A Dark Cloud of Desperation: A Joint Post

I think about mental health and mental illness a lot.  Serious depression permeates my personal life; serious mental illness permeates my professional life: Andrea Yates, the psychotic mother in my book Breaking Point; Tracey Tarlton, the bipolar book store manager in my book The Fortune Hunter.  While researching The Fortune Hunter, specifically while sitting in the courtroom every day covering the trial of Celeste
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New Year’s Eve Reflection on My Beautiful 2010

The year 2011 is less than three hours away, at least in the Central time zone, and most people have already reflected on 2010 to say their goodbyes to a year of struggles, losses, and – I hope – at least a few victories.  To a small degree, I’ve done that, too.  Earlier today I glanced back at the year and listed my gratitudes on Facebook.  There were just three of them, in part because of the space limitations of F
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Guest Post: Allen Morris, A Friend … in Grief and in Laughter

Allen has had a hellacious year. He’s had a heart attack, is suffering continuing and serious health problems, and his father died recently. But even in his grief and recovery, he hears humor. Thank you, Allen, for sharing.
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Tip-Toeing Through the Tulips of Christmas Grief

Recently, I was reading my friend Ruth Pennebaker’s blog post titled “Is This How It’s Going to be From Now On?” The post is about the many losses she and her friends have suffered in 2010. By losses, she means deaths. I’m not one to use words like “loss” or “passed.” I say “died” or “kicked the bucket.” To me, “lost” and “passed” seem too namby-pamby dream-like for what’s really happening – a damn hard, mule kick in
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Mixed Emotions & Gratitude for “Wages of Sin”

I'm a bit stunned that typing that sentence, hitting that period at the end of it, rendered my fingers motionless. It wasn’t the end of the sentence that did it. Mixed emotions did, emotions I didn't realize I had until that moment.
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The Fortune Hunter

“With a Little Help from My Friends”

Today, Kingwood, Texas, friend and fan Courtney Little posted the above photo on her Facebook page with the words, “Suzy, today I’m lunching with Celeste. Haha! I’m a little scared …” Celeste is the killer in my true crime book The Fortune Hunter. So, yes, if Courtney truly were having lunch with Celeste, she should be scared. Celeste is frightening, but she’s also very entertainin
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"You've Got To Have Friends"

I recently mentioned on Facebook that I have a fantasy of seeing someone on the beach reading one of my books.  Perhaps that’s not a fantasy you’d expect from a woman who has spent the past five years researching sex.  But I think it is a fantasy of many writers of books.  And since I am, first and foremost, a writer of books, … well, you get the idea. So, this morning, I opened Facebook and found t
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Never Forget: Writing the Life I Live, Part 2*

Please note: Italicized portions of this post are quotes from my book Breaking Point, the story of Andrea Yates. * * * In the days following the June 20, 2001, murder of Andrea Yates’ five children, the City of Houston buzzed with shock, gossip, and confusion. But on September 11, 2001, it was eerily desolate, a quiet stillness I’ve never experienced in decades of traveling to the Bayou City. I think I wa
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Writing the Life I Live

When I wrote fiction, the life I lived became my writing. A hometown visit with my friend Paula Sue inspired my short story My Sweet Sheri Sue, which you’ll find here and was published in a slightly different form in the anthology Red Boots & Attitude: The Spirit of Texas Women Writers (Eakin Press, 2002). Another short story (that I now find embarrassing) was inspired by an obsession, and a regrettably lost shor
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