NOT YOUR USUAL SUSPECTS

A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments! and often have guest bloggers.

We find our genre delightfully, dangerously, and deliciously exciting - join us here, if you do too!

Friday, January 24, 2014

NYUS Geocaching Challenge!

Pssst.  There is treasure hidden in your area. No, seriously. All you need is a phone and the coordinates. Technically, it’s not a treasure. It’s a cache.

This is real world Adventure Gaming—geocaching. And it’s right up a mystery story-teller’s alley.
What is Geocaching? 

So glad you asked! Here, the experts can tell you in 1:16 secs.



I’ve gone out with my kids and their cousins. And it is fun, inspiring, real-live mystery solving. 

With a GPSsensitive ap downloaded to my phone, we’ve used coordinates and clues to locate nearby caches—small containers of hidden treasure. In this case “treasure” is defined as typical kid detritus (a lego figure, one nickel, mardi gras beads, a dentist’s jeweled ring or a lick-on tattoo.)  

Back at the dawn of geocaching, people used to put cool stuff for grown-ups into cache boxes. I’ve heard tales of caches stuffed with books, CDs, lattes and smoked salmons. (The whole thing started in the Pacific Northwest.)

These days, times are lean. Sometimes all you find is one small pencil and a tiny notebook, for recording the day, time and details of your discovery. But the process is still pretty exciting.

Caches are often hidden in parks and forest preserves. Clues can be a single word or sometimes in code! Wandering about in a remote location, with one of my side-kicks (children) asking if this is safe, while the other one asks gotta any tasty snacks? feels pretty darn Nancy Drew. (Of course, my convertible is a big tan van, but other than that...)

Writing mysteries is one thing. But solving them is a whole ‘nother game. I've gotten lots of inspiration tromping about and figuring out clues. So—I challenge you, fellow NYUS! Hunt up a cache near you. Then write about your adventure on this blog. (You Canadians can wait until it’s not -40 below. Or find an indoor cache. Seriously. Practice safe geocaching, people.) 

I’ll surprise the first cache winner to describe their hunt with a double latte! (You’re on your own for the smoked salmon.) I may even surprise the rest of you with lattes, if the story is good.

8 comments:

Anne Marie Becker said...

Oh my goodness, I'd never heard of this. (I'd heard the term, but didn't know what it was.) How fun! Will have to check this out... (Plus, I get to pretend I'm Nancy Drew! LOL)

Toni Anderson said...

I've heard of it but I've never done it :) The kids know about it already (naturally). I've even seen it used in one of Laura Griffin's books, but I've never tried it. Now I quite fancy the idea, Jules! Lots of potential for fun and plotting :)

Cathy Perkins said...

I've heard of this - and actually thought it would be fun - but never hunted one down. There has to be one still in the Pac NW, right?

J Wachowski said...

Well, I've incentivized you all! Go out and find something fun! (Or at least a lego guy with a head on him.) There's a "take something; leave something" rule and I'd love to hear what creative doodads you find--or leave behind.

Cathy--There are plenty in the Pac NW. The salmons might be gone , but the cache boxes will still be there with the log books and some kind of treasure.

Thanks for the tip, Toni--I'll go looking for Laura's book, too!

jean harrington said...

Okay,a geocatching challenge. This takes thought and hiking boots. Can you do it on line? (Feeble joke)

J Wachowski said...

Jean, sounds like you need that coffee.... just sayin'. :)

Rita said...

This is brilliant. I wonder if there is something here in Medicare land.

J Wachowski said...

And I can't wait to see what you find, Rita! (I'm seeing a partial denture and a glass eye, maybe? )

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