Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Men of Mystery

One of my favorite mystery conferences is Men of Mystery, which was held Saturday, November 17, in Irvine, California. Joan Hansen puts on a wonderful day-long conference with fifty male mystery writers and over 400 fans. The morning keynote speaker, Joseph Finder, described the opportunity he’s found to get “people to say indiscreet things and then write novels about it.” He mentioned with Hollywood options on novels, “You can die of encouragement.” His novel High Crimes was made into a movie, and he had a chance to play an extra in the film. At Men of Mystery, Joan carried a microphone around, and each of us had one minute to give a pitch to the attendees. After a late morning break to sign books, we reconvened at tables to have lunch and speak with the fans sitting with each of us. Three high school writers were honored (see picture with Joseph Finder) and the afternoon keynotes were given by John Lescroart and James Rollins. All in all and enjoyable day.

I also had a chance to visit my kids and grandkids who live in the Los Angeles area. Here's my granddaughter wearing my Geezer-lit Mysteries hat.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Day in Pompeii

Yesterday we went to see an exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science with artifacts from Pompeii that were recovered when the city was excavated centuries after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. It was fascinating to see the artwork, kitchen containers and Roman plumbing of that era. I also learned there was adequate warning with earthquakes and smoke coming out of Vesuvius before the city was inundated by a pyroclastic surge. The vast majority of citizens escaped but approximately 1000 stayed and were buried in ash. Much like tsunami and hurricane warnings today, not everyone evacuates when there is a pending disaster. Some don’t want to make the effort, and others think, “It won’t happen to me.”

Friday, November 9, 2012

Rocky Mountain Mystery Writers of America

Last night I attended the monthly meeting of the Rocky Mountain Mystery Writers of America at the Denver Press Club. Our speaker was retired Judge Steve Phillips who filled us in on the view from the bench. We learned that there are five acts that can be considered first degree murder:
·         Intentionally causing death
·         Killing with universal malice, e.g., throwing a bomb into a crowd
·         Causing the death of a child by one in a position of trust
·         Causing the execution of another by perjured testimony (never been prosecuted in Colorado)
·         Causing the death of another in the course of a felony

Second degree murder is killing another person knowingly or willfully such as a bar fight where the accused is the aggressor.

Manslaughter is killing someone by reckless disregard.

Negligent homicide is causing death by failing to perceive a substantial or unjustifiable risk such as a car accident by speeding.

Penalties in Colorado are as follows:
·         First degree murder – life in prison or death
·         Second degree murder – 16 to 48 years
·         Manslaughter – 2 to 6 years, or 4 to 12 years if a deadly weapon is used
·         Negligent homicide – 1 to 3 years.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Nothing Like a Beautiful Sunrise

Being a morning person, I do my writing first thing and try to get out for a walk mid-day unless I have early events scheduled. Yesterday, I had to alter my schedule because I was participating in an aging conference from 8:30-4, so I took my walk at sunrise. The benefit--I saw a beautiful sunrise. Here’s what greeted me: