off to the Police Academy

I’m headed out today for the Writers’ Police Academy for a fun-filled weekend of shooting, autopsy details, crime scene investigation, firearm simulation training… never mind that I don’t write police procedurals (yet), and for the most part I stay away from the CSI-type TV shows.

Naturally, I feel completely unprepared and out of my league. From the few folks posting about it on Twitter, there are a number of successfully published writers attending this. So, I’m planning on sitting back and observing. Not only to soak in the massive quantities of crime scene/police information, but for the writing talent surrounding me. I’ve jumped into such a fantastic opportunity, and I need to make the most of it.

A tiny voice keeps reminding me that I “don’t write that kind of fiction, you’re wasting your money, you don’t belong.” I don’t write it because I don’t KNOW it. This should be the perfect remedy. Other than actually living it, and NO THANK YOU to that alternative!

And is it really such a waste of my time, when writing makes me so happy? Plus, the training this weekend sounds so FREAKING AWESOME that it’s like taking the personal vacation that I’ve always talked about. Compare: a trip with a girlfriend to NYC for a weekend of shopping and pampering, or a road trip to North Carolina for a weekend of handguns and dead bodies?

Uh, duh?

Now, about me not belonging? That’s just all in my head (right?). I’ve been to enough conferences to recognize how fantastic (most) other writers are. How accepting of other writers, how generous they are with their time… and besides, everyone coming to this WPA is there to learn the details — the realistic tidbits that every reader expects in a good mystery or crime novel — that will improve her writing.

I fit into that scenario pretty darn well.

So. My suitcase is packed. My phone and iPad are charged. My husband is a trooper despite being thoroughly scared of 100% responsibility for the four-year-old over THREE WHOLE DAYS. The poor girl will have bed sores from so many hours watching movies, but she’ll be happy as a clam and her dad will be sane when I return.

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