Hello All-
Just got back from LCC in Denver. Never mind the overpriced drinks (even for a convention hotel) in the bar, the experience was a good one for me. I revived friendships which had gone neglected, met new people (who I owe drinks), and may have even found a publisher for my third Lenny Schneider novel, long in suspended status because of my inattention.
The panels were a mixed bag, as usual, but kudos to Jan Burke for the forensic track. I attended most of them, given my science-geek tendencies, and found fault with only one. The policeman was a dull speaker, but I shrugged. The presentation was “Cop 101,” but I’m sure it was fresh to someone. He lost me when he lumped protestors in with his “badguys” (sic).
I guess I know who he voted for.
Everything else was informative, and a tonic for the “CSI” and “Crossing Jordan” effect. The forensic anthropologist was particularly fascinating. I graduated from college with a degree in anthropology.
I got to meet Reed Coleman, a “landsman” and fellow baseball fan, and I got a copy of John Billheimer’s wonderful book on scapegoating in baseball, “Baseball and the Blame Game.”
And I had a few with fellow writers in the bar. The reason writers drink, besides the salubrious effect of judiciously-applied alcohol on conversation, is that we see the human condition clearly and so must self-anesthetize. If there were no other reason to be a writer, shmoozing with fellow writers would be enough.
I likely will not be going to Bouchercon in Baltimore, despite my love for that off-kilter city that reminds me so much of Portland (only with blue crabs instead of Dungeness), because it falls on Yom Kippur. Now, anyone who knows me as a yeshiva-trained atheist might wonder why.
It’s a matter of respect. I always ask: WWSKD? What would Sandy Koufax do? He would stay home, and so will I. I recall Albert Einstein’s comment: We are not Jews because we say we are; we are Jews because they say we are.
To all my new friends, it was great to meet you, and please stay in touch. To all my old friends, let’s not let time and distance matter to us.
Thanks to the organizers, thanks to the wonderful fans, and thanks to all the writers who have enriched our lives.

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Yeah Ed,

I know what you mean about tradition. I was raised a Southern Baptist until I was eighteen and asked mayself what Jesus would do. So I got the hell out of there and eventually became a Buddhist. But sometimes for tradition's sake I remind my wife that I'm the man and she's the woman so she should signify subservience by doing what I say. It hasn't worked one time in 40 years, but I feel a comfortable bonding somehow, remembering my grandmother yell at my grandfather through the decades. Tradition is a wonderful thing.

Glad you had a good time in Denver. I will have to attend a convention or two, will buy you a drink first chance I get.
Len Howlett, or Jack Sterling, aip (after I publish)

Nice post on LCC, perhaps my favorite con. What great people! And so many terrific readers, wow. I would have passed on most of the CSI stuff--the stuff that has made modern crime hard for the bad guy and the "classic" mystery fan, but Jan Burke is a great woman. I know I've met you before, either that or I've seen your pic a gazzillion times.

I'll be in Baltimore for B-con--can I halp it, I live there.

Good luck with your new pub.

Jack Bludis
Ed, great observations. It seems that every year there are two important mystery events that are held either during Passover or the High Holidays. And for a Dungeness crab like me, that's like holding a conference during Easter, Christmas, and Election Day. I was really looking forward to this year's Malice Domestic (okay, I know that Lenny Schneider isn't a Malice kind of sleuth), but it falls smack dab in the last four days of Passover. I missed Bouchercon a year or so ago (Madison) also because of Jewish holiday angst.

Moreover, I'm glad you got to meet Reed Coleman. I'm surprised you guys hadn't met before. Reed's not only a good guy and a landsman, but he's also a Cohen, so if you need your next book blessed, he's the go-to person. I also appreciate any man with less hair than me!
Thanks, Ed, for the interesting commentary on LLC. Me, I'm a non-convention going sort. I'm not much of a imbiber and prefer one-on-one in-person chats to noisy bars. Benn there, done that and no interest in reliving my youth. Saying that, I would have gone to Baltimore if you'd been making an appearance, as I'd like to sit in a quiet corner and share a beer, a bourbon, or whatever your pleasure. Maybe some day that will happen. In the meantime, good luck with finding a home for your third Lenny Schneider novel. Would love to review it once it's on the road to the awaiting readers. In the meantime, I'm plodding along with my next Webb Sawyer novel. Hope all is well in the land of the Ports.

Douglas Quinn
It was a good con; I certainly enjoyed myself. Good to meet you, Ed.

I missed the CSI track, sorry to say, but went to it last year, so I know it's good. Personally, I really liked the 'endless conversation' room they added--for those of you who didn't go, it was an unmoderated, more relaxed discussion. Lots of fun.

And the bar is always a place to meet interesting people, of course.
Hi thanks, so interesting! I love your choice of words, too! xxx

I was at Sleuthfest the week prior to LCC, a few from Sleuthfest were heading to Denver. For forensic fans, Dr. D.P. (Doug) Lyle was excellent. A truly entertaining speaker, he has written a half dozen or so books on the subject.

He also was very sociable with all of us. Lee Child was the Guest of Honor, a very witty man.

My next conference will be the International Mystery Writers Confab in Owensboro, Ky. This is quite different. It should be fun.

Here's the link: OWENSBORO

Late in coming, but here's a link to all my posts from LCC, including the ones I did for the Rap Sheet:

Nice post on LLC, with lots of cross posts and information. Nice pic of Reed Coleman. Hard to believe that and ugly guy like that can take such a good pic. (Just kidding Reed, if you happen to see this.)
Anybody else seeing this. Mark gives you a chance to pick and choose what you want to read about LCC.

(Wondering if there was some kind of psychological connection with me writing writing pic, pic, pick, and Reed, Reed, read?)

And by the way, Reed is a helluva writer.

I loved reading all the comments on LCC. It was my first LCC, and I'll definitely be attending more! Chris Goff and Suzanne Proulx worked their buns off to put on an excellent conference. I posted two long reports on the conference at my blog: http://bethgroundwater.blogspot.com/ along with a photo of me in my "finalist" Hawaiian costume. There are more photos of LCC folks near the bottom of my website Author Photos page: http://bethgroundwater.com/Author_Photos.html

I enjoyed meeting some new faces and catching up with old friends. Next, Malice!
- Beth
It was fun to see you, too...Ed... I didnt know you were a writer. Are you still doing radio?
Yup, Shamus Award 1995. Hoping to repeat. some time.
I still do movie reviews, author interviews, political commentary on one station, and I DJ on a classical station.
It was good to see you, too.


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