Sunday, August 30, 2009

Researching a Fly Fishing Tournament

For my work-in-progress, I needed to learn more about the sport of competitive fly fishing, so after taking a basic lesson with a guide (see my July 6th post, "Fishy Research"), I contacted the organizers of the America's Cup International Fly Fishing Tournament that was held in Frisco, Colorado August 22-28. John Knight, one of the two event organizers, invited me to ride along with him on one of the competition days, and I readily accepted.

Thursday was one of the river fishing days. I arrived at the Frisco Marina at 7 am to observe the check-in of two-person fishing teams and volunteer controllers, who measured and recorded fish catches. The first photo is of John and his wife Jodi checking in controllers. The second photo is of John and fellow event organizer, Dave Pehle, suited up in their waders and holding their fish measuring tubes, because they, too, were going to be controllers for the day.

John and Dave and I followed the local team consisting of Dzifa Glymin of Denver, who operates the very useful Colorado Flyfisherman website, and Adam Dudek of Estes Park, a fly fishing guide. Both were representing Team Caddis in the event. The third photo is of Adam and Dzifa casting their rods on opposite sides of the upper Arkansas River above Granite, Colorado. The fourth photo shows a brown trout on Dzifa's line, which was netted by Adam, and John is approaching with the measuring tube to record the catch. The fifth photo shows Dzifa netting one of his own catches, with Dave standing at the ready to measure it. I think I hiked well over 4 miles that day alongside the river on uneven terrain. I couldn't wait to jump in the hot tub!

On Friday, I returned to the Frisco Marina for the Award Ceremony and Party. The sixth photo shows some of the members of the Australian team who competed. The seventh photo shows members of the North Carolina team handing out yummy homemade pork & beans from their crockpot. The last photo shows two members of Colorado Women Flyfishers who competed and one who served as a controller standing with John. A good time was had by all that night. Congratulations to the winners!

I came away from the whole event with pages and pages of notes and made quite a few contacts who graciously offered to answer future questions. Flyfishers are such wonderful people! It's too bad I'm going to have to kill one of them in my current mystery. :) John joked that I'll be able to go into any fly shop and "talk the talk" even though I'm not a flyfisher myself--yet!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hints on Using Facebook Effectively

A current discussion on the "Murder Must Advertise" yahoogroup, where mystery authors trade promotion tips, is how to use Facebook effectively for promotion. Here's what I had to say on the subject.

I've made it a personal choice not to become any other author's "fan" but to become friends instead. If you don't want to accept my friendship, I'm not your fan. :) I am a "fan" of bookstores, local arts organizations, mystery cons, nutella, Wikipedia, TV shows, and stuff like that, though. I keep track of my extensive friends (over 2,000 now) by having a few sublists, one for family, one for close friends, one for Colorado folks, one for writer friends, etc. If I know you well, you end up on a sublist, and I'm more likely to see your status updates.

Also, I suggest that you pick only one application to play with, and choose "Block application" on any others that appear on your home page, so you don't waste all your time on trivia on Facebook. For me, my choice is an old application, (Lil) Green Patch, where you send friends plants, and I only send occasionally to those who've sent plants to me. I know a lot of folks seem to like Mafia Wars, though. Also, I try to limit my time on Facebook to one hour a day max, after I've met my page count or other writing goal for the day.

You don't find a lot of personal stuff on my Facebook page, like family photos or information about my kids. Since I use it as a promotion and networking tool, I keep the private stuff off my page. However, I've come to accept folks knowing a fair bit about me. Having an uncommon name means that we're the only Groundwater family in the Colorado Springs and Breckenridge phone books, where we own homes. So, if someone can find me that easily in the phone book, I don't worry about how easily they can find my address or phone number online. My birthday or SSN are another matter, however!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

An article on "Current Trends in Self Promotion"

Kaye Lynne Booth, aka the Southern Colorado Literature Examiner, also has a personal blog about writing, writers, and the writing business with hints and tips for writers everywhere. Her latest post on Current Trends in Self Promotion is a thorough piece about promoting yourself as a writer. I'm very pleased that she used me as an example when she discussed blog book tours. Take a gander and let me know what you think of Kaye's article, and it you like it, let her know!

Monday, August 17, 2009

I'm featured on the Austin Writing Examiner

Sylvia Dickey Smith, aka the Austin (Texas) Writing Examiner, asked for my thoughts on the advantages of being a more adult writer. By that term, I think she means older, not necessarily more well-behaved. ;-) Her article today lists what I consider to be the benefits of being an older writer, and to me that term applies to those who have said goodbye to their forties and moved on to higher decades.

As Sylvia concludes, "If you have long said you would love to write a book, take the example set by women on this column, strike out and begin. Find a group of other more adult women with like intent, buy books on the subject and get started."

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My "Six Words" over at Jen's Book Thoughts

Jen Lorain reviews mysteries and interviews mystery authors on her blog. One of the questions she asks each author is to describe your writing life in six words. After collecting quite a few of these, she's been posting recaps at her blog under the title "You have the right to six words." My answer is in her Week 9 recap that she posted on July 22. In case you missed it, here's the link. The others make fascinating reading, too!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

I scored at the Gala in the Gardens

Friday evening my husband and I attended the Gala in the Gardens fundraiser for the local Trails and Open Space Coalition with my writer friend Julia Allen (think vampires!) and her husband. It was an island-themed outdoor get-together, so I wore my prize-winning full-length muu-muu (sorry about the dash city here) that I trotted out for costume contest at the 2008 Left Coast Crime conference in Denver.

After lubricating ourselves with glasses of wine, Julia and I shopped 'til we dropped at the silent auction. I wound up "winning" four donated prizes. (Why do they call it winning when you have to pay for them, I want to know?) I got all four for below the estimated value, and I'm looking forward to enjoying them. Many thanks to the sponsors.

1. A bottle of cabernet sauvignon and a gift certificate to The Wine Store inColorado Springs,
2. The book Planet Earth (accompaniment to the TV series) as an early birthday gift for hubby,
3. A gift certificate to Concept Restaurants in Colorado Springs (Jose Muldoon's, MacKenzie's Chop House, Ritz Grill or Southside Johnny's), which I'll use for my birthday dinner,
4. A gift certificate for a Catered Romantic Dinner for Two from The Picnic Basket, that we'll use for our anniversary celebration.

Thus from one celebration came the seeds for many more!

Friday, August 07, 2009

A lovely gift from a mystery reader

The attached photo is of me wearing a lovely scarf hand-knitted by the talented Molly Weston. It's my favorite color (a typical Leo, I love purple), and Molly tells me that the yarn is made from bamboo. Molly is very active in the mystery community, reviewing mystery books and blogging about the mystery community at Meritorious Mysteries and serving as an author escort in her hometown. Her knitted works of art are highly coveted and appreciated by mystery authors. Thanks, Molly!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

First Bouchercon Blogger

As a prelude to the Bouchercon mystery conference that will take place in her hometown of Indianapolis, IN in October, blogger Bethany Warner has invited mystery authors who are attending Bouchercon to guest on her blog, as a way of introducing us to the locals. I am the first such author that she is featuring. You can read my post here. Please comment on it, to let Bethany know you appreciate her hard work in hosting all these mystery authors!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Another great review for TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET

I'm thrilled that Caryl Harvey, a reviewer at the I Love A Mystery website, gave my second Claire Hanover gift basket designer mystery, To Hell in a Handbasket, a great review and recommended it to the website's readers. I especially liked the last paragraph:

"TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET is Beth Groundwater's second gift-basket-designer mystery. Groundwater's familiarity with Colorado ski resorts adds realism that roots her readers into her mystery. Her heroine Claire is great fun as an aging mama with a Sherlock Holmes bent. The plot is twisty and unpredictable just like the black diamond ski runs Groundwater touts in her story. This is a good weekend read... with a cup of hot chocolate on the side. RECOMMENDED."

To read the whole review, and reviews of lots of other books by Caryl and other reviewers, go to I Love a Mystery!