Saturday, January 29, 2011


I’ve learned a lesson recently on adaptability. Writers like to have a writing routine and stick with it. Unfortunately, we had a house fire that damaged part of the outside of our house and knocked the kitchen, family room and downstairs bathroom out of commission. On the positive side, no one was hurt. For nine days we camped out in a motel, and now that we’re back in the house, we’re cooking with a microwave in the dining room and have our refrigerator in the hall by the entryway. My writing office was unaffected, but with people working on the repairs and restoration, the house has been in a state of chaos. With all that needs to be done, I find it hard to concentrate, particularly when I realize that we won’t have our house back the way it was for many weeks. Somehow, I was able to complete a first round of editing on a manuscript, but my amount of writing time is much less than I had planned. Someday we will look back on this and . . . but not yet.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Left Coast Crime Conference 2011

The 2011 Left Coast Crime Conference will be in Santa Fe from March 24-27. This will be my fifth year attending, and I look forward to seeing the mix of mystery readers and writer who attend. I’ll be moderating a panel titled, “Unusual Crime Scenes,” with panels Ruthie-Marie Beckwith, Hanna Reed (Deb Baker) and Margaret Tessler. I’ll also be moderating the New Writer Introduction breakfast. I’ve had the opportunity to do this for the last three years and thoroughly enjoy reading first published mysteries by the next wave of mystery authors. Santa Fe, here I come.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Dealing with a Crisis

The last three days have been pure chaos. We had a fire in our house, and we’re all fine, but there’s a lot of repair work to be done. For two days I was in crisis mode dealing with the house, coordinating with the repair crew, talking to insurance agents, while still trying to maintain a commitment to speak, a Boulder County Aging Advisory Council meeting, and a Rocky Mountain Mystery Writers meeting. Then yesterday with no commitments, it all hit me. Originally I had planned to write most of the day, but after fifteen minutes, I lost all motivation and took a nap. I’m sure I’ll eventually look back at the absurd events that let up to the fire and laugh, but not yet. The only positive part is that it has inspired an idea for a short story. This is how writers deal with bad situations: everything is material for writing, which provides our form of therapy.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Earlier today I tried something new. I went on a birding excursion. I had read in our newspaper that a reservoir used for a cooling pond for our local power plant would be open for people to come view gulls and other birds that remained in the area because of the warm water. So I packed my backpack, put on my hiking boots, grabbed my binoculars and went to join the avid birders. Knowing practically nothing about birds, I found the experts helpful and willing to locate and identify specific birds with their high powered telescopes. Over the course of several hours I saw numerous species of gulls as well as a night heron, a blue heron, three bald eagles, a golden eagle, two ferruginous hawks, a Cooper’s hawk, horned grebes and a tundra swan. Along the way I saw other wildlife included carp, deer and a coyote. In addition I had an opportunity to get in a good hike and see scenery that is not normally open to the public. My friend, Christine Goff, writes a bird watcher’s mystery series, and when I see her at the Rocky Mountain Mystery Writers of America meeting this week, I’ll be able to tell her I now understand why people get hooked on birding.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Tidbits from Recent Books I've Read

Happy New Year! My next book is titled, Senior Moments Are Murder, and will be published in August of this year. I recently read a book titled, I Remember Nothing, by Nora Ephron. Relative to the subject of senior moments, Nora stated, “The Senior Moment has become the Google Moment and it has a much nicer, hipper, younger, more contemporary sound.” So enjoy your Google Moments. In my geezer-lit mystery series, my protagonist Paul Jacobson likes to cuss. I also recently read Dave Barry’s book, Big Trouble. In the forward Dave makes a statement that is exactly how I feel about Paul swearing, “Some of the characters use adult language. I did not necessarily want the characters to sue this type of language; some of them just went ahead and did.”