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
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
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
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
I’m entering a new season of life marked by more than a few challenges and a whole lot of different. One especially bright spot: my new puppy, Olive. Everyone, Olive. Olive, everyone. Olive was a lovely little surprise that came by way of a family friend. She joined me just one week ago and has taught me so much in the short time we’ve been … Continue reading Meet Olive
Readers, myself included, love dialogue that seems genuine. We want it to ring true, to reflect character, to be appropriate for place, time and conversational partners. In other words, we want it to feel legit. Which brings me to slang. Evidently, it’s not cool to say legit any more. (It’s probably not cool to say cool, either, but I’ll leave that there.) The new legit … Continue reading Slang? Dang!
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
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…
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
Here’s a snippet of a conversation between me and my best friend at a Jazzercise class some time ago: Me: Did you read about the body found floating in the Pacific? Bestie: Murdered by the scientist, right? Me (tying my shoes): Then decapitated. Bestie (lunging into a calf stretch): I think they only found the torso. Me: Oh, I hadn’t heard that. It was at … Continue reading Why Being a Mystery Author is Murder on my Social Life
Ah, Labor Day weekend. Summer’s last hurrah. A chance to celebrate workers. And in my part of the world, the days leading up to the advent of the school year. Of course, this year’s Labor Day weekend and the weeks that follow will look distinctively different than those of the past. As with many districts around the country, our kids will go back to school … Continue reading School Daze
My reality TV of choice is the true crime variety that airs on Investigation Discovery, the channel that features such inimitable classics as BrideKillas, Murder Loves Company, Deadly Dentists and Elder Skelter. But every once in a while, I’ll tune into non-murdery reality TV. A favorite: My Strange Addiction. Maybe it’s because I’m fascinated by tales of deep and meaningful relationships with puppets. Maybe it’s … Continue reading Oh! Exclamation point!!!