B’Con day two
Writing may not be a lonely businessâ€”that particular claim is usually made by people who really want you to know how much they suffer for their craftâ€”but it is certainly a solitary one. Which makes a conference like this all the more precious. I never see my colleagues in person except when I happen to set foot briefly in their home town, on tour usually, or when we come together at an event such as BoucherCon. Friendship is a tenuous thing, and needs doses of reinforcement over coffee or beers, and that more than anything else is what brings me a thousand miles on my own dime, although ostensibly I am here to talk about 1) The Romance (sic) of Sherlock Holmes, 2) The Role of Place in Mysteries, and 3) the Greater Mysteries of religious stories. All those things interest me, of course, and the panelsâ€”putting them together, mulling over discussion questions that interest us and that havenâ€™t been asked a hundred times before, then pushing ideas around with the other panelistsâ€”are very much worth doing.
But hunting down coffee with Les Klinger and talking about family? Having breakfast with Dana Stabenow and SJ Rozan and tossing out the names of exciting books weâ€™ve read? Discussing the problems of self-published authors versus established authors at a conference over beer/wine and hamburgers with Rhys Bowen and Sharan Newman? Those are the moments that restore the spirit, the silly, shallow, human contact with people youâ€™ve known and liked for years, whom you never see enough of, who know the joys and difficulties of your job because itâ€™s their job too.
And tonight BoucherCon officially opens, with Alaskaâ€™s governor dropping in and various awards being announced, the Anthony, the Barry, and the Macavity. After which I will go to dinner with friends and drink more than one beer, a rarity for me, and Iâ€™ll go to bed late and wake up early and open the box that holds the Touchstone page proofs, which arrived this afternoon, and Iâ€™ll get on with my job.
With my friends, in Anchorage.