Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Out of Pocket

Well, the sad news has come in: I did not receive one of the two Malice Domestic Grants this year. But I will still be attending the conference, May 4-6 in Arlington, Virginia. I'll just have to pay for it myself. Not a huge problem. I've been working a second (or is it third?) job to have some writing money to spend on just such things, and it look like it's time to dip into it.

There's virtually no chance that anyone reading this will be there, but if you are, and you see me, be sure to say "Hi!"

Thursday, March 15, 2007


I finally finished the book!

I wasn't going to bed tonight without finishing it. I was so close I could taste it. It was touch-and-go there for a while, but I toughed it out and finished. At 70k words, it's a little short, but I fully expect to add a few thousand words when I go back and make the beginning good, and punch up some of my more "lame now but I'll fix it later" passages.

Also, I need to send my registration for Malice Domestic today. It has to be postmarked by the 15th. Boy, I better get some sleep!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Oh, the Suspense... And the Action!

I had a productive weekend on the WIP and have only two chapters left to complete the book. It's exciting and frightening to be at this point. I'll have actually written a book, but everything after that point is completely different than what I've done already, and there's so much that I still don't know and that I'll have to learn about the business side of things.

But hey, I've got two more chapters to think about before that happens!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

In Other News...

Due to a little surprise courtesy of the Toronto Blue Jays, I will be seeing another game in Toronto this year. Here is the schedule of my Major League visits:

April 10 - in Toronto vs. the KC Royals
May 21 - The Hall of Fame Game in Cooperstown: Jays vs. Orioles
June 29 - in Philly vs. the Mets
July 2 - in DC vs the Cubs, before RFK gets shut down for baseball for good.
September 30 - in Toronto vs. the D-Rays. It's the last game of the season, folks. I'll get a free tocque. Let's hope it's meaningful.

Just a Little Longer...

It doesn't look like the WIP will be done tomorrow. In fact, I can guarantee it won't. (Unless I call in sick tomorrow... Hmmm....) But it's looking very good. I have an idea of when, but I won't say because I don't want to get your hopes up, only for me to push the date back again. But I think this deadline was a good idea. I've been working much more steadily than in recent months. And it's paying off.

As Tom Petty said, "The waiting is the hardest part..."

Monday, March 5, 2007

Conference Call

I had to make the call. The Book Passage Mystery Writers' Conference pushed their dates back a week. Instead of running June 21-24, it is now running June 28-July 1. Unfortunately, I had already bought tickets for the King Tut exhibition for my family on June 28 in Philadelphia. I had to make the call. And I went with family. I already had the tickets (hard to come by, by the way) and the wife is really looking forward to it. So, Pharaoh, here I come. Jacqueline Winspear, I hope to meet you at Malice Domestic.

I was looking for an event that might be able to replace the Book Passage conference, but I'm having some difficulty. The big annual event for Mystery writers and fans of mysteries of all kinds is Bouchercon, this year being held in Anchorage, Alaska. Unfortunately, I have an event in the ol' hometown that same weekend, the annual conference for the Association of Moving Image Archivists. (I have to think about the first job, too.) There is another conference in June called Deadly Ink, but that is the same weekend I am going to be vacationing. I would love to meet Tony Hillerman at the Tony Hillerman Writers' Conference, but I don't know if I can hang on till November. Friend, cop and writer Trey Barker invited me to Mayhem in the Midlands, but that's in May, when I already have two weekends filled with plans.

There was one very intriguing conference that I found, and has been widely suggested to me, and that is Sleuthfest in Miami Beach. The problem with this conference is that it's...NEXT MONTH. For the people in the back that didn't hear me, that was...NEXT MONTH. I have no idea if I can pull that off, and I will take it one step at a time, but I'll see what comes my way. I should work on my WIP and work toward going to Malice Domestic, the Home of All Things Traditional Mystery. Everything else is gravy.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Knocking on Wood with My Fingers Crossed

About two and a half months ago, I sent out an application for a grant, the results of which were to be released in March. Well, it's 39 hours into March already and I haven't heard anything yet.

Okay, I'm not quite that distracted, but I am doing what I can to help my cause. In addition to working on the WIP, I went to lunch at the Liberty Diner yesterday, the same place I went to eat when I sent the application off. I had fried raviolis for lunch that day, and I would have had the same yesterday if they were offering it. Semi-regular trips have been a staple of my lunch plans since December, just a little reminder to the universe.

What will the outcome be? I'll let you know as soon as I do...

Thursday, March 1, 2007

In Like a Lion!

Hello All!

I've been gone from here for much of February. Don't know if you've noticed. ;)

Actually, I've had several comments on my lack of bloggity, which is very flattering. Truth be told, I was having some problems with it. I had to go back and look at my initial reasons for starting this blog and looking at how I had handled it. The answers are thusly: I started the blog because of my writing. I wanted to establish even the slightest form of web presence so that, no matter what stage my writing "career" was at, it would give people a way to get in touch with me, and it would give me a forum to keep people updated on what I was doing about the whole thing. Answer to question #2: Poorly.

I didn't really have much to say about my writing "career" at the time I started the blog, but, as other dreamers will understand, I needed to think about things beyond where I was. And so, the blog was born. In order to create content and fill out my blog quotas, I decided to add more than just my writing to the subjects of the blog. I also decided that I could also incorporate other interests in my life into my blog, so I added Local Writers, the Blue Jays and movies to my blog. This backfired. Instead of always having something to talk about, I found my self pushing to find more things to talk about in each of the subject areas, shoving my writing to the side. A fatal mistake.

So, I've taken a blogging vacation. But now I'm back. The priorities are more or less back in place, and I'm making progress on the WIP. (For future reference, that's a Work-in-Progress.) The current goal is to have it done by the birthday on the 9th. That's 3 dozen for anyone counting. It's been about a year since I finished Charles' class, and it's been an on-again, off-again proposition. But I've built up momentum recently and I don't want to stop.

So, why am I back? Well, as I said, priorities are mainly in place now, and I realize where this blog falls. It's not as high as I thought initially. But I still think it's important. I'm not going to punish myself for being erratic with it, but I am going to try to stick on topic more. There will be less Blue Jays and less movies. I'll say something if I've got something genuine to say, but I won't force myself into blathering drivel. I still want to highlight local authors, as I think it's important. Especially Mystery/Suspense/Thriller novelists. There is a half-finished interview with Nelson Blish that I want to publish. I want to tell you about Robbi Hess and Patricia Ryan. And, of course, I want to check in with Charles and see how he's doing one year later.

But right now I've got to finish the WIP (see above). Got about 1200 words done tonight, so it's humming along...