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Writing Workshops and a Great Review

As usual, as it becomes time to write my blog, I wonder what I’ll write about.

Today, I’ll be talking about something only vaguely related to writing.

Recently, I presented two workshops with a writing partner at a writers conference. Both presentations were exactly what was advertised. In the morning we gave a talk on marketing, what that meant and ways of doing it, and the fact that most publishers today want a marketing plan submitted along with a query. Our afternoon workshop was about alternate means of getting published–and that’s exactly what we presented.

A fellow presenter who is also a friend was promoted as writing a book based on a screen play. And yes, he did speak about that, but then he gave an impassioned plea about being against the death penalty and coming up with some way to rehabilitate young people who have committed crimes. His theme was that anyone can be rehabilitated–something I don’t feel is true–but no one was given the opportunity to rebut.

I certainly agree we should have a better plan for rehabilitating any one who crimes and I don’t like the death penalty–but I don’t think that was the forum for that particular presentation. That topic certainly wasn’t presented on the writing workshop schedule. I know the author is passionate about this cause–but not only did he make many uncomfortable, but he also made a few in the audience angry.

When he began going over time, I finally spoke up and told him he needed to return to his topic and tie things up as he was infringing on the next speakers’ time. (Granted, the one in charge should have done this, but she was rather overwhelmed by him.) No, I don’t like stepping in like this, but I’m old and seem to be able to get away with being bossy.

My point, I suppose is, if you are asked to give a workshop or a speech on a certain topic, stick to that topic–whatever it was you were supposed to do.

If you have a particular movement or political passion, find the proper venue to present it. Don’t embarrass yourself or the group that invited you to talk about one thing and then go on and on about something completely different.

Once again, I’ll step off my soap box–at least until my next turn on this blog.

Oh, and by the way, I got a wonderful review for my latest Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, Kindred Spirits, on Reviewing the Evidence. Here’s the last paragraph:
“This is the seventh title in Meredith‛s well-received Tempe Crabtree series. As in all of her books, Meredith explores Native American culture, in this case, the history of the Tolowa tribe. She addresses the difficulty Tempe faces while trying to be true to both her Native American side and her white heritage. As the wife of a Christian minister, Tempe must also deal with her husband‛s own views on Indian culture and spirituality. Hutch and Tempe don‛t always agree on these matters. But in this novel, Hutch becomes more supportive of Tempe‛s work while shedding some of his opposition to Tempe‛s views on life. The two make an unusual couple, but their very uniqueness lends reality to the mystery. As people, they can‛t be pigeonholed into one group or another and thus bring a feeling of freshness to the protagonist‛ s role. Any story featuring these two is a welcome addition to the mystery fan‛ s library.”
Reviewed by Mary V. Welk, November 2008

Marilyn Meredith

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Climbing on My Soap Box

I’m back on my soap box once again. On DorothyL, the premiere list for mystery fans and authors, they’ve been discussing the fact that Bouchercon has voted against discriminating against small press as far as allowing their authors to serve on panels. (They won’t let self-pubbed or those who paid to be published unless they’ve won a prestigious prize.)

Left Coast Crime on the other hand will not allow any author published by a non-MWA approved publisher be on a panel. (To add to the insult, they talk about real writers as opposed to the other kind. Real writers meaning those published by New York publishers.)

To be an MWA approved publisher, the publisher must print at least 500 books at once (something most small presses who use print on demand technology don’t do) and give an advance, two things my publishers don’t do though they meet all the other criteria.

Though going to mystery cons is an enjoyable experience, they are very expensive. If you can’t be on a panel, your books will not be in the book room. If you’re not on a panel of course no one will be able to purchase your book. For an author, part of the reason to go to a con is to let people know about your book.

I’ve decided to only attend mystery cons and writers conferences where I can be on a panel or be a speaker, for several reasons. I want the most for my promotion dollar. I also want to be able to take the trip off my income tax. And most of all, I’m really tired of this discrimination against authors who aren’t published by MWA approved publishers.

Another big decision I’ve made is not to pay my next year’s dues to MWA even though I’m a full member–something I’ll never be again once I quit paying my dues. I’ve been a member for years–but they haven’t really done anything for me except to discriminate against me. I get far more out of other organization I belong to such as Epic and the Public Safety Writers Association, and the San Joaquin chapter of Sisters and Crime as well as the Internet chapter of Sisters in Crime.

Now I’ll climb off my soap box.


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Virtual Book Tour

I’m on a virtual book tour for Kindred Spirits all month, and these are the places I’ll be until I post on this blog again:

Oct 15
Oct 16
Oct 17
Oct 20
Oct 21 and
Oct 22
Oct 23
Oct 24
Oct 27
Oct 28

If you visit any of these blogs, please leave a comment.

I also have a book video here:

This has been a hectic time beginning with the first of September. I’ve done more promotion for this book than any of my others.

It began with a preview when I spoke to the San Joaquin chapter of Sisters in Crime, The following week I had the official book launch in Crescent City CA where much of the story takes place. We flew to Illinois where I spoke to the Prose in the Park Writing Conference–and also signed a contract with my new publisher for the next in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series.

I attended the Wizards of Words conference in Scottsdale AZ where I gave two presentations.

The coming weekend is the Apple Festival in Springville (where I live) CA and I’ll have a booth on Saturday and Sunday. The weekend after that, on October 25th at 2 p.m., I’ll be in Henderson NV (next to Las Vegas) at Cheescake and Crime, a wonderful bookstore giving a talk about what kind of research I do for the Native American information in my mysteries.

Whew! And it’s not over yet! I’m already filling my calendar with events for next year too.
And sometime, I need to find time to write two more books–yes, that’s what I said, two more books.



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PSWA’s 2009 Writing Conference

PSWA’s (Public Safety Writers Association) annual conference is being held in Las Vegas, June 18-21, 2009 at the Suncoast Hotel and Casino. The conference is open to anyone writing crime and mystery fiction or non-fiction, technical writing for public safety magazines in print or online, or anyone interested in writing. Registered attendees may offer a suggestion for a presentation or panel. There is no-restriction as to who can serve on a panel.

Steve Scarborough, a Forensic Scientist with over 30 years experience in Law Enforcement with Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and the accomplished technical writer and the author of several books, will give a presentation on “Writing Forensics Right.”

Tim Dees, Editor-in-Chief of, after serving in law enforcement, he was the first editor-in-chief at before joining Elsevier Public Safety and in January 2008. His work has been published in nearly every major law enforcement magazine. His topic for the conference will be: Writing for the New Media.

Fire Fighting and Arson, Presenter: Dave Doust

We’re delighted to announce the addition of Betty Webb as our keynote speaker at Saturday’s lunch. Betty is the author of the prize winning and much acclaimed, hard-boiled Lena Jones books, which are based on stories she covered as a reporter, include Desert Noir, Desert Wives, Desert Shadows, Desert Run and Desert Cut. Her much softer Gunn Zoo series will debut in December with The Anteater of Death. Currently a creative writing teacher at Phoenix College, Betty is a member of National Federation of Press Women, Mystery Writers of America, and the Society of Southwest Authors. Her topic is: “From Hard-boiled to Darn Near Cozy, and Why I Dunnit.”


Victoria Heckman, Friday’s Keynote luncheon speaker will talk about “The Journey Is Everything” or “Where The Hell’s The AAA When You Need It?” about the journey to becoming a writer and how it parallels our own life journeys.

Victoria Heckman is the author of the K.O.’d in Hawaii mystery series trom Pemberley Press
& Writer’s Exchange. Kapu, A Coconut Man Mystery of Ancient Hawai’i, 2008 from Seven Sisters Publishing

Logistics of Writing: How to gear up and rev up you writing productivity. A system to layer on top of your present way of writing. A practical series of step that will show you how to switch into a proactive approach of generating work.

Presenter: Sarah Cortez

Authors may bring their books for sale. PSWA will keep 10% to help defray the cost of the conference and for the scholarship fund.

Some surprises are being planned, so keep watching the PSWA website:

There is a price break for members and for non-members registering before September 30th.
Membership is open to anyone in any of the public safety fields or writing or interested in writing for or about them.

I go to many writing and mystery conferences and confentions, this is my very favorite because of its friendliness and networking possibilities.


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Ceiling Walker

Here I am and as always, a little bit of the different.  I’d love to say my absence of blog entries since April is due to my involvement in the mission for world peace, or I’m  sitting in a large tree to keep loggers from cutting it down and turning it into a tablet, or I’m off saving polar bears, but unfortunately it isn’t anything quite so noble.  Nope, instead I’m trapped in a technical writing project I agreed to do for the state.  Technical writing is so vastly different than creative writing for me that the only way to “get’erdone” is to keep my head in it.  Between wildlife ‘baby’ season and “use a #8,  3/4″ Flathead to fasten cockpit hatch track to deck surface and don’t forget to caulk every screw with 920 sealant,”  blogging was shoved, hesitantly, to the back burner.  Today, I felt an urgent need to escape everything technical (at least for a little while), so I took a walk on the ceiling.  I’m sure you’ve all done this as a child.  I just never out grew it.  Remember putting a mirror under your chin and walking around on the ceiling from room to room?  When my  schedule (albeit, self-inflicted) doesn’t allow me to get away and the world feels a little too tight, I can appreciate the vast open space of an uncluttered ceiling. The colorless nothingness is inviting when your brain is over-stimulated with inflexible sequenced procedures and so over-stuffed it requires a true rest of absolute down time for sifting.  If you have a mirror out now, don’t forget to lift your leg high when you pass from the living room to the kitchen or garage so you won’t trip over the door entryway .  Hardly any of my rooms have overhead lights, so there was no physical effort demanded to jump over a light fixture like I did as a child.  Walking on the ceiling may be less adventuresome now because the meaning and goal have changed, but certainly no less valued.  I took a few minutes to sit down, rest a spell and admire the emptiness.  When finding that peaceful and quiet environment you need to achieve unencumbered moments meant to restore you is inconvenient or downright impossible for whatever reason, you might try walking on the ceiling.  Just fly away anyway you can!  Talk to you soon.   

Linda Bergman-Althouse, Wildlife Rehabilitator

and author of “Save Them All



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dexeo editores y Poemas en frances por Gema moraleja paz

L’enfant blanche

Elle sourit à la mort
et s’amuse
dans ses rêves.
Elle n’a pas peur
elle est tranquille
car la mort
est une autre étape de
la vie.

La blanche enfant
l’enfant blanche
marche seule
la nuit et se lève.

Elle a vu un esprit
pourchassant des chattes
et le chat joue
sous les couvertures.

Donne-moi la main
et viens avec moi
je veux te voir sourir
à l’ennemi,
l’ennemi des fantômes
qui les séduit en essayant
d’acheter leur l’âme.

Tout s’approche
en une nuit
aux fenêtres
qui sont ouvertes.

L’enfant blanche
La blanche enfant
n’a pas peur,
elle est tranquille

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Busco y busco de espejos cantarines por Gema Moraleja Paz

Busco y Busco

Es el intermitente azul

Del destino, mi sonrisa

Elevando las alas de mi boca

A tu jardin prohibido

Grito con la mente abierta

Olvidando que la distancia

Es mi enemiga,

Busco y ya no encuentro

Ese camino que se olvida

Mi tristeza y hace sentir

A mi cuerpo ese doble

Filo alcanzando el


Y siempre me pregunto:

Que he hecho yo

Para ser fiel a mis


Aunque caiga en un sin fin

De tuneles que marcan

Mi destino

Entre llagas y lamentos

Aunque el amor no camine

Nunca entre la cumbres

De mi canto

Expansionando nuestro alivio

Grande y escurridizo

Que deriva en la nostalgia

Del alba blanca.

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