doggin’…she just enjoys watching Daddy dash outside and run around the yard flapping his arms.

Suburban Wilderness

One evening at dusk my husband glanced out the windows onto the backyard and saw two adult coyotes loping by. As we rushed to secure our mini-dachshund inside I’m not sure I really believed they were actually coyotes. We both hurried out to the back fence to get a better look.

Just as I caught sight of them, a couple of backyards past ours, one turned to look back at us.

The animal was unflinching, bold, and one of the most beautiful wild creatures I’d ever seen. He stared at the two ridiculous humans as if contemplating our nutritional value, then turned and continued down the canal with his mate.

Living along one of many criss-crossing Phoenix canals has been an educational experience. We live in a somewhat densely-populated, suburban neighborhood, 10 minutes from downtown. The Highline Canal runs parallel to South Mountain, borders our backyard, and provides a convenient route for wildlife and humans alike between the mountain wilderness and the suburbs.

I shouldn’t have been surprised to see one of the most beautiful, and dangerous, inhabitants of the wild southwest outside my backdoor. Because of their lush, grey-brown coats, highlighted with gold, cream and black, and black-rimmed unblinking yellow eyes, coyotes are often romanticized by humans into a noble beast. They are, in truth, quick and smart but also driven by their natural instincts to hunt food wherever they can find it, be it sheep, ground squirrel, or a small pet. Admittedly, we humans are intruding into their natural habitat, and they have become fearless and not easily discouraged.

I cannot describe my feelings as I came eye to eye with this truly wild animal. It was electric! I can only say that seeing such a wild, albeit dangerous, creature in photos or on TV is nothing compared to seeing one live and free.

I consider the experience a gift.

The Chuckwalla – Daily Sketch 07/25/12

The Chuckwalla

Several weeks ago I was visiting a cactus garden on Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale. As I walked along the trail I took advantage of the deepest, coolest pools of shade provided by the mature mesquite tree canopies overhead. In one such spot, I stopped to catch my breath, have a drink of water and listen.

My eye was caught by the distinct sound of rustling nearby. At the base of a boulder, a lizard took shape out of the desert landscape. I watched fascinated as she frantically scratched around in the dust. Suddenly a larger, darker version appeared somewhere near my feet in a distinctly defensive posture, making me uncomfortably aware of my bare ankles. (Have I told you we have poisonous snakes here?) They were both approximately 8 – 9 inches long, with a wide midsection, flat head, and a fat tail. I snapped several photos and moved on up the trail, delighted by the encounter and wondering what the heck I’d run into.

I had met a pair of female Chuckwallas, one of many lizard varieties native to Arizona. They will be appearing with more detail in my drawing E-Tutorial, How to Draw the American Southwest, Animals & Cacti of the Arizona-Sonoran Desert. Here’s a sneak peak!

 

I have also started a new blog: www.makeartbehappy.wordpress.com…and will be posting inspirational and motivational thoughts and suggestions for increasing creativity and improving life.

Daily Sketch 06/15/12 ‘Darth Vader’

The Darth Vader of the Sonoran Desert small animal kingdom streaked into my happy little urban landscape this morning.

I noticed her (yes, I believe it was a female) because of her sudden movement. With her small pointy head down and in line with her stretched neck and long tail, she suddenly ran towards a half dozen tumbling, wrestling, playful young ground squirrels – all of whom immediately disappeared down conveniently placed holes in the earth.

Enter, stage left, the Roadrunner.

I’d heard this sometimes clownish (beep-beep) but predatory bird ate baby quail ‘like candy,’ and upon further research learned she consumed anything small and slow enough to fit into her cruel beak.

 As she zipped (they can run up to 15 mph) across the dusty track toward my backyard oasis, I stepped from my backdoor – pajama-clad – to defend my tiny domain. Up close she measured about 18” from beak to tail tip. Unfazed by my defensive stance and flapping arms, she turned and zipped away down the track. Neither of us was inclined to attempt to make friends.

 Ten minutes later she streaked back up the track and past my backyard, a hapless lizard dangling from her beak. I thought she might have babies of her own to feed.

 I had recently wondered how the city would control what seemed to be an explosion of baby ground squirrels and hoped they wouldn’t call in an exterminator with poison. Now I know they won’t need to. Ms. Roadrunner fills her niche in the desert ecosystem just fine. I can respect that, but I still don’t find her easy to like.

Daily Sketch 06/15/12 ‘We Have Babies!’

 Yes, indeed we do. Henrietta, our tiny nesting hummingbird, has been tending her fortress-like, golf ball-sized nest in one of our backyard trees. I wasn’t sure she was actually as attentive as she should be because it seemed she was absent most of the time.

Two days ago I glanced up and there were two tiny bills sticking straight up out of the nest! The babies had taken about two weeks to hatch and now their mama was dashing back and forth from the nest to wherever, stopping only long enough to feed her brand-new offspring.

How tiny are they? First of all, both babies fit into their nest (think ‘golf ball’ here) with Henrietta sitting on top. Second of all, their bills are only 1/2″ long – tiny miniatures of their mother.

I know I’ll be checking on them everyday. I thought perhaps all the attention we were lavishing on her would scare the new mama away, but Nature seems to be much more resilient than that. I’m pleased she’s allowed us to be a part of her world.

 

 

Daily Sketch 06/08/12 ‘Junior’

 I have never seen such a squabbley, awkward, demanding and adorable offspring! Junior seems to have outgrown his mother’s tiny fortress nest while we weren’t looking, and taken to following her everywhere…at least during these last few days.

 Unfortunately I cannot tell one hummer from another except through their daily habits, so I’m not at all sure this is Henrietta.

It seems she can change the appearance of her size and shape at will depending on the circumstances. When she’s relaxed she appears to be no longer from the tip of her beak to the tip of her tail than 2″. Her feathers are smooth and she looks very slender. When she’s flustered, defending her nest or feeding source or zipping about, she fluffs up into ball of pure energy and appears to be larger.

 And Junior (right) seems to have her (left) at her wits end!