I traveled to Hamilton, Ohio (40 miles north of Cincinnati) for the Mad Anthony Writers conference. The event featured a Writers Police Academy on Friday which included trips to the county morgue, tours of the police station and a canine demonstration. Saturday was just as jam packed with tracks for aspiring writers as well as research sessions (e.g. SWAT, High Risk Traffic Stops, and Crime Fighting Technology). If you get the chance to go to this conference next year, GO!!
Just returned from the Outer Banks of North Carolina where Buddy, Bella and I celebrated Thanksgiving with my aunts, uncles and cousins. Unlike most clans, our crew doesn’t just eat the big meal on turkey day. No, we have a three-day food extravaganza that starts at Aunt Lydia’s and Uncle Sam’s for the traditional Thursday Thanksgiving feast. We have it all—sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, rolls, green bean casserole, creamed onions, and of course lots of gravy. On Friday the star is the Oyster Roast where neighbors and friends gather to enjoy each other’s company, dozens of cover dish delights and bushels of freshly steamed oysters. We wrap up the three day gathering at Aunt Sally’s and Uncle Mike’s for spare ribs, corn on the cob, corn bread and more deserts than I can name. Needless to say, I won’t miss Weight Watcher’s on Wednesday.
Aunt Lydia’s Lemon Graham Cracker Crust Pie
2 c. graham crackers, crushed
1/3 c. butter
½ c lemon juice
1 t grated lemon or ¼ t lemon extract
1 1/3 c. sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs separated (use the yolk in the filling and save white for the meringue)
4 T sugar
¼ t Cream of Tartar
¼ t vanilla
2 reserved egg whites
Directions. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
To make the crust, crush the Graham crackers and mix with melted butter. Line a pie shell with the mixture and refrigerate until cool. To mix pie filling, combine lemon juice and grated lemon rind or lemon extract and gradually stir in sweetened condensed milk. Add egg yokes and stir until well blended. Pour into pie shell. To make the meringue, add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and beat with a hand mixer or whisk until whites hold a peak). Add sugar and beat until stiff, but not dry. Gently fold in vanilla and then pile on top of filling. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool and serve.
Saturday morning Buddy, Bella and I headed downtown to cheer on the racers in the Sun Trust Richmond Marathon. Our first stop was the Mile 5 marker on Grove Avenue and our second stop was Mile 20 on the North Boulevard. At both locations we listened to local bands playing festive music and caught up with friends cheering on the racers as they passed.
Buy a Book, Stop a Crook! is the motto for Book ‘em an annual book fair sponsored by the Waynesboro Police Department. The program, now in its fifth year, raises money to illiteracy and crime. The event featured dozens of authors who signed their books and gave talks on writing, the publishing industry, and other topics of interest. At the event, I signed copies of I’m Watching You and Cold Case Cop and also spoke on the panel Romance, Suspense and Thrillers. What do they have in common? Joining me on the panel were authors Nikki Leigh and Tom Tancin.
Because I’m such an animal lover at heart, I have to say my favorite Book ‘em guest was Tomi the Cadaver dog. Tomi is a Rhodesian German Shepard-Akita mix who traveled all the way from L.A. with his author pal Alan Krugel who writes The K-9 Chronicles. The pair not only attended Book ‘em, but spent the week visiting area school children. Check out Alan’s author interview at http://www.youtube.com/user/K9dogpack.
And speaking of pups…visit Barbara Vey’s blog Beyond Her Book at http://www.publishersweekly.com/blog/880000288/post/1680034368.html. She’s running a contest to match authors/editors/publishers and their animals. I’m there and so are my “babies.”