Monday, June 30, 2008

way too busy but ...

There's nothing like a deadline to get the extraneous stuff out of the way. As I near the crunch of completing a manuscript by the contractual deadline, all the unnecessary activities; like laundry, dishes, being online for 'fun', shopping, and creating pictures to go with my blog splats, fall away.

It's an interesting experiment in time: seeing how long it takes to complete a task, compared to how long I think it will take. I've heard about a concept called 'bending time' and I hope to become more than well acquainted with it over the next two months. Now it's here, now it's not, now it's not, now it is.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Deadly Aftermath

There is no better time than surrounding yourself with mystery authors in a warm, friendly setting. The Deadly Ink conference last weekend in New Jersey offered all of that in a hotel that could have been mistake for a medieval castle as I drove up to it.

It was also a chance for me to learn from my fellow crime writers. The most important things I learned in those three days were:
1. Even if you don't think your protagonist is autobiographical, if you look closely enough you see yourself in him or her.
2. A panel of six writers and a room full of mystery fans can toss ideas around for 45 minutes and brainstorm their way into a story that we all either want to read or are dying to write.
3. Jane K. Cleland is not an antiques expert, like the heroine of her Josie Prescott mystery series, but she is a fine lady who deserved "Guest of Honor" status not just for her great writing but also for her natural way of encouraging and supporting other authors. And you should be reading Jane Cleland’s work.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Another severed foot found on BC beach

Is this a case of one foot in the grave; the other washed up on a beach? Another severed foot was found along Vancouver Island's shore. This makes 6, or some would think. But this recent find isn't quite what it appears to be.

"A forensic pathologist and anthropologist examined the running shoe found on Wednesday and determined a “skeletonised animal paw” had been placed inside the shoe and packed with dried seaweed," states the Globe and Mail.

Some might call it an innocent prank; I call it a cruel slap in the face. What appeared to be the remains of a human foot have led to one conclusion--someone has a twisted mind. Someone actually had the nerve to stuff animal bones into the sneaker and pack it with seaweed? And leave it on the beach to be discovered by an innocent passerby? There's just one word for that--SICK!

Five actual severed feet have been discovered in the past year in the same area, an area that was once famed pig farmer/serial killer Robert Pickton's hunting ground.

Not to mention that a plane went down in the Gulf Island area. To date, none of the feet provided a DNA match to the victims of the plane crash.

My opinion: this is either a disgusting prank or there is a serial killer, as some suspect, who is taunting investigators. If it's a prankster, I vote he gets a hard kick in the ass. If it's the latter, I vote off with both his feet!

Read the article in Globe and Mail.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif,

Attention mystery or suspense book clubs! Looking for your next month's pick?

On Friday, June 20th, I'll be guest blogging over at Books on the Brain. Since it's the first time I've been a guest there, I decided to introduce myself, my books and cover the topic of book clubs, as they relate to what I have to offer.

I hope you'll check out my post, especially if you're in a book club that is looking for their next picks.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
suspense author

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Here, there be Monsters!

At a recent counter-terrorism conference/seminar type thing (I sometimes get them confused), I was describing various terrorist acts, methodology and ideology. Although I find some of these topics interesting, often the other participants are as aware and knowledgeable of them as I am, making it just a little difficult to keep their attention. As I was describing a disturbing new tactic certain terrorists were using of employing younger and younger children in their efforts, including hiding explosives in baby carriages, one woman in the audience was becoming agitated. When I mentioned how many of these same terrorists where also determined to purposefully target women and children as part of their agenda, this woman stood up and blurted out, "How can they do this to babies?"

Yes. How indeed. I found myself asking the same question after reading the blog about Tori and Dean. How can anyone purposely harm an innocent child? The answer is that there is no answer. It is a fact that when wars erupt, anywhere in the world, women and children suffer the most and receive the least press. It is a fact that most criminals prefer to attack a woman because most criminals are men and women are perceived as being less able to protect themselves. It is a fact that pedophiles have the highest percentage of recidivism of any other type of criminal. Is there some magic pill or social program that can help keep someone from murdering society's most vulnerable? Can you as a writer ever come up with enough words to ever stay the hand of a violent, depraved individual? The parents that starved, tortured and ultimately killed Nixmary Brown say it wasn't their fault... 7 year old Nixmary Brown was a troublemaker they say. How many women and children have died as a result of being "troublemakers?"
When someone, anyone, kills an innocent simply because they can, as far as I'm concerned that killer has given up their right to being a part of humanity. That killer has proven him/herself to be a monster.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Hometown Hoopla II - Support your Local Library

As writers, I think we sometimes spend too much time focused on book sellers. Sure, they are an essential ingredient in getting our novels into the hands of readers, but not the only ingredient. I would venture to say that the public library in your town does as much or more to help eager readers find new authors as any book store.

Libraries exist with public funds, but we must remember that private contributions allow libraries to flourish. In my neighborhood we have the Fairfax Library Foundation, whose mission is to provide supplementary support to enhance Fairfax County Public Library programs and services. It’s all about gathering public support for the Library, and they are always coming up with cool new ways to do that.

For example, they produced a regular online show called BookCast. BookCast is thepodcast of the Fairfax County Public Library which, by the way, is located in thelargest Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C. More than a million people live in my county, and most of them use the library.

So you see, it was a marvelous opportunity for me to be interviewed recently by Fairfax County Library Director Sam Clay on BookCast. Sam turned out to be an excellent interviewer who asked the questions readers would ask if they got the chance. He does a great job of introducing writers like me to potential readers. It's an easy way to learn a lot more about me and my books, and other writers who are my neighbors.

So support your local library, and support mine by listening to my podcast on BookCast.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

A little hometown hoopla

My local community magazine, Plano Profile, just did a feature piece on yours truly. In the article, the reviewer and I discuss nature vs. nurture, the unspeakable infanticide tragedies that took place in Plano and her positive reaction to reading JANEOLOGY.

The verdict is in for Karen Harrington’s legal thriller Janeology. Released last April, the 246-page, fictional suspense presents a puzzle-of-a-plot, where, piece by piece, each chapter is one strand of DNA closer to the truth.

To read the full article, follow the link below.

This was an interesting piece to work on, in part, because of a conversation I struck up with the photographer. He was a photo journalist for the Navy during Vietnam. For many reasons, I have a thing for Vietnam and our country's history with that nation. (My first novel was about Vietnam.)

One of the things this photographer said to me was, "I was trying to shoot pictures of them and they were trying to shoot me. Didn't seem like a fair trade."

Sunday, June 01, 2008


I don't know, this blog might be too raw for me.

All these murdered children and women - I know it happens, there's no denial there, but the real tragedy is our horrific child raising practices that get the ball rolling in the first place.

The hand that rocks the cradle DOES rule the world and until we have gone through enough generations of conscious parenting where the parents are grown up enough to stop being so self-centered and do what is in the best interest of their child instead of what is most convenient for them things will not change.

Ditto for unexamined childraising beliefs - doing something because 'that's how we were raised and we turned out alright, didn't we?' is one of the worse reasons to do something to your child. NO! We didn't turn out alright. If we did, decisions won't be made based on profit - schools wouldn't need metal detectors and humans of all ages wouldn't be murdered at the hand of another. If we turned out alright we would hold ourselves accountable for our own actions, speak up against wrongs and hold decision makers accountable for their actions.

Most of us are so shamed, on the defensive and afraid of being taken advantage or beaten down that we unconsciously shame, attack, ignore and beat (one way or another) our own children.

I know, I KNOW that as parents we love our children more than anything and only want what's best for them, but that doesn't mean we actually do know what's best for them.

Children learn from our example, not from what we tell them. So much hypocritical behavior on our part goes unnoticed by us, but not by our children.

Raise a happy child, and war and violence will go a long ways towards being over. By nature, life if abundant but we live and raise our children as if the only way our needs will be met is if someone else goes without, or we get there first, or more is better.

Abuse and murder against women and children - and pretty much everything else that is wrong with the world - will only stop when we grow up ourselves and raise out children with love and respect and become responsible for ourselves and our world.