Name That Mystery

Kathleen (a.k.a. Kathy) here with a little real-life mystery. A few years ago, I went to the mailbox and pulled out the usual jumble of 80% post-consumer-content papers. Bills. Statements. An assortment of catalogs. One #10 envelope caught my eye: a letter from the Multnomah County Circuit Court. I tore it open in the driveway and read. I was being called to appear as a … Continue reading Name That Mystery

The Beauty in Ordinary Things

Kathleen (a.k.a. Kathy) here, coming at you from the fast and furious first days back at school. (For my kids, not me. Although I do love a good pencil case.) In last month’s post, I mentioned that the secret sauce in my recipe for sanity includes time parked in front of the television. After a few years sans TV, I’ve been making up for lost … Continue reading The Beauty in Ordinary Things

Social Media for the Socially Awkward (AKA: me)

I tend to avoid personal growth like the plague. Or pleated pants. If something’s going to inspire soul-searching, introspection or the pain of change, I’m out. But Vickie’s great post about Twitter got me thinking, which led to that dreaded introspection—and a discovery. I’m afraid of social media.   I’m terrified of Twitter, petrified of Pinterest, and intimidated by Instagram. I can Facebook. Kind of. … Continue reading Social Media for the Socially Awkward (AKA: me)

Food for the Soul

Confession: I’m a terrible cook. Actually, that’s an understatement. I’m abysmally awful at cooking. I have seven dinners that I can make with consistent success that don’t involve help from the Hamburger Helper hand.   But that doesn’t stop me from poring over #foodstagram posts or oohing and ahhing over master chef creations. I also love to buy cookbooks. For Christmas, I bought my dad … Continue reading Food for the Soul

Third time’s…the charm?

There seems to be cosmic power in the number three. Triple crown. Triumvirate. The three Rs. And let’s not forget the three pigs, the Three Musketeers (the men AND the candy,) and those bastions of slapstick, the Three Stooges.   However, the triple-powered axiom that’s been on my mind the most is “third time’s the charm.” Why? My third book came out this month. As … Continue reading Third time’s…the charm?

Know thyself.

I used to hate my guts. Not literally, of course, and not metaphorically in the door-slamming, I’m-never-speaking-to-you-again way of teenagers. I’m talking about my refusal to listen to my gut, to heed my instincts, to trust my intuition or the possibility that I know myself best. Case in point: a recent health event. About a year ago, I started having issues with my right eye. … Continue reading Know thyself.

Being a Mystery Author Is Murder On My Social Life

Here’s a snippet of a conversation between me and my best friend at a recent Jazzercise class: 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 this point … Continue reading Being a Mystery Author Is Murder On My Social Life

Everything I Learned About Writing I Learned from Joan Wilder

This week, we’re excited to introduce our second “Free-Range Chick,” the hilarious and delightful Kathleen Valenti, author of the Maggie O’Malley Mystery Series. Kathy also blogs at Mysteristas, and is helping fill in while the fabulous Kellye Garrett takes a much-deserved blogging hiatus. Take it away, Kathy!


Continue reading “Everything I Learned About Writing I Learned from Joan Wilder”