By Deborah Sharp
Peace and love from the mellow environs of Northern California. My husband and I are vacationing out here, about as far as we can get from Florida's summer swelter. And now that I'm a bonafide mystery writer, I'm feeling guilty that I haven't written word one this week on Book 3, ''Mama Gets Hitched.''
Is it just me, or does everyone else feel like taking a vacation is slacking off?
Early in my transition from journalism to fiction-writing, I remember listening to an important author at a mystery convention: ''Writing is like breathing,'' he said, importantly. ''If I couldn't write, I'd die.''
I was duly impressed. But even then I wondered if that wasn't a bit of hooey. I mean, suppose this writer was the lone survivor of a ship wreck. Luckily for him, his deserted island has ample food and water. But, darn it, not a single sheet of paper or writing utensil to be found. Would he really die without the ability to scribble out the plot points of his latest novel?
It's funny, I never felt guilty about taking time off when I was a plain ol' journalist. I knew as soon as I got back, there'd be plenty of new stories to cover. Then again, I always keep a journal. So maybe some small observation about the Northern California lifestyle will make it into my next book.
How does ''Mama Tries Tofu'' sound?