Recovering from a Killer (Nashville) weekend!

Things I learned this weekend:  Driving through the state of Illinois is a long, long, LOOOOOONG process.  Mystery author J.A. Jance is one of the most gracious human beings on the planet.  There are a lot of wonderful, gracious people on this planet.  I am a dork when it comes to public speaking situations where I’ve been caught off-guard.

I discovered the final lesson on Saturday, August 26th at the Killer Nashville Awards Dinner when my unpublished novel was honored with first runner-up for the 2017 Killer Nashville Claymore Award.  The image on the left is the hardware, the image on the right is moi – I think this is the part of my speech where I declared my love for every Minnesotan in the room at the banquet.  (Surprisingly, there were several Minnesotans there.)

To say I was gobsmacked is a total understatement.  And while I wasn’t totally unprepared (I’m glad that I got to give some shout outs to the Sisters in Crime and to Mystery Writers of America), my time at the podium was a bit of an out-of-body experience.

The official list of 2017 award winners can be found here.  I am grateful to Clay Stafford and his team of staffers who put on the Killer Nashville conference.  It was an incredible experience and is a huge milestone in my writing career.

Friday Fare

Friday Fare: 8/11/17 (The Apology Edition)

From Top Left: Coffee and sunshine; Celebrating International Cat Day with my favorite feline; Girls Night Out (GNO) and live music with some friends; The epic Minecraft cake my MIL made for my eldest child’s birthday.


I’m a little embarrassed that this is the first mention I’ve made on my blog about this, but as I’ve shared this on my social media feeds (follow me!  I’m on Twitter and the Instagram!), I don’t feel like this is a total failure to communicate. My work-in-progress is on the long list for Killer Nashville‘s Claymore Award.

This was me when I read the email:

Gif from Giphy

I’ll be making the trip down to Nashville later this month.  I cannot express how thrilled and honored I was to be counted among my fellow nominees.


Listening: In no particular order: Patti Smith (read the touching tribute she penned to her former lover and longtime friend Sam Shepard here); Sturgill Simpson; and Gillian Welch.

Reading: Read Elizabeth Kostova’s “The Shadow Lands.”  And it was marvelous.  While Kostova’s debut novel “The Historian” is one of my all-time favorites, her sophomore effort “The Swan Thieves” left a lot to be desired.  In “The Shadow Lands” Kostova returns to familiar territory in Eastern Europe, telling the story of a modern day young woman who finds herself meshed in a mystery that has ties to the past.

Writing Life: Eeeeedddddiiiiittttsssss.   Edits. Edits. Edits.

That’s about it for me, friends … hope that this blog post finds you well and ready for the weekend!



It’s not you, it’s me …

HA! I am so sorry that I’ve been MIA on my blog lately.  Maybe I need to know and plan on a summer hiatus in future years.  Maybe I need to be less lazy at curating my “Friday Fares.”  Or maybe I just need to leave you with a big pile of kittens:

Stay tuned … next week, I’m going to post about a recent accolade received for my unpublished manuscript.  And hopefully I’ll be organized enough to give you an update about all things fiction and otherwise.