copyright jgheath

jay gee heath

Thoughts on what sneaks into a story.

April 2017    I found ideas in a mandatory fire evacuation last week.

The host welcoming evacuees to the restaurant, a little chubby, a little funny. The dog who is terrified by the elevator, crouching and trembling. Breakfast with an  old friend. Seven thousand homes were under mandatory evacuation. People, pets, livestock, rescued wolves, a rhinoceros. (This will never be in a book. Who would believe a rhino in someone’s backyard??).

Titles for Tiger's stories are fun. Three different  comments which will soon be titles for book three. My sister complained of cat fur on her pants and her friend said, "No outfit is complete without some cat fur."  Or the day after we had take-out and someone asked, "Where are the onion rings?"  (This will be, "Where are the bacon wrapped chicken nuggets/tenders?") Or the phrase, "cats are like potato chips, you can’t have just one". (Yes, you can, or you better.)

Natterings or random thoughts - Some might call it a blog.

4/18/2021  (My Mom's birthday)  Newest mystery,  Right Villain, has its own story. It began life alongside a tale about Lori and Cav, as a sub-plot about Annie. But the number of characters  became too cumbersome, so I separated them. Solution and Villain were born. Both stories are a tad shorter than I prefer, but are a good length for light reading.

8/1/2019  (Is it coincidence that I only write here when a book is due out?) Thoughts while preparing Tiger Three for publication: There is always, always one more thing to do. After editing, editing again, and again. Proofing, proofing, proofing...  There is still more. Today I am adding the phrase, there is almost always one thing which has to be done before you can actually do the thing that has to be done. Put the stories together in one file. Oh, together with front matter and back matter. Oh, put in placeholders for the drawings. Oh, first name the drawings and list them in table of contents. Add ISBN. Oh, first find the right ones....

And maybe we'll see the new mystery  published in December 2019.


1/20/2019  I was told confidentially by a male reader that Dreams is 'kind of a girly book. A good book. A page turner. But really kind of girly'. I'm still giggling, which is kind of a girly thing to do. He is going to read the other books.

Tiger Three is in the works. Anyone out there want to illustrate? And two more mystery novellas featuring members of the gang. Look for them this year.

8/2 2018 where do the stories come from?

Don’t climb the Coconut    Had to write this one because I have those pictures. One of Tiger trying to climb the coconut and another of the land crab hanging on the trunk.

Killer  I was puzzled, and I mentioned to my sister that I didn’t understand why Killer insisted on being called Sluggo. She told me that Sluggo the beagle lived across the street from us when we were growing up. Strange she should remember and not me, but she is older (by a year).

Beggar Lice  I was walking up the driveway one afternoon when a handful of green leaves slithered across the pebbles for a foot. I was the one who said, “Huh?” I edged closer. It slithered again, this time forward. I edged even close enough to see at the same time as my husband hollered, “I’m pulling the garden hose, that vine of leaves is stuck on it.”

Bacon Wrapped Fried Chicken Nuggets   We ordered takeout BBQ. My sister (yes, same one) insisted we get onion rings along with the ribs, chicken, potato salad, beans, coleslaw, toast – I forget what else. Next day, when I was getting the leftovers out of the frig, I couldn’t find the onion rings. We never got them. We never missed them.

8/2017  I finally added the Tiger page. Volume 1 will be out in a couple of weeks on Amazon and Kindle. It was fun to write. And edit. And edit. And edit.

Volume two will be out in April or May 2018 and will include bacon wrapped chicken nuggets.  (2018 who can believe it is so close?)

Yes, there really was a Tiger and he really did move from a big city to the swamps. And yes, he really did hide under the bed when he saw his first heron. The rest??  Well, a great deal of fiction. Part of the fun writing these stories are people asking, "Did that really happen?"

5/2017 Soon I'll add a page for Tiger's Adventures in the Everglades, an anthology of short stories. Thank Mia Mazza for the delightful paintings and sketches of the wildlife and people he meets.