Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Short Subjects

• I was very sorry to hear about the deaths over the last week of comedienne Phyllis Diller (who was a staple of my childhood TV watching), William Windom (of Murder, She Wrote and My World and Welcome to It fame, but also the best thing about the Star Trek episode “The Doomsday Machine”), and musician Scott McKenzie, whose late-1960s song “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” is one of my all-time favorite odes to the American West Coast’s most wonderful metropolis.

• Lawrence Block’s fine tribute to Mickey Spillane has now been posted on the Mystery Scene magazine Web site.

• Another piece worth reading: Screenwriter John Geraci’s look back at Ross Macdonald’s exceptional Lew Archer series.

• Although it has nothing to do with crime fiction, I do love New York City singer-songwriter Taylor Ferrera’s musical effort to explain the right wing’s incoherent separation of “legitimate rape” from any other kind. You can watch that here.

• Registration is now open for the next California Crime Writers Conference, set to take place at The Hilton Pasadena from June 22 to 23, 2013. Co-chair and author Jeri Westerson says, “We’re excited about how the program is shaping up. We have two international bestselling authors as keynote speakers. Sue Grafton on Saturday and Elizabeth George on Sunday. ... We have also tapped some high-profile agents, as well as bestselling authors, editors, academics and forensics experts to teach an array of workshops on the business and craft of writing. A limited number of manuscript critiques are available, so snap them up before they disappear.” Learn more here.

• And wouldn’t this house in Ocklawaha, Florida, make the perfect vacation retreat for lovers of criminal history?

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