Sunday, November 16, 2008

The party's over now . . . .

I'm tired but still exhilarated. After ten months of effort, the Crime Bake weekend is almost a blur, and the credits are rolling and you want to say, “Wait! Stop! I want to see that scene again.”

These events come together with a huge effort and much attention to details, and we all know that's where the devil is. If you want to live the Crimebake vicariously, try the web site http://www.crimebake.org/ in a few days because Mo Walsh, roving photographer, snapped pictures everyplace except the restrooms and I’m not too sure about them.

Between the bar and the banquet I spent a lot of time visiting what we call “the dark side,” in other words, noirish writing, which is what I seem to have plunged into, in this new book “In Flight.”

What is noir? According to a panel I heard years ago, in a noir film or novel, the world is corrupt. All the characters are already in purgatory. Trying not to slide into hell. Knowing the truth doesn’t change anything. It just makes life worse.

Cozies need not apply.

With moderator Hallie Ephron, the Playing After Dark panel discussed their noir genre, and whether there is any redemption for the characters and the answer is yes and no. Compelling authors Alex Carr, Amy McKinnon and Richard Marinick told how and why they write on the dark side. For non-readers who watch movies or television, the Wire, Chinatown, The Sopranos and even Mad Men are all dark to greater or lesser degrees.

One can O.D. on all this writing stuff. Come Saturday evening you just want to go home and write, but by Sunday, on overload, I am more inclined to watch, say, Sex And The City and chill, preferably with chocolate.

Of course I want to read all the new authors I discovered. The house looks like a book drop, with stacks all over and no end in sight. This week we hauled off a huge collection to the jail, a book exchange and the Viet Nam Vets and nothing seems to make a dent because I come home with more including Hallie’s book about 1001 more books to read. Sheeesh! Just what we need. 1001 more books.

Two days of newspapers, await, including the Sunday papers. I recycle the newspapers once a week ere they take over the house like the books have. Of course I’ll read the New York Times book review this evening and want even more books.

Something triggered an old memory this week, and I recalled discovering my parents Frank Yerby novels when I was perhaps in fourth grade and reading them and lots of other stuff that was unsuitable. Elinor Glyn in high school, Guadalcanal Diary, Forever Amber, which fell open at the “good parts.” I think I read most of the fiction in our little town's Carnegie Library, so thank you Andrew Carnegie. Let’s hear it for a robber baron who gave much, much back to the little towns of this country. Fortunately, my parents took no interest in what I read, assuming perhaps that it was Nancy Drew and something suitable for young ladies. Ha!

Back to the Crimebake. The attendees also sat rapt through riveting forensics discussions which we crime writers like. Your assignment is to hie thee to the web site and surf around, especially once the photos are up.

In the meantime, all those Sunday papers are calling my name.

Cheers!
Grapeshot

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