Magpie Moments: The Glamorous Life of a PI on the Road

A few weeks ago, I wrote a Magpie Moments post (bits of real life, incorporated into Sydney’s adventures) about the Delta Orlando Resort. This week, I thought I’d write about less luxurious accommodations. “… I travel a lot, and I always feel funny about using the hotel phone. Like I can feel the last person’s face there.” Lisa looked at me as if I were wearing my underwear on the outside of my clothes. “It’s no worse than the bed, or—” she almost couldn’t bring herself to finish, “—the toilet.” “True,” I said. “And, unlike me, Graeme probably never stays in Read more…

Just When You Think You Have It All Figured Out (In Life and In Writing)

A couple of weeks ago, I was driving toward downtown Hilo, glancing at Hilo Bay. After checking the traffic, I merged automatically into the right lane as I’ve done during months (years?) of road work. Only to feel like a doofus. There was no merge. Holy crap! The road suddenly felt so expansive, minus the cones and construction detritus in the middle two lanes, that I felt like meandering from lane to lane just because I could. I didn’t, because—most of the time—I’m not actually a doofus. On a slightly grander scale, two weeks ago we were a one-dog, one-cat household. Now Read more…

How Factual Do You Want Your Fiction?

On some level, I always associate suicides with Superman. Truth, Justice, and the American Way. Wasn’t that the opening of the old Superman series, the one in black and white? My brother and I used to watch the reruns on TV when we were children. We’d lie flat out on our bellies, propped up on our elbows, dead to the world until the end of the episode. By then the loops of my grandmother’s cheap red-orange carpet would have carved deep grooves in our arm and elbow skin that tingled as they plumped and came back to life. It was Read more…

Magpie Moments: A Hotel by any Other Name

As of yesterday, No Safe Winterport, the fourth Sydney Brennan book, is live! Woo hoo! Well, the ebook is anyway. Apologies to my paperback readers. I’m still waiting for a paperback proof copy (yes, I’m that paranoid) to make its way across the wide Pacific Ocean. It’s unlikely that I accidentally uploaded my grocery list instead of the manuscript, but in this unreasonably hot summer anything is possible. (By the way, I’m one of those people you hate in the grocery store because you think I’m that addicted to my smartphone; I’m actually staring slavishly at its screen because my grocery list is a Read more…