Bouchercon Blues

Zoë Sharp

Bouchercon By The Bay starts today in San Francisco, and I’m not there, dammit.

Sometimes, you have to weigh up want against need, and right now I need to be concentrating on the book I’m in the midst of, and the copyedits for the next book have just landed, and the outline for the next one is still only a vague murky idea. In short, there are a hundred and one jobs that made a transatlantic trip just not feasible at the moment.

Dammit again.

I made the mistake of looking at the list of attendees, and see the names of so many people I would love to have hung out with, not least of which are my ‘Rati colleagues. Another thing I noticed is there are very few people I’d leave the bar to avoid. And it reminds me, if I needed reminding, what a great community this is to be a part of.

So, because I’m a masochist at heart, I started thinking about all the aspects of a convention that I enjoy so much, and what I was really going to miss.

There’s a lot I’m going to miss.

Obviously, meeting with people we know. The crime writing crowd are overwhelmingly smart and funny, and I genuinely enjoy their company.

Meeting with people we don’t know – yet. Finding a new mind in tune with your own is always a joy.

Meeting ‘the man behind the curtain’ (as per Louise’s blog from Tuesday) and NOT being disappointed. I first met some of the biggest names in the business at conventions or festivals, both here and in the States and found that in the majority they’re delightful.

I love to meet readers. First and foremost, I’m a reader. I got into this because I loved books, loved to read books, and went that step further and then wanted to write stories that other people might want to read. But the reading came first, and without satisfied readers, we’re talking to ourselves.

What else? Fascinating panels, the undiscovered gems that often come out of the book bag, the charity auction.

That last one might sound odd, but I have been lucky enough to be able to auction off four character names either at Bouchercon or at Mayhem in the Midlands in Omaha Nebraska. One of the four turned into five, as I included both the winning bidder and her late mother. I just happened to have a slot in the next Charlie Fox book for mother and daughter characters. And, again, looking at the list of attendees for San Francisco, I see that three of those generous bidders – Frances L Neagley, Terry O’Loughlin, and BG Ritts, are all going to be there.

And I’m not, dammit.

Of course, although the whole point of going to a convention is to BE at the convention, not off sight-seeing, there is usually the opportunity for a side trip to a gun range while we’re there. Watching people who’ve never handled a gun before having their first shot at it (pardon the pun) is always entertaining. And then there’s the occasion when I put a trip to the gun range up as an auction prize, and the lady who made the winning bid had been blind since birth.

But that, as they say, is another story…

Here’s a group of us taken after our foray in search of firearms in Baltimore. I don’t know quite what just happened to Stuart MacBride, but I’m open to suggestions.

OK, so now I’m completely grumpy and naffed off that I’m not at Bouchercon, and in order to prevent bottom-lip-out overload, I have to think about the things I DON’T like about conventions.

Watching badly moderated panels. I’ve seen a few in my time. Like the one where the moderator asked questions of the panelists in the same order ever time, so the poor woman at the far end was left with nothing to add to every question. Or the one where the moderator did not-very-funny stand-up for the entire duration, and one panelist didn’t actually get to speak at all.

Rude panelists. I’m fortunate to have moderated only one of these, but her name will stick in my mind forever. For entirely the wrong reasons.

Being landed with the bill for everyone else’s cocktails at a group meal. OK, OK, as a teetotaller, I’m aware that I’m always going to end up paying extra at a group meal – it’s the price you pay for going out in company, and if you don’t like it, you should eat alone. But do these people never stop to wonder at how little it seems to cost them to eat and drink at a convention? The indomitable Sally Fellows had this nailed at Mayhem. Every time we sat down in a restaurant, her first words to the wait staff were, “Separate checks, please.” If nothing else, it makes my accountant’s life easier.

Air con red-eye. Maybe I should be blaming all the late nights in the bar, but I always seem to end up with dreadful  bloodshot eyes at conventions, which I put down to the fact that Brits are not used to being in air-conditioned buildings. If it wasn’t for eye drops, I’d permanently be walking round with eyes like this:

Bad manners. And this is another one where I appear to contradict myself. I DO love talking with people, but that’s different to being talked AT by people. And I’ve lost count of the number of times you can be in mid-sentence and someone else just comes up and jumps into the middle of the conversation. They don’t want to join in – they don’t even want to let you finish what you were saying before they take the plunge. It’s like being ambushed.

OK, so your turn. What do you love or hate about conventions? What’s the best question you’ve heard on a panel? Or the worst?

This week’s Word of the Week is epitome. The most common modern use of epitome is to mean excellence, the best example, as in ‘she is the epitome of elegance’- a person or thing that is typical of or possesses to a high degree the features of a whole class. But its fundamental meaning is a condensed account, a summary, especially of a written work. Its root is the Greek epitome, to cut short, abridge. In theory, a précis encapsulates the best of the original work, although (as most authors are aware) this is not necessarily the case…


50 thoughts on “Bouchercon Blues

  1. JD Rhoades

    I'm not there either… 🙁

    What I love is what we here in the south call the "good fellowship"..hanging out, laughing and talking, and sharing good food and drink with like minded people.

    What I don't like is the lack of sleep. And yes, the people who walk right up and derail a good conversation are a pain.

  2. Kaye Barley

    I'm not there either and I could just cry.

    See you in St. Louis?

    What I love? Being made to feel a part of a wonderful, generous, delightfully fun-loving group of people I've grown to love.

    What I hate? still thinking . . . .

  3. Spencer Seidel

    I'm not there either, sadly. I hope to do both Thrillerfest and Bouchercon next year. I love hanging around with other writers, especially at these bigger conferences!

  4. Zoë Sharp

    Hey Dusty

    I feel your pain ;-] And you'll be sadly missed, I know – I still reckon you have one of THE best voices for speaking on panels.

    As for sleep, my sleep patterns tend to be somewhat erratic at the best of times, and I go into Energizer Bunny mode at conventions, surviving on a couple of hours a night. No problem for a few days, but I'm glad they don't last a week.

  5. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Kaye

    Not fair, is it?

    I'm going to do my best to get to St Louis, and LCC in Santa Fe if there's any way I can do it. And I've been invited to the Tucson Festival of Books in March, so there's something to look forward to at the other end of winter.

    It is a very inclusive crowd, isn't it? I was talking to someone recently who said their other love is football, but although he can go and watch a football match, there isn't the same opportunity to mingle with the players that you get with a convention, and that's the part of it he really loves.


  6. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Spencer

    I don't think the size of the conference is a factor for me. I've had enormous fun at smaller conventions. My first experience was at Sleuthfest in Florida, where I was the token Brit, and I still hope to go back there. Mayhem was a smaller convention, and it was wonderful. It's so easy to miss the people you really wanted to chat to at the bigger events.

  7. Debbie

    Zoë, had a party of our own yesterday on Murderati. Missed you there-perhaps passed out somewhere? I'll go look.
    So what's the etiquette around individual checks? What about approaching a conversation. I'm never sure if it's rude to listen in waiting for a break in the conversation because I feel like I'm evesdropping. Which, come on let's face it, I am! I get that little kid feeling like I should put my hand up and wait to be acknowledged.

  8. JT Ellison

    I stayed home too – too much work to do, and I'm on major conference burnout. Because they are so fun, and it's so great to catch up with friends face to face, you can easily spend all your time at conferences and never stay home to write, which is dangerous. For me, at least. What I don't like about cons is it takes me a couple of weeks to settle back down into my routine. But that's pretty much my only negative.

  9. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Debbie

    Just purely from a tax point of view, it's far easier for me to have a separate check, rather than me having to cross out everyone else's meals and drinks from the receipt. Not all restaurants will do it, especially if it's a big group and, like I say, I accept it's the price of going out in company. On the other hand, I would not be happy getting up from a table where I'd ordered wine and cocktails, having paid a share of the check which I knew didn't cover what I'd consumed. It seems that some people are more than happy to do this. I think of the example Louise gave on Tues, about the guy who invited himself to a meal, ordered lots of food 'for the table' and then left before the check arrived. Deliberate or thoughtless? Either way, it leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

    I also do the hover-round-the-edges thing when entering another conversation. (And I know I've probably butted in on people in the past and I apologise humbly to anyone this has happened to. I do bear it in mind and try not to, however.) It's not too hard to tell by the lack of eye contact from the participants if you're welcome or not. If they give a brief hello smile that lacks a certain warmth when you first approach, and then ignore you, you know the chances are you'd do better to come back later.

    And I can sympathise with that. Events like B'con are sometimes the only opportunity for some authors to meet with their editors or publishers face to face. Having someone wander in to the middle of a conversation about what's going to be done with your next book, just to say hello. Or, worse still, to buttonhole the publisher/editor about THEIR book, is extremely frustrating.

    I once had a breakfast meeting with a publisher hijacked by another author, who hogged the conversation for the entire meal. The worst thing was, I later found out this author lives in NYC, where the publisher was based. If they wanted to chat, they were a subway ride away. I'd travelled thousands of miles for this meeting and it was a waste of time.

  10. Zoë Sharp

    Hi JT

    I find it hard to write while I'm actually at a convention, but other than that I don't find it affects me too badly. In fact, sometimes I come back with renewed enthusiasm. There's a lot of time for self doubt to creep in while you're sitting at your desk at home.

  11. Dudley Forster

    Hi Zoe

    I would have loved have gone to Bcon. I have never been to a convention (well I have been to lawyer ones but they are whole different ballgame). I really want to go to LCC, but business has been uncharacteristically slow the last three months that may not happen.

    My problem is I’m one of those introverts in crowds that hang around on the sides unless I am with someone else, then I’m braver. Once I get my convention etiquette legs under me (big fear is offending someone) then I tend to be a little more gregarious. I also don’t drink and really never go to bars (well except at those lawyer conventions) so I’m a little put off there as well, especially if I wander in by myself. What I wouldn’t want to do is find a writer I know from a blog or FB and sort of latch on to them because it’s something familiar or just go hide on my hotel room. But I am going to a con when the business picks up, stupid economy. Just hope I don't embarrass myself.

  12. Allison Davis

    Reporting live from SF…we started last night with 'Rati Stephen Jay Schwartz's reading of Beat at the Beat Museum, with a couple of beat cops in tow that helped with this research…very fun, informative, the cops were a hit (one of them is writing of course)…and we started it all with some poetry by Kim Dower (yes, the publicist). We topped it off with chocolate brandies at Toscas and then dinner. Because I live here, I'm still working at the office, as well as helping Rae and Cara with Continuous Conversation (83 writers participating just in that alone) and helping crazy Jane Cleland with the Wolfe Pack's Rex Stout banquet. Not a lot of writing getting done. So for those of you not here, we'll hoist one for you and be envious of your sleep.

  13. Debbie

    Thanks for that awesome answer. I wonder if you've noticed a difference between American and British cons? I find my cousins (literal) south of the boarder to be polite but more forward. Sometimes hearing of anothers horrors gives me a chance to think it through and hopefully I'll be prepared and/or considerate of a situation I can't fully appreciate, due to lack of experience.

  14. Dana King

    For people who wonder if blog comments are noticed by the blog owner, I can say for sure they are here. One of my fondest memories from Bouchercon 2008 in Baltimore came when I sat down for a session and Zoe asked if I was the Dana King who commented on Murderati, and would I like to sign a get well card for JT. You think you're invisible here, but, trust me, you're not. (And JT as hersefl quite gracious when I met her in person last year in Indianapolis.

    If you're at all intimidated by the prospect of meeting a favorite author in person, read and comment on their blogs. The nice ones–lik everyone here–make note and will remember you. The others? Do you really cae about them?

    I, too, must miss San Francisco, but I'm already clearing time for St. Louis next year.

  15. becky hutchison

    Another conference non-attendee here. ;-(

    Regarding a rude panelist: At this past Malice Domestic, I attended a session where a panelist didn't even attempt to be nice. My feeling is if you don't want to be there, DON"T AGREE TO BE ON ONE. I will NEVER EVER buy anything from that author EVER. If she couldn't take just one hour to be gracious and informative, then I can't take my dollars to buy her books. Luckily, I've never had a insolent person on a panel I've moderated. I think if I did, though, I'd want to call them on it.

    I don't remember any particular question asked of a panel, but I did enjoy the self-defense techniques session you put on at the Baltimore B'con. I apologize that I don't remember the name of your co-presenter, but you guys were very informative and entertaining.

    What I like about conferences/workshops/seminars:
    -Learning something new
    -Catching up with friends and meeting new people
    -All the fun being with other writers

    Don't like:
    -Lack of sleep
    -Expensive hotel food

    (Now starting to save for next year's conference.)

  16. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Dudley

    Don't worry, you're among friends ;-]

    I think it would be a great idea if someone printed some buttons that said, "I'm a first-time conventioneer – be kind to me!" which you could choose to wear or not, if you wanted to make some instant new friends. (OK, so maybe that came out a bit wrong…)

    I, too, don't drink. I'm completely teetotal and have been for years. I CAN'T drink. At home, we live miles from the nearest pub. But, the crime writing brigade tend to drink without getting drunk (mostly) and that makes a big difference. Andy and I went to a party recently and I was alarmed how fast people there got noticeably drunk, and how it changed them. Writers have harder heads, it seems.

    Anyway, Dudley, you can always find a fellow 'Rati and hang with them!

  17. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Allison

    OK, that hasn't made my pining any better at ALL…;-]

    Sounds like you guys are having a ball. And I'm delighted that Stephen's launch of BEAT went so well. Can't wait to hear all about it.

    Raise a glass or two to absent friends.

  18. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Debbie

    In the UK people tend to be less pushy/forward, but more cliquey, which can make newcomers feel very much like outsiders. The US crowd tends to be more inclusive, I think. I haven't spent enough time in Canada to differentiate between the behaviour patterns of Canadian and US authors, though!

  19. Zoë Sharp

    Hey Dana

    Yes, we take lots of note of commenters! I was just worried you were going to get the wrong idea from me staring at your name tag, but it was great that we ran into each other and you had the chance to sign that card for JT.

    I hear St Louis calling…

  20. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Becky

    My co-presenter at the Baltimore B'con self-defence panel was the incomparable Meg Chittenden, who is attending this year's event, too, but sadly will have to find someone else to beat up!

    I seem to remember that as every panel at that event used song titles/lyrics as their titles, we changed our demo name from the usual 'You Can't Run in High Heels' to 'In These Shoes? I Doubt You'd Survive…' which seemed like a good switch.

    I can't understand why people bother to turn up to be on a panel if they're not going to take part, but I have heard about authors who feel the line-up isn't of the right calibre and go off into a sulk because of that, so maybe the panelist you saw at Malice was suffering from a bruised ego in that respect?

    Not everywhere has to be expensive to eat at a convention. I seem to remember being introduced to the delights of Hooters by young Stuart MacBride when we were in Baltimore. Deep-fried pickle is a delicacy to be tasted.

  21. Marie-Reine

    Hi Zoë, I'm really glad you explained Bouchercon! I'd read their website but still wasn't sure if it was an authors-only event or something where the public was welcome. It must be a fantastic convention with everyone so excited about it.

    I used to go to a lot of shrink conventions, as well as education, and religious studies/ethics/ministry conferences– sometimes to present my own research but more often to earn my CEUs for keeping my shrink license current. I really was not fond of the shrink conferences, never got used to how many of my fellow shrinks were mean-spirited and rude… just some kind of huge disconnect there for me. In contrast the education and religion conferences were a lot more fun with many very engaged people who seemed interested in a great variety of approaches to their field as a whole, as well as their special areas.

    I am so out of those fields now, just looking for how I fit in with the world now and how to engage. Thinking of volunteering for the Tucson Festival of Books in March, sort of a scary prospect but would push my recovery forward, I think. I will at least go!

  22. pari noskin taichert

    I'm not there either . . . wahhhhh.

    I hope I get to see people at LCC in Santa Fe and catch up there. Very few cons when I think about conventions — exhaustion, sometimes a perception of organizers playing favorites (I know, that's petty, but I'm really thinking about that as an organizer this year), being on a boring panel — and too many pros to mention.

  23. toni mcgee causey

    Dudley, I'm the same way, and Dana's right–you're a part of our group whenever you're here, and that makes you automatically welcome.

    I did the same thing, Dana, fwiw — my first conference, I was sort of terrified and I had written to our Allison before going and told her I wasn't going to know anyone, would she mind if I hung out a little with her? And she said yes. Who knew it was going to turn into one of my very best friendships ever?

    re: the bar — Dudley, I don't drink, either. For all of the joking about margaritas I've made, I'll drink a half of one and stop, if I even order. 9 times out of 10, I'll drink a diet coke. Alcohol gives me headaches and the very last place I want to be sidelined is at a con.

    Zoë, as usual, great blog. I heartily agree with your points above. The very first group meal I'd attended at one of the festivals (and I'm being vague here on purpose), someone just flat didn't put in their money. (It was rounded to $30 and we were exactly $30 short). Luckily, a few of us had a little extra and it was fine, but I always wondered who that person was who came to the table knowing they weren't going to pay…or, having gotten there, realized they couldn't. I would've been happy to cover them if they'd have mentioned it. It bothered me more that they didn't.

    The negatives to cons for me:

    1) is the inability to recognize faces out of context. I adjust pretty quickly, and it's not everyone's face all of the time–but when I'm tired, it's much worse. (Tess talked about that specific condition some time ago.) I am 100% certain that I've walked right past people I know without registering who they were. I've done it to my own kids, my husband, my parents.

    2) exhaustion. I have a hard time slowing down enough to rest and by the last day, I'm damned near a glassy-eyed zombie when I get on the plane home

    3) not enough time to catch up with everyone I want to see on an individual basis. I love the group chats and hanging out, but I also love the quieter diners and lunches where it's easier to talk.


    1) seeing so many friends. Hearing about their struggles, learning more about the things that fascinate them. I never leave a con without being inspired and most of the time, just the smart conversations jump start my creativity in a way I can't explain.

    2) hearing specifics about the business and sharing my own with friends.

    3) watching a fun panel. You get a handle really fast on who's going to "give good panel" and sometimes, it doesn't even matter what the subject is, it's just worth going.

    Oh, and the very best question I've ever been asked on a panel (with my publisher and my agent and Allison) was by a woman who wanted to know how to write a sex scene between a nun and one of her HIV patients while they were in a drug rehab center. It kinda worried me that she thought we were going to know the answer to that.

  24. Catherine

    Zoë I've only been to two writing festivals in the closest city to me. For the first one I wanted to just sit and listen. Oh and also approached Lisa Unger at the signing table, without a book in hand because there was so few people about. Meaning I felt a bit of an idiot, but secretly armed with knowledge gained here (of potential author vulnerability) suspected someone saying 'hi, I love your books and as this is my first festival I was silly enough to leave them at home on the shel'…would be sort of welcome.

    For the second I attended a three hour workshop and listened and actually Yeah the one I was so excited about that I emailed you about…and to say thank you for asking a question ages ago about what held people back from attending festivals et al. When I realised it was more fear than anything else I've been able to do it.

    Dudley, I alternate between shy and brazen, which makes or a lot of awkward social encounters. I've learnt to accept it…worst case scenario you're building material to write about. The thing I found attending these festivals is that you can sit back and let it soak in, and or turn to someone next to you with high probability that they at least share your love of reading.(While taking into account all the body language Zoë mentioned earlier). I found at the second festival that I kept bumping into a few of the same people. I took a chance and said hi and got to hear about other people's hopes and dreams that at the very least nestle along my own. So for me the worst thing about festivals is I felt like a bit of a dork sometimes. Even that wasn't so bad, as I was a dork in a different setting, amidst a lot of other people probably feeling a bit dorky too. I think this is part and parcel about bringing a lot of people engaged in an often solitary pursuit into a group setting. The best thing was being around a lot of people that just love words, putting them together, playing with them, working with them, building them into stories, people that help bring these stories to market, people that devour said stories. Apart from a festival I don't know of where else you would find so many that have this particular love. I really think you'll have a ball.

  25. Catherine

    Argh am still feeling the effects of that second festival in terms of boosted creativity. My coherence writing about it is a bit patchy though. Implied through the garble is the excitement of being exposed to new ideas I liked attending a festival where I listened, I loved a festival where I attended a workshop as well as listening.

  26. Allison Brennan

    I'm not there either, and I'm really bummed because everyone is only 2 hours away . . . but deadlines and family commitments come first. And next year it may conflict with my Quantico tour, which I need to do again because I'll be in the middle of writing the Lucy book set at Quantico.

    I love the word "epitome." 🙂

  27. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Marie-Reine

    I often wonder if it would be easier to list the authors at a convention separate from the attendees, although the authors are usually the ones with the web links, so they're fairly easy to spot! But everyone's welcome.

    But hey – shrinks with personal hang-ups. Who'd a thunk…?

    As I keep saying, the mystery/thriller writing community is very welcoming and inclusive. I used to come out to the States to cover an event with my day-job. I came every year for probably ten years, and sometimes the same people would reintroduce themselves to me as if we'd never met. Every year. Doesn't make you feel valued overmuch, does it? But the crime conventions are different. I hope you get along to one and that you feel at home there.

    I'd love to see you in Tucson. I've had my panel assignments through and I'm looking forward to being there. It would be great to see a friendly 'Rati face.

  28. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Pari

    I hope you can give us the run-down, after LCC next year, about what it was like from the other side of the fence, so to speak? I'm really looking forward to it!

  29. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Toni

    Loved the comments. I used to drink Diet Coke by the bucketful, but after a while anything that fizzy seems to fur up your tongue. Now I drink a cocktail of my own devising, called a 'wet 'n' windy'. It's basically a large glass of tap water with a shot of tonic on top. Takes all sorts, huh?

    I love the Sunday Night Survivors' dinners, where a small group of the ones staying over 'til Monday go out and chill. The best one of these was after the first NYC ThrillerFest, when we went over to Christine Kling's yacht in Jersey City, and sat on the deck watching the lights come on all across Manhattan. Wonderful.

    I've probably walked straight past people I know, too. Tunnel vision, tiredness, or just too many thoughts whizzing round in a small brain – take your pick.

    What a great question you were asked! What did you tell her? I think my favourite was when somebody at a library event asked me "If you were asked to write Tony Blair's (ex-UK Prime Minister) autobiography, would you do it?" To which I replied, "If it's his autobiography, I'd tell him to do it himself…"

  30. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Catherine

    I think your comment sums up festivals and coventions for me – you've clearly come away with a huge burst of enthusiasm for the task, and that's wonderful.

    I know they can be a big drain on emotional energy, but the up-side is worth it.

  31. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Allison

    I'm constantly amazed at your levels of output – three books a year for five years, plus all the family committments. How do you find the time to go to any conventions at all? Wow.

    Epitome is a lovely one, isn't it?

  32. Marie-Reine

    Hi Zoë, It would be great to see you in Tucson, thank you. I think I have a friendly face, and if I don't my brilliant servy dog Kendall does. Just look for the blue power wheelchair with the golden retriever trying to make his human behave herself.

  33. Zoë Sharp

    Dudley – I'm with you – we HAVE to know, Toni!

    Marie-Reine – I'm sure Kendall keeps you in line beautifully ;-]

    Dana – erm, I believe you were wearing your name tag a little lower…

  34. Debbie

    Toni, please, please…we've got to know.
    I don't carry a white cane (don't need one and I don't look blind) so I'd just be the rude person who doesn't say hi, interrupts conversations at all the wrong times, and is rather awkward and clumsy at a table (and forget buffets, all just a blur). All the stories of embarrassing oneself by not recognizing someone etc. only makes me more fearful. Can't pick up on body language, see a polite vs friendly smile, probably couldn't recognize most of you. To be honest, I haven't really looked at your photos, but try to listen to interviews to see if you have a distinct voice. I would probably recognize Alex unless she cut her hair short but would just as easily confuse her with Kyra Sedgwick (no offence intended).
    Marie-Reine, up until now I've pictured a smallish dog on your lap. When you said golden retriever I momentarily went, huh…oh!
    Zoë, Tony Blair's autobiography eh? Too bad lol gets overused because my friend heard me from the other room on that comeback.

  35. Marie-Reine

    Hi Debbie, aha- no! Kendall is not small. 🙂 He is my very real working assistance dog. He opens and closes doors, turns lights on and off, hands me the phone, carries the laundry to the garage and back (usually lets me wash and dry it first), tugs the bedding up or down, gets my shoes, picks up things that I drop, puts groceries in the cart, pays the cashier and returns the change to me, helps me transfer to and from my chair, wakes me up, helps me balance by leaning against my legs, so I can stand and take 2 or 3 steps, feeds the birds, alerts when strangers are about – knows over 100 commands… and he's a GREAT friend. U..U

  36. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Debbie

    Hey, you don't have to worry about stuff like that at all. You come and people will look after you ;-]

    I was delighted at B'con in Madison when Judy Watford made the winning bid at the charity auction to have breakfast and go to the gun range with me. Apparently people were cheering her on like crazy at the auction because she's been blind since birth and there were quite a lot of people who wanted to know what would happen if I tried to take her shooting. I thought the reactions said a lot about the people making them…

    Anyway, we looked on the whole thing as a challenge, and Judy did brilliantly with both a handgun and a submachine gun. Just goes to show – you don't need to have sight to have vision!

  37. toni mcgee causey

    I think one of us said something like, "Very carefully," and one of us asked "Why on earth is a nun having sex?" and then one of us, who may or may not have been me, asked if God was reading this book because, if so, the nun was only faking it, and then it all sort of went to hell and I cannot print some of the ones we muttered low, away from the microphone.

  38. Dudley Forster

    Toni – Hmm good question about the nun. Kind of weird. Be interested in how she develops the nun's motivation. But I can understand the guy's motivation. He was in a drug rehab center right? So he was a habitual user.

  39. Catherine

    Marie-Reine Kendall is a very handsome dog. He looks like he is having a great time in the pool too. Thank you for sharing your friend.

  40. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Toni

    Good answers.

    That sounds like a prime example of the things you want to say are the things you know you can't if you don't want to offend half the audience.

    Mind you, you would have made the other half othe audience giggle like little girls…;-]

  41. Marie-Reine

    Thanks Catherine I love that pic of Kendall swimming, and it's nice to show people who think he never gets time to play! Next month I'm taking him to Palm Desert to roll around on the golf course.

    And thank you, Zoë, for being interested and asking – kind of made my day, actually. 😉

Comments are closed.