By Deborah Sharp
After blogging here at Inkspot for six years, it's time for me to say goodbye. Lots of water under the bridge since one of my first posts, way back in the summer of 2008. I was eagerly -- nervously! -- awaiting publication of my first book, Mama Does Time.
I was a newly minted Midnight Ink author, and thrilled to be asked to blog with some of my fellow M'Inkers. Here's what I had to say back then:
I've found another thing to worry about as my book's debut draws near.
It's a testament to my fretting powers that I could come up with something new, given my many present concerns. There's hurricane season, a fear of horrible reviews, and the possibility that my fellow Florida voters will fail to select a president -- again -- and the ensuing media firestorm will ensure that no one pays any attention to my funny little set-in-Florida mystery.
Since I wrote those words, I worried through the debuts of four additional books in my Mace Bauer Mystery series. Number 2 was Mama Rides Shotgun. Three was Mama Gets Hitched. Four was Mama Sees Stars. The fifth one was Mama Gets Trashed. Each time got a bit easier, but the nerves always gnawed at my stomach. I think that's the case for most authors sending their books -- their babies! -- into the world. We fret. Will people love my baby like I do?
I've decided to take a break from writing. (Possible title: Mama's on Hiatus?) Though I never say never, I have no immediate plans to do a sixth book in the series. So, I thought I'd step aside and let some of the fabulous, fresher authors in the Midnight Ink stable take up the reins.
In honor of my first career as a reporter for USA Today, I wanted to end with a feature the paper made famous, or maybe infamous: Bullet items. Much used and often maligned, bullets are a short, punchy way of getting info across. They're named for the punctuation that sets off each info nugget, often in the form of a list. I did tons of such lists when I worked for USA Today: Tips for keeping cool in a heat wave. Madonna's favorite tummy-trimmers. Top states for shark attacks (Florida, surprise, was No. 1).
So, here are my Top 5 Favorite Things about Inkspot:
* It's the office water cooler for co-workers who don't share an office.
* It's given me -- and so many of my Midnight Ink pals -- a group identity.
* It's a place for us to have our say, any way we want to say it.
* It's a way for readers to see what we think about when we're not writing mysteries.
* It's provided me with entertainment, friendship, and a sense of being part of something bigger than solitary little me.
I just wanted to say thanks. Adieu, y'all.