Thanks to a family caravan, I'm home from Bouchercon, having left St. Louis early Sunday morning and stayed overnight at a cousin's in New Jersey.
I described this B'con to a friend as very like attending a superhero convention, after which I had to slip back into my inconspicuous public identity.
I arrived at the con hotel a tad late and missed the first half of the first panel I wanted to attend, "Laughter of the Clowns", moderated by Jeremiah Healy, a great speaker and author of my favorite P.I. series, but all the panels were recorded to MP3 and CD I believe for the first time, so I'll be picking up many of those.
The first person to recognize me was Anita Thompson. I had dinner with Anita, Dennis Tafoya, Scott Phillips, Stacia Decker, Declan Burke, and John McFetridge during B'con '08, and since then she'd become quite a fan of The Lineup. I thanked her from the bottom of my heart and invited her to check out The 5-2: Crime Poetry Weekly.
That afternoon, I bought a 15.2-ounce juice at the hotel Starbucks for $4.26 while chatting with Jack Bludis and Debbi Mack and decided to look elsewhere for subsequent sustenance.
At 4:00 P.M., I attended the short story panel moderated by Gary Bush and featuring Debbi as a panelist. Afterward, I chatted with fellow SMFS member R.T. Lawton and Art Taylor while waiting for a Derringer presentation that didn't happen (I've learned this was because Derringer Award-maker and Chicago law enforcement officer Jim Doherty had unforeseen extra 9/11-related duty).
At 9:00 P.M. (yes), I attended a raucous, raunchy panel with Scott Phillips, Christa Faust, and others.
All my panel choices were excellent, actually, and by chance I attended many of the same ones as Graham Powell, my colleague at the review blog Nasty. Brutish. Short. Graham treated me to two overpriced Sprites at the bar Thursday night. I treated him to lunch at a deli Friday, and went on to have burgers for dinner with fellow NBS-er Steven Torres.
As part of my circuitous travel arrangements, I had to leave the con abruptly Saturday afternoon. I wish I could have spent more time with more people, but it meant a lot just to smile and wave to so many familiar faces rushing off to their own plans. In these gestures, I was aware of all their work, and they were aware of mine.
My thanks to the many and multi-talented Jordans, Judy Bobalik, Jeremy Lynch, and everyone who helped put on the con.