This week: FinaleEdited by: Jeff
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"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the
fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science."
-- Albert Einstein
Trivia of the Week: This is my 120th official WDC Mystery Newsletter. It's my 223rd official WDC newsletter across all topics, and my 335th newsletter written for WDC activities overall. I've been a regular editor of the Mystery Newsletter for almost nine years, since April 2010, and have won and/or been nominated for multiple Quill Awards for newsletter editing.
This is my last Mystery Newsletter as a regular editor.
If you can believe it, I've been a regular editor of this official newsletter for almost nine years! And since this is the time of the year where we all re-examine ourselves and make resolutions, I thought it was an opportune time to hand the reins to others moderators to find their voices as newsletter editors.
When I first started writing newsletters on this site, I volunteered for a few assignments here and there. Group newsletters, mostly. In early 2010, I took over the "Unofficial Erotica Newsletter Group" and wrote over 100 newsletters for that genre, during the tenure of which I was promoted to Moderator and started signing up for official site newsletters. 120 Mystery Newsletters, 75 For Authors, 9 Spiritual, 6 Comedy, 6 Horror/Scary, 4 Short Stories, 1 Noticing Newbies, 1 Fantasy, and 1 Romance/Love newsletter later, I'm a better writer, a better researcher, and a better critical thinker than I was before I started.
Each time an opportunity to write a newsletter editorial came around, it was an opportunity to peruse other people's work here on the site for featured items, brainstorm a topic and do any necessary research and rewriting to explore the topic, and an opportunity to engage with the feedback readers left for my previous newsletter. If you haven't had the opportunity to edit a newsletter before, I highly encourage you to give it a try; it's a great way to build community, keep learning new things, and benefit the community all at the same time. And while the official newsletters are for Moderators+, there are a ton of groups on the site who also publish regular newsletters. I got my start in newsletter writing when I was a Preferred Author, so whether you're a purple case, blue case, yellow or black, there are opportunities out there to write newsletters. And if you can't find an existing opportunity that's right for you, start your own newsletter! With WDC groups, book items, and WritingML formatting, it's easy to write quality, professional looking newsletters and attract readers who are interested in your particular topic.
I'd like to thank a handful of people for their guidance and support over my tenure here at the Mystery NL.
To Editing is BLUE and DB Cooper , who were two of my most frequent commenters. Thank you for always taking the time to read my newsletters and engage with the topic of the week.
To Brooke , who was always there for me when we got the same automated "FINAL REMINDER: You newsletter is due tomorrow!" email and freaked out because we hadn't started yet... and to The StoryMaster for his endless patience when I sometimes had to email him and say, "I know it was due an hour ago, but I swear I'll finish it today!"
To Arakun the Twisted Raccoon , the other regular Mystery Newsletter editor who has been writing these newsletters almost as long as I have.
To Laurie_O who is no longer on the site who entrusted me with the "Unofficial Erotica Newsletter Group" and convinced me that I was capable of writing regular newsletters (even in genres I knew very little about at the time!).
Finally, to everyone else who ever took the time to read one of my newsletters, submit feedback, send in an item to be featured, or otherwise engaged with me as I edited these past 120 newsletters. I know that your time is precious and modern attention spans are short, and the world can often pull us in a million different directions at once. So, to anyone who afforded me a bit of their valuable time and supported the time and effort of my own that I put into these, THANK YOU.
In closing, I'm not going away for good. I'll still be around the site, running the official writing contests and figuring out other ways to stir up trouble. After a bit of a break, I'll probably even volunteer for some guest editor spots from time to time, when I think of something interesting to saay. In the meantime, I trust that you'll give any newcomers to the Mystery Newsletter the same grace and enthusiasm and support that you've shown me.
Over the past several years, I've always signed off from my editorials the same way. I thought about changing it for this final regular issue, but then I realized that it's actually the perfect way to end my tenure because I will definitely still be around. So for now, I'll take my leave by simply saying, once more with feeling...
Until next time,
If you're interested in checking out my work:
"New & Noteworthy Portfolio Items"
This month's official Writing.com writing contest is:
I also encourage you to check out the following items:
EXCERPT: What more could go wrong? Matt wondered. The list of the day’s misadventures was already as long as a fishing line. On second thought, don’t even go there. Plenty more can always go wrong, and I can't afford any more.
EXCERPT: Charlotte sat next to the steamed up window in the café on the High Street. The warmth was a welcome respite from the icy wind outside and she was oblivious to the people surrounding her. In their usual corner three young mums sat chatting loudly, prams parked next to them. The coffee machine and the Barista behind the counter were adding to the general buzz, but the young blonde woman was deep in thought, her eyes raised to the ceiling as if seeking inspiration. Charlotte was considering the challenge her Great Aunt Evelyn had set for her, presuming she was correct in that assumption. Or was she just imagining that she’d been set a task?
EXCERPT: There is a brave new world in the year 20XX. This world is run by sentient animals, perfectly mimicking that of ours. The town of Louthwell in the English West Midlands was enlocked between the forested hills of Klickshire and Durbedey. Above the hills cut by rivers glided a young bearded vulturess named Riley Wallace, majestically floating over the hills.
EXCERPT: Nothing is more satisfying than coming home from a strenuous day of work to a gorgeous bouquet of flowers on the doorstep. Purple and teal roses sat awaiting Cassandra, her favorite colors. Smiling from ear to ear, she lets out an embarrassingly loud shriek and then looks around to make sure the neighbors aren't watching. Leaning her nose in towards the roses, the scent of pure heaven flows through her nostrils. The delicate velvet petals have an intoxicating fragrance of an early spring morning in the countryside. Immediately, she feels high on life. A single rose holds tremendous power in its very essence. It can turn a horrendous day into a glorious one. It will give an ill hospital patient something to smile about. A rose can give a couple hope in their failing relationship. Twiddling with the leaves, Cassandra's finger gets pricked with a sharp thorn from the stem of the flower, drawing blood. She's suddenly reminded that these are forgiveness flowers from her fight the previous night with her fiancé, Dan.
EXCERPT:“He’s dead, then.”
“He is,” Decklan said. “The police matched your description to the body found in the woods off the Interstate yesterday.” He spread his hands. “Of course, it’s an assumption since I discovered that the name and social security number you gave in the missing person’s report matched to somebody who died in 1957.”
Cailey stared at the trees swaying outside of the detective’s office in the approaching storm. “I knew he’d run when he stormed out of that restaurant on me last month, but I didn’t think it would end like this.”
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Feedback from "Mystery Newsletter (December 12, 2018)" about the true crime genre:
Editing is BLUE writes: "You hit my weakness. TRUE CRIME! I love it. I'm addicted to TC Pod Casts. The story of HH Holmes has fascinated me. His great grandson Jeff Mudgett did a Documentary on him as the American Ripper. I truly believe that without a doubt, HH Holmes could very well be "Jack the Ripper" I've written a fiction inspired by a true crime that will be published in the first quarter of 2019. One of my favorite is John Douglas Mind Hunter. It a Netflix series but his book is amazing too. "
I'm currently making my way through Dirty John which is an absolutely crazy true crime story. And I haven't done nearly enough research about Jack the Ripper and H.H. Holmes together but the time period and serial behavior does raise some interesting questions!
BIG BAD WOLF turns 30 6/3 writes: "Sometimes, when writers base a story on "real events", one of the things that they might do is cut out some of the details that "seem too impossible to be real", like how often someone gets repeatedly stabbed, yet didn't get a vital injury - if the real version person got stabbed ten times but survived, all while subduing their attacker, the story version of the would-be victim gets stabbed twice to make their survival, and the fight afterwards, seem more believable to movie audiences."
It's definitely true that some real life scenarios are so incredible that they'd hardly be believed in the context of a story. "The truth is stranger than fiction" is an adage that happens pretty often, in my experience.
DB Cooper writes: "I have seen SEVERAL good true crime movies including Deadly Whispers, Borderline Murder, An Officer and a Murderer, and The Craig's List Killer."
I've only seen a couple of those but will add the others to my list to check out one of these days!
Jenstrying writes: "Thank you! Those are very good ideas! I'm currently taking a historical fiction class and I love the excuse to dig around in history to find pieces to put together to make a story. Doing historical crime is another good excuse! If I get lost you know where to find me!"
Thanks for your feedback!
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