Tuesday, October 31, 2006
We usually don't get many trick-or-treaters at the house since we live on a hilly street. Trudging uphill in below-freezing, windy weather is not most kids' idea of fun. For those who do make the trek, I try to have a big treat so they feel the effort was worth their while. The full-size Nerds ropes go over well, and I throw in a sheet of Halloween stickers, too.
Enjoy the mystery of Halloween and stay warm!
Thursday, October 26, 2006
I handed my dear hubby a list of website updates last week, and he's been hard at work implementing them, so click on the link to my website and check them out. You'll see changes to the Books page (read the excerpts!), Press Kit page, and a new list of Appearances. Also, I've added a FAQ, a photo with my acquisition editor, a recipe for a mystery lover's gift basket, and a cover photo of the Map of Murder anthology in which I have a short story. I'm still waiting anxiously for the cover art of A Real Basket Case!
About a week ago, my email newsletter list reached 100 addresses, so I picked the first gift basket winner. I emailed her to ask what type of basket she would like and if I could publish her name. She chose the chocoholic basket. My kind of gal! The winner is:
Karen Duvall from Bent,
Now, those of you who did not win, DON'T DESPAIR! You still have many more chances to win a gift basket. When my email list reaches 200 addresses, I will draw a random number from ALL the addresses, so the first 100 will have another chance. Same goes when the list hits 300, 400, 500, and so on. So, by signing up early, you get more chances to win. Encourage all of your mystery-reading friends to join to increase your odds. The sooner they sign up, the better their odds are, too!
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Our band director was able to contact the competition officials and get our performance time switched from before the lunch break to after. However, we arrived with just enough time for the kids to sprint to the port-a-potties after being on the bus 4.5 hours, get in uniform and march in, with no practice or warm-up. They still managed to score second place in the semifinals and advance to finals.
After a good lunch and practice time, they were back to their award-winning form for their 7 pm performance at finals and took first-place. However, more trouble greeted us on the return trip. One of the 4 buses wouldn't start, so kids were crammed onto the remaining three for the cramped journey home, starting after 11 pm. Then the liftgate of the rented truck that my husband drove, which held the percussion instruments, broke when we got back to the school. So, heavy xylophones, bells, etc. had to be hand-lifted down. And, the broken liftgate motor drained the power from the truck's battery, so he couldn't return the truck last night. My son and I got home at 2:15 am, my husband at 3 am after the other truck driver took him to the U-Haul place to pick up his car. I'm moving slowly today, but I had to share my excitement!
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Massager Death Murders a Marriage.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
We had a great time laughing and commiserating with each other as we read out loud our rejection letters that were in the running for prizes. The sting of those negative words was magically swept away. Those who were new to the process found out what the stock phrases were for turning down a submittal, such as "I just didn't fall in love with the work." The whole point was to embrace rejections as part of being a professional writer, to realize that every writer receives them, and we shouldn't take them personally. I highly recommend every local writing group have a party to celebrate rejections!
Monday, October 09, 2006
I was the moderator for the first Author Panel, the Many Faces of Mystery, with Kathy Brandt, Carol Cail, Carol Caverly, and Troy Cook. This was followed by a workshop, Shortcuts to a Bestseller, given by editor/book doctor Jennifer Knight. After lunch, Jennifer led a second workshop, Crafting the Mystery Hero, which was followed by an author panel on Characters that Count. I served on this panel with Linda Berry, Ann Ripley, and Margaret Coel.
The event wound up with a booksigning. I had no books to sell, but I handed out a list of online short story market databases and order forms for the upcoming Map of Murder anthology that will include my short story, Murder Cache. I had a great time meeting some of my northern Colorado chapter sisters and chatting with writers about our shared love--the mystery novel.
Monday, October 02, 2006
Carol Hightshoe is a local fantasy writer, and her husband, Tim, who taught the class, is with the El Paso County Sheriff's Department, is a weapons trainer for the Colorado Air National Guard, and at one time was rated #2 in the US for combat pistol. He KNOWS his firearms. He brought a collection worth over $15,000 for us to see and feel and fire, from a flintlock rifle to a modern day scoped sniper's rifle. I can still smell the gunpowder...