Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Traveling to Bethesda!

Malice Domestic Mystery Convention

I'm nearly packed for Malice Domestic! Very excited to go, even though there's no nomination for me this year. I'm not even very nervous about my panel (The Paws that Refresh, Saturday, 3:00, if you're going, too). Maybe I've done enough of them by now.

Here's a story about my very first panel at a mystery conference. It was a short-lived conference in Plano, TX. It drew very good names, but only lasted a few years. I was attending as an unpublished mystery writer. I knew a few of the writers, though, some online and some in person.

There was a panel about to start and I was in the hallway outside the room. Cindy Daniel came up to me and said the panel was short a person and I had to fill in. I couldn't possibly do that! I'd never been on one! And I wasn't published. And the topic wasn't something I touched on in my books. She almost literally shoved me up the steps to the table and there I was--on a mystery panel.

As best I remember, the topic was prayer, or maybe religion, in mysteries. There was no overt prayer in the one I was writing. That one is published as EINE KLEINE MURDER now, by Barking Rain Press. But my character is a moral person. I might have said something like, she was brought up going to Sunday School and church, and prays, but it's not spelled out in the book. I must have said some other things about writing--or something.

When it was over, I was surprised that several people wanted to talk to me and said they liked what I had said. I think I might have been able to sell a book or two--if I 'd had any.

After that terrifying introduction to being on a mystery panel, there's never been another one as scary. Thanks, Cindy, for starting me out right.

No post next week, and maybe not the week after. But I WILL be back.

(Cross posted at

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Few Crazy Things

I’ve gathered together a few possibilities for blogs, but realize that just one isn’t enough for a blog. So I’m giving you several of them.

First of all, this gift idea for writers—or anyone who jots down notes. Don’t ask me what waterproof paper is! 8 people gave glowing testimonials, although not one would give a complete name, I noticed.

Second, exploding butter.
I’ll add that I’ve melted butter in pyrex in the microwave for years and have never had this happen. Still waiting for this big excitement!

Now that vinyl is making a comeback, how about a portablerecord player?

Electrified water never caught on

Before e-readers, there was the Fiske Reading Machine. It never quite caught on.

Hope you enjoy this collection of oddities!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Here's why this blog is late

Big News! My Austin writing group, called—appropriately enough—Austin Mystery Writers, had our very first short story anthology published this month! We've been celebrating in our giddy excitement. Here’s a bit about it:

The eleven stories in Murder on Wheels put the pedal to the floor and never let up! Whether by bus, car, tractor, or bike, you'll be carried along at a breakneck pace by the talented Austin Mystery Writers. These eight authors transport you from an eighteenth-century sailing ship to the open roads of modern Texas, from Alice's Wonderland to a schoolbus yard in the suburbs of Dallas. Grab your book, hold on to your hat, and come along for the ride!
Included are:
A NICE SET OF WHEELS, by Kathy Waller
FAMILY BUSINESS, by Reavis Z. Wortham
ROTA FORTUNAE, by V. P. Chandler
MOME RATH, MY SWEET, by Gale Albright
BUON VIAGGIO, by Laura Oles
APORKALYPSE NOW, by Gale Albright
HAVE A NICE TRIP, by Kaye George
HELL ON WHEELS, by Kathy Waller
RED’S WHITE F-150 BLUES, by Scott Montgomery

All of the included writers are Texans and I’m an Ex, still an honorary member of the writing group. Reavis and Earl were invited to give us extra class and they came through like the pros they both are. We’re thrilled that Wildside has published this and that it will be available at Malice Domestic in May! Meanwhile you can order copies in at least these places, probably more:

And now, the REAL reason I’m late this week: I’m blaming everything on taxes.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April Fool!

I really wanted to try a prank, but I realize I couldn't possibly top these. Trouble is, I might have believed some of them!