Diets, Doilies and Dolls

Diets, Doilies and Dolls

I’m on a diet. This is not new. I’ve been on a diet off and on most of my adult life. Unfortunately, watching my weight is just that – watching. So, this time I’m recording food. I know that’s the WW secret, but I’m not using WW this time. All of the chirpy successful ladies do not make me feel supported or happy. I want to see someone who is annoyed with having to shop in larger size departments and who suffers like me. Thus, I have “myfitnesspal” on my phone. It is not my pal but does record what I put in as well as tote up the calories and carbohydrates. It is mildly curious for me that the calories and carbohydrates don’t always agree, but again, I don’t want to be scientific, just clinical about the choice of foods that I’ve made. So far I’ve lost 24 pounds, but I have a far distance to go. My goals are to be able to wear some of the clothing I hid from my daughter (the fearsome closet organizer: “When did you wear this last? Get rid of it. You’ll buy something new…”) to a conference in June. We shall see!

February is an awesome month. It has Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, and Presidents’ Day. A month with so many construction paper projects is a great month. When I used to teach we could make a big deal of cutting lacey patterns out of folded construction paper to make doilies. Explaining the use of doilies would take quite a well – I haven’t seen someone use doilies here in Los Angeles. Nonetheless, paper doilies are de rigueur for Valentine’s Day. When the children would open up their creations it would be quite exciting because the design they’d made would be repeated in patterns. It was always cool watching to see which student would start to work out how to physically make what he or she had imagined as opposed to simply cutting out without a plan. One year I showed a group how to make those cutout dolls with repeated figures that one can hang up. That was a treat. The figures were connected with hearts instead of with hands. We used them as borders for the bulletin boards.

Other events for the month include mystery themed conferences. I’m including a list of conferences for the next month, also just in case you are traveling to any of the listed locations. All of them have great speakers who are writers. Look them up to see if any of their novels interest you!


February 4, 2023 
Murder in the Magic City 
Birmingham, AL
Authors scheduled to appear include Don Bruns, Julia Spencer-Fleming, Greg Herren, J. Michael Orenduff, and more. 

February 16-19, 2023 
Savannah Book Festival 
Savannah, GA
Jack Carr, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child 

February 23-26, 2023 
Granite Noir 
Aberdeen, Scotland
Special guests TBA 

MARCH 2023 

March 11, 2023 
Suffolk Mystery Authors Festival 
Suffolk, VA
Special Guest: Hank Phillippi Ryan 

March 16-19, 2023 
Left Coast Crime 
Tucson, AZ
Special Guests:  JA Jance, Glen Erik Hamilton, Sujata Massey, Dru Ann Love, Ellen Byron 

March 23-26, 2023 
Virginia Festival of the Book’s Crime Wave 
Charlottesville, VA
Special Guests TBA 

March 31-April 2, 2023 
Quais Polar 
Lyon, France 

APRIL 2022 

April 21-23, 2023 
Gŵyl CRIME CYMRU Festival 
Aberystwyth, Wales
Special Guests:  TBA 

April 22-23, 2023 
Los Angeles Times Festival of the Book 
Los Angeles, CA
Special Guests TBA 

April 28-30, 2023 
Malice Domestic 
Bethesda, MD
Special Guests:  Hank Phillippi Ryan, Vaseem Khan, Abir Mukherjee, Ann Cleeves, Tonya Spratt-Williams, Barb Goffman, Luci Zahray 

A couple of us in The Cozy Mystery Book Club are also Sherlockians. One of our Phoenix Sherlockian members is also a member of the Crew of the Barque Lone Star which is a proud scion society of the Baker Street Irregulars. The group are hosting their second annual Legion of Zoom virtual conference on Sunday, February 19, 2023, at 2:00 pm EST/1:00 pm Central/11:00 am PST and might interest some of our members. After all, a “whodunit” is always fun! Find out more about that event here.

Don’t forget – our meeting of The Cozy Mystery Book Club on Meetup for February includes readings from our chapter winners: Lynda Palmer and Rosemarie Shamieh. We’re hoping to encourage each to continue and write a novel with their first chapter entries being the first chapter of many chapters.

We follow the readings with a discussion of our book of the month: Consigned to Death by J. K. Cleland. This is all on February 26th at 2:00p.m. Pacific. If you’re a “look ahead” kind of person, the March 26th meeting has us reading Vinyl Resting Place by Olivia Blacke.

And, to whet your whistle – April’s event includes an author visit from Misty Simon also known as Gabby Allan. Members are asked to read one of her novels from any of her series in order to best be able to ask her questions. The list follows: 

Magically Suspicious Mystery

  1. A Faire To Remember (2021) 
  2. Whatever Ales You (2021) 
  3. An Inkling of Trouble (2021) 
  4. By Faire Means or Fowl (2021) 
  5. A Dark and Stormy Knight (2021) 
  6. Witch Way to Halloween (2021) 

Ivy Morris Mystery 

  1. Poison Ivy (2005) 
  2. The Wrong Drawers (2006) 
  3. Something Old Something Dead (2007) 
  4. Frame and Fortune (2008) 
  5. For Love and Cheesecake (2009) 
  6. Hoedown Showdown (2017) 

Adventures in Ghostsitting 

  1. Desperately Seeking Salvage (2017)
  2. Don't Dream It's Rover (2017)
  3. Every Death You Take (2017)
  4. Adventures in Ghostsitting (2017)
  5. Having a Ball! (2018)
  6. All Died Out (2018)
  7. I Wear My Ghost Goggles at Night (2018)
  8. Ghosts Just Want to Have Fun (2020)  

Tallie Graver Mystery

  1. Cremains of the Day (2017) 
  2. Grounds for Remorse (2018) 
  3. Deceased and Desist (2018)
  4. Carpet Diem (2019)
  5. Varnished Without a Trace (2020)

As Gabby Allan: 

A Whit and Whiskers Mystery 

  1. Much Ado About Nauticalling (2021)
  2. Something Fishy This Way Comes (2022)
  3. All That Glitters Isn’t Old (2023)

There’s lots to do and lots to choose. Enjoy and keep reading!

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