"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Monday, April 6, 2015

Catching up. First stop, Left Coast Crime

I did a lot of stuff in March, not the least of which was attend Left Coast Crime in Portland, Oregon. To be honest, I'm not a big fan of conventions. LCC is for mystery lovers, both writers and readers. There's never enough writerly kinds of information for me at a convention, and there are a number of potential readers milling about that I don't really know how to meet without sounding like I'm some ego-driven madwoman, so the whole experience leaves me anxious.

The only reason I attended this LCC is because my buddy, LJ Sellers, was in charge of it, and since it was in Portland, it was a chance to visit with my hubby's brother and family. This made the trip worth it:

Rain. Beautiful, glorious rain. This southern California gal can't get enough of it.

LJ did a bang-up job with the event. Lots of panels, lots of people to meet, and great hotel accommodations. Only $129 a night, plus complimentary parking and Wi-Fi. No one's ever gotten us free parking before! Although this diagram of where to go in case of emergency worried me. 

Stairs are on the key, but they're nowhere on the diagram!

Other highlights? The Sisters in Crime breakfast. Even though it started at 7:00 a.m. (that's when I'd like to be getting UP, thanks), I got to hear the lovely Catriona McPherson talk about all the fun things SinC National is doing. She even plugged our chapter's fall event, Ladies of Intrigue, where she will be one of our main speakers.

I also got to spend a lot of time with my buddies. Lunches, dinners, and drinks were all spent with author-friends. It seemed like every time I stepped into the hallway to decide on which panel to attend, Lisa Brackmann was there with an invitation.

"Hey, Gayle, want to go wine tasting?"

(Hint: you don't have to ask me twice.)

Lisa's on the right.

"Hey, Gayle, want to walk down to the pub for a beer?"

Sure. Even if it's raining and I left my coat in my room and the pub is a mile and a half away. I'm game.

I did miss my tiara when I saw Tim Hallinan in his.

I was on one panel, Sunday morning. Sunday is usually the day everyone is trying to leave, so I wasn't certain if we'd have an audience, but we did. Our topic was "California Dreaming." Four of us took the stage to talk about setting our stories in California. The easy answer why is that we live there, but the better answers are contained in why we live there. The shiny, hopeful, I'm-gonna-be-a-STAR quality of the state beckons to so many. 

We're a little fuzzy and askew - appropriate for a Sunday morning.

Even though I'm not enamored of conventions, I had a great time at this one. And since we had driven to Portland to attend, we got to stop on our way home to visit some friends in the south part of the state. 

Next stop: Michael and Chrissie's place.

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