Author Webpage


Be sure to stop by my author page from time to time

In the meantime, while you're here, pull up a chair, pour yourself a cup of coffee or a cuppa tea, have a piece of pie and always feel free to speak your mind, and your heart, here at Meanderings and Muses.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Bouchercon. What to wear?

Dear Peeps who are going to Bouchercon.

There's a lot of chit chat going on right now at Facebook about what to wear, and I've gotten a couple notes from people asking for suggestions, as have most of us who have been to Bouchercon before, I'm guessing.

Here's my two cents.

What's "right" for someone else may not be right for you.

Forget about all that.

Dress for yourself in whatever makes you comfortable.

I promise - you're going to see people in pants, in jeans, in dresses.

It just doesn't matter.

Footwear?

Comfort. Comfort. Comfort.

And again, what might not look comfortable to you, may be very comfortable for someone else. So don't judge if you see me in cowgirl boots - they're comfortable for me.

And yes, Hank Phillippi Ryan is going to look fabulous in her heels, but we are not all Hank Phillippi Ryan. There's only one, and we all forgive her for being the classiest, best looking, best dressed of us all. AND nicest. (xxoo, Hank).

And yes, it'll be hot.  It's New Orleans.  It's hot.

But inside the hotel? Well, there's A/C and we all know that sometimes hotels can be cold. 

OR, they can be too warm.

It'll all work out.

It's Bouchercon.

Come, play, enjoy!

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

'Cause really, at the end of the day back in your room are you going to be thinking about what everyone was wearing, or are you going to be smiling from ear to ear thinking about who you met, who signed your book, who gave you a hug and who made you laugh?


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Sleuthfest 2017



Mystery Writers of America’s Florida Chapter Announces Sleuthfest 2017 Writers Conference:

SleuthFest 2017 Writers Conference Will Take Place February 23-26, 2017 in Boca Raton Florida



BOCA RATON, Florida – Mystery Writers of America’s Florida Chapter is pleased to announce dates for Sleuthfest 2017 Writers Conference. SleuthFest will take placeFebruary 23-26, 2017 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton in Boca Raton, Florida.

One of the country’s premier conferences for writers, Sleuthfest is an intensive four day conference featuring writing workshops, social events, and pitch sessions. SleuthFest includes four tracks of workshops, presentations, and panels on the craft of writing, business, traditional and self-publishing, marketing, and forensics. In addition, top literary agents and editors will be available to hear pitches from aspiring writers, offer troubleshooting sessions, and manuscript critiques.

The 2017 SleuthFest Writers Conference features a host of luminaries, best-selling authors, and industry insiders, including Keynote Speaker David Baldacci; Forensic Guest of Honor Dr. Vincent Di Maio, legendary publisher Neil Nyren, and special guest authors, including Jeff Lindsay, Reed Farrel Coleman, SJ Rozan, Joe Lansdale, and Jane Cleland.



A preeminent event for writers in all genres, SleuthFest attracts writers from around the world. Filled with networking opportunities, social events, and programming designed to appeal to a wide variety of writers, SleuthFest provides a warm, welcoming atmosphere where writers can learn from the pros—and learn the secrets of a successful career as a writer. Moreover, SleuthFest affords writers a unique opportunity to connect with industry insiders, writers and publishing professionals. Past conferences have featured such Keynote presenters and Guests of Honor including Sue Grafton, Robert B. Parker, Dennis Lehane, James W. Hall, Dr. Henry Lee, Dr. Michael Baden, Robert Crais, Brad Meltzer, Lisa Scottoline, and Linda Fairstein, Valerie Plame, and others.



To Register: www.sleuthfest.com

Space is limited. 

For more information please contact SleuthFest 2017 Co-chairs: 


or 

Friday, August 26, 2016

New Photo Friday - Week 2

NEW PHOTO FRIDAY - WEEK 2

new photo friday



Friend

Harley Barley





Thursday, August 25, 2016

for me to remember



And THIS time, by golly, I really will remember.



Friday, August 19, 2016

New Photo Friday - Week 1


NEW PHOTO FRIDAY - WEEK 1

new photo friday


My friend Jen Forbus is a woman who is always doing fun things, coming up with new fun ideas and she's invited me to play along in her newest adventure - "New Photo Friday."

You can see Jen's photos, along with others, at her page - http://jenniferforbus.com/inquisitive-introvert-blog/  

This week's New Photo Friday suggested theme is "new."

I recently renewed my passport and have just received my new Global Entry card, proving, without a doubt, that I am a "trusted traveler."










Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Dixie Chicks - August 13, 2016 - Charlotte, NC


I've loved the Dixie Chicks since I heard "Wide Open Spaces" back in 1998.

They took the world of country music by storm.

Everybody loved The Dixie Chicks


Until


They didn't





From Wikipedia - "On March 10, 2003, during a London concert, nine days before the March 19, 2003 invasion of Iraq, lead vocalist Maines told the audience: "We don't want this war, this violence, and we're ashamed that the President of the United States (George W. Bush) is from Texas."


What followed was shameful.


Conservative radio couldn't find enough bad things to say about the Chicks.




The world of country music abandoned them.



But, you know.


They hung tough.  


They attempted to explain their position.  Not that those who had already made up their minds might listen . . . 


Regardless.  


They've hung on to their values.


And their "real" fans never gave up on them.


So.


Who could not wait to try for tickets the minute they went on sale for a show in Charlotte, NC?


And guess who was able to score really good seats in the Charlotte PNC Pavillion?


ME!


Yay!


10th Row Seats!


Was I a happy girl?


Well, hell yeah.


So, yesterday we tossed a bag in the car, along with Harley (who had a nice comfy air conditioned hotel room all to himself for a few hours) and went to see the Dixie Chicks.







Notice the baseball cap?

There was one on every chair in the Charlotte PNC Arena.

One for everyone.

Printed on the hat are the words "No Hate For Our State."  love it love it love it!

I would normally not wear a baseball cap with a little summer frock, but this was one I could not resist.


Being able to see them live was not only fun because it was one hell of a show, but it was also an honor.


I think their core audience may be somewhat different than in once was, but many of the original fans, including me and Donald, were there and on our feet through most of the show, clothes soaked completely through due to the heat, and grinning from ear to ear.


Let me tell you about our seatmates.


In front us, to my right, a lesbian couple.  

Immediately in front of me and Donald, two gay couples.

In front of us, to Donald's left, the always present, drunker than 14 sailors, redneck couple.

To Donald's immediate left, a wonderful southern good ol' boy and his delightful wife.  (This guy won a lot of friends, and a lot of hearts when he disappeared for awhile only to come back with a case of cold water that he passed out to everyone around us.  Twice.)

To my immediate right, a young married interracial couple.

Directly behind me, a mother and daughter.

And it was a bit of a lovefest.

We all laughed together, took pictures with one another's cameras and phones and a good time was had by all.


Enjoy a few pictures - - -










And, of course, the Chicks, being the Chicks, had a little bit to say about a few things political.

Not much, really, and what they did say was said with heart and with humor.  

And it was well received.





Especially all the red, white and blue confetti which had us all feeling as though we may have ended up at a political rally - but only for a little while..





and then it was back to one of the most energized, and energizing, shows we've ever attended.




One of the "baby chicks" (and I'm sorry I do not know whose son he is) was on stage playing for awhile.




There may not be any disposable cigarette lighters in the audience any longer, but cell phones work almost as well.  They were being waved non-stop, along with some pretty impressive clapping, stomping, whistling and shouting until the Chicks reappeared.







Along with a whole slew of "baby chicks!" which was SO cool.

Along with members from the two warm up groups, Smooth Hound Smith and Vintage Trouble.









And this is what a very tired girl looks like after a Dixie Chicks concert.


Tired, wearing soaking wet clothes (did I mention it was HOT?!)


But happy.







And I wore my new favorite shirt home to Boone this morning after a restless night's sleep in Charlotte. 

The Chicks were playing in my head all night long - not a bad thing - but I'll bet I sleep a little better tonight in my own bed back home in Boone.





Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Funny . . .




Sam Elliott.


sigh.


I have a huge crush on Sam Elliott.


Always have.


And that voice?


another sigh.


Yesterday, August 9, was Mr. Elliott's birthday.

He's 72 years old.

Still handsome

Still sexy.

I posted this picture of him on my Facebook page and a lot of my friends seem to think he's as yummy as I do.

There were a lot of comments about that.


But not one single comment with the qualifier " . . .  for his age."


Not one.


And yet, 

and yet . . . don't we most time see that very qualifier included when we mention a beautiful woman who might be 72 years old.  Or 62?  52?  Perhaps even 42?


"She is beautiful.  Especially for her age."


Don't we hear that?


Aren't we tired of that?


I'd like to think Sam Elliott would never say that.


Especially since he's been married to the gorgeous Katherine Ross, age 76, since 1984.







Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Balance


Originally posted at Jungle Red Writers on Sunday, Aug. 7


Most of the time my world is one of casual content.


Not a lot of radical ups or downs. Just the usual things life tosses at all of us. 


That is not to say that many of those things can't be damn tough, or that some are not cause for great joy. 


But, in my case, most of them are part of a normal, fairly constant and consistent life of sameness.  And I'm good with that.  There are people who live daily life dramas of extremes that exhaust and bore me and are, I think, unnecessary except for the ego of the dramatist.  'Course, that's just my opinion.

Recently, however, I've had some delightful ups.  


And some devastating downs.


And I find myself thinking more of balance.



Balance.



A word I'm using more and thinking of more than I once did.

And I think it comes with age.

As we age we gain wisdom. If we don't, we're to be pitied.  (Again - just my opinion).



We learn a bit about acceptance as we get older.  We don't really have a choice.


I've been grappling a little with accepting some things I don't have the power to change.

But I'm also accepting the challenge of standing up for things I just might be able to help change.

Challenge is good, I think


Change is often necessary.

And, when it is necessary, I am always up for it.


I do not ever want to be one of those people who thinks everything in life is written is stone just because that's the way it's always been and can't be changed.


Bunk.


So.  


I'm just going to take a deep breath and say this.


If you're one of those people saying you're NOT going to vote this November because you're unhappy with your choices?


Then you're part of the problem.


"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new."

The above quote has been attributed to Socrates, to world-class gymnast Dan Millman, and to an attendant at an all-night gas station. 

Take your pick. 

But heed the message.


It's time to start building the new. 


We're not just voting for a new president in November.


There are choices on your local ballot that are extremely important.


I hope you'll remember that.


'Cause if you're one of those people who say your vote doesn't mean anything, or that you're disgusted with politics in general, or disgusted by both the presidential candidates or any of those tired old excuses, then I would suggest you sit back and maybe re-read some history. 


And think about "balance."



As a noun -


"an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady."

"a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions."



Or as a verb -

"keep or put (something) in a steady position so that it does not fall."


"offset or compare the value of (one thing) with another."


Balance in our lives is important.


There needs to be, in my opinion, some balance brought back into our government.


Being an active grassroots volunteer for the past year has given me a great deal of personal satisfaction and gratification.  


My local party, The Watauga County Democrats, has accomplished great things.  Has gained attention at the state level, and has been featured, more than once, on the Rachel Maddow Show.  


I'm proud to be a small part. 


I'll be working in the county headquarters office in downtown Boone from now until election day.


If you're in the neighborhood, drop by and say "Hey!" 


Sunday, August 7, 2016

"Oh, Kaye!"



First Sunday of the Month - Yay!


That means I get a play day as "Oh, Kaye!"


I hope you'll take a minute to come by Jungle Red to say "Hey!"


http://www.jungleredwriters.com/




Saturday, July 30, 2016

Bouchercon 2016


Only 46 days until Bouchercon!

Yay!!!


One of the long awaited B'Con events every year is the unveiling of the panel schedule.


Placing 750+ authors into approximately 480 panel slots fell into the more than capable hands of Jon Jordan and Judy Bobalik this year.  They're pros at this, and did their usual outstanding job.  But, you know, it's hard to make everyone happy (unless you're pizza).  Needless to say, there are happy folks and there are unhappy folks.  Always.  And in coming years at upcoming conventions, these roles could be reversed.


I fall into the happy folks category.





You can find the entire Bouchercon schedule here, thanks to the incredibly always on top of things, Erin Mitchell.


If you plan on being in New Orleans for Bouchercon this year, I hope you'll stop by the "All the Critics Love You in New York Panel" at 12:00 on Thursday. 



 Librarian Penny Halle of "Murder and Mayhem in Muskego" fame will be moderating  Lesa Holstine of Lesa's Book Critiques, Dru Ann Love of Dru's Book Musings,  Kristopher Zgorski of BOLO Books,  Erica Neubauer, Freelance Book Reviewer at Publishers Weekly, and me, as we discuss books we recommend.

This should be fun, and I can promise you'll walk away with a list of new books to add to your ever-growing "To Be Read" stack.


And -

I'll also be joining David Morrell, who is best known for his popular character Rambo, bestselling author Heather Graham and the rest of the talented and awesome contributors to this year's Bouchercon anthology, Blood on the Bayou, for a group signing.

The signing will take place on Saturday at 2:00.

Blood on the Bayou, edited by the marvelous Greg Herren, is now available for pre-order through Down & Out Books -




I always look forward to Bouchercon.

I'm not able to attend every year, which makes it that much more special, I guess, when I do.


There are always some moments of pure magic.


I love when I happen to bump into an author whose work I love and get to exchange a few words, when I get to have breakfast, lunch or dinner with old and dear friends I don't get to see often enough.


There's always much to love about Bouchercon.


This year I'll get to spend some time exploring a city I've never been to, but have long been fascinated by.

I plan on spending a lot of time wandering the city with my camera, and have a list a mile long of places I want to see.

A pretty long list of places to shop.

A monstrously long list of places to eat.

All in all, I expect this to be a pretty memorable Bouchercon.


Life is good.






Thursday, July 28, 2016

Gregg Allman and Peter Frampton

There's not much Donald and I enjoy more than live music.

We have seen a wealth of great musicians and it's always a thrill.

Tuesday we saw Gregg Allman and Peter Frampton in Charlotte at The Amphitheater.  (It  keeps changing names and I have no idea what its name is today - the Metro Credit Union Amphitheater, maybe . . . )


We've both seen Gregg Allman numerous times over the years.  And although he may be walking and moving a little slower than he once did, his voice is as strong and clear and true as it ever was.


Neither of us had seen Peter Frampton before.

What a pixie-like ball of energy he is!  Adorable.

And his band members glow with pride when he steps up to play next to one of them

We had front row seats and I was as giddy as a kid.



We were outside and it was hot.


I can't even tell you how hot, but it was hot.


My hair was soaking wet in no time.


And our clothes were sticking to us by the time we left.


It was supposed to rain, but that never happened.


Because it was supposed to rain, we left good cameras at home and took one of the old ones - so excuse the quality of the pics.


But you know what?


It didn't matter that it was hot.

It wouldn't have mattered if it had rained.

It was a great night.

Watching two legends make music, listening to them sing their music live.

It doesn't get much better.