Thursday, August 23, 2007

Go, Mrs. Holloway!

My son is in eighth grade, and Tuesday we went to Back-to-School Night. His language arts teacher handed out notes with a web address on it—for her teacher blog. She keeps a blog so she can list assignments, supplies they need, what they’re working on in class, and anything else students and parents need to know. What a great use for a blog!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


I just got a (very) tentative schedule of events for the Great Manhattan Mystery Conclave, and I’m going to be on a panel with Diane Mott Davidson. How cool is that? The panel is “From Cooking to Basketry to Basketball: Weaving Passions into Plots.” So far the three panelists are Diane, who writes culinary mysteries, of course (the menu at the conference banquet will be based on recipes from her books—yum), Beth Groundwater, who writes mysteries about a woman who owns a gift basket business (and who is a lovely person—I met her at the first GMMC), and me (Airball, of course, is about basketball). This should be great fun.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


It’s no secret I love mysteries. And I’ve talked about the Great Manhattan Mystery Conclave before, but I wanted to mention it again because this year’s Conclave is coming up in about a month and a half. I am so looking forward to it.

This is a great mystery convention. It’s such a warm, friendly weekend, the perfect place to start if you’ve never been to a mystery convention and are a little nervous about attending. This year’s Guest of Honor is Diane Mott Davidson. Her books prove something I’ve long contended, that setting is one of the most important ingredients (for me, at least) in a mystery series. I love vicariously tootling about fictional Aspen Meadow, Colorado (based on the real Evergreen, Colorado, a picturesque town in the Rockies east of Denver) with main character Goldy Bear Schultz in her catering van as she stumbles over dead bodies. I love sitting in Goldy’s kitchen, sipping espresso as she whips up something sinfully chocolate while contemplating murder suspects.

This will be the fourth year for the Conclave, and my fourth year to attend. We always have a lots Kansans in attendance, of course, but conference-goers come from all over, even as far away as Hawaii. There’s always a big contingent of mystery lovers from Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Colorado. So if you live anywhere close and you love mysteries, this would be a wonderful way to spend a weekend. It will take place September 28–30, 2007.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Not to Beat the Topic of Nancy to Death, But. . .

. . . I’ve recently discovered the joys of eBay. And yes, it’s a dangerous place. I’ve been bidding on old Nancy Drew books and, to my surprise, I’ve actually won a few. No small feat since I really have no idea what I’m doing.

As the packages have arrived, I’ve realized that the passion I’ve had for those books since I was nine years old is still there, undiluted. I can’t even describe how much I loved Nancy, how I devoured each book straight through, without coming up for air or food or potty breaks. How, when I finished, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the next one.

The passion has been latent for a few years, but now, as I hold these books and feel the weight of them and look at the pictures (I love the blue multi-illustration endpapers—why can’t my books have glorious endpapers? Oh, yeah. They’re expensive to produce.), that feeling is still there. That pure love of a character and a story—or a series of stories. I’m sure it’s the same feeling young readers of Harry Potter have.

And I want to inspire that kind of love in readers. I don’t know what the magic is. The right combination of character, setting, and situation. Plus page-turning action. But I want to find it.

Okay. So I guess I know what my life’s goal is.