IN AN AIRPORT || Pondering Purgatory, Connections, and Fictional Places

Friday, September 20, 2013

It’s Wednesday, midday, and I’m sitting in O’Hare Airport waiting for the next leg in my journey to Albany, New York, home of the Bouchercon 2013 World Mystery Convention, where I will no doubt become more sleep-deprived than I already am. Airports…What better place to ponder place? Airports are the purgatory of places. Neither here nor there, everyone having departed but not yet arrived. They’re kind of surreal, the way…

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There’s No Place Like Away from Home

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I have a two-year-old son. Whenever he sees my laptop, he points to it and says, “Momma busy.” Yep. But this realization in his toddler brain does not stop him from lunging at my computer with blueberry-stained hands, or from driving over the keyboard with one of his endless fleet of toy cars. As you can imagine, I don’t get much writing done at home. So, when it’s time for…

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Finding the Universal in Unfamiliar Places

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I moved around a lot as a child, but I grew up mostly in Miami, a city which people are constantly moving in and out of. I suppose that’s part of what made it feel like home. In Miami, when you meet someone, it’s not unusual that they’ll ask your name, followed by “Where are you from?” It’s not the question you think it is. It’s not: where did you…

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A Sense of Place: Writing Home, at Home and Away

Monday, September 16, 2013

As I start a draft of this post, I’m sitting in a booth at a chain restaurant that calls itself a bakery, with the remains of a salad at one elbow and “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder—not his best song—playing overhead. There are three other people with computers or tablets glowing in front of them nearby. I like to write in café noise. We are legion. Science reports that…

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News Flash: Secrets, ARCs, and a First Good Review

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Congrats to Thew Swihart, who won the copy of Dave Jackson’s TATTOO RAMPAGE last week! From the 2014 Debs… Lisa Alber received her advance reader copies (ARCs) of KILMOON (yay!), and she’s in love with them. She can’t wait to take a few to Bouchercon, the world mystery convention, next week. In fact, now that she’s thinking about it, she needs a new outfit or two to go along with…

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FIRST FLOATING LESSONS || How Not to Sink on the River of Life

Friday, September 13, 2013

Here’s what my friend, S, said: “It’s like you wade into the river, and then suddenly you’re in the current, and then you can’t just step out again. You’re IN. No going back.” The other day, Tuesday to be exact, I drove four hours up I-5 from southern Oregon to Portland. I cried off and on the whole way. I’d attended a beautiful wedding and hung with friends I don’t…

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“Firsts” are like buttholes. Everyone has got one.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

They are! Seriously, firsts really are like buttholes. There are several reasons why, but let’s keep it clean. To start, everyone must experience them at some time or another. First bounced check, first car impounding, first eviction notice…Ok, I promised to keep it clean! Firsts are hard, scary, and often make you feel like you want to dive under your covers and never come out. But sometimes firsts are exciting,…

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You’ve Gotta Get Up from that First Fall

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The first time I skied on a real mountain, I was ten. Prior to that, I’d skied only on the smooth, glacier-carved hills of the Midwest. The purple peaks of the Rockies were a different story. Before we get all philosophical, let me tell you about my outfit that day. I wore black stirrup pants tucked into neon orange boots. My jacket was hot pink, with hot pink Smith goggles…

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Shaking Off the Nervous Daze of First Days

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I’m pretty good about remembering things, but for the life of me I can’t remember anything specific about my first days of school. I suspect it’s because they always felt like I was walking through a foggy cloud of nerves. As a kindergartener, I was entering a new world, learning a new language, and all I remember is my teacher showing me how to tie my shoes. Of course I…

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Wearing the T-shirt or, The Last First Day

Monday, September 9, 2013

For the every class of Debs, it’s always about firsts. The year ahead of us is filled with them. But we’ve known a few firsts in our day, already. Like that first day—remember when you walked into a situation completely unsure and looking for the exit? Yeah, that’s this week: Our first days. It’s been a while since I’ve had a first day at a new job, or a first…

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