That Time of Year Again

Usually, I love a good stroll down the office supply aisle. There’s something deeply comforting about looking at a colorful selection of writing utensils and notebooks. (That’s not just a writer thing, right?) But August means that it’s time to take a deep breath and gear up for the obstacle course also known as school-supply shopping!  Every year, we lurch around the store, while I … Continue reading That Time of Year Again

Gone to Malice 2021

The Chicks are attending More Than Malice (July 14-17)!  Some of us will be at the Author Speed Dating events, and our own Ellen Byron is nominated for an Agatha Award (Best Contemporary Novel)–huge congratulations and cheers!–and you can watch the recorded nominee panels here. The More Than Malice schedule offers information about the many wonderful panels happening this week if you are attending. Also, if you … Continue reading Gone to Malice 2021

Some Things to Know Before You Go

With Bouchercon coming up in August, I thought it might be useful to share a few tips for anyone who is going for the first time…some things may be useful for mystery cons in general. (And experienced con attendees, please add your suggestions too.)  Panel Hop (It’s Fine). There are so many panels scheduled that choosing among them seems impossible. But at Bouchercon 101, the very … Continue reading Some Things to Know Before You Go

The Curious Case of the Classroom

As a young reader, I tore through the different series featuring Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, Bobbsey Twins, and Hardy Boys.  As a teenager, I favored mysteries by Phyllis Whitney, Agatha Christie, and too many others to count.  Yet I have no memory of reading a mystery for school (other than the mystery of math word problems).  Knowing at least the basic conventions of mystery is crucial for … Continue reading The Curious Case of the Classroom

How to Get a Delivery Appointment

Order item, which you need by Friday. Check online tracking service on Wednesday and see that it has already arrived in your city. Receive nothing on Wednesday.  Receive nothing on Thursday. Email customer service at store: explain that the item was in your city on Wednesday and was supposed to be delivered on Thursday but now it’s Friday and you haven’t heard anything. Receive no return … Continue reading How to Get a Delivery Appointment

I Have Some Questions

Since we just passed a full year of pandemic quarantine life, I was planning to write something thoughtful and retrospective about that. It’s such a milestone. It’s important to think about, and I have been thinking about it for weeks. But when I sat down to write the post, I changed direction because–honestly, where I’m at right now is exhausted and in a mood. And I know … Continue reading I Have Some Questions

Time Capsule: Skating Tale

[While searching desperately for holiday bows in the basement, I found an old email about skating wedged into a box on my “wrapping center,” which started out as an empty table with plenty of room for wrapping but now contains the following: 9,462 pieces of kiddie artwork; assorted holiday decorations that we never put back in their proper storage places; and an old wooden Thomas … Continue reading Time Capsule: Skating Tale

Variations on Reading

Most of the readers I know don’t just “enjoy” reading—we love it. Must read. Can’t imagine a day without it. With this in common, it’s very interesting to consider how differently we all do the same thing. Some favor routine: a favorite time and location, perhaps with a desirable beverage. And many people are fond of reading in bed, snuggled under a cozy blanket with … Continue reading Variations on Reading

Tiny Hobbies for Social Distancing

Social distancing mode may continue for awhile–and while it’s admittedly difficult, it may be the perfect time to develop some new hobbies. For those of us working from home (especially with added homeschooling duties) who may find ourselves with far less time than we had before, these are decidedly not the kinds of wonderful projects that others may have time to engage in, like planting … Continue reading Tiny Hobbies for Social Distancing