Another full moon is almost here! Monday’s full moon is known as the Worm Moon, but I prefer to call it the Bookworm Moon. In honor of the Bookworm Moon, I’ll be posting the first chapter of my young adult urban fantasy, The Werewolf’s Daughter, at Leave a comment there to be entered into a drawing for a free, autographed copy of The Werewolf’s Daughter.

Now, I’m off to Springmingle in Atlanta!

The Florida Writers Association (FWA) annual conference included speakers on writing multi-cultural stories/topics, sci-fi/fantasy, non-fiction and children’s stories.  I pulled nuggets of wisdom from each workshop I attended, but the biggest value I received was interacting with agents, editors, and fellow authors.  Also got the Academy Award experience when I walked to the stage for my RPLA in Young Adult (unpublished).  I pulled 3rd place in this category with scores of 37, 44, and 50 out of 50 from the three judges.  There were fewer entries (cumulative for all categories) this year than last year, but more finalists, indicating the quality of the manuscripts was superb.  I was honored to receive 3rd place in such esteemed company, and will work to polish my ms into a truly top-tier story.

Reviews from readers are posted on

Today is the anniversary of the 1935 FBI shootout with the Barker gang in Oklawaha, Florida.  Ma Barker and her son, Fred, were holed up incognito in a bungalow on Lake Weir, near Ocala, when Fred happened to blab in a letter to a friend how he was so bored in this backwater town that he had to shoot the resident alligator, One-Eyed Joe, for fun.  The FBI, who was intercepting mail from the Barkers, began asking around for information about a lake in Central Florida with an alligator called One-Eyed Joe.  Lake Weir seemed to fit the bill.  So an undercover FBI agent took a stroll down a fishing pier and started up a conversation with the fellow who was relaxing there.  Much happen in this town?  No, the fellow said.  Nada.  It’s so bad, I had to shoot me an alligator for fun.  The FBI Untouchables put two and two together and surrounded the lake house.  “You’re surrounded, come out with your hands up,” as the saying goes.  Ma and Fred did not want to come out with their hands up, so they opened fire instead.  After a battle that, according to local lore, left machine gun bullet holes in the oak trees in the Barkers’ yard that can still be seen today, there was silence from the house.  The Untouchables wanted to find out if this meant the Barkers were dead, or if it was a trap.  Did one of the agents bravely volunteer to go check?  No.  They sent the old black gardener, who must have been scared out of his wits to go where Untouchables fear to tread.  But good news — for the gardener and the FBI — Ma and Fred were dead.  I don’t know if the town still re-enacts this event, but they used to put on an entertaining show at the community center.  P.S. My “Ma” used to babysit in the house the Barkers rented on Lake Weir, but that was 18 or more years after the FBI came to town to rid the country of Ma Barker and her boy, Fred.


One response

13 03 2009
Debra Katz

M.R., I will check back more often. Even after knowing you for as long as I have, I discovered things I didn’t know! Keep up the writing.

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