What perfect timing!
I just happen to be at Malice Domestic, and I'll be darned - my "Oh, Kaye!" First Sunday of the Month Jungle Red posting date rolls around.
I have to tel you - it wasn't a snap getting here. I am the world's worst packer. The worst. I'm one of those nesters who can't feel really comfortable unless surrounded by stuff I love. Makes it pretty hard to go somewhere for just a few days without some of my favorite things, like a few white ironstone pitchers, some local handmade pottery, a teddy bear or two, my favorite pillow (and quiltie - I do not care if the weather is getting warmer, I want my quiltie). Anyone else like this?
And then there's sexy guy with a beard, and the rascally little dog. Things are always better when they're close by.
And Books! Oy! I used to have to travel with a bag of books 'cause who knew what I "might" want to read. Now, that problem is somewhat under control 'cause I have
plenty of books on my iPad. And, well - it IS Malice and there IS a terrific gift bag full of books given to us at registration. And, well, there IS this book room full of book sellers . . . so, a girl really should be able to find a book to read while she's here.
But the clothes! and the shoes! and the purses! EEK!
What to pack, what to pack?! I mean, I'm sorry, but I dress according to my moods. So what I pack may not necessarily be what I'm going to be in the mood to wear once I arrive. Is that unreasonable? I don't think so. But, this year I decided to do a better job, and I "think" I did (although some would disagree. oh well.)
Phase I of packing is trying things on and tossing what tells me it really needs to go onto the bed.
Phase 2 is getting it into one (just one) carry-on bag. Making sure I have the appropriate footwear and pocketbooks. I have this "thing" for purses. Even more so than I do for shoes and boots, so it's unbelievably hard for me to travel with only one purse. But, this year, by golly, I did it.
The Best Husband Ever Donald and Most Adorable Dog Ever Harley Doodle Barley drove me to Greensboro to catch the train.
The sky is pretty reallllly, really early in the morning, isn't it?
Harley was not too happy with me here. He knew I was going somewhere. And he knew he and his dad weren't going with me. This made me cry just a little.
I traveled up to DC on Amtrak with Molly and Noel Weston. Noel is a dear and patient soul, and was even able to grab a cat nap while Molly and I talked non-stop until we reached Union Station.
And here's why I adore Malice Domestic.
I had been there for less than one hour, and was sitting in the lobby/bar catching up with my friend Stephanie Evans (have y'all read her Sugarland series?? If not, Why not? You will love it, I promise).
But lookey here! Three of THE Grand Dames of the mystery world. I love these women.
Nancy Pickard, Dorothy Cannell and Margaret Maron. I have to tell you, this is a major fan girl moment for me here.
Next stop - The Book Room, where I bumped into the lovely and fun Toronto Bouchercon ladies.
Kathy was one of the first to show faith in me and my Whimsey. She was one of the first booksellers (along with Luan Stauss of Laurel Books in Oakland, CA) to stock it when it was first released, and continues to keep it in stock.
The Sister in Crime table always has smiling faces
|??, Catriona McPherson, ??|
And, if you're attracted to pretty, sparkly things like I am, you can find a lot of them in the book room
Next to the hospitality room is where I found all the baskets full of wonderfully fun things for the silent auction
Along with all the very cool things for the live auction
It's our own Julia Spencer-Fleming and the famous Ross (they are adorable and I love 'em to bits)
There was a tribute to Reginald Hill, which I enjoyed.
He was much loved. The memories shared were moving and funny.
|Martin Edwards interviewed by Steve Steinbock|
Then I sat in on the "Who's Got Mail" panel which Verena Rose moderated.
This was hysterically funny!
Dorothy Cannell, Martin Edwards, Kathy Lynn Emerson, Margaret Maron, Earleen Fowler and Joan Hess shared mail they've received from fans.
Everybody knows Doris Ann, and I always look forward to having a little visit with her at mystery cons. (She looks pretty darn good for a 2,000 year old librarian, doesn't she?!)
One of my favorite panels every year is the Best Contemporary Novel panel.
Here's Julia Spencer-Fleming, G.M. Maillet, Hank Phillippi Ryan and Barbara Ross - Moderated by Shawn Reilly-Simmons
Another fun panel - these women are all incredible, And, incredibly funny.
And I'll be darned - lookie here - it's the Toronto Bouchercon ladies again.
This time, joined by Stacy Cochran, the Raleigh Bouchercon guy along with the adorable, smart, and funny Brad Parks
And finally, dinner.
I had been thinking about the hotel restaurant's delicious Maryland Crab Cakes for weeks and it was finally time. That crab cake was every bit as delicious as I had remembered. Worth the wait. Dinner was a fun evening spend with Barbara Graham, Stephanie Evans, Leone Ciporin, Gary Corby and David Kedson
Next stop - the auction.
With the always delightful auctioneers Donna Andrews and Hank Phillippi Ryan
There was some very fun stuff, along with some very unusual.
And then, this ol' gal carried herself back to her room, kicked off her boots, and kicked back with a cup of coffee and a good book.
Saturday started off, of course, in the lobby/bar with coffee, a croissant and visits with friends - old and new.
|Polly Iyer (standing), ??, Kaye George, Krista Davis, ??|
And included bumping into friends at the restaurant before the Agatha Banquet when I was trying to sneak in a little before dinner ice cream treat.
And ended with the Agatha Awards Banquet.
|Jim and Joyce Lavene|
|Life Time Achievement Honorees|
Dorothy Cannell, Joan Hess and Margaret Maron
|Guest of Honor|
Kathy Lynn Emerson
|Best Short Story went to "The Care and Feeding of House Plants" by Art Taylor |
(Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine)
|Best First Novel went to "Death Al Dente" by Leslie Budewitz (Berkley Prime Crime)|
|Best Historical Novel went to "A Question of Honor" |
by Charles Todd
|Hank Phillippi Ryan, |
wins the Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel for
"The Wrong Girl"
|Jan and Jim Jackson|
|Kaye George and family|
|Me and one of my favorite women in the world - Margaret Maron.|
I love this picture.
|Daniel Stashower, winner for Best Nonfiction for |
"The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder
Lincoln Before the Civil War"
(Minotaur Books) with Carolyn Hart and Hank
|Art Taylor and Marcia Talley|
And - Congratulations to Chris Grabenstein,
winner of the Agatha for Best Children's/YA mystery for
"Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library"
(Random House Books)
We may know the Agatha winners, but Malice is not over yet. We have a full day of events scheduled for Sunday.
And I have a 9:00 a.m. panel. Oy.
I'll be moderating the Cooking Up Murder: Culinary Mystery Panel with the very talented Connie Archer, Jessie Crockett, Daryl Wood Gerber, and Mary Ellen Hughes. If you're in the neighborhood, come hang out with us, okay?!