While At Bouchercon

I’ll be honest. Bouchercon has intimidated me for years. A mystery fan convention that regularly boasts over 1000 attendees? That’s scary for an introvert like me. This year, though, I wanted to go in person, to mingle with authors and fans, and also to celebrate Sisters in Crime’s (SinC) 35th anniversary. (I’m currently VP on the national board and nominated to become President starting October 1, when the new term rolls around.) Here are highlights from my trip: SinC Executive … [Read more...]

Off to Bouchercon

Just a friendly note saying I'll be traveling to Bouchercon (9/7-9/11). If you're going, find me there! … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Chowdah

One of my favorite soups is clam chowder. Maybe because it reminds of the sea because I loved the ocean but grew up in landlocked Central California. Or perhaps since I liked those cute oyster crackers. I have fond memories of going to San Francisco and enjoying chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. Once, I even wrote down a recipe from a cooking show to create homemade chowder. It was very tasty but took a long time to make. After that experience, I opted to get gourmet versions from … [Read more...]

Giving Trees

One of my favorite books as a kid was The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein because of the tree’s generosity. Years later, I also realized it was a really sad story. Still, I think about trees in the same way—that they always give and give without complaint. I love trees. As a child, I sketched out a blueprint for my ideal tree house. Too bad my parents weren’t sold on the idea. I still love trees. It’s one of the many reasons I enjoy camping in the mountains. Fresh air. Twinkling stars. … [Read more...]

Mustache Pretzels

I’m a fan of the soft pretzel. Sure, I like crunchy pretzels to munch on for snacking, but I have the fondest memories of soft pretzels. I think it all stems from a school trip I took to the Exploratorium in San Francisco. Using some spending money, I bought and devoured my very first soft pretzel—it was fabulous. I’m still hard-pressed to beat that initial savory taste. Growing up, I sometimes went to the local mall and browsed. The alluring scent from Auntie Anne’s would often follow me … [Read more...]

Omu-Rice

Several years ago, I visited Japan. We went to some amazing sights, including the iconic Kinkaku-ji or Golden Pavilion in Kyoto: I also highly recommend the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo, especially for fans of Miyazaki: Per my usual travel aspirations, I explored the food around me. The variety of mochi was excellent—even in the train station! I also really enjoyed the fresh, locally-sourced food found in the obanzai dishes of Kyoto. Plus, I admired the ubiquitous bento … [Read more...]

(Not) Drinking from Cacti & Other Fun Road Trip Facts

Whee! We recently drove from California to New Mexico for the Left Coast Crime conference. I love gathering random factoids on road trips. At a pit stop in Phoenix, we stopped by the Desert Botanical Garden. Thank goodness it wasn’t too hot. (The temp would go up to high 80s later on.) I was wowed by all sorts of cacti (but please don’t give me a pop quiz on them). Unfortunately, I was also sad to discover that you can’t really drink water out of a barrel cactus. It’s more like a glue or sap … [Read more...]

Wordless Wednesday: Ferrets

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Catalina Island

"Allow disruptions to deepen your concentration." I spent Thanksgiving off the mainland! A short ferry ride away from Los Angeles lies Catalina Island. It was nice to walk around the quaint town and relax by watching the boats bobbing in the water. We even spied a school of Garibaldi (our state fish) swimming below the pier. Due to the off and on rain, though, we spent a lot of time indoors. I loved visiting the Catalina Island Museum and learning about the history of the … [Read more...]

Joshua Tree

Who’s crazy enough to camp in a desert during the hot summer? Me, that’s who! In order to see the Perseid meteor shower (which occurs between July 17 and August 24), I ventured away from the city lights and into the desert. A quick getaway to nearby Joshua Tree National Park ended up being loads of fun. During the day, temperatures can soar above 100 degrees, so I opted to cool down inside the Palm Springs Art Museum (Palm Desert location). They had an exhibit on figures, and these were … [Read more...]