Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Telling Lies

Last Saturday I took part in Mystery on the Menu at the nearby (and gorgeous!) Cerritos Library.

Simon Wood was my partner in crime (there were 15 authors in total, so we were two of many, but I drove him around all day). (As a side note, it felt like old times, as we talked cars and writing and making a living. Sometimes I miss our old blog, Two For The Road.)

Simon was also the moderator of the panel I was on, in which we played the liar's game. Meaning, everyone on the panel told an anecdote, and one of us (each round) lied. Then the audience voted on who they thought was the liar.

And they didn't guess me.

What does that say? I've got an innocent face? I concocted a good story (it even had a lesson-learned)? They weren't going to suspect the one female on a panel of shifty-eyed males?

I'm not sure, but I was perhaps inappropriately proud of having gotten away with it. Which is, come to think of it, exactly how I feel when someone tells me they were totally surprised by who the killer was in one of my books.

Which leads back to the point of doing a Liar's Panel: it could be said that we lie professionally. It's strictly true, in that we all write fiction and work hard to trick the reader. It simply feels less like lying when it's not face to face.

Here's a shot of the audience from the stage. I highly recommend attending the event!


Monday, January 19, 2015

New Habits

I'm still recovering from the big event of last week (a huge conference for the day job). But I've already been working on developing some new habits.

I did make two resolutions for 2015, and I've started on one: taking more photos of what I'm involved in. Even with all the chaos of the week, I managed some photos with work friends--and commemorating the effort we put into things made me happy (see photos here).

But I've also started on another habit: meditation.

Now, that one's a little weird for me, simply because I don't think anyone who knows me would look at me and think, "yeah, she's a candidate for meditation." But perhaps I need it the most....

There are two reasons I'm giving it a whirl. One, an attempt to calm my mind to deal with the chaos of last week. And two, because of this article in the Guardian, New Year's Resolutions Worth Making, that a friend (thanks, Deb) posted on Facebook. It begins, "First, just start meditating already."

I figured, what's 10 minutes a day for a couple weeks? So I started Headspace's "Take 10" (that's 10 minutes and 10 sessions) series, which another friend (thanks, Kimberly!) had recommended. And while I can't claim I turned into a serene person overnight, I'm enjoying taking a few minutes to just focus on breathing and chase thoughts out of my mind every day.

I'm starting the next 10 sessions in Level 2 now, and I've signed up for the monthly subscription, so I'll let you know how things go.

Does anyone else out there meditate? Do you use anything for guidance? What do you like about the practice?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Limbo

I've written about it before, but this is a weird time of year for me.

My day job does a big annual conference in mid-January, and it starts Tuesday. So while the rest of the world is doing "start the new year!" kinds of things, I'm still biting my nails and trying to finish out the tasks I spent the last three months preparing for.

Which means that next weekend will really feel like the new year, and this weekend feels a bit like the weekend we had between Christmas and January 1. That weekend where one big event was over, but it wasn't quite time to plunge into the new.

So I'm not pushing myself for much this weekend. For one thing, I'm storing up my energy reserves (since I'm an introvert, that takes some quiet time), because the next week will find me interacting with 2,000+ people for four full days.

Yes, I'll be replenishing my reserves next weekend also!

But when I do get to my delayed new year, I'm looking forward to some new practices: yoga, meditation, photos, and general fun.

I want 2015 to be, as this image a friend sent me describes, entirely F*%K YEAH.

And I'll really focus on that in a week's time....

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Poisoned Pen Press January Releases!

Congratulations to my fellow Poisoned Pen Press-ers Steven Axelrod and Michael A. Kahn on their release day today!

Steven's book is the second in his Henry Kennis Mystery series, Nantucket Five-Spot, about Nantucket Island's poetry-writing police chief who finds himself untangling a bomb plot that threatens the Boston Pops. Get more info and links to buy on the PPP site.


Michael's is The Sirena Quest, an entry in his Rachel Gold series about the theft and chase after a legendary Greco-Roman statue, eventually reaching Rachel and a clue she may have in her possession. Find out more and get links to buy on the PPP site.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Signing Out of 2014

We're down to the wire now on 2014, in case there are any gifts left to buy, goals to accomplish, or rules to break.

I'm as ready for Christmas as I'll get, and I'm pretty much ready for 2015 also. This past year was a good enough one for me ... what's to complain about given a healthy family, a stable job, a third book, and a first Indy 500?

But I'm pretty sure 2015 is going to be even better, as I've got some excitement out there in the distance (that I'm not ready to talk about just yet).

I'm not big on annual resolutions, but I'm making two for the new year:

  1. I'm going to practice yoga regularly, for mental and physical health and strength.
  2. I'm going to take more photos of my friends and daily life. I want more of a record.
I'm hoping that this time next year, I'll be that annoying friend who's always taking photos—who you're later happy with because she captured the flavor of the day or year. And that I'll be strong, healthy, and flexible. Just don't expect me to become the yoga freak. 

Do you have any resolutions? Any good suggestions for me making sure to fulfill mine?

With that, I'm signing off for this year. See you in 2015!

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Dream Vacation

We're nearing the end of 2014, and I'm starting to plan for 2015's major events. In particular, a vacation. We're going to take one with mom for a big (no, not telling or she'll hurt me) celebration. And the world is our oyster ... or something else more delectable, maybe.

So the question is, where do I want to go?

And I'm having a hard time answering. Therefore, I'm turning to you, my Internet friends, for help.

Let's make it fun: you've got 2 weeks and budget isn't an option (within reason, ok? no private jets).

Where should we go? Where would you want to go?


Friday, December 12, 2014

Poisoned Pen Press Cover: Hair of the Dog

Coming in July, from Poisoned Pen Press!

Hair of the Dog: A Dan Mahoney Mystery
It sounds like some work and mostly play when United Life and Casualty sends its investigator Dan Mahoney to Florida. Five greyhounds—all heavily insured—were lost in a fire at the Daytona dog track.

So simple. Five dogs dead by smoke inhalation, bagged, tagged, and cremated. Papers all in order. Ashes in specialty urns on the desk of Dixie Halifax, track and casino co-owner. In jail, a young employee charged with arson to cover a murder he's blamed for committing.

Then the body of kennel owner Jackson Sanchez is found face down in a pool of blood, a knife stuck in his back. But Sanchez didn’t die from a knife wound. Someone has carved “thief” on his forehead. The blood pooled underneath his body isn’t his. Should Dan be looking for a second corpse? And the one man who can answer questions, the track vet, dies in a motorcycle accident.


Working this case is not as complicated for Dan as having his mother Maggie move into the FBI’s favorite mob slob haven in nearby Palm Coast, while his fiancĂ©e Elaine Linden, on sabbatical, works on a PI license. Perfect—the FBI can set Maggie up to spy on her boyfriend who may be laundering cash in some geriatric mafia scheme in this follow-up to Flash Flood and Rollover.

*    *    *    *    *
About the Author
Susan Slater is the author of the Ben Pecos series (Pumpkin Seed Massacre, A Way to the Manger, Yellow Lies and Thunderbird), a stand-alone (Five O'clock Shadow), a women's fiction novel (0 to 60), a para-normal short story in Rod Serling's commemorative Twilight Zone Anthology (Eye for an Eye), and the Dan Mahoney series. Susan lives on the Atlantic coast and writes full-time.

Learn more about Hair of the Dog and Susan on her website.