Michael Haskins

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Ending 2007 and SleuthFest 2008

It’s a New Year, but I’d like to mention the last days of 2007.

Celine, Alex, and I left Key West and flew to a freezing New Jersey for my daughter Chela’s New Year’s Eve wedding. It was colder than a witch’s tit – especially for someone from Key West, where I put an electric blanket on the bed when the temperatures fall below 75!

But we braved the weather and enjoyed a week with my pregnant daughter Seanan (pronounced Shannon, but spelled in Gaelic) and her husband Paul Carpino.

It was a little hectic, as you can imagine the days leading up to a wedding are supposed to be. The wedding was beautiful, and, of course, the bride was too! The groom, Bryan Papaccioli, and Chela have dated since high school. His father, Lou, and mother, Colleen (yes, a good Irishwoman) are great people.

This has nothing to do with writing, but it is the reason I didn’t do any writing during the holidays, and it was a great way for me to end the Old Year and bring in the New Year with my daughters, their husbands, Cline and Alex, my sister Patty Bolter and her family and a large group of my ex-in-laws from California.

Imagine, if you can, a hall half-filled with Italians, ¼ filled with Irish and ¼ filled with Mexicans! Now that’s a party!


The Florida chapter of Mystery Writers of America will hold its annual SleuthFest event in Deerfield Beach Feb. 28 – March 2nd. Lee Child will be one guest speaker. I hope you have read at least one of Lee’s Jack Reacher books. The second guest speaker is Dr. D.P. Lyle, the forensics specialist. His book, “Forensics for Dummies” is mandatory for any writer’s reference library and his website – http://www.dplylemd.com/ – is well worth checking into.

And, finally, I am going to meet Florida writer Bob Morris at SleuthFest. We have used emails and the internet to form a friendship and were supposed to meet in Key West during Jimmy Buffett’s ParrotHeads’ “Meeting of the Minds” festivities, but the unexpected death of a friend kept him away. Check him out – http://www.bobmorris.net/ – you won’t be disappointed. He was also nice enough to read, “Chasin’ the Wind” and he gave me a nice blurb for it.

Bob and I are on SleuthFest panels, but not the same one. Bob, along with Don Bruns and Phillip Cioffari are on a panel called “The Devil Made Me Do It,” at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 29th. (Yeah it’s a Leap Year). I have the Friday afternoon panel, right after our luncheon, at 2:15 p.m., titled “Write a Better Blog.” As of right now, I am the only panelist! But, officials assure me there will be others.

Not having a lot of faith in authority, I have already put together a handout list of blogs I read for whoever attends. If I am the only panelist, I have to use up about 45 minutes and, in a pub that wouldn’t be a problem, after a full meal and listening to Lee Child speak, I am not sure how much into blogging I am going to be!

I am hoping that you might respond to this and give me the name and web addresses of some blogs you enjoy going to. It might help me expand the list and give me somethting more to talk about.

Thank you and let me end with wishes to you for a Happy New Year.

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