My, um… not-very-subtle invitation

I’d like to preface this post by reminding you I was the guy who, a few posts back, was talking about how he’d realized the merits of not filling every moment of his day with projects and tasks — and the value in giving yourself permission to just “be” in the moment from time to time. So, naturally, it was during one of those reflective moments of just “being” that I calmly (and even a bit serenely) concluded: I need to finish my book.

And because I am still a recovering task-oriented work-a-holic, I decided to motivate myself by establishing self-imposed deadlines, played out publicly week after week, until it’s finished. So, starting March 4, I’ll be posting a new chapter in the final draft of my new book, No Safe Harbor, every Saturday at 9 a.m.

This is a passion project I’ve been working on since 1997. So, when you look at it that way, I HAVE been living “in the moment” and just “being” with this project for *gulp* 26 years! Now it’s time I roll up my sleeves, get back to the keyboard, turn off my Google alerts, delete Candy Crush Saga from my phone, stop being distracted by that weird discoloration on the ceiling, refrain from ordering DoorDash four times a day just because I can, not be compelled to spray Windex on any potential fungus after watching The Last of Us, and get this book done!

(Can I get an Amen?)

I actually began researching for this book while living in Atlanta, Ga., where, on days off from my chef duties, I spent time outlining the story and interviewing detectives, crime scene technicians and private investigators. I wanted to make sure 1) I was striking the right tone with my characters, 2) Had a good grasp of investigative procedure, 3) Understood how all those different angles would fit together in the event they were all entangled within the same mysterious death investigation — all for different reasons and with different information, and 4) Was able to conduct all my research within walking distance of a Huston’s Steakhouse.

This led to some fascinating — and in some cases very unsettling — conversations and field trips (except to the steakhouse). I was fortunate enough to become friends with Det. Larry Wood who — in addition to being one of the nicest people I’ve ever met — was also Georgia’s top crime scene investigator at the time. In his confidence, he not only introduced me to evidence-gathering techniques but also took me through actual scenes that sometimes still bother me. It also included some funny situations, like interviewing K.K. Wrozier, a female detective who agreed to meet while having her hair done. She spared few details in some of the worst cases she’d encountered, raising more than a few eyebrows from nearby patrons whose hair nearly curled on its own.

Working on this book has also introduced me to a group of characters that have remained ingrained in my mind for nearly three decades — and waiting for the chance to live out their story: Shane McPhearson, a P.I. who moved to Seattle to escape his past, only to find himself the suspect of kidnapping and murder; eight-year-old Jacob Bettington, a seemingly homeless child with more than a few secrets; Detective James Kazad, who is the first to suspect McPhearson’s innocence; and Sam Lewis, the one woman McPhearson can open up to about almost everything.

If you’d like to curl up with a mystery-in-the-making each Saturday, and also be a part of the process and conversation as I work through this final draft, I’d love to have you join in the mystery.

Just click here and then “follow” the No Safe Harbor page.

In the meantime, I’ll just be over here living in the moment and “being” with my manuscript pages — and trying to ignore that weird discoloration in the ceiling…


Are you a writer embarking on the journey of turning their manuscript into a published book or memoir? Easy Writer can help assure your manuscript is tuned up, strapped down, shiny clean and gassed up for the road ahead.  Find out more HERE

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

10 thoughts on “My, um… not-very-subtle invitation”

  1. How exciting!!! I will be tuning in Ned!! Now to find my own moments of “being” 🤔 I have an idea or two I have knocking around in my head. Maybe I should put it down on paper…so to speak. 😉

No one is watching, I swear...

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