Tuesday, February 21, 2017

March 2 Meeting Features EMS/Fire Responders

Who are the first people at the scene of a tragedy—be it a fire, an auto accident, a heart attack, an attempted suicide, or a capsized sailboat? The answer is often Emergency Medical Services (EMS) workers. On March 2, the Upstate SC Chapter of Sisters in Crime has the privilege of welcoming two of these hometown heroes: Steve MacLeod and M. Brandon Shirley.

MacLeod, a former Army medic, was looking for a worthwhile activity to keep him busy after retiring from Fluor, a Greenville-based international engineering/construction company. Recognizing that Emergency Medical Services (EMS) could use help, he became EMS certified and joined the Keowee Fire District. After serving with the Keowee Key Fire Department for a while, MacLeod found he really enjoyed the interaction with people and the chance to help individuals that medical services offered. He says “ego” took him from responder up the ranks to his current status as a paramedic.

Brandon Shirley is Assistant Fire Chief/Fire Marshal of the Keowee Fire District  and has more than 20 years of experience in Fire/EMS services. As such, he’s responded to almost every type of emergency. Like MacLeod, Shirley has had a successful career outside his First Responder duties. A native of South Carolina, he’s a licensed Real Estate Broker, and the sole equity partner in MBS Development, LLC, which manages community developments.

MacLeod and Shirley will discuss how they’ve been trained to respond to various emergencies…how they interact with law enforcement when criminal activity is suspected… what actions they take to ensure their own safety… the emotional toll when responders arrive at a scene and find they know the injured party. And, of course, much more.

The monthly Sisters in Crime meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 2, at The Runway Café, 21 Airport Rd, Greenville, S.C.  Be there at 6:15 p.m. to meet MacLeod and Shirley and enjoy chapter fellowship. Supper should be served at 6:30. The speakers will begin right after new and old business at 7 p.m. Both dinner and the meeting are open to the public. 

In order for the Runway Café to speed service, dinner orders must be emailed by noon the day of the meeting. If you can't dine with us, we would still like to know you plan to attend so we can be sure you have a seat. If possible, please join us for dinner as our dinner orders help to ensure we can book our meeting room for free. To see the special menu for our group, please visit our website —  www.sincupstatesc.blogspot.com  — and click on the Advance Order Menu tab at right.  Please e-mail your order to Ellis Vidler at ellisvidler1@gmail.com.

If you place an order and do not attend or fail to cancel by noon, you will be charged for the meal. And like always, we'll enjoy it.

Looking forward to seeing you on March 2nd.

Sally Handley

Monday, February 6, 2017

Chapter Meeting Minutes for February 3, 2017 & SinC National Letter to the New York Times

As is our custom, chapter members and guests met at the Runway Café in Greenville on the first Thursday evening of the month. As is also customary, we enjoyed the splendid dinners prepared by the restaurant staff and coordinated by the one and only Ellis Vidler. Ellis had her work cut out for her this month—we had 31 people in attendance! Yes, you read that right—31, which may well be a record for us. Good job Ellis!

Also doing a superb job was our new president, Sally Handley. No pun intended, but the superbly talented and exceedingly lovely Ms. Handley handled her debut meeting like a pro. No “old business” needed mention, but a few pieces of “new business” were discussed:

Sally mentioned the upcoming workshop on Saturday June 10, with our special guest speaker Marcia Talley. In addition to what promises to be a fascinating and informative workshop, we will also share a birthday cake in celebration of 30 years of Sisters in Crime. Cake!! Mark your calendars!

Other new business—Linda Lovely mentioned the upcoming Writers Police Academy and suggested we register soon, if interested. Members of the national SinC organization get a major discount to this fantastic conference! Also, a new benefit for our local members—Sally invited those of us who belong to both national SinC and our local chapter to submit (to Linda Lovely our membership chair) a short bio (50 words or less) and 2 links of your choice to be included in the “members” page of our local website. Way cool! And one other piece of business—I was honored to sit next to our chapter treasurer, Helen Turnage, who did a booming business all evening collecting membership dues for 2017 and handing out receipts. The annual fee is $15.00, and you may pay Helen in cash or write your check to Howard Lewis (our vice-president) and he will get the cashola to Helen. So if you haven’t paid for 2017, we encourage you to do so at our March meeting.

Onto our speaker for the evening—Brian Emerson, Discovery Services and Reference Librarian for the Greenville County Library System. Brian, with the occasional help of two of his associates, gave us a valuable lesson on all the ways the library is a reader’s and WRITER’S best friend. He mentioned the 88 databases that the library offers, but my personal favorite was “Mango” where one can go to learn any of 72 languages. I’ve put learning “pirate” at the top of my to-do list.

Brian also mentioned the various programs the library offers, including the “Scribblers” meetings, where writers share their works in progress with other writers to get feedback. All writers are welcome! Check the Greenville County Library website or newsletter for the place and time of these meetings, which take place at several branches. And for readers, the Greenville libraries have several book clubs, and the Novelist database, to help us find our next great read.

Brian also explained the library’s book-selection process, including how we can get our own books onto the “local authors” shelf. In a nutshell, donate your masterpiece, and minus a few caveats, you can have your book on the shelves! And last but not least, Brian announced a “Self Publishing Fair” the library is sponsoring on March 28. Again, check their website or newsletter for further details.

That’s it folks. Until March, happy reading and happy writing.

Respectfully Submitted,

Cindy Blackburn
Chapter secretary

SinC Letter to New York Times

Our Sisters in Crime organization has written the New York Times to request it to reconsider its decision to eliminate the "best-seller" lists that have often served as a guide for fans of popular genre fiction, including the crime fiction that are members pen.