Solstice of the Soul

Not to be dramatic or anything, but I call this time of year The Solstice of the Soul. The runup to the shortest day is heralded by 4:30 p.m. sunsets, cloud-pocked skies and barren trees. Everything seems to be dying, including the light, and I find myself turning inward, hibernating, contemplating the chill of endings as the sun turns its back. And yet in the … Continue reading Solstice of the Soul

Playing favorites

In the advertising world, we’re discouraged from falling in love with our ideas in case the client hates them or they die on the cutting room floor. (And by “cutting room” I mean “creative director’s.” And by “die” I mean “squashed like grapes made into a post-work glass of wine.”) Despite decades of adherence to this edict, I didn’t apply it novel-writing, not because I … Continue reading Playing favorites

Two Truths and a Lie

At work, the managers like to end our weekly meeting with a thought-provoking, let’s-really-get-to-know-each-other question. This week’s theme: name something weird or surprising about yourself. My response: How would you like my list of weirdness? Alphabetically? Chronologically? Small to large? Mundane to outrageous? I have a lot of material. I could have talked about how my fingers are so double-jointed that I have to concentrate … Continue reading Two Truths and a Lie

My word

  I recently saw an ad for an app that helps YouTube pros hunt down and eliminate filler words from their speech. You know…um, uh, well and…you know. As someone whose own dialogue is replete with Valley Girl-isms a là “Like, it’s like, I mean,” this sounded like the app for me. Except for the fact that I’m not a professional YouTuber. I am a … Continue reading My word

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

You Oughta Be in Pictures

If you know me for more than, say, five minutes, you know that the only thing I like as much as reading is watching movies. So perhaps it’s no surprise that movies that feature books—specifically authors—hit the sweet spot in my entertainment Venn diagram. Fortunately, there’s plenty of material. I’ve waxed poetic (or perhaps prosaic?) about my love for Joan Wilder (yes, THE Joan Wilder) … Continue reading You Oughta Be in Pictures

Nice to Meet You

I visited my dad last weekend which meant two things: Every meal was accompanied by coffee. (Sandwiches? Of course! Fried chicken? Sure! Stir fry? Why not!) The TV was alternately tuned to vintage tennis matches or decades-old movies. When we weren’t watching McEnroe mistreat his racket, we were regaled by a spoof-fest featuring The Naked Gun franchise. I hadn’t seen the movies in years, but … Continue reading Nice to Meet You

A Moving Experience

Welp…I’m moving. It’s just across town, mind you, and I don’t have a ton of stuff. But still…it’s the first time I’ve moved in 25 years. Here’s what I’ve discovered while packing up: I’m more sentimental than I realized. I’ve kept love letters, photographs, first grade drawings and college papers. Drawers and cupboards hide a zillion things I’d forgotten about and lost. Recipes. Missing glasses. … Continue reading A Moving Experience

Searching…

It’s no surprise that most mystery authors’ search histories are alarming. After all, they contain deep dives into sundry murder methods, plausible alibis, inventive ways to dispose of pesky bodies, and oh so much more. Although I’m sure I’m on some kind of watch list, I don’t fear the proverbial knock on the door so much as targeted ads and news recommendations based on my … Continue reading Searching…

Helpers

Years ago, my son attended his first Boy Scout camp. And got lost. In the middle of the night. As temperatures plummeted to the 20s and then the teens. He came wandering to the campfire the next morning, near-hypothermic, bleary-eyed and visibly shaken, but alive and well (relatively speaking). He recovered quickly when dosed with hot chocolate and smothered in blankets, then told his tale. … Continue reading Helpers