me in the piazza

I'm a writer, publishing both as SJ Rozan and, with Carlos Dews, as Sam Cabot. (I'm Sam, he's Cabot.) Here you can find links to my almost-daily blog posts, including the Saturday haiku I've been doing for years. BUT the blog itself has moved to my website. If you go on over there you can subscribe and you'll never miss a post. (Miss a post! A scary thought!) Also, I'll be teaching a writing workshop in Italy this summer -- come join us!
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Bouchercon 2009

If you want the play-by-play you'll have to go to other blogs. I was in Indianapolis for about a hundred hours. I slept maybe twenty of them, and in the waking ones had eight public events, a basketball game, two late-night poker games, and spent many of the rest of them hanging in the bar, the coffee joint, the breakfast place across the street, the book room, and the hallways.

So this isn't a detailed report, it's impressions.

1: This was a terrific Bouchercon, one of the best I've been to in terms of organization and -- this is really important and I think maybe the committees sometimes don't give it enough weight in decision-making -- the layout of the hotel. There were lots of bar, coffee joint, and hospitality suite spill-over places, lots of hallway tables to hang at, easy access from one program floor to another. It was easy to find friends you'd been hoping to see, and to hang with them for a few minutes right then and there.

2: As advertised to me by my dear buddy Barb Shoup -- with whom I teach in the summers in Assisi and whom you will meet next summer because you're all coming, right? -- Indianapolis has the world's best consignment shops. I generally hate to shop, but boy, when I can get a beautiful sweater, a very plain black jacket, and a silk shirt for $36, not each but total, that's a good day.

3: Indianapolis, the little I saw of it, is a very attractive city.

4: On the few panels I managed to get to, my friends acquited themselves quite nicely, thank you. As did my moderator and fellow panelists on the ones I was on, and my stellar prevaricators on the one I moderated, the Liar's Panel.

5: If you ever need to be interviewed, move heaven and earth to get Terry Faherty to be the interviewer. He will read every word you ever wrote, and then make it sound as though all your clumsy blundering was really carefully chosen paths to brilliantly-worked-out goals. He will also come out with lines like this: "Let's talk about why the traditional mystery is being squeezed by noir on one side, and vampires on the other; that is, caught between the doomed and the damned."

6: When getting directions to the gym, find out if the street has an East and a West version, and, if so, which one you're going to.

7: Don't play poker with innocent-looking academics.

8: If you're Toastmaster, only steal really great jokes.

That's about it for now, though there might be more as I unwind. I loved it. Thanks, Jim Huang and the excellent fabulous super-dee-dooper-bee-booper Bouchercon 2009 committee!

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