Visit to Philly for Art and Friends

I had an inspiring day-trip to Philadelphia to visit with friends and explore the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The Rocky view from the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Rocky view from the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Not only does the museum hold the second largest collection of French Impressionists (my person favorite artwork), there is a special exhibit called Off The Wall that is fabulous.The exhibit of wearable art created in the 60’s and 70’s includes 115 pieces by art-as-fashion mixed media artists.  I took a couple of snaps of pieces I found fascinating. Like these machine-knitted Wizard of Oz socks; the tie-died meditation space; and this feathered, neck piece painted with Egyptian icons.  The special exhibit is on the first floor of the Perelman Building.

Susanne E. Lewis, artist

Susanne E. Lewis, artist

My traveling companion and I took the train up and back to Philly, had lunch at the museum’s wonderful cafe, STIR.  I wrote on the train, and the whole trip got my writer juices flowing.

20200107_123500

20200107_123347

Queer Words

I’ve been talking, and writing, a lot about my life recently. Believe me, that’s a big deal for an introvert like me. I especially enjoyed my discussion in late summer with Wayne Goodman on the Queer Words Podcast. I talk about my writing, my queer heroes, I read an excerpt of my book: Catch Me When I”m Falling, and I talk about my media career, and work in the LGBTQ community. I also give advice to people who want to write. It was a fun interview, and as you will hear I giggle and laugh way too much.

Thank you, Wayne!

The link is below.

Cheryl Head

CMWIF_RBG

Writing Diversity: Character, Not Caricature

I worked with Mystery Writers of America Midwest’s Secretary, Mia Manansala (photo below), in Chicago to present a workshop/ practicum on how writers can develop characters in their books  that are different from them.  We shared information about avoiding stereotypes (pause to be aware of implicit biases or filters); cultivating inclusion (read #ownvoices); building cultural competence (it’s a course of action not a course of study); avoiding default characters (not everyone is white, middle-class, and straight) and bringing humility to the writing process.  The attendees participated in a few exercises, and attendees walked away with the beginnings of a character profile for their next (or first) diverse character, and a packet of further reading.

MWA-U presentation

Mr. Pilot

This guy is my “default” airline pilot.  Default characters are a no-no

GenderUnicorn

The Unicorn graph can help us understand the LGBTQ gender/identity/expression spectrum.

Thank you! to the MWAMidwest Board for the opportunity.

Bouchercon: Where Hard-Boiled, Noir and Cupcakes Converge in Crime

Logo Bouchercon was held in St. Petersburg, Florida this year.  More than a thousand mystery/crime authors, bloggers, publishers, bloggers, readers and others who love the genre come together to rekindle friendships, make new contacts, conduct business, teach/learn the craft and celebrate the best in crime fiction and non-fiction.

It was my very first Bouchercon, and I had a blast.  This conference is overwhelmingly immersive.  I was pleased to participate in an event on the first day of the conference called Coats of Many Colors where authors were tasked with sharing a name or two of other authors who Coat of many colorsdeserved more attention.  I listed Stefani Deoul (On a Larp); Stephen Mack Jones (August Snow) and Penny Mickelbury (The Gianna Magglione/Mimi Patterson mystery series).  Later that day, I was honored to be on a panel that discussed the tropes of the private investigator genre with five experienced practitioners of the craft.

On Saturday, I paired up with a DC area writer friend, John Copenhaver, to do the Author Speed Dating event.  John and I gave our two-minuteAuthor Speed Dating spiels to nearly 80 readers moving from table-to-table, while breakfast eaters munched on pastries and listened attentively.  It was exhausting and exhilarating.

The 3-day conference was filled with panels, presentations, interviews of celebrity crime writers, book signings….

and cupcakes.

cupcakes

 

 

Books, Broads, Beach

I had so much fun at the Rehoboth Beach 2018 Women’s Fest, an event sponsored by Camp Rehoboth.  Deoul-Jacobs Stefani posterMy writer/friends Stephanie Deoul, and Fay Jacobs (and fabulous broads) were on hand to promote their books which were recently honored by the Delaware Press Association. Fay is also a Camp Rehoboth Board member.

They, like me, are Bywater Books authors.  We were joined by fellow authors, Marianne K. Martin, Ann McMan and Lisa Gitlin as well as our publishers, Salem West and Kelly Smith.

All the authors did readings (I read from my upcoming book), sponsored by GCLS, the premier supporter of lesbian-themed literature. We met readers and signed books, and I made it to the beach. Yaaaayyyy!!!

20180413_153329 (2)

 

 

 

Wake Me When It’s Over will be available May 15, 2008 and can be purchased as an ebook at Bywater Books. Thanks for purchasing, reading, and reviewing my books.

Book small version

Grateful to Dru’s Musings & Michigan Chronicle: Wake Me When It’s Over

Award-winning mystery web blogger Dru Ann Love, was kind enough to post my book cover reveal for Wake Me When It’s Over, the second book in the Charlie Mack Motown Mystery Series.    Drus-Book-Musings-web-site2

 

 

MC logoAlso a love shout out to the Michigan Chronicle of Detroit who posted a blurb about WMWIO in the city and lifestyle section of their online newspaper.

You can find the Michigan Chronicle post  Here.  Thank you Michigan Chronicle.

WMWIO

Available where you buy your books on May 15, 2018

….and Dru’s Musing post Here.  Thank you Dru Ann!!

Writing Life: New Orleans Style

hotel-monteleone-new-orleans-hotel-exterior1-623x416Wow. What a time at the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival.  In association with the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival, this New Orleans gumbo of LGBTQ writers, Saints and Sinners imagepublishers, publicists, teachers, and book sellers included craft panels, author readings, poetry events, awards, presentations, master classes, Saints and Sinners paneland book signings.

And, of course, steps from the fabulous Hotel Monteleone where most of the activities were held was music, food,red fish grill street strolls, bands, dancing…and cocktails. One of my favorite stops was the Red Fish Inn where I overindulged in white wine, gumbo, jalapeno cornbread, and chocolate bread pudding.

I was a panelist for a discussion about  the mystery genre with the fabulous New Orleans crime/mystery writers, Greg Herren and Jean M. Redmann; as well as award-winning authors, Ali Vali and Jeffrey Round.

Saints and Sinners panel

I also discussed historical fiction writing with Judith Katz, Vanda, Jeff Mann and Matthew Griffin. I was honored to be in the company of all these good writers of LGBTQ themes.  Judith and I both happened to wear turquoise that day.

Of course,I also indulged in meeting new friends and old, and that was the best seasoning of this amazing literary event.   Saints and Sinners, hope to see you in 2019!!

What Golf Has Taught Me About Writing

I have always been a golfer even when I wasn’t.  My father played golf and he often watched the tournaments on television; I watched him watch golf, and play golf, and perhaps that is where my affinity for the game comes.  Golf is a sport filled with beauty, imagination and precision.   When one steps to the tee and looks onto an immaculately manicured, 300-yard fairway, it is an awe-inspiring view of soaring possibilities.   When one approaches the close-shaven turf of a green it is a challenge to succeed measured in inches. Continue reading