by Pari Noskin Taichert (J.T. took my Monday this week. I'm returning the favor now.)
Mystery conventions are always exhausting.
Even more so when you get food poisoning.
Almost my entire experience of this year's LCC had a flattening haze born of tainted hotel Cioppino. I don't know if the scallops or the fish got to me, but something sure did. Though I recovered enough to function, the edge of exhaustion and dis-ease never completely lifted.
Of course, everyone knows that alcohol will kill any nasty microorganisms and I made sure to assist the process by parking myself in the hotel bar most evenings. Hence the pix below will not be the most flattering of my subjects -- but they convey a bit of the joy of seeing old friends, making new acquaintances, and reveling in the conviviality of our mystery community.
A few seminal moments weren't digitized: meeting Barry Eisler (and having him mispronounce my name), getting to really know my 'rati pals much better, eating breakfast with a wonderful group of women called the Mystery Babes, hanging out with the incomparable Craig Johnson and his wife, the magnificent signing at the Seattle Mystery Bookshop . . . Meeting Gabriella Herkert -- her book will be available from NAL this fall.
A couple things DIDN'T happen -- I didn't get to see half of the people I intended to see, didn't get to meet half of the people I'd hoped to meet, didn't get to go to an eighth of the panels I'd hoped to attend . . .
My gratitude to the convention organizers, volunteers and attendees who gave this LCC its distinctive flavor and character. I just wish I'd followed Naomi Hirahara's lead and not finished my damn bowl of tepid soup that first night.
Ohhhhhhh, it's sooooooo dark. See what I mean about lousy photos? Well, if you look very hard, you'll find Phil Hawley and the gorgeous Alex Sokoloff. Of course this photo does neither one of them justice.
While praying to the porcelain gods after this dinner, I consoled myself with the knowledge that Dr. Hawley could probably help me if the food poisoning progressed much further.
Could Simon Wood be any cuter? Yeah, I know he doesn't have red eyes . . . but they're kind of becoming. No?
The lovely, Edgar-nominated Naomi Hirahara and her quiet, magnificent hubby Wes.
In the forefront is Sam Reaves, an unassuming novelist of many accomplishments. In the background is Keith Raffel. I met Keith in Austin at Con Misterio and have followed his writing career with much admiration. He's another extremely smart guy who has achieved astounding success in one career and plans to translate it to another. He brought his daughter to LCC and she's obviously going to continue to make both of her parents very proud.
Why does Troy Cook always take such good photos? Damn him.
From l to r
The marvelous Mary Saums, miracle worker Margery Flax from MWA, and Sheila Lowe. I adore each of these women in different ways. Mary is a fine writer and staunch defender of cozies. Margery is an incredible mystery enthusiast who now brings such class and order to our professional organization. I met Sheila years ago when she dreamed of being a published novelist. Now, it's happened. How cool is that? (Sorry about the layout of the text here . . . I still am flummoxed by Typepad's "text wrap" at times.)
Okay, I lied. I spent some time out of the bar. Among the happy eating experiences in Seattle was one at Jasmine. Here, the lighting was better, too.
l -- Deborah Donnelly, great author and even better friend.
r -- Carola Dunn, great author and witty lunch companion.
Several more photos await this blog, but I'll hold off on them until Monday when I begin posting at my regular time.
See you then . . .