Showing posts from May, 2012

Pennwriters Conference Report

No, I have not fallen off the face of the earth. Nor have I been sucked into the vortex of post-conference brain overload, although that one is closer to the truth. The cold, hard fact is I have no good excuse for not posting here about the conference sooner, other than I've been busy doing things like following up with some of the contacts I made, processing and mailing photos to people who requested them, and...well...SLEEPING.
I don't think I've ever been as exhausted in my entire life as I was after this year's conference. I guess I'm too darned old for late night slumber parties followed by early morning wake-up calls. At this rate, I might be caught up by November.
My traveling and rooming partner for this trip was the brilliant and brilliantly funny Deborah Riley-Magnus. We arrived in Lancaster last Wednesday evening and promptly collapsed in our business suite, which was simply a mirror image of the one I stayed in two years ago.
Thursday, Deb…

Conference Countdown Continues

The clock is ticking. I'm leaving for the Pennwriters Conference Wednesday afternoon. That leaves me just under 48 hours to get everything done that needs to be done.
My workshop notes and handouts are printed and paper-clipped and stashed in my computer bag. Most of my clothes are packed...except for the items that might wrinkle. I have my copies of Fish Tales boxed and ready to go (the bookseller couldn't get them, so it's BYOB...Bring Your Own Books).
One important item that remains on my to-do list is "purchase wine." I'm in charge of picking up the wine for the speakers' goody bags, plus I've offered to donate a bottle of my favorite chocolate wine for one of the auction baskets. PLUS I expect a few friends to stop by my hotel room at some point for a wine and chocolate party, so I need a bottle of two for that.
This very important task (VIT) was on today's to-do list. I drove to the liquor store only to discover it's closed on Monday…

Conference Countdown

Since I attended my first Pennwriters Conference in 2004, I've participated in just about every way possible. I've chaired committees. I've served as unofficial first lieutenant to the coordinator. I've BEEN the coordinator. I've been "Conference Yoda" to a couple coordinators.
There is, however, one thing I've never done at a Pennwriters Conference: taught a workshop.
Until now.
And in my usual jump-head-first-into-the-deep-end style, I'm not simply teaching a one-hour workshop. I'm teaching a four-hour pre-conference seminar workshop.
My initial fear was that no one would sign up to hear me talk. Heck, I'm not sure I would sign up to hear me talk. But they have. I'm amazed. And honored.
I've been working on this thing for months. The flop sweat panic has passed.
I'm ready.
I think.
I hope.
Of course, there's room for more. I like to think it's a pretty good workshop: Crime Fiction Story Structure and Finding Y…

Writer Wednesday at The Blotter

I'm guest blogging today at The Blotter, my friend and fellow Working Stiffs Joyce Tremel's blog. It's Writer Wednesday and I'm talking a bit about what I've been up to lately. And I've included a snippet from Horse of a Different Killer for your enjoyment... I hope!

The Festival of Mystery 2012

For the past 17 years, the world of mystery lovers, writers, and readers has gathered on a spring Monday in Oakmont, PA, for the Festival of Mystery. Last night, it happened again. But this year's festival also signaled the end of an era...and the beginning of what we all hope will be a new and glorious one.
Mary Alice Gorman and Richard Goldman have owned MysteryLovers Bookshop since 1990 and have turned it into a rarity in independent book stores...a successful, thriving, profitable business. I fell in love with the shop the very first time I set foot in it and found myself surrounded by all those mystery titles! My goal in life is to get a novel published simply so I can sign their bathroom wall, although space in there has become increasing tight. They've started on the ceiling, now.
However, that era is about to come to an end. Mary Alice and Richard have sold the bookshop to Laurie Miller Stephens, who was also in attendance at this year's Festival. The fact that …