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November 22, 2006

Miami: Where the Books and Authors Are

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I have friends who cannot believe my idea of a really fun weekend is to attend a book fair. A few weeks ago I was getting my hair cut and I mentioned that I was headed to Miami. Folks gathered round telling me about their favorite places in South Beach, the hottest restaurants and the best nightclubs. I told them I was not doing any of that. I was attending the Miami Book Fair. They looked at me like I was daft. I went back to going over the author lineup and planning my weekend.
November 7, 2006

I Approve This Message

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It's Election Day. I am excited. This means that we can go back to inane commercials for products things instead of inane commercials and on-air screaming from candidates. I think going forward candidates should only be able to talk about what THEY are going to do, not what the other person has, or has not, done. It would save a lot of time and a lot of money.
October 6, 2006

Bouchercon 2006 --- A Prairie Escapade

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I headed for Madison, Wisconsin for Bouchercon on Friday of last week with two hours of sleep behind me. I was up late packing, and then I had to be up at 4:30 to go to the airport. The hours in between I more napped than slept, thus I crashed most of the flight to Cleveland where I was changing planes. I have never been to Cleveland so here is my report from the airport. There is a Starbucks. There is a bagel place that does not have great bagels.
September 8, 2006

Reflecting on 9/11: The Books

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I got home and realized we were creeping up on the fifth anniversary of 9/11. A book called LOVE YOU, MEAN IT was on my stack and it felt like the right time to read it. It's about four women who were widowed on 9/11 and their Widow's Club and how they clung to each other in the years after the tragedy. I have a friend who lost her husband on 9/11 and we would chat off and on about what she was going through over these past few years. I remember her saying part way into year two that it was not getting easier. There still was a ton of paperwork to do.
September 8, 2006

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

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Both of my sons went back to school this week. I always remember that back-to-school week in school meant writing the "What I Did On My Summer Vacation" essay. Of course, it was not called an essay because you were too young to know what that was. Instead it was a "story." I am not sure kids are asked to do such things any more and if they do, maybe they now call it "Your Summer Vacation Blog." I used to like to read the ones that my sons wrote so I could see their perspective on what stuck out to them about their vacation.
Sunday I decided to hit the pool for a bit and do water aerobics since there was no way to do laps in the W pool. I carried my water buoys and my waterproof MP3 player with me from home, so I was all set. It was lovely to be outside and for the moment, not racing from event to event.
Saturday morning I walked over to the Festival and things were bustling. There was a line of cars waiting to park that streamed onto Hilgard and I saw why people had urged me to stay at the W and walk. There were crowds everywhere --- everything from organized patient queues to pick up tickets and lines to attend events.
For years I have been hearing that the L.A. Times Book Festival is the quintessential book festival event. Schedule conflicts always kept me from attending in the past, but this year I vowed I would get there. Thus in March I locked down a flight and a reservation at the W Hotel, which was easy walking distance from the UCLA campus where the event is held.
May 5, 2006

Mysterious Doings

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Last week's Mystery Writers of America events in New York kept me hopping on both Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday there was a full-day symposium that I finally broke away from the office to catch in the afternoon. I arrived in time to a panel called "First, Kill All the Lawyers…or They Will Write" with Catherine Crier, Lisa Scottoline, James Grippando and Paul Levine. Paul and I joked that those who named this panel must have been clairvoyant since the title of the third book in his Solomon vs Lord series coming in late August will be KILL ALL THE LAWYERS!
March 31, 2006

Bookish in Virginia

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I love annual events that get better and better each year. That's what's been happening with the Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville, VA. I did some quick math on the drive down and realized I have been going for five years now. I used to zip down on a Friday night and stay til Sunday morning, but my trip has been getting longer and longer each year. This year I started my weekend on Thursday and drove home Sunday afternoon. Here's my travelogue on what I did there -- my version of "What I Did on My Bookish Vacation."