Thursday, April 15, 2010

M is for Magna cum Murder, Mugwump, Meditation, Mysteries and Molly MacRae

1. M is for Magna cum Murder

This mystery convention for authors, fans, and booksellers is scheduled for October 29-31 in Muncie, Indiana. Mother and son writing team Charles and Caroline Todd are the guests of honor. This is one of my favorite conventions because I used to live in Muncie and first attended as a mystery fan. It's here I discovered one of my favorite mystery writers, Susan Wittig Albert.

2. M is for Mugwump

I didn't know I was one, but it appears so, according to the second meaning in Webster's New College Dictionary: "One who acts independently, esp. in politics."

Mugwump. Patricia the Mugwump. I like it.

3. M is for Meditation

Meditation, like journaling, is one of those things I play with from time to time but never get really serious about. I've been thinking of signing up for the weekly meditation experience at our local senior center. Northern Colorado is also home to a couple of interesting retreat locations, although neither one is as close as that senior center. Both of these are wonderful for meditation training and practice as I found out when I toured with a senior center group.

The Shambhala Mountain Center near Red Feather Lakes is home of The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya. I sat in on meditation practice inside the Stupa when I was there to tour the facility. Things change when you enter the Stupa and absorb the quiet. One of the things on my bucket list is to spend a full week at the camp on retreat.

The Abbey of Saint Walburga (contemplative Benedictine Nuns) is a working farm and abbey near Virginia Dale that provides a retreat house for individuals and groups. The farm is peaceful and quiet. Visitors may attend services and prayers.

4. M is for Mysteries

I've never mastered the art of writing short stories, so I've launched an effort to study the process by reading my way through a bunch of mystery magazines and anthologies. I'm starting with Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. That's where librarian and fellow Five Star author Molly MacRae has placed several of her short stories. And by the way, she'll have a new full-length mystery, Lawn Order, coming out in December.

If anyone can recommend a great book on writing the short mystery, let me know. I need all the help I can get.


Karen Walker said...

Sorry, can't help you out withthe short mystery writing. As for contemplation and meditation. I'm all for it. True silence always brings me inner peace.

KarenG said...

I can't write mysteries at all!! So I admire that you can write one of any length.

Raquel Byrnes said...

Interesting "m" words today. Loved mugawump. Good luck with your senior meditation classes they sound like fun if they get off the ground.

Terry Odell said...

Where have I been? How is it "M" already? Shall have to go scroll the posts.

But we had a great day yesterday. I'll have pictures on my blog tomorrow. :-)

Cricket McRae said...

Guess I'm a bit of a mugwump myself -- and never knew it! Great word.

Are you going to Magna cum Murder this year?

Hearth Cricket

Elspeth Antonelli said...

I've actually written a short story mystery which I plan to submit to that magazine - or Ellery Queen. It was interesting to write - it took some discipline to come in at a decent word count!

Shannon said...

Awesome job, I love to read about you in your posts, I am a writer but not sure if I could actually write a book the could be published, I have written one on my life so far, but no one would want to publish it, at least I don't think so! Your a wonderful writer, keep sharing, you inspire me!

Patricia Stoltey said...

Hi everyone. Still scrambling with my wonderful company and trying to get in a little more play time with darling granddaughter before they fly away to San Francisco tomorrow evening. I hope to be back visiting more blog posts and catching up on all the A to Z blogs I haven't looked at yet by Saturday.

Cricket -- I was trying to decide between Bouchercon and Magna cum Murder. I'm leaning toward Magna cum Murder at the moment. I love Indiana in the fall and I think I'd like to do a small mystery conference this year. Magna is one of my favorites because I used to live in Muncie so I like an excuse to go back and visit.

Anonymous said...

Mugwump - thanks for introducing me to a new word!

Talli Roland said...

Mugwump! Love it!

Great 'M' words, Patricia.


Thanks for a variety of words for "M", enjoyed reading about them.
Take care.