Friday, July 17, 2009

Naked Friday

from Jacqueline

This is going to be a very quick post today. I’m co-Chair of the very best writing conference – The Book Passage Mystery Writers’ Conference – which started yesterday, so I’ll soon be whizzing off to the store to kick off the day with a panel on, essentially, what it takes to be a professional writer.

Yesterday was great, seeing fellow Nakeds, Cornelia Read (who may well begin posting again a bit later in the year, after the summer) and Our Patty, who is really one of the most charming women I have ever met. It was like being with family. Louise Ure, was there, together with a raft of others who have either guest-blogged for us, or who regularly add their comments to the mix.

What is great about this mystery writing conference is that it really is a conference about writing. It’s not a fan conference – and those are always great, and of course there are fans among the mix – and our participants really do work hard. Our faculty bring the very best writing practices to the table, but they’re down to earth and keen to pass on what they’ve learned – and we mix it up, knowing that cross-training is something that applies to writing as much as it does to athletics. That’s why we bring in people like Tobias Wolff, who last year ran a session on the short story. This year Adair Lara, much-loved columnist and author, will be presenting a session on what we can learn from memoir when we’re writing fiction. I just love this conference – I learn one heck of a lot!

Here's a photo from last year's conference - Elaine Petrocelli, the founder of Book Passage, together with author David Hewson, publisher David Poindexter of MacAdam-Cage, and someone who looks a bit like me.

On Tuesday I leave for Blighty, and because I will be at the Harrogate Crimewriting Festival (in beautiful north Yorkshire), I will not be posting next week. And on July 31st, I will be with my parents celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary, so the one and only James Grippando is guest-blogging for me. I’ll be back on August 7th – so if you want to know what a day-trip on the Orient Express is like (steam-hauled), then check out my post. I’m taking my parents up to London for a couple of days, including one day spent on the Orient Express for The Golden Age of Travel experience – a five-course lunch aboard the train while it tools around the English countryside. My brother, who also lives in California, will be coming back to London for the first time in 14 years (what can I say – I go back three or four times a year, and he hates setting foot in the place. Each to their own).

Have a really wonderful weekend!


  1. Jackie, I'm so pleased to be part of this year's Book Passage Mystery Conference again. You just glow when you're up at the podium.

  2. Sounds like a great trip. Will be interested in hearing your description of the sound of that steam engine.

    And congrats to your parents. 60 years!!! (I have been married 31 years....if you add all three together).

  3. Our J, what a lovely thing to say about me. So wonderful that I can say thank you from across the table this morning. And many thanks to my dear Louise for picking me up at the airport and schlepping me to Marin County. Hey to Cornelia.

    Paulie, I am guffawing.

  4. oh jackie, what a great idea to take your parents on a daytrip on the orient express. and congratulations to them on their 60th anniversary - absolutely wonderful. i wish them well and many years to come for both of them.

    give my regards to camden town. have a wonderful time and bring us back some lovely pictures.


  5. from Jacqueline

    Hi all,

    Thanks so much for your comments. We're having a grand time at the conference, and next time you hear from me, I'll have photos and stories of the Orient Express.

  6. How wonderful to be on the Orient Express. I took the train from Southampton to London in 01 and for those all too few hours, I was back in time to imagine another era. It wasn't what was passing by outside the train window, it was what was inside, every little detail down to the lighting fixtures. How I look forward to seeing your photos and comments.

    Susan in San Diego

  7. The Orient Express trips are great - I've been on a couple of them. Just the ticket to relax, chill out and be pampered for the day.