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.