Madison IV

BoucherCon Saturday began with…a Farmer’s Market! That’s right, the entire Square around the capitol building was lined with stalls selling the most mouth-watering selection of fresh vegetables and fruits, cheese, honey, all sized bags of popcorn (“Oh yes,” one man told us, when we remarked on his 25 pound bag of popcorn, “this is the winter’s supply.”), baked goods, cheese, goat’s cheese, flowers, curd cheese, 10 year-old cheddar cheese, frying cheese, windflower honey, black locust honey, twenty colors of jellies, and Oh, there’s another cheese stall. Fascinatingly enough, the entire population of shoppers (leaving aside the iconoclastic tourists) move in the same direction, counter-clockwise around the capitol building.

Yes, I bought some cheese to fry. Hot grease—what’s not to love? And the coolest metal sculpture that goes around a colored glass ball and looks as if it’s spilling perpetually into it. Makes no sense, until you see it.

A great event with Les Klinger at Booked for Murder, a quick flit back to the hotel for an even greater panel with Dana Stabenow, Nevada Barr, and Val McDermid, which was just about everything you could ask for from a panel—and from the reaction of the audience, they agreed.

The awards ceremony was held, and an interview with Nevada as guest of honor. Coffee with one friend and a new acquaintance, a drink with two other friends, and dinner with a third set of friends—none of the meetings planned, all of them just happening across each other and saying “Are you…?”

I admit, I left the Sisters in Crime dessert bash early, and didn’t manage to get to Lee Child’s party that started at ten o’clock.

I admit it: I’m a BoucherCon wimp. I can only manage to stay on my feet for fourteen hours.

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  1. watershed on October 1, 2006 at 4:45 pm

    thanks for making time for the great talk at Booked for Murder! It was wonderful getting to meet you!

    I know the kind of sculptures you’re talking about– I have a small one hanging in my office window from the Farmer’s Market. They are lovely!

  2. Anonymous on October 2, 2006 at 4:42 am


    Glad that you enjoyed BoucherCon! And I’m glad that you chose coherence over partying…

    On a totally unrelated note, are you doing the monthly Q&As anymore? If so, I have a question: for both the Martinelli and Russell series, to what extent do you plan ahead? For example, did you always intend Kate and Lee to have a child? Or were Russell and Holmes slated to have a romantic relationship from the beginning?

  3. Anonymous on October 2, 2006 at 5:21 pm

    well, i have finally read all the posts from madison. i was saving them up i guess….. i have great friends in madison, and have visited there several times. being a farmers’ market junkie, i too have shopped my way around the capitol, and loved hearing of your experience there. the inside of the building is wonderful too, built in an era when people were hopeful and idealistic and loving one’s country was not such a challenge. the figure on the dome points directly towards Washington DC.
    that figure.. (goddess? angel? i can’t remember,) reaching towards our nation’s capitol,

    my heart just aches,when i consider
    the difference between the dreams of that era, reflected in that monument, the future they dreamed of and our present state……

    but what made me sit down to write, was your comment about the police convention and all the writers who would have enjoyed talking with them about their work….

    those same writers or aspiring writers who have yet to publish their first novel, might love to come visit where i work. forensic psychiatric facility… dangerous and gravely disabled men with bizarre histories, and an administrative entity which has evolved in the more than 50 years of its existence.

    many who work there say they will write books, certainly it is rich with material. it is so surreal it would take a great writer to weave it together. for myself, when i’m not there, words fail me … no one who hasn’t been there can possibly understand if they have to rely on my descriptions. it is so far beyond catch 22, it is hard to believe it exists….

    full of preposterous situations of humor, pain, contradictions, and danger

    i believe the microcosm reflects the macrocosm, so what else would i expect to find, in an institution which houses men who in their confusion have acted out the same outrageous behaviors and atrocities of the political/ corporate entities which even now are ammassing even more wealth and more power.

    sounds like i’m a fanatic, but i’m not. well, maybe i am, but a gentle and quiet one.

    just the same, if writers are interested, the situation is there, and cookoo’s nest didn’t even start to cover it.

    just bring a sense of humor and a huge heartful of compassion


  4. L. Crampton, LAc on October 2, 2006 at 10:31 pm

    Madison’s Farmers’ Market used to be a reliable anchor in my social life–Saturday morning was a time to wander on down, meet any of a number of friends doing the same, and let our day and plans evolve from there . . . not to mention the basis of many a Sunday’s spree of cooking up jams, jellies, preserves and other canning activity from the great fruit and produce. Great memories, even alongside my current access to Santa Monica’s wonderful FM’s. Thanks for sharing your adventures and experiences, Laurie.

  5. Sonja on October 3, 2006 at 12:41 am

    Dear Laurie,

    After finishing ‘Locked Rooms’ nearly an hour ago, I went to bed and tried to sleep. But something is bothering me. Russell and Holmes have been with me for a month and a few days from now, filling every gap between duties I could find. And now I’m experiencing a very odd feeling which I want to share with you and your fans. I miss them, I miss their personalities in my surroundings, their relationships with others and each other and their adventures. It’s also the realization that no matter how long I wait to reread the books, it will never be the same as the first time. It’s very nice to start with an already existing series, because you can read without interruption. Until you finished the last book. Then you have to deal with the (temporary) departure of the characters out of your life. It makes me feel very sad, something like saying good friends goodbye for a very long time. This feeling occurs to me many times after finishing a nice book, but after finishing a nice series such as the Russell-series (and the Martinelli’s also) it’s much more stronger. It merely means that I enjoyed the books so much that I lived in them, being not an outsider reading about some persons, but someone who experience their surroundings, following them on their heels and looking over their shoulders. So unless the sadness it causes, I suppose it’s one of the biggest compliments a writer can get. Be proud of it. 🙂

    I’m aware of going off topic, but I really had to share this with you guys, for the sake of my sleepiness. 😉

    Sonja (posted at 2:34 am local time)

  6. Trix on October 3, 2006 at 2:18 am

    That’s an amusing observation about the shoppers going counter-clockwise at the market. Apparently that’s a known facet of shopping psychology (if that’s a real term) – virtually all shoppers automatically turn to the right when entering a shop. The exception is if you’re dashing in for a specific item.

  7. Anonymous on October 3, 2006 at 2:17 pm

    Consolations to Sonja – I too feel sad whenever I finish the latest Russell/Holmes novel, but not as much any more. Laurie has built that world so well, so solidly, that for me it is like a room in my mental house that I can always enter. The door is never locked. Having reread every novel in the series each time a new one comes out, I now don’t even have to have one of the books in my hand to go there. Only a very few, very special writers have given me this great gift. I regard it as a form of wealth that I will possess as long as I still have my marbles. Thank you, Laurie.

  8. Roxanne on October 3, 2006 at 2:38 pm

    “A room in my mental house”–I like that. I, too, feel tremendously sad whenever I finish the latest Russell. I find that rereading the others, as does Anonymous, takes the edge off of the dejectedness.

    Ms. King creates such vivid characters: animate, flawed, fragile and yet strong too (i.e., very human). It is indeed a wonderful gift that she shares with us. I recently acquired a copy of Folly and was immediately so taken with the character of Rae that I became deeply engrossed in the pages–and missed my train stop. Nearly ended up in another state. But it was worth it. I find I am conflicted: I want to finish the book now, to find out what happens to Rae. Yet, at the same time, I want to take my time and linger over the pages, to delay that bereft feeling I experience at the finish of each of Ms. King’s books…

  9. Sonja on October 3, 2006 at 5:00 pm

    Indeed Roxanne, it’s exactly the same with me: I want to read it as fast as possible, to satisfy my curiosity, but I also want to take my time to make the experience as long as possible (and to delay the sadness).
    And Anonymous, I recognize your ‘mental house’-idea (although I didn’t have such I nice name for it). Not yet for the Russell’s, but the Martinelli-books are almost my second home. 😉

    Thank you both for your comment!

    By the way, I still have to thank Laurie for her brilliant action to let the two series ‘hit’ each other; I’ve got another favourite series!

  10. Anonymous on October 4, 2006 at 5:07 am

    Dear Peameander, in my era in Madison (’77 to ’89)the statue on the Capitol was “Miss Forward,” I think, and she was very golden and shiny in the beautiful weather this week. I really appreciate the rest of your post. And to Sonja and Anon and Roxanne, I recall so well my acutely mixed feelings: dying to read all the books, slowing down so they wouldn’t be done. And, indeed, you can reread them many many times, thank goodness. (and thanks again, Laurie!)–Meredith T.

  11. Roxanne on October 4, 2006 at 12:36 pm

    Just an update for Sonja et. al.: I have proved to be an abject failure at “lingering.” Picked up again with Folly last night and could not put it down. Continued reading voraciously until the very end and 2:00am. I am bleary eyed at work this morning, but ah well. On the train ride in (did not miss my stop this morning) I sat digesting and ruminating. In a little while I will have to go back and read it again and eke out some more details and nuance, kind of like licking the bowl after have the batter has been poured into the pans. (Or, it strikes me, like peeling back the layers of inlay of one of Rae’s works.) As Meredith T. said, “you can reread [Ms. King’s books] many many times, thank goodness.”

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