Monday, July 4, 2022

Like Moths to Flame

 Q: With Covid restrictions starting to ease, many of us are thinking of conferences and festivals. What are you planning? Any fond memories of past events you’d like to share?


-from Susan


Thinking, yes. Going, no for the most part. I’m still skittish and heard about a lot of Covid from a recent convention. I did go to Left Coast Crime in Albuquerque in early April and most people had masks on most of the time when they weren’t eating or drinking. It was still early enough in the reanimated cycle of big events that people were more cautious. LCC was – as always – terrific, mostly for the chance to see and (gingerly) hug scores and scores of friends we haven’t seen in the flesh. 


I have so many memories of past events. Terry Shames and I, pre-published, sticking together like kindergarteners as we maneuvered through a massive Bouchercon in Baltimore, giddy at being invited to join authors at bar and restaurant tables, at taking in panel discussions with Published Writers and actually having casual conversations with them after. 


Leslie Budewitz, Helen Smith and I exploring the berthed Queen Mary in Long Beach at a Bouchercon. Other great places to explore: Vancouver, Santa Fe, Monterey, Toronto (where I snuck in an opera performance), St. Petersburg…


All of which is to say I am like most every other crime writer I know. We come out from behind our computers like moths to the flames of gatherings of our people, and it refreshes and rewards us for the long metaphoric winter of writing the next book.


Change of topic: I came across this great quote, excerpted from a review of her 2021 book and think it is so relevant to how we do what we do: “So this is how you write. You let the writing lead and you simply follow, letting the memories and the images and the language take over.” - Jo Ann Beard in Festival Days. 



Brenda Chapman said...

Susan - Baltimore Bouchercon was my first one too! Too bad we didn't know each other then, but perhaps we'll get together at another one in time :-)

Dietrich Kalteis said...

I was at a couple of those too, and I'm with you, a conference wouldn't be half the fun if I had to worry, or wear a mask and keep a social distance.