Mystery Writers Academy

On January 24th, I attended the Mystery Writers Academy hosted by the Idaho Writers Guild and presented by Vickie Gooch, a detective in the Major Crimes Unit of the Idaho State Police.

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I now know more about sex crimes, the production and sale of drugs, violent offenders, “suicide by cop,” probable cause affidavits, ViCAP (the FBI’s violent offender program), human trafficking, Touch DNA, cold case homicides, and serial killers than I ever dreamed of. All of it is necessary knowledge when you’re writing a suspense/thriller novel and you want the details to be accurate.

Vicki Gooch’s presentation and examples were outstanding. She’s knowledgeable, humorous, approachable, and a high-energy presenter who kept her writing audience right where she wanted us—dangling at the end of her sharp hook! She’s a great teacher who looks sweet, loving, kind, and thoughtful. But as we all know, appearances can be deceptive. This woman can kick butt and take names!

On February 28th I’m taking a tour of the Idaho State Police Crime Lab. Just imagine what I’ll learn there!

What’s your most recent learning?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

I Was Minding My Own Business…

…reading a suspense novel—The Night Before by Lisa Jackson—while enjoying a beautiful afternoon at Veteran’s Acres Park. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and the leaves were dancing lightly in the breeze.

Enjoying a beautiful afternoon at Veteran's Acres Park

Enjoying a beautiful afternoon at Veteran's Acres Park

You know how when you’re watching a movie and the music score changes to let you know that something scary is about to happen?

All of a sudden I hear a “whomp, whomp, whomp” noise and turn my head to look. Rising from the lush green tree line I see a helicopter. The “whomping” sound is the tell-tale noise of the helicopter’s rotary blades.

Rising from the lush green tree line I see a helicopter

Rising from the lush green tree line I see a helicopter

I turned to see if anyone else heard or saw the helicopter. The closest people—guys on the basketball court—are engrossed in their game, oblivious to everything else.

The helicopter hovered in that same position for several minutes. Through my zoom lens I could see that it wasn’t “Life Flight,” the police, or a news helicopter. Then it took off—practically over my head.

Then it took off -- practically over my head

Then it took off -- practically over my head

The following day I checked the online edition of the Northwest Herald local newspaper to see if there was any mention of it—not a word.

When was the last time you saw something out of the ordinary in broad daylight that nobody else seemed to see, or care about?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               — Laurie Buchanan

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