Second, please forgive me for not delving into the paranormal this week.
I was lucky enough to attend this year's Mayhem in the Midlands. The guest of honor was Dana Stabenow and the toastmaster was Jan Burke. In addition, they had an international guest of honor, Zoe Sharp. Mayhem is a small conference (only 200 are even allowed to register), so I actually got to meet these incredible authors. Talk about stoked! (Oh, and Zoe and her husband ride motorcycles. I've offered to send them Sturgis Rally shirts. OK, so maybe I was sucking up a little!)
During the conference there were panels on everything from s
elf-defense (by Zoe and Dana) to DNA (no, I can't remember who was on that one... Zoe, I think) to forensic artists (with Sue Senden) to writing strong characters and locations (multiple panels there, sorry!). It was amazing.
One panel was on short story writing. That was the one I was asked to participate in. I can't begin to tell you how honored I was to be there. I tried to back out, but one of the organizers of Mayhem is a bulldog! She just wouldn't let me. And I'm glad. The panel was moderated by Beth Groundwater and also included Kaye George and Pat Dennis. These were some fantastic women!
When I was in the military, we knew that every so often the "powers that be" would send people off to a school. There you learned your job a little better, learned the ins and outs of supervising others, got a little more excited about the Air Force. We called it getting "re-blued." That's what Mayhem in the Midlands did for me. I'm excited about writing (not that I wasn't before, but I have a new appreciation). I'm excited about the people I met there and wish each of them all the best in their own writing careers.
It doesn't get better then that!