Bouchercon redux

Mrs, Crimespree has sent off mail today. She has composed a to-do list that Lewis and Clark themselves would be proud of. She realizes this is the last time she has for a truly chatty blog before Bouchercon 2011. Indulge me folks, for this is yet another how much do I love my life post.

I love my life a lot. Last week on Monday, at the Laura Lippman Pizza party there was a lot of synergy for me. Laura introduced me to someone I’ve “known” for two decades. Jacquelynn Bost Morris is not a name you all will be familiar with, but Jackie from the AOL Hardboiled board certainly is a name known to some. Jackie with Kathy Bartlett made a world for me. A world where I could reach out and talk to writers I admired, share their experiences. Somewhere along the blurred lines these folks began to share mine. Charlaine Harris made me laugh out loud again when my family had given up. Sara Paretsky made me question why one death could be so hard. Val McDermid showed me life’s possibilities. Then Bob Crais told me to go to Bouchercon (rather emphatically), you know, my good friend from the innernets. Sexiest author alive that year too (we gave him hell).

The mystery community has always been inclusive. The inclusion is why Bouchercon started, a group of Anthony Boucher’s friends decided they needed to celebrate this genre he loved so much. Anthony, I have to tell you, you’d be proud sir as would your widow. Thanks to a wonderful group of volunteers over these 4 decades, your name may be mispronounced but it is never forgotten.

So, I was “The Girl Who Went to Bouchercon”. I met Val McDermid. I met Ian Rankin. I met George Pelecanos. I met Dennis Lehane. I smoked with Lee Child and M.J. Lake. C.J. Songer was an all-star that year. I met Otto Penzler and Steve Stillwell. I met Richard Katz and the gang from Sleuths of Bakerstreet. I met Kate Flora and a guy named Jon Jordan.

I’ve reached out over the years and have met Robert Randisi as a result (thanks Bob). I’ve met new writers and writers back on the scene; One of my favorite moments ever is with Gayle Lynds, another with Michael Koryta. An interview with Sean Chercover in ’08 left me giddy.

I’ve come a long way, always fan first. The most important person in my life outside of my husband may well be Judy Bobalik. Judy is the bomb, y’all. If you come to Bouchercon 2011 without meeting her, you’ve made a mistake. For like “Jackie” of the hard-boiled board she has the passion to make this a community. She is what Anthony Boucher thought this place in fiction and community is all about.

Now, I go to Bouchercon with an expectation to meet friends I never have and celebrate with friends I love. Some will be there this year. Some will be missing. Elaine, Barbara, David. I also know I’ll have a hug with Alafair & Hillary, finally meet Erin and by Joseph, that laptop is ours Duane Swierczsynki!