Just So Damn Fun

Now that I’m home from Left Coast Crime-Monterey, I’m still wondering, are all writers’ conferences so much fun or is there something about the mystery/crime gang? I try to avoid the genre wars yet it must be noted that crime fiction has a strong moralistic bent and mysteries often reveal more than who done it.
I am so drawn to the field that even in my Hollywood-India historical, The Star of India, I made sure to find the intrigue and the mystery found me. As to thrillers, we all aspire to keep the reader swiftly moving our pages, with a moment of reflection here and there as icing on the cake.
As mystery, crime and thriller writers, we are serious about our craft. But we don’t take ourselves too seriously. This is a good combination, and maybe a clue as to why Left Coast Crime conferences are just so damn fun.
I sure enjoyed my “Sex, Death & Taxes…and A Lot of Champagne” panel. Along with moderator Allison Brennan and fellow panelists Deborah Coonts, Catherine Coulter and Harley Jane Kozak, I had some good laughs and think the audience did too. We also touched on relationships and why women write better love scenes. (??? What do youthink ???)
Front from left: Deborah Coonts, Catherine Coulter
Back from left: Diana Chambers, Allison Brennan, Harley Jane Kozak

Monterey was at its most glorious and I enjoyed several harbor walks, including an evening one to the Aquarium. The town is more manicured than it used to be and I’m not sure Steinbeck would recognize it, but there is no more lovely natural setting. And who can resist an adorable harbor seal pup? (He’s the little white-faced fellow in the middle.)
Seal Pup Waking From Nap
Going home, I took the coast road and will let you in on a little secret: The drive from Santa Cruz to San Francisco is one of the world’s absolute finest. And in spring? Well, take a look! 
Pigeon Point Lighthouse, Between Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay, CA

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