Monday, March 14, 2011

Packing my bags


Vicki here and happy Monday to you.

It’s time for me to hit the road once again. I’ve got a very busy spring coming up.

Now, I’m a winter person, I love winter and I stay close to home. I love walking the snowmobile trails in the farmers’ fields and woods around my house, and strolling on the beach – frozen solid – when I’m absolutely the only one around. I live in a tourist area, and it gets more crowded than I like in the summer, but the winters are quiet. I have a wood burning stove and a comfy wing-back chair to read in and I like nothing better than to draw the curtains at 5 o’clock, light a couple of candles, and snuggle down to read.

As soon as the clocks change and the light gets brighter and the rain starts to fall, then it’s time to crawl out of hibernation and head back out into the real world.

Right now I’m packing for Left Coast Crime in Sante Fe. I’m at the point in my writing career that I choose conferences by their location. Never been to New Mexico, but I’ve always wanted to go, and now’s my chance.

A good number of my Canadian friends are going (including Lou Allin and Joan Boswell) and it will also be a great chance to catch up with my Poisoned Pen Colleagues and new writer friends I’ve met over the past year, such as Rosemary Harris.

If you’re going to Left Coast Crime here’s a couple of things to watch out for: My panel is the first one of the conference, not a good time at all. But someone has to go first. Thursday at 1, on how climate affects mysteries.

Then at 2:00 it’s the day’s piece de resistance: A Criminal Tour of Canada. Barbara Fradkin, R.J. Harlick and I will take you on a tour of literary (mysteriously speaking) Canada. Want to know where Trafalgar actually is, how about Three Pines, or why Inspector Green lives in Ottawa? We’ve got the skinny. And we will be serving some of our national dishes and dressed in a scaled-down version of our national costumes (gotta get it all on the plane, you know) and having a draw for one or two of our national treasures.

On Saturday I’ve been given my own time slot to talk about a subject dear to me in my writing: how my books reflect the changing role of women. From Fiona MacGillivray who needs a male partner to legally own her dance hall, to Moira Madison fighting her family to become a nurse prior to World War II, to Molly Smith whose main problem as a female police officer is that her boyfriend is being overprotective. We’ve come a long way.

Saturday night I’m hosting a table at the banquet. I’ll have a contest for more of those Canadian national treasures as well as goodies for all my guests. I might even buy a bottle of wine or two.

Can’t make it to Left Coast Crime? I’ll be in Scottsdale the following week, at the Poisoned Pen on Tuesday March 29th with R.J. Harlick and newcomer Wayne Arthurson, at the Teague Library with R.J. on Wednesday afternoon and I am speaking on the Simple Writers Life to the Scottsdale Society of Women Writers that evening at their regular meeting.

April, its North Carolina and Maryland and Pennsylvania with Mary Jane Maffini and Elizabeth Duncan. More about that closer to the date.

For one last time (at least Anthony Bidulka hopes so) here’s the picture of the Canadian Panel at Bouchercon 2009. Bring your cameras to A Criminal Tour of Canada. The other picture shows me in the hat I will NOT be wearing for the talk on the progress of women, ‘cause I can’t get it on the dratted plane.

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