Monday, October 25, 2010

Ready, Set, Go, Return, etc.

2010 Bouchercon Logo:  isn't it cool?
So, long time no post.  We were in San Francisco at Bouchercon, the mystery convention, and then in Reno, Tahoe, Gerlach, NV, and finally back to Boston via Reno, Las Vegas and Providence. 

A long trip, in distance as well as time.  We didn't stay at the convention hotel but across town at the Seal Rock Inn, which is at Land's End at Sutro, and around the corner from the Cliff House where we dined one evening and propped up the bar one afternoon watching a Giants playoff game.  The Cliff House serves seriously good food, as has a nice vibe.  The whole dining room grew quiet as the sun dropped behind the horizon.  Yeah, fab view, too.

I read some reviews for the Inn which weren't exactly stellar, and yes, it's a bit funky, (Hunter Thompson wrote a book there),  but the price is right and parking is free and there's a bus to downtown next door, and a Walgreens and a laundry down the street and parks and walks and oh, did I mention the Cliff House?  And that the rooms are suites with a stove and a fridge and a coffee maker along with a nice new shower and fresh wallpaper.  Free WiFi?  A cafe that serves a decent breakfast and lunch for a good price?

We've stayed there many times and it's like home, now.  Well, that helps too.  End of rave.

So the convention was like all mystery conventions with everyone trying to network like mad and he b-team sucking up to the a-team and the c-team likewise to the b-team, and somehow it was hard to schmooze at the bar this year, but the Sisters in Crime had a great hospitality suite with lots of food and coffee.

I haven't published anything for a year, and find an ugly gloom setting over me in the midst of so many success stories. 

We went to an instructive  editing session the day before the conference, and I learned so much from Elizabeth Lyon, who conducted the seminar that I'm scared to death I won't be able to apply it before I start forgetting.  Already I reworked some of In Flight, both beginning and end.  I still have a page and a half to write, but I'm in no hurry.  In the meantime, the world count  is like, totally incredibly HUGE, and that will have to change.  Except one cuts a paragraph here and adds a sentence there, so you never actually  slash and burn.

We returned home with a big bag o' books.  I read a Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum novel  on my Kindle, one of her better ones, and now I'm almost done with the latest Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear, who was also at the conference.  Her books just keep getting better and better.  Don't know how she does it.  Hard work, for starters.

On Thursday, there was a noir evening.  You had to pick up a black envelope at City Lights Bookstore that told you where and when.  Knock three times and the password (I can give it away now) was "fleurs du mal."  Booze was free, but I was sated with wine and collapsing with jet lag and kept a low profile all evening.  The readings were riveting and the bad was so cool.  This was really fun.

We went to Fisherman's Wharf for a seafood dinner on Friday.  Delicious halibut.  I rampaged through the seafood all week.  

Suffice it to say that San Francisco is a primo city, beautiful and challenging, and always exuding an air of mystery.  Ah noir!

Grapeshot, glad to be home to laundry and a newly cleaned house for company Wednesday.  Cats delighted to see us.   The orange one has decided nothing beats sleeping on a human.   We "share" him.

My beautiful begonias froze two nights ago.  Fall is here.  The orange cat caught two more mice in the garage, and is eyeing the chipmunks that scamper around collecting acorns.  Yes, fall is definitely here.

Finally, Grapeshot  with more anon        

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