Am Crowing about a Dead Bird... by JoAnne Lucas

(In way of introductions, JoAnne Lucas is a friend and a fellow Sister in Crime in both the San Joaquin and Central Coast chapters.)
   . . . and I’m cackling with glee. My 2013 entry, “An Object Lesson,” will be published in Darkhouse Books’ new anthology, DESTINATION: MYSTERY, coming out this summer.
     “Object Lesson” has had an interesting journey. In 2013 Bird Boss Mary Redmond decreed the theme to be Water Rights and Wrongs. Water had to figure into the tale and of course it had to be set in the San Joaquin Valley. I wrote out a story that’d been buzzing in my brain a while, a tale interspersed with lines from the Preposition Poem I had to learn in 8th grade. Going back to junior high memories, I finally offed my old nemesis, but I had to move the story here to a nearby lake. Voila! Bass Lake. The entry didn’t win but it took honors in a new category made up just for my story – The Bricolage Award for construction or creation from a diverse range of available things. Really sounds like a sink full of dirty, greasy dishes before they’re finally rinsed off and put away, don’t you think?
     When Andrew MacRae (last month’s speakerat the San Joaquin Sisters in Crime meeting) put out the call for his newest anthology, “An Object Lesson” came to mind. Andrew was very specific that the story must take place in a definite location usually used for vacations. Hmmm, somewhere vaguely at Bass Lake wasn’t going to cut it. I needed a lake with a very small town of year-round residents and not so well to do. After researching less affluent resorts, I hit upon Lake Hughes in the high desert near Palmdale, California. It was perfect and it even threw in an extra lake in the middle of the town of Lake Hughes, Lake Elizabeth and its famous monster.
     Oh, boy!
     So I expanded my 2,255 word “An Object Lesson” to a 3,004 word “To Put A Monster In Its Place” story and made the final cut. The anthology, DESTINATION: MYSTERY, is looking at the end of June/first of July publication date.
     I’m jazzed.
     What am I going to do now? First I’m working on a special board at Pinterest where you can follow the first part of the story pictorially. So, go to   It’s the last board listed and it’s not without the usual Pinterest copy (sorry). It’s listed under the name Jay Lucas, but – hey! – it’s free.    
   And second, I’m adding another silver charm to my bracelet. It’s a special charm bracelet just for story sales. I’ve ordered a knight charm and can’t wait until it gets here. Why a knight? Read the story and/or visit my Pinterest board and find out.
   Now, if only I would hear something favorable from those other two stories I have out there, I could add a crown and a hamburger.

The photo is of JoAnne Lucas and Cora Ramos, both past presidents of SJ SinC.

Bio: JoAnne Lucas is a multi-published and award winning author of short stories. She is an Active Member of Mystery Writers of America, a founding member and 3 times past president of the San Joaquin chapter of Sisters in Crime, as well as a member of Private Eye Writers of America and the Yosemite Romance Writers of RWA.

She resides in Clovis, CA -- where a full size colored statue of Festus from Gunsmoke stands outside the downtown bank.


Linda Thorne said…
Nice reading about you Joanne. I remember you from the years I went to the San Joaquin Valley SinC meetings (2004 to 2007) and struggled with the hope of even placing in the Dead Bird Contest. The one I got 3rd place on is now, many years later, going into the Killer Nashville anthology.
Glad to hear about your recent publication.

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