Magna Swag

Back from Magna cum Murder Mystery Festival. As always, I had a great time, and came back so energized, I could sleep for a week. You know what I mean — You get so up, your mind is running full out, a weekend is crammed with a month’s worth of conversation and instruction and shininess and then you hit the stone wall of Not There Anymore.

That’s when you realize you’re running on ethanol, because it burns with an invisible flame and can be put out with water (thank you, Luci Zahray, who taught me that this weekend). Nobody else knows you’re crashing AND burning, but YOU know.

None of that makes any sense, because my brain is still bloated with input.

In other words, it was great! Although everybody missed those who couldn’t make it this year (I’m not the only repeater), everybody was delighted that Mom felt good enough to come this year. She ran me off my feet. It was just like old times. 🙂

So here are some of the goodies in my swag bag:

  • Number 126 of “Mystery Scene” magazine which is thoroughly enjoyable from first to last. Article on Ross Macdonald, whose first Lew Archer novel, THE MOVING TARGET, we were all asked to read for this year’s Magna. VERY funny piece by Kevin Burton Smith called “Action Figures We’d Like to See” (“Don’t take the Mr. Monk Action Figure out of his box. Ever.”).
  • Notepad and pen — Other people: “Notepad and pen? Whoop-de-doo.” Authors: “I got a notepad and pen! Did you get them, too? Cool!”
  • Nifty round metal clear-topped container packed with paper clips, thumbtacks, binder clips and push pins (see above difference between Other People and Authors).
  • Map of Muncie and Visitors Guide to add to my Maps Of Places collection for possible story settings.
  • Advance Reader’s Edition of Jennifer McMahon’s THE ONE I LEFT BEHIND.
  • Advance Reader’s Edition of Dick Wolf’s THE INTERCEPT.
  • Copy of S. J. Rozan’s first Lydia Chin novel, CHINA TRADE.

I picked up more stuff at the vendor tables and the giveaway table, but that’s enough for today.

Can’t wait for next year!

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: A character finds something unexpected when he or she unpacks his (her) swag bag after a convention.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Magna Swag

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      October 29, 2012 at 5:29pm

      Morgan, I’m glad I’m not the only one! I have a box full of swag bags from conferences, with nothing in them I actually want, but every time I start to throw them out, I remember how much I enjoyed the conferences and can’t bring myself to do it. ~sigh~

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