Surrey International Writers’ Conference

Honestly, I thought I might be too conferenced out to enjoy SiWC. I'd already attended three writing conferences this year and was ready for a break. The organizers, though, were so lovely and inviting. Plus, Canada! The forecast was rain, so I didn't get to leave the hotel much. I did take a quick walk to the local park, marveling at the fall foliage along the way (see my Instagram account for more photos), and even discovered a black squirrel (check out my IG reel)! At the … [Read more...]

Canada, Here I Come

It's been years since I've traveled internationally (thank you, pandemic). Later this week, though, I'll be heading to Canada. To Surrey, BC--my first time there! I'm grateful for the chance to attend the Surrey Writers' International Conference. It'll be a lot of fun, and I'll need to turn on my conference mode. Since it's been so long, I had to make myself a checklist of items to think about: -Passport: Oops. I found out that my passport had actually expired, so I had to renew it. … [Read more...]

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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