Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Give Yourself a Holiday Gift

Frankly, I don’t really want anything for Christmas. I love the holiday season and everything about it, but the older I get the less I like to shop for and receive presents. I have way too much stuff already. For my kids, grandkids, and greats I’ve decided to just give money rather than spending money on something they don’t really want.

For myself, I’d rather use the money for a trip. In fact, that’s more or less what I’ve been doing the past few years. Of course money isn’t as easy to come by nor does it goes as far as it used to.

When I go on a trip, I like to somehow combine it with promotion if at all possible.

What I’d like to suggest is whether you are a mystery reader or writer, that you consider giving yourself the gift of attending a writers conference or mystery convention. There are plenty out there to choose from. Last year hubby and I went to Love is Murder in Chicago and had a great time. We’ve already signed up for EPICon which is for electronically published writers. Mayhem in the Midlands is another favorite–we love Omaha and we’ve made lots of friends who come to that convention regularly.

Another, much smaller conference, is the Public Safety Writers Conference. I’m in charge of the program for this one and I’m proud to say we have a wonderful line-up of speakers. I won’t bore you by going over the whole list, but mystery author Betty Webb will be there, Steve Scarborough who is a forensic expert, used by both the Las Vegas Police and the FBI will tell us how to write it right, we’ll have a forensic handwriting expert, a retired arson investigator and many others.

Everyone who wants to will participate on a panel if they sign up before May 1. It would be best to sign up before May 30th March 31 when the price rises. If you have a book, you may bring it to sell at our bookstore. (10 % of all sales go to PSWA.)

Because a great number of our members are or were in law enforcement, there are a wealth of people to ask all your questions about crime and crime solving. Networking is definitely encouraged.

If you are interested and would like to learn more, go to http://www.policewriter.com/ and check it out. The conference is held June 18-22 at the Sun Coast Hotel in Vegas. If you want to bring the kids, there’s lots for them to do at this hotel–swimming pool, movie theaters, and video arcade, flat screen TVs in every room.

On the Sunday afternoon that the conference concludes, those who would like to will meet at Cheesecake and Crime Bookstore in Henderson from a booksigning.

Since I’m the program chair, naturally I’ll be at this conference. From having attended this particular conference for about five years, I can tell you that it is indeed one of the friendliest around. Hubby and I manage to have fun at everything we do–but this one is right up there at the top when it comes to a good time.

For me, this is the best kind of holiday gift there is. I hope that some of you will consider this for a gift for yourself.



  1. I made a mistake, if you plan on going to the PSWA conference you should sign up before MARCH 31, not May--because that's when the price rises.

    Truly, this is a great conference. And there's also a writing contest. You can enter a book that's published or not published, or a short story.

    Doesn't matter, but it's always fun to enter your work in a contest.


  2. I'm signed up for Love is Murder, which is not far from my house. I'm lucky!

    Morgan Mandel

  3. Hi,

    Nice post, I consider the best gift one can offer for their loved ones is the cash gift. By gifting cash it will surely improve their financial condition.