We're always happy to have author Camille Minichino stop by for a visit. A retired physicist turned writer, Camille is the author of twenty-five mystery novels in four series. She currently serves on the board of NorCal Mystery Writers of America, is on the faculty of Golden Gate U. in SF, and teaches writing in the San Francisco Bay Area. Learn more about her at her website and blog.
Who hasn't thought of time travel? Reliving glory days, redoing a life-changing decision, or simply hanging around with your favorite historical figure. I might make a date with Abraham Lincoln, find out if he really did wear size 14 shoes.
Recently, I was offered the chance to go back in time – to 2008. Not as dramatic a trip as one requiring a whole new wardrobe, maybe even a bustle and a parasol. Its claim to fame: My first Miniature Mystery, cover shown here, was released in 2008. Murder in Miniature introduced miniaturist Gerry Porter and her precocious 10-year-old granddaughter Maddie. The book also includes a section of Tips for Miniatures, with ideas such as using rounded buttons as the feet on an upholstered chair; or the fluted metal top of a soda bottle as a mini pie plate.
I'm now cleared (long story) to reissue that book and 4 others in the series. The new cover will include a photo of my latest dollhouse project, shown above as a work in progress, with interior and exterior views. Once completely cleaned up and furnished, the house will be donated to a local school for its holiday raffle. Giving crafts projects away serves a dual purpose: raising money for a worthy cause, and making room for another project. Not to mention an excuse to shop for more supplies.
A little more about furnishing the house shown, which arrived as a fixer-upper from a writer friend. I rummage through my many drawers, shelves, and messy boxes of stuff, as usual, before I buy or make anything new. I found one of those pieces of fabric that come with an easy chair, the intended use being to protect the arm or the headrest of the chair from wear. Since I'm not that fussy about my life-size furniture, but I do always keep scraps, this meant-to-be carpet was a perfect fit for the living room (lower right). The paintbrushes are there for scale, lest you think this is where I live.
I've also scattered other items: a folding chair and a coaster-cum-scatter rug in the bedroom (middle right); cans of food, barely distinguishable on the kitchen floor (lower left); and a mini slinky and kid's chair in the attic.
This method of positioning pieces—here a stool, there a stool—is similar to the way I write a novel. Test out a word, a phrase, a plot twist and live with it for a while before committing.
Which is to say, I like crafts with moveable pieces and room for correctible errors!