B’Con day two

Writing may not be a lonely business—that particular claim is usually made by people who really want you to know how much they suffer for their craft—but it is certainly a solitary one. Which makes a conference like this all the more precious. I never see my colleagues in person except when I happen to set foot briefly in their home town, on tour usually, or when we come together at an event such as BoucherCon. Friendship is a tenuous thing, and needs doses of reinforcement over coffee or beers, and that more than anything else is what brings me a thousand miles on my own dime, although ostensibly I am here to talk about 1) The Romance (sic) of Sherlock Holmes, 2) The Role of Place in Mysteries, and 3) the Greater Mysteries of religious stories. All those things interest me, of course, and the panels—putting them together, mulling over discussion questions that interest us and that haven’t been asked a hundred times before, then pushing ideas around with the other panelists—are very much worth doing.

But hunting down coffee with Les Klinger and talking about family? Having breakfast with Dana Stabenow and SJ Rozan and tossing out the names of exciting books we’ve read? Discussing the problems of self-published authors versus established authors at a conference over beer/wine and hamburgers with Rhys Bowen and Sharan Newman? Those are the moments that restore the spirit, the silly, shallow, human contact with people you’ve known and liked for years, whom you never see enough of, who know the joys and difficulties of your job because it’s their job too.

And tonight BoucherCon officially opens, with Alaska’s governor dropping in and various awards being announced, the Anthony, the Barry, and the Macavity. After which I will go to dinner with friends and drink more than one beer, a rarity for me, and I’ll go to bed late and wake up early and open the box that holds the Touchstone page proofs, which arrived this afternoon, and I’ll get on with my job.

With my friends, in Anchorage.

Comments

  1. Friends who nurture on so many levels are priceless, even if seen too rarely. Glad to read this is going so well for you (and no doubt for them).

  2. You have surely touched on one of the great joys of conferences (professional or otherwise). It’s something that can be hard to explain to folks who don’t have a particular passion or who are inherently solitary. I, too, am glad you’re having a great time!

  3. I couldn’t figure out how to do Anchorage, AK, this year, but next year the thing is in Baltimore, so I’ve got no excuse whatsoever. You gonna be there?

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