(Before I start, one quick response to Jeff Cohen: You NEVER bother me. OK, I'm done.)
So for three straight years, I went to Bouchercon: San Francisco, St. Louis, Cleveland, I followed the roving conference of crime fiction around the country. It was wonderful. I caught up with my growing stable of clients (particularly fun when we engaged in a smack-talk filled bowling contest against Stacia Decker's crew--who had SHIRTS, dammit...). I met with as many editors as a good month of lunches in NY. And I heard panel after panel of writers talking about their craft.
Oh, and the bar, which is REALLY the room (or lobby) where it happens.
But fundamentally, I enjoy going to Bouchercon because in one intense weekend I can reset my expectations, hear where the industry might be heading (or at least one slice of it) and reconnect with a lot of friends I communicate with via email and phone.
Then the bat mitzvahs started. 2014: my second child; 2015: my third. Both bat mitzvahs taking place the week after Bouchercon (which had to be scheduled a month different from each other!). This year, I thought OK, no more kids--I'll get to go to New Orleans! But then a couple we are about as close to as close cousins, and whose daughters are basically nieces, told us that their older daughter's bat mitzvah was the week of September 17. So now we wait until Toronto. Danielle is coming to NOLA, and will serve ably as my surrogate (and perhaps watch her amazing client Ausma Khan win an Edgar?). I will pray for your liver at Emma's bat mitzvah.
And watch out if you go bowling against Team Decker!
Have fun, everyone--let me know what I need to know!!!