“Crime Pays” in Vancouver (for one night)

I have a lot of affection for my newest home, and one of the things I am committed to doing is spreading the word on special events that make Vancouver so very special.  So without embellishing the awesome job that my friend @raincoaster has done, I’ll re-post the details of Monday’s Crime Pays party in the hopes that more folks will come – or keep the unique Police Museum in mind for an upcoming visit.


Please join the Shebeen Club and the Federation of BC Writers at the Vancouver Police Museum for Crime Pays – the party of the year.


Who: The Shebeen Club and the Federation of BC Writers

What: a wicked good fundraiser for the Fed

When: Monday, March 16th, 6-9pm

Where: The Vancouver Police Museum, 240 East Cordova Street, Vancouver

Why: it would be criminal to miss this party!

Crime Pays film noir femme fatale

Wanted: YOU!

Come help the Fed celebrate 32 years of getting away with murder. Whether infiltrating schools, divvying up swag, or distributing subversive publications, the Federation of BC Writers has been operating unchecked in our province for decades.

Do you enjoy the vicarious thrill of rubbing shoulder pads with the Lost Literati of the Wild West surrounded by all manner of murder and mayhem in the cozy confines of the Police Museum? Do you have what it takes to make your bones as a Fed member? There’s only one way to find out! Come out to the party and make us an offer we can’t refuse.

Admission: $20 donation includes a drink and appetizers. Click here to register. If you won’t be attending, but would like to support the Fed with a donation, click here to donate via the raincoaster media Paypal.

Bring cash for the Poetry Brothel, and bring your chequebook to bid on some of the most attractive Guys and
Dolls around in our date auction!

Dress code: Trenchcoat and fedora, deerstalker and cape, jailhouse stripes, uniforms, Bond or femme fatale slinkwear all optional but encouraged. Attitude absolutely mandatory.

Raffle prize donations, bribes, and sponsorship applications very welcome: please email lorraine.murphy at
Gmail dot com. Anything related to crime or the theme of noir is particularly welcome, eg detective books, Martini glasses, etc, or anything black or white.

The Crime Pays fundraiser will be our Shebeen Club meeting for the month of March, so I hope to see everyone
there, dressed fabulously and behaving infamously!

Angels in the Twitterverse

One of the things I love about social media, and Twitter in particular, is its capacity for good.  I’ve seen it in the continued support I get from people I don’t know, and the countless retweets spreading the word about a missing child or the urgent need for bone marrow or blood donors.

Just last Saturday, the incredible @megfowler, a coordinator with Social Media for Social Change,  organized the #stayinandhelp ‘pajama party’ urging the Twitterverse to stay home and donate what they would have spent out on the town to City Harvest, a charity dedicated to feeding the hungry in NYC. (@Miss604, one of Vancouver’s top bloggers, wrote a terrific piece on SM4SC, Meg and her amazing efforts here.)

I’m happy to report that more than $1,400 has been donated to date – but it’s not too late to contribute.  Visit  http://stayinandhelp.us/ and give generously.

There are dozens, probably hundreds of stories of good works being done through social media – and I want to showcase as many as I can.  Send me your favorite stories here, and I’ll write about them and feature the wonderful people behind these acts of kindness.  Or, tweet me @CathyBrowne and use the phrase #TwitterAngels, and I’ll get back to you.


A Small Matter of Proximity…

I won’t lie.  This day has weighed a bit heavily on me.  I thought I had a crack at some contract work today, and silly me, got my hopes up a bit.  But as soon as the interested party found out I didn’t live in the Bay Area, I became a less desirable candidate.  Of course,  maybe down the road some remote work might happen, but he needed someone local to have face time with.  That was a blow.  I need work now.

It got me thinking.  There are so many ways to contribute to the success of a business.  Just how important should face time really be?  In this age of inexpensive video conferencing, and real-time communication via social media like Twitter,  shouldn’t location be more of a moot point?   Shouldn’t other factors take precedence?   What about life experience, professional expertise and good communications skills?

This is a new world we live in, and we all face new realities brought about by a foundering economy.  We all can’t be right where the work is.  But it shouldn’t mean we can’t do the work.

Should it?  I’d be interested in your opinion.

A Twitter Study in Contrasts

Last week I discovered that someone I knew was on Twitter.  We weren’t close acquaintances, but I knew the person well enough to send a personal note to say Hi and I was glad to see her on Twitter.  A day or so later I got what was obviously an auto-DM with the usual “Thank you for following – check out my website…” content.  No reference to knowing me. No warmth.  But I guess it saved time.

By contrast, this weekend I chose to follow someone who had engaged one of the people I follow in conversation.  I got back a lovely personal note – the sender had taken time to look at my tweets and congratulated me for launching my blog.  I’ve never met this person and will likely never meet her face-to-face – but the impression she left me was indelible.  I wrote her back and thanked her, and she responded by saying that she had just been wondering if going to the trouble of answering people personally was worth it – and thanked me for helping to answer that question.

Let me say up front that I am woefully behind at thanking people for following me.  Having to uproot myself and get used to a new life situation has knocked me off kilter.  But I’d rather fall behind and send out a personal note apologizing for being late and thanking everyone for showing interest in me than blast out messages that don’t represent who I really am.

Twitter has taught me that social media, when used correctly, is SOCIAL – open, transparent and respectful.  I am deeply grateful that I have so many people who’ve chosen to follow me.  I think I need to show them that I really care.  Generating automatic DMs doesn’t do that for me.

I’m interested in hearing what you think.

Once a Canadian…

I’ve been living in California on and off for eight years.  It was gut-wrenching to leave my dearest friends, my beloved cats and the best apartment I ever had.  I miss Casablanca, my favorite Moroccan restaurant and the fun I had pretending to belly dance.  I miss the warmth and the sunny days.  And God knows I miss Two Buck Chuck!!  I would move back in a minute.

But in the last five weeks I’ve re-discovered something about Canada I love and missed in Silicon Valley.  I’m talking about curling.  Yes, that strange sport where folks slide heavy rocks down a sheet of ice in the hopes of knocking other rocks out of the rings and get closest to the button.  I had lots of blank stares when I tried to explain curling to Californians…

I’ve managed to come back right in the middle of curling season and I am in curling heaven. The Tournament of Hearts just ended, and the Brier just started yesterday – which means when I’m not at the computer  I’ll be in front of the TV.  And then in a few weeks, curling Nirvana, with the men’s and women’s world titles.  I am content.

And to top off my oh-so-Canadian experience, it snowed in Vancouver this afternoon – all over the beautiful palm trees surrounding the house I’m staying in.  I have come to hate the idea of snow.  But it was so darned beautiful I had to run out in it.

So I guess you can take the girl out of Canada…but you can’t totally take Canada out of the girl.