Monthly Archives: October 2016


Just recently returned from five days in New Orleans for the 2016 Bouchercon Mystery Conference. It was fabulous; great panels, lots of wonderful new writers and books being introduced, and old friends meeting up. The city has gone through a resurgence since Katrina and was more than welcoming to mystery writers and fan enthusiasts alike.

I’m really looking forward to the Houston chapter of SCBWI’s conference later this month. I always learn a lot about the children’s book industry, about writing, and about marketing yourself.  I’m signed up for THREE critiques on my new Middle Grade novel, Between Dime Box and Blue.  I may be a glutton for punishment, but I’m confident this is ready to find a home.

If you are not familiar with this fabulous international writers organization, the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators is an international writers organization with chapters around the world. They conduct a major conference in Los Angeles in the summer and in New York in the winter.  Local chapters, such as the one in Houston have their own smaller, but equally impressive list of agents, writers, illustrators, and editors who come to speak, critique, and workshop experienced and novice writers.  This is hands down the most supportive and gracious group of writing colleagues you will ever know.  Monthly meetings are free even to non-members, but there are perks for joining.

The Houston chapter meets on the first Monday evening (7:00) of the month at the Tracy Gee Community Center 3599 Westcenter, Houston, TX 77042.  For more information about the Houston conference go to:

Cue the Murder

The door slapped shut in my face. The bus lumbered forward, belching its obnoxious toxic diesel fumes.  Picking up the pace, I banged on the door, but the driver flogged the bus through the first three gears.  I caught a glimpse of his slight smile in the rear view mirror as it picked up speed.  My vintage Samsonite case chose that moment to break at the hinge.

Public transportation really sucked! I worked five jobs and had a schedule like a stack of Mah Jong tiles—pull one out and the whole pile crashes.  Being dependent on Metro left no margin for error in my life. Especially, when I’d just learned I was being laid off of job number three.

I teetered on the edge of tears, but I was too furious and too out of breath. Bent over double, a projection of the Milky Way danced across the back of my eyelids. I thought I might throw up.

A compact sedan turned off Kirby and pulled up to the curb beside me. The electric window glided down with a mechanical whisper.  I looked into grey-blue eyes and the concerned face of a blondish man in his late thirties or early forties.  “Are you OK?  Do you need a lift?”

I’m not the naïve kid that moved to Houston from the sticks. I know better than to get into a strange car.  But his was a nice face.  Not beautiful, not rugged, but really nice.

And I was really pissed. Continue reading