Thursday, January 21, 2010

Way cool tool for the Mac

Ever wanted a tablet occasionally for Photoshop but didn't want to spend hundreds of dollars? Check out this cool app from Ten One Design that turns the trackpad on your Mac into a tablet.

Make sure you watch the demo. This is definitely on my wish list.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

2010 Edgar Nominees

Mystery Writers of America announced the 2010 nominees for their Edgar Award. Here's a list.

Looks like my TBA pile will be growing. Also, I didn't realize there was a juvenile category, which should be a great place to find some new books for Sissy. She loves mystery and suspense.

The Missing by Tim Gautreaux (Random House - Alfred A. Knopf)
The Odds by Kathleen George (Minotaur Books)
The Last Child by John Hart (Minotaur Books)
Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death by Charlie Huston (Random House - Ballantine Books)
Nemesis by Jo Nesbø, translated by Don Bartlett (HarperCollins)
A Beautiful Place to Die by Malla Nunn (Simon & Schuster – Atria Books)

The Girl She Used to Be by David Cristofano (Grand Central Publishing)
Starvation Lake by Bryan Gruley (Simon & Schuster - Touchstone)
The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf (MIRA Books)
A Bad Day for Sorry by Sophie Littlefield (Minotaur Books – Thomas Dunne Books)
Black Water Rising by Attica Locke (HarperCollins)
In the Shadow of Gotham by Stefanie Pintoff (Minotaur Books)
BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL Bury Me Deep by Megan Abbott (Simon & Schuster)
Havana Lunar by Robert Arellano (Akashic Books)
The Lord God Bird by Russell Hill (Pleasure Boat Studio – Caravel Books)
Body Blows by Marc Strange (Dundurn Press – Castle Street Mysteries)
The Herring-Seller’s Apprentice by L.C. Tyler (Felony & Mayhem Press)

Columbine by Dave Cullen (Hachette Book Group - Twelve)
Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde by Jeff Guinn (Simon & Schuster)
The Fence: A Police Cover-Up Along Boston’s Racial Divide by Dick Lehr (HarperCollins)
Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art by Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo (The Penguin Press)
Vanished Smile: The Mysterious Theft of Mona Lisa by R.A. Scotti(Random House - Alfred A. Knopf)

Talking About Detective Fiction by P.D. James (Random House - Alfred A. Knopf)
The Lineup: The World’s Greatest Crime Writers Tell the Inside Story of Their Greatest Detectives edited by Otto Penzler (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown and Company)
Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King by Lisa Rogak (Thomas Dunne Books)
The Talented Miss Highsmith: The Secret Life and Serious Art of Patricia Highsmith
by Joan Schenkar (St. Martin’s Press)
The Stephen King Illustrated Companion by Bev Vincent (Fall River Press)

"Last Fair Deal Gone Down" – Crossroad Blues by Ace Atkins (Busted Flush Press)
"Femme Sole" – Boston Noir by Dana Cameron (Akashic Books)
"Digby, Attorney at Law" – Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine by Jim Fusilli (Dell Magazines)
"Animal Rescue" – Boston Noir by Dennis Lehane (Akashic Books)
"Amapola" – Phoenix Noir by Luis Alberto Urrea (Akashic Books)

The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity by Mac Barnett (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
The Red Blazer Girls: The Ring of Rocamadour by Michael D. Beil (Random House Children’s Books – Alfred A. Knopf)
Closed for the Season by Mary Downing Hahn (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Books)
Creepy Crawly Crime by Aaron Reynolds (Henry Holt Books for Young Readers)
The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline by Nancy Springer (Penguin Young Readers Group – Philomel Books)

Reality Check by Peter Abrahams (HarperCollins Children’s Books – HarperTeen)
If the Witness Lied by Caroline B. Cooney (Random House Children’s Books – Delacorte Press)
The Morgue and Me by John C. Ford (Penguin Young Readers Group – Viking Children’s Books)
Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone by Dene Low (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Books)
Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell (Random House Children’s Books – Delacorte Press)

“Place of Execution,” Teleplay by Patrick Harbinson (PBS/WGBH Boston)
“Strike Three” – The Closer, Teleplay by Steven Kane (Warner Bros TV for TNT)
“Look What He Dug Up This Time” – Damages, Teleplay by Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler & Daniel Zelman (FX Networks)
“Grilled” – Breaking Bad, Teleplay by George Mastras (AMC/Sony)
“Living the Dream” – Dexter, Teleplay by Clyde Phillips (Showtime)

ROBERT L. FISH MEMORIAL AWARD "A Dreadful Day" – Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine by Dan Warthman (Dell Magazines)

Dorothy Gilman

Mystery Lovers Bookshop, Oakmont, Pennsylvania
Zev Buffman, International Mystery Writers’ Festival

Poisoned Pen Press (Barbara Peters & Robert Rosenwald)

(Presented at MWA’s Agents & Editors Party on Wednesday, April 28, 2010)
Awakening by S.J. Bolton (Minotaur Books)
Cat Sitter on a Hot Tin Roof by Blaize Clement (Minotaur Books)
Never Tell a Lie by Hallie Ephron (HarperCollins – William Morrow)
Lethal Vintage by Nadia Gordon (Chronicle Books)
Dial H for Hitchcock by Susan Kandel (HarperCollins)
# # # #
The EDGAR (and logo) are Registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by the Mystery Writers of America, Inc.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Have a Productive New Year

Okay so it's a little bit past making resolutions for the New Year. But it's a dreary, rainy day here in California, and that always makes me a bit introspective.

Do you make New Year's resolutions? Do they last? Have they fallen by the wayside already?

I'm not much of a resolution maker. When I see something I want to change, I make a plan and change it. And I've found two tools to help me with that.

Mary Ellen Tribby has a great website and daily e-mail loaded with tips for working moms, though I daresay any one could benefit from her tips.

The other resource I've been using for a couple of years is Mark Joyner's Simpleology 101. It's a great tool for determining your goals and a plan for how to reach them.

Happy goal setting!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Wish You Were Here

In case you were wondering about the new pic in my blog header, no that isn't Indiana.

The kids and I are in California, in my hometown, being snowbirds. The picture is one I saw often growing up. It's Mount San Bernardino, topped with snow. Probably as close to snow as we'll get this year.

Sissy and I developed Lyme Disease and the cold weather makes it worse. So we've come out to stay with my folks and hopefully get better. We're glad we finally know why Sissy has been so sick for the past year, yet Lyme can be difficult to get rid of once you've had it so long. I've had it since at least last spring and am not having much better luck getting rid of it. So prayers are appreciated on this phase of life's journey.

Great Creative Resource

I wanted to share with you all a great resource that I'm a big fan of. Creative Techs offers free online classes for Adobe Creative Suite programs (Photoshop, InDesign, etc.) plus classes on digital photography and even building iPhone apps. The instructors are terrific and you can learn something no matter what your skill level.

The way it works is they broadcast the classes live from Seattle and you can tune in for free. If you can't make the live class or you want a repeat, you can buy the downloads for an amazingly low price.

Here's the link where you can check out the classes they're offering for yourself.

P.S. I don't have any stake in this, just a satisfied customer wanting to pass on a great resource

Friday, January 01, 2010

I thought this was supposed to be a vacation!

The kids and I are taking a break from the cold Midwest and spending it in sunny California with my parents. And our dogs.

Apparently nobody told the raccoons and skunks that treat my parents' back yard as the wildlife superhighway to the neighbors' cat food and hot tub. While there wasn't much to snack on in our back yard, the neighbors had treats aplenty. And two dogs now hanging out back there was cramping the style of the neighborhood wildlife.

After a couple of close calls that smelled up the yard, our black lab Charlie finally got a faceful of skunk spray. It was bad enough to make him throw up. My eyes were watering inside the house with the doors shut. That stuff is awful!

So of course my first reaction was to go on Facebook and update my status to ask for help. My good friend Tammy (from high school!) gave me the following recipe:

Let me tell you, it works. It was hard to tell at first because the whole yard smelled, but when we put him in the garage for the night, he was the best smelling thing around. So if your dog gets sprayed by a skunk, don't use tomato juice. Use the peroxide/baking soda recipe.

Since we haven't heard from (or smelled) the skunks since, I'm hoping that was the final battle of the back yard.

Wonder what the raccoons have planned.