Cozying Up With A Mystery

New Genre

If you like to read fiction, you probably have a favorite genre to stick with. For me, it’s mostly Sci-Fi and Fantasy. (Is Dystopia its own genre?) Last week, I finished reading a book outside my norm: a Cozy Mystery. It was good! In fact, I’ve already started reading book two in the series.

Involuntary Turnover

Before reading Involuntary Turnover by Cheri Baker, I’d never even heard of a Cozy Mystery. I’d heard of mysteries of course, just not the cozy variety. Basically, it focuses on the “Who dunnit?” Something bad happens and the main character must figure out who the cause was. I think another word for it is Sleuthing.

The story revolves around a protagonist named, Kat Voyzey. She is an HR Manager at a local hospital, but she’s really into solving stuff. I think being a people person helps. What’s cool about Kat is that she’s a down-to-earth person and very believable. Reading the book, you can feel what she’s feeling and know what she’s thinking as she interacts with the supporting cast.

I’m no expert book reviewer, but the main character is like-able and the whole story is easy to read because it’s written well. The characters are not shallow but evenly developed, and the book’s pace is steady. It’s not overly detailed, but there are enough little things described throughout that make the setting and the people become more real.

The plot is not convoluted; the book is not super-long. It’s the ideal escapism you want in a book if you’re a busy person like me. I often read a chapter or two on my lunch break, always ending at a good stopping point. And if I took a week or two off from reading, it was easy as breathing to pick up where I left off and get drawn into Kat’s next turn.

Voluntary Reading

I kind of stumbled upon this book after discovering a fellow blogger, Cheri Baker. She wrote a resonating article on her blog early in the Summer called, Can We Make The Internet Fun Again? I think I ran into the link on Twitter somehow. The point here supports the question in her blog title – yes! The web is open and can be serendipitous like in the beginning. Just delete Facebook.

Anyways, let me stop chasing that rabbit to say, speaking of Twitter, you can visit @cheribaker here and find Involuntary Turnover for free! Give it a try! If you like it then you’ll have two more cozy mysteries to look forward to in the series following Kat Voyzey on her crime-solving escapades.

I’m a few chapters into the second story, Orientation to Murder. I must say, the first chapter made me laugh with several puns! And the writing so far feels stronger, or maybe smoother is the better description. It takes hard work to write well, and I think Cheri shows nice progress in the setting and character of Kat Voyzey.

One more way I can praise the stories and the author is to say I’m looking forward to Baker’s future Cozy Mysteries. It’s nice to find a new writer to add to your reading list; a whole new genre on top of that – bonus!

What’s your favorite genre? Have you ever tried a different one? How’d it go? Write me below, or write to me here! Thanks for pausing your book reading to read my blog!

Bloggers Gonna Blog

Can anyone who blogs call themself a blogger? Seems like a dumb question, but I guess it depends on what the definition of blogger is. To oversimplify – one who blogs. Is it that simple? Because that would be too easy, right?

What you do and what you are

I’ve struggled with this blogger identity. On my Twitter bio, I still have not claimed that label for myself. Instead of saying what I am, I simply say what do, “I blog…” And if that makes me a blogger, cool.

But what you do does not necessarily make you whatever that thing is. I sleep, but I’m not a “sleeper.” A dog barks, but it’s not a barker; it’s a dog. My wife bakes, sometimes, but she’s not a baker.

Another example is photography. It’s a side-hobby of mine (see my Gallery). I label myself an enthusiast for it. I own several cameras. I geek out on the gear, the craft, and the art. I’ve practiced shooting. I try to develop my eye for shots. I take and make photos in camera and in post processing software (Lightroom).

But I am not a photographer. Why? Because I don’t get paid for pictures. So I’m not a professional photographer. My day job is not photos, or writing.

Regularity is key

Let’s bring it back to being a blogger. What is a blogger? It’s a person who publishes or shares their thoughts online. But a key word to add to this definition (thanks to the Oxford dictionary) is, “regularly.”

Posting to a blog on a regular or consistent basis is vital. Blogs are considered defunct when the blogger doesn’t post for months at a time. For me, this is a big deal. I’ve started many blogs only to end up missing in action. Even my Jason Journals blog has gone on hiatus before – yikes! That is why I’ve always hesitated to self-identify as a blogger.

Consistency is not my strength. It takes lots of planning, self-discipline, and concerted effort on my part. And that still doesn’t always make things work out. So I’ve kind of had this personal standard: I can only call myself a blogger after I’ve blogged regularly for one year. Because if I could stick with it that long, then the label would stick.

But I admit, I feel closer to accepting the blogger identity now because I’m on my longest stretch of regular blogging ever! Yeah, I feel good about that. Part of me just wants to assume the identity of – blogger. I like writing, word-smithing, etc. If I keep it up, I may even get good at it someday!

Labels and identities

Beyond the blogger label, in general, I think someone who posts words online can also be called an Author or Writer. But “author” seems more associated with published books, not blogs. And they’re usually paid for their writing.

But by definition, a blogger is one who writes online regularly, not professionally. They publish their writing often, and money may or may not be involved.

Anyways, I’ve got to stay focused on the doingjust blog stuff, man! I enjoy it, so my chance of success in being a blogger is decent. I don’t know if that necessarily means that what I do and what I am relate to who I am. But that’s getting too deep.

Keep it simple. If you blog enough, then yeah, you’re a blogger.

Oh, and drink coffee. Seems like that’s part of being a blogger. Works for me!

Are you a blogger because you blog? Or do you blog because you are a blogger? What do you think? Write below, or write to me here! I like hearing from you!