Fiction Writing and Other Oddities

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Getting Ready for Malice Domestic

It's time for the Malice Domestic mystery writers conference in Silver Spring, Maryland! I'm pretty excited about it, but it does mean that for a second week in a row, I'll sort of be "off 'Net". Which can be a good thing. Not to get side-tracked from my main blog, but I remember a few winters ago when we had a severe ice storm that caused us to lose electricity for about 5 days. At first, it was a bit of a hassle, but once we got the old wood stoves cranked up and the generator to run the well pump, it was sort of nice to realize that even if we didn't want to be, we were off the Internet grid. It was a bit of a relief, actually, to be disconnected.

Anyway, I thought I'd just do a quick blog before I go off into the wilds of Silver Spring.

For me, conferences are all about learning. I'm lousy at networking and although there are some wonderful friends I hope to catch up with at the conference, like mystery writer Sandra Parshall (we used to work on the local Audubon society newsletter together many eons ago--right after the earth's crust cooled and the dinosaurs turned into birds) my main goal is to attend some of the fantastic classes.

What classes have caught my beady little eye?

Here's a taste of the exotic and curious fare:
  1. Malice 101: An Introduction to all things Malice for First-Time Attendees. Well, yes, although this is not my first writers conference, it is my first Malice conference. And you get to meet a lot of nice people at these sort of intro classes.
  2. The Poison Lady Presents Elemental Murder: Death by the Periodic Table. The presenter is Luci Zahray. I have to admit as a one-time biology major with a strong interest in poisons (for my mysteries, of course!) this is right up my alley. In fact, for my first mystery, The Vital Principle, I used Agatha Christie's favorite poison, cynanide. (No, I'm not actually giving anything away as you learn that in the third chapter, anyway.)
  3. Things We Wish We Hadn't Written: Authors With Belated Second Thoughts. Yeah. This is a common problem for me. I almost always regret the titles I give my books, for one thing. And there are things that I write that make me wince when I read them a year later. It's nice to know I'm not alone. Of course, it would be just my luck to go to this and discover that I *am* actually alone in this and that the topic is something else entirely.
  4. World Building: Making the Past Come Alive. I'm one of the panel for this one, so I sort of have to attend. LOL But I'm actually interested in hearing what the others say about how to write a mystery set in another era without making it hopelessly stuffy or inaccessible to the modern reader.

  5. Tea, Scones, and Death: Murder in the English Countryside. Most of my favorite mysteries are set in England. Don't ask me why. Nonetheless, I can't resist this topic.
  6. Cold Winters, Deadly Nights: Murder in New England. After attending college in Northampton, MA, I can only ask--where else would you kill someone? In a book, of course.
Those are only a few of the offerings. I'm really, really excited and can't wait to attend the classes. Whenever I go to a conference, it's the classes that most renew my spirits and get me jazzed about writing again. Even if you don't write for a living, I really encourage folks to attend conferences. They are a wonderful way to meet writers and find out about all kinds of interesting things.

Well, I've got to run. My husband is looming over me, threatening me with a stack of unfolded laundry and I guess I really ought to pack, as well.

I'm off tomorrow! Can't wait!

1 comment:

Beth Caudill said...

Sounds like fun. I hope you have a good time.