Thursday, April 30, 2020

What We're Missing (sigh)

JENN McKINLAY: When I first started writing, I wrote in this Emily Dickensonesque solitude where not only did I not take any classes, go to any conferences, or find any other authors to commiserate with, I also didn't tell anyone I was trying to be a writer. This is one of my biggest regrets. Why?

Well, it turns out, writers are, by and large, very friendly, generous with their knowledge, and extremely supportive of their fellow pen monkeys. Conferences are where I've made some of the best friends of my life -- like this crew of divine women: 

Jungle Red Writers Bouchercon 2019

And I've been to places I'd likely never have gone to without a conference being held there, such as Toronto's CN Tower. Yes, I'm standing on the glass floor, looking down at the aquarium. (Bouchercon 2017).






The friendships that are forged while being on a panel with other authors, going to dinner with your editor and agent, or just hanging out for a coffee or a large breakfast (my favorite) with readers is the BEST.

My bestie and frequent conference roommate Kate Carlisle, whose book THE GRIM READER is coming in June! I can't imagine my life if I'd never met her. Yes, we're enjoying
pre-book signing "salads" here. 

At the recently aborted Left Coast Crime, I even got to see blogger and Reds regular, Mark Baker, moderate the panel What's Cooking? He did an amazing job!

Left Coast Crime 2020


For most of us in the crime fiction world, this is the week for the Edgars, where our Hank is up for a Mary Higgins Clark Award for The Murder List (Available RIGHT NOW in ebook form for $1.99). It will be announced on Twitter on April 30th at 11:00 EST. I love you, Twitter (okay, not really) but this is NOT the same.

Today, I should be on a plane headed to the second Malice Domestic I've ever attended. Kate Carlisle and I were going to check out the Library of Congress, but the big event was to celebrate our Julia, who was Guest of Honor! Obviously, it, too, was canceled. 

This is particularly sad for me, because one of the friendships I forged at Malice, way back in 2012, was with our dearly departed Sheila Connolly.  Sheila passed away last week. It was a crusher for the entire cozy mystery community, but her blog mates at Wicked Authors say it best with a lovely tribute written by our friend Edith Maxwell. It's cold comfort, I know, but I'm so glad we have Sheila's books to take us with her to Ireland or an apple orchard or wherever her talents lead. 

Sheila was a genuine character, wickedly smart and with a delightful sense of fun. Here we are posing as Charlie's Angels, with finger guns and everything, because we're both so tall. We laughed pretty hard at ourselves. I'm so sorry I won't get to laugh with you again, my friend. RIP. (photo by Dru Ann Love)

So, if there is one thing I've learned and learned and relearned in the spring of 2020, I won't take any of these conferences, the amazing people who put them together, or those who attend them for granted -- ever again! Here's hoping I get to see you all at a signing, a conference panel, or a breakfast again soon! 

So, tell me, Reds and Readers, what conferences, signings, or other book centric events are you planning to attend, if any, when the world starts up again?


126 comments:

  1. When the world starts up again . . . it can’t be soon enough . . . .

    Sad news about Sheila . . . she’ll most definitely be missed.

    I’ve been to my fair share of [education] conferences, but never a book conference and only once to a book signing . . .
    book conferences are definitely something to put on my list of things to do . . . .

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    1. It would b delightful to meet you, Joan!

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    2. Oh, Joan, you have to come to at least one. We'll treat you to drinks and whatever large platters of appetizers they're selling from the bar!

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  2. Thank you for the shout out!!! I'm so happy everyone seems to think that panel went well.

    Sadly, my work history has been rocky the last few years. I was working steadily as a temp for a few years, and then landed a real job with vacation only to have that company sold. I just don't have as much vacation time as I would like to squeeze in going to conferences, which are so much fun.

    I'd love to go to Malice again, but it always lands at month end, and it is hard for this accountant to get away from work during that time.

    I was thinking about trying to go to Bouchercon in Sacramento this year, but it got cancelled.

    Then there's the fact that my family and I were supposed to finally take a vacation 2 years in the planning this year. Yep, cancelled. But if we try to reschedule anything, there goes the vacation time I have saved up.

    All that to say, I want to go to a conference again soon. I just don't know when I will have the time to do so.

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    1. It was stellar. You had great questions and managed everyone's time very well.

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    2. Mark, that's so hard. Will you lose your vacation time even if you're cancelling now? Because of the corona virus?

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    3. Jenn, I didn't manage anyone's time. They all pretty much did it themselves. It really was the panelists more than anything. They took the questions and ran with them, interacting with each other well. And no one tried to hog the spotlight. I was very fortunate.

      Julia, I should be able to save my vacation time. Heck, with when I was going to be gone, they'll be happy to have me at work. But I was so ready for a vacation.

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  3. great article, Jenn! LCC 2020 was my first ever book conference and I had a great time volunteering and meeting really nice people the 2 days prior to the conference. In an ideal world, I will travel to LCC 2021, Malice 2021 and Bouchercon 2021.

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    1. The potential for that LCC was incredible. It was so weird to be sent home - the right choice - but still so weird.

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    2. Agreed, the first (and only) day of LCC 2020 was fun but the vibe was a bit off from the beginning, And to get the abrupt notice that afternoon was jarring...but it was the right decision.

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    3. I suspect the proof it was the right decision is in the fact no one's reported a case of Covid 19 that can be traced back to the con or traveling there or back!

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    4. Julia, unfortunately, you will have to count me as one case. I am glad no one else attending LCC 2020 seemed to gotten it. I stayed at a different hotel and remained in San Diego area for another 5 days after LCC 2020 was cancelled, and was diagnosed as having COVID-19 4 days later,

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    5. I’m going to disagree with you on the cancellation.
      Everyone was already there, exposure over the first day had occurred and the conference should have been allowed to complete. There was a much larger conference in the area and they were allowed to continue through the weekend. That conference just made more of a fuss about it, ironically, the order that actually cancelled gatherings of greater than 250 was not legally effective until the following Monday. There was very little risk in continuing the conference, given the exposure that had already occurred, just my opinion,

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    6. Grace: I didn't realize you had been 'hit' with the virus. So sorry to hear this and I do hope you are fully on the mend. Take care...

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  4. Sigh, those are such great memories of past conferences, Jenn!

    I am so glad that I briefly got to see you again at the cancelled LCC this year, and to get my Paris is a Good Idea charm.

    I was signed up for Bouchercon Sacramento but that has also been cancelled.

    But I am also registered for LCC 2021 (Albuquerque) and Bouchercon 2021 (NOLA for the second time), so I am hoping to travel again, visit some great sights, eat yummy food and to see you all in person!!

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    1. I was planning on Sacramento, too. NOLA is definitely on my list. It was delightful to see you, even if just for a few minutes.

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    2. I want to attend one or both of those conferences too.
      My husband works for a big health care provider and the state of California is telling them privately that California will not allow any larger gatherings including sports through at least June 2021. Shelter in place orders were just extended to June 30th.

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  5. Jenn, you made me cry over Sheila all over again. She was a pip.

    This is the first Malice I'll miss since I started going, and I hate not being in Bethesda right now (plus I always sneak in a visit to my son and his wife in Silver Spring, MD, the night before and the night after). Hank and Rhys and I are all nominated for Agatha Awards. Malice is like seeing your favorite family again - all six hundred of them. Sniff.

    And you heard it here first - the New England Crime Bake has been cancelled for this year. We'll have a short TBD online event on November 7 but we the committee decided not to take the whole conf online. Not to have Crime Bake is a really hard one for some of us.

    So I think I'll sign up for LCC - I love Albuquerque! See you there, Grace. And in NOLO, and I hope at next year's Malice.

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    1. I also spent some time in Albuquerque after LCC Santa Fe in 2011 and am looking forward to going back. See you there, Edith!

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    2. Ack! How did I miss the Agatha Awards? There's just so much happening in the glorious spring -well, not so much this year. I'm so sorry, Edith, that is a bummer.

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    3. Jenn, it's information source overload, I'm convinced of it. Not that we don't spend tons of time online, but we're doing all our interactions with the outside world from one screen.

      I counted last Friday - I had 157 emails in one 24 hour period! No wonder we're all feeling overwhelmed.

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    4. o no about Crime Bake--I've been checking the web site frequently hoping registration would open up soon. I've been twice so far and was really looking forward to it again. The Master Classes are just so wonderful. And I had planned on going up to Maine (from CT) for the Maine Crime Wave and then a few extra days here and there in the state. But, obviously, cancelled as well. Well, still, I try to keep a perspective. I'm employed and healthy, as are my closest (although, my retired dad complains that he is now "unemployed" as Habitat for Humanity has suspended operations on Cape Cod, since that's where he could be found 3 days a week. He's amusing himself building those tiny library boxes that can be found in people's yards and public spaces). But, I've got funds saved for future travel, it seems! Stay well and calm, all!
      -Melanie

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  6. Conferences are like giant play dates with adult beverages! That said, I've been to only one book conference. It was Bourchercon 2017 in Toronto and it was grand, because I met the Reds during their fun game-show panel and met other fave authors at panels, in the hotel lobby or in the elevator. To a one, they were friendly and approachable. I loved every minute of my first Bouchercon and know I'll attend another, possibly in Minneapolis in 2022.

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    1. Agreed, Amanda, the Reds game show panel is always a highlight at Bouchercon.
      I will probably sign up for Bouchercon 2022 too, but that's a way off.

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    2. I was in Toronto, Amanda - what a great conf it was that year. See you in Minneapolis!

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    3. Amanda, I'll go to Minneapolis in 2022 if you promise to be there.

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    4. It's really a pleasure to meet reader friends at a conference--a whole different experience! Minneapolis, yes!

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    5. I'm sorry I missed you in Toronto Amanda.

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    6. Yahho! It's a collective date then, for us, in Minneapolis. My one regret from Toronto was being such a newbie and so shy that I did not canvas the JRW session audience to see which blog commenters were there. I could just kick myself, because I know I would have met a bunch of you. Oh well. Lesson learned for next time. I'm putting Bouchercon 2022 into my calendar. With luck, I'll be retired from full-time work by then :)

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    7. Yes, Toronto 2017 was great except for the weather but it was nice to be back in my hometown.
      So sorry I did not search out so many of the Reds blog readers. I don't tend to hang around the conference hotel (did not stay at the Sheraton) beyond the panels I wanted to attend. I wanted to go out to my fave neighbourhood spots to eat/visit.

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  7. I remember meeting you, Amanda! Such a treat ...
    Conferences are so special. LOVED last year's Bouchercon, especially speed dating where we got to meet table after table of readers and I got to bond with the lovey and talented Claire Booth.

    This year's Bouchercon will happen! I know I know on-line is not the same. But it's something, a great chance to take a "drink from the fire hose" and hear from a ton of talented authors and kibbutz with readers. I'll be there.

    GOOD LUCK TONIGHT, Hank! I'd love to see you take home the MHC award for the second time!! There's always room on those shelves for one more...

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    1. Hallie, are the virtual Edgars viewable on-line?

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    2. I think live at 11 am by invitation, and then I'm sure there will be replays

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    3. Thank you, Hallie, for remembering me and also for letting us know that this year's Bouchercon will be virtual -- that makes 'travelling' to it affordable, both time and money wise. Wow! I'd better get my act together and put it on my calendar, too.

      And, Hank: Best of luck today!

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  8. The only place that I'm moderately out of my introvert shell is at these reader/fan conventions. I'm missing not attending them this year.

    I was holding out on Crime Bake happening. So next year, I hope to attend LCC, Malice, Bouchercon and Crime Bake.

    Good luck tonight Hank!

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    1. Wow, that's a lot of travel and conferencing next year, Dru.
      Hope to see you at LCC and Bouchercon. I may also go to Crime Bake (for the first time since 2005) since Bouchercon is in August and Crime Bake is in November.

      Hank: Good luck tonight, XOXO

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    2. They are announcing the Edgars on twitter at 11 this morning, Grace.

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    3. It's always fun to see you live and in person, Dru! Your smiling face is one I always look for at conferences.

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    4. Well, here's hoping I get to see you next year, Dru - a lot!

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    5. You're always a highlight at the conferences, Dru. <3

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  9. I've only been to two Bouchercons, Toronto and Dallas, and one LCC, Phoenix. This year I'd planned to go to the not-to-be Malice. It's the closest one to us and very drivable, so maybe next year? Will you get a second chance at Guest of Honor in 2021, Julia?

    When we signed up for LCC four years ago, Julie and I thought we'd just have a look, and if it wasn't interesting, we'd still take advantage of the good hotel rates and then rent a car and "do" Phoenix and maybe Tuscon. We'd been to Northern Arizona a few years before, exploring the Navajo and Hopi reservations on our way to Las Vegas.

    We never left the hotel. LCC was a blast, and we got to meet so many old and new friends. Since then we've counted writers' conferences among our favorite things to do. These are the warmest, friendliest, most inclusive bunch of people one could ever hope to meet. I could go on and on!

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    1. Agreed, LCC Phoenix was a lot of fun! I love LCC since it is a smaller con...much more intimate than Bouchercon and I usually end up seeing authors and friends several times. Bouchercon has gotten so big...I missed seeing some friends except on an escalator going in the opposite direction!

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    2. Ann, in Dallas last year, there was a bus one morning to visit the city. So, I go on the bus and then I think:what am I doing here ? that's not where I want to be , so, I returned to the conference and that's when I met Rhys and then Julia. A very good decision.

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    3. LCC in Phoenix (home!) was a blast. I made a bunch of new friends at that one like Leslie Karst and Ellen Byron. So fun!

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    4. I'm with you Danielle. The conferences are so much fun that I can't imagine leaving to take a tour. Besides, I'd seen Dealey Plaza more often than I can count, along with all of dallas and Ft. Worth. I lived there from 1962-1979.

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    5. Ann, the plan is to have Malice 32 - that's this year, which has been cancelled - and Malice 33, which is set for 2021, at the same time! There will be two guests of honor, two toastmasters, two fan guests of honor, etc.

      It will be the Doublemint Malice (for those of you old enough to remember the commercial!)

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    6. Double your pleasure, double your fun! I'll plan to be there, and you owe me a glass of wine. Not sure why exactly xox

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  10. My first book conference was Bouchercon 2009, in Indianapolis, the first time I met Hank! I'd arranged ahead of time to meet her (and Rosemary Harris was with her, so bonus!), Alex Sokoloff, and another author friend who had been a neighbor in the early 1980s. Because it's a two-hour drive from Cincinnati I made it a day trip, which never happened again, I assure you. It was too much fun not to stick around.

    I've made it to Bouchercon in St. Louis (first place I met Hallie, who was signing books), Cleveland, and New Orleans (fun reunion with Rhys and John), and began going to Malice after my youngest daughter moved to the DC area. Starting in 2011, I think. Had to miss last year because she was out of the country, and I couldn't justify the trip while we were building a house, so to my great regret I missed the Reds big party. But there is photographic evidence somewhere that I participated in the Reds Game Show when Charlaine Harris was the hilarious emcee. Was that Cleveland? Or at Malice?

    This year I was all set to attend Malice this year and see you all. My daughter and son-in-law have a three-year assignment in Africa that begins this fall, and I won't have a visit to them to wrap around the conference, at least until they return to the States.

    Outside the mystery world I have attended other book events, including a Romance Writers day-long conference in Columbus, largely to meet with Bente Gallagher, who writes as Jenna Bennett. That atmosphere is very different from the mystery conventions. I saw one woman dragging a wagon full of at least five dozen books she wanted to get signed by the featured author (someone I'd never heard of).

    Missing you all right now, and sending big cyberhugs all around.

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    1. Charlaine helped us at Malice, Karen--and she's a hoot!

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    2. Rosemary Harris...that's a name from the past, and one of the original Reds, right? I remember meeting her at LCC 2008 (Denver)

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    3. Yes, she wrote a series about a landscape gardener.

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    4. I was at RWA in Denver - it is a very different energy! And now I wonder if there will ever be another - lots of changes in romancelandia

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    5. Awwww...I remember...xoxoo Love you!

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  11. I registered for Killer Nashville on New Year's Eve. I have no idea if it will happen.

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    1. it's very hard to guess right now, isn't it?

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    2. Planning has definitely become seat of the pants - I wonder how this will change my plotter writing style.

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    3. Everything is so uncertain right now, Margaret, but good for you for making plans! One day, we will be able to get back to normal life. I'm convinced.

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  12. This year I was planning to attend my first ever Malice and taking my mother, who was quite excited about it. Hopefully we can attend next year.

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  13. Oh, the whole thing is so sad and complicated and disappointing every minute of every day. jenn, I loved your memories, and it was a tiny adventure just to see your pictures.
    And thank you for the 1.99 shout out! It’s wonderful to see so many people buying it, and hint hint, it is still just 199! and yes, we will find out in a few hours whether THE MURDER LIST Wins the Mary Higgins Clark award. I was so shocked when it was nominated, and incredibly honored! It will be just so full of emotions to participate from my chair in my study. Bazaar does not describe the wins the Mary Higgins Clark award. I was so shocked when it was nominated, thrilled! and incredibly honored! It will be just so full of tangled emotions to participate from my chair in my study. Bizarre does not describe it.

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    1. Hank, I am a few chapters into The Murder List and loving it already!

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    2. I can't even imagine, but I am rooting for you, my friend!!!

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  14. I should have left for Malice a couple hours ago. Sob.

    After a year of no conferences, someone will have to hold me back from ALL the conferences next year. Well, I'm sure my wallet will hold me back. But you get the idea.

    First conference? Bouchercon 2012 in Cleveland. I was terrified, but I had so much fun.

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    1. They really are amazing events!

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    2. Cleveland was our first meeting! What great memories, with Annette Dashofy, too.

      Your comment about leaving made me realize I'd have been going out for a Mother' Day dinner tonight with my daughter and son-in-law! They had something really special planned for the three of us.

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  15. I go to a lot of conferences, as you know :-) and it is always very nerve-racking for me, actually. I’m a little shy at those things, although I try try try to do my best. But wow, I am going to everything after this! Everything! Cannot wait to give each and everyone of you a huge hug.

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    1. Same. Except I'm not shy, not even a little. LOL!

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  16. Every year , I attend Louise Penny's prelaunchs in Knowlton,QC but I don't think that they will be able to have one this summer.
    I loved , loved my two Bouchercons: Toronto and Dallas. I met every Reds and many commenters. I enjoy so much being able to see in my mind who is commenting.
    Before making plans for the future, I'll wait and see. But I sure would like to live an other Bouchercon and see you all.

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    1. And Jenn, I think you are very brave to have gone on that glass floor at CN tower.

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    2. Danielle and Jenn: I didn't go to the CN Tower while in Toronto, but I did walk over to a neighbourhood filled with foodie shops and coffee shops. I picked one bakery, stood in line and bought the best lemon tart I have ever eaten. I ate it while wandering the streets, then went right back to the bakery and snagged another one. Yum!

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    3. The glass floor was amazing but the lemon tart sounds even more so, Amanda!

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  17. Good luck, Hank.
    I have never been to any of the book conferences mentioned here. Perhaps a bit of research is necessary on my part to know the specialty of each event. Since I can drive to just about anywhere in New England pretty quickly, should I ever do a conference, when given a chance and with good timing, I'll do my first one here.
    I do know about the magic of conferences. Getting together with smart and talented people to recognize good work and to celebrate the things that matter.
    It would be lovely to meet you all in person. Maybe some day.
    One more, thing, so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend, Sheila, everyone. There are times when good memories just aren't enough.

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    1. Thank you, Judy. Her loss will be keenly missed.

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  18. Fingers crossed for you today Hank!

    Like everyone else, I'll miss reading new works from Sheila Connolly.

    I'll attend book signings for any of the authors I like whenever they start having them again. Because a signed book makes a great gift!

    I'd like to say that I'll attend conferences but I can't say that with any degree of certainty. I had been hoping to go to New England Crime Bake this year. While it hasn't officially been cancelled, I figure it is only a matter of time before they make that announcement.

    I haven't taken part in many of the online book related events but I was on one FB page that was hosting Edith Maxwell a few days back. I will probably do a few of these as time moves on depending on my availability.

    As for other stuff, I'm pretty sure that concerts are gone for the year. Pretty much everything through July has been cancelled already. And the doom and gloom announcements from political or medical people doesn't make it seem likely that we'll get to rock out any time soon. I've been listening to a live album and posting the cover art each day on my FB page calling it The Vicarious Live Concert Tour as a means of keeping the dream alive.

    The Rhode Island Comic Con is still announcing guests for their November show but I'm not holding out much hope that it will happen either and I was going to be covering that show so I'd have a media pass. Bummer!

    Hell, Saturday was supposed to be Free Comic Book Day and that was cancelled a while back for a later date this year. And I always supported that.

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    1. And I just read Edith's reply that included the news about the cancellation of New England Crime Bake. DAMMIT!

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    2. Hub and I were hoping to catch Steely Dan in June - they haven't canceled as yet, but...who knows. 2020 has a real canceled vibe about it :(

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  19. I usually attended Malice, Bouchercon and Left Coast every year in fact they are highlights of my year!
    my first conference back in 1998, I knew two people. Now it’s like a big high school reunion. I don’t know what I’ll do if we can’t hug any more! Good luck to fellow nominees Hank and Edith when the Agathas are announced on Saturday!

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    1. My first Bouchercon was in 1992; my first LCC was in 2000.
      I wish I had known you (and the other Reds and commentators) earlier. Rhys.

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    2. I tend to rotate my conferences depending upon where they're being held, but now I'll go anywhere, ANYWHERE. LOL.

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  20. Oh Jenn, I had not previously heard about Sheila Connolly passing! She was a huge favorite of mine. I am experiencing a true sense of loss here.... Honestly, I don't even know what else to say. I am sadly gobsmacked.

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    1. Hugs, Susan. I'm so sorry. We're all shocked and sad.

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  21. I have never been to a book conference like you describe and I tell myself that maybe I will. . .someday . . .you know, when the world starts spinning again. Especially now that I count all of you as my good friends (in my head at least.)

    Still cannot get over the sad news about Sheila.

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    1. Same. I can't imagine not seeing her at a conference or getting a new book from her. Crushing.

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    2. Judi, not only in your head. I keep everyone here in my heart

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  22. I had such great plans for Sacramento Bouchercon this year. So many fellow readers and bloggers and favorite authors were attending. And, I was hoping to see a bit of California, too. I’m hoping lots of those same wonderful people can attend Bouchercon 2021. Of course, there are always plenty of wonderful people to see at any Bouchercon. My first one was in 2013 in Albany, and I was gobsmacked by how friendly all the authors were and by how many new friends I made. It was also the Bouchercon where I first met my beloved Reds and went to their panel where Julia’s husband Ross and her Youngest were the most enthusiastic cheerleaders ever. The 2018 Bouchercon in St. Pete was where I was on my first panel. What a thrill that was!

    You know, I miss seeing all my mystery/crime community so much, I may just go to everything there is in 2021.

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    1. I think we're all feeling that, Kathy. If 2020 was canceled 2021 is going to be lit!

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  23. Jenn, did I take that photo of you and Kate at Bouchercon 2017? That was my first Bouchercon conference. I was so looking forward to going to the Bouchercon in Sacramento this year. Unfortunately, it has been cancelled! I had such great plans for Sacramento Bouchercon. I already registered for the conference. By the time events are open again (I think 2022 depending on how long it takes to find a vaccine that works!), I look forward to going to Malice Domestic in Maryland.

    Diana

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    1. That pic of Kate and I was taken at the Valley Ho before Cozy Con at the Poisoned Pen. I hope to see you at a conference soon, Diana. 2022 seems so far away!

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    2. Jenn, yes, 2022 seems so far away. I remember reading an article about what Bill Gates said. I think California will be on lockdown until the Summer? It depends on how many COVID 19 cases ? I hope to see you at a conference too.

      Diana

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    3. Valley Hooooooooooo!!!! Fun times. Can't wait until we can do it again.

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  24. Thanks for the shoutout, bestie. I look forward to making bad breakfast choices with you when the world returns to its axis.

    What a lovely tribute to Sheila, may she rest in peace.

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    1. Kate, I cannot believe that Sheila passed away. Too young. Agree that it's a lovely tribute to Sheila.

      That's a wonderful photo of you and Jenn. Hope to see you at a conference.

      Diana

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    2. You can join us for a "salad," Diana. ;)

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  25. I completely freaked everyone out last year by going to Dallas. I never go anywhere beyond family homes. I had no idea what to except and had a marvelous time. I met each and everyone of the Reds, at least to say hi, either in the elevator, after panel events or tea party. I'm ready to find another event, though to be honest, I was hesitating about attending Sacramento because it's about a a 90 minute car ride. I selfishly wanted to go further away. Albuquerque, huh? I actually know people in Albuquerque! I've attended a couple of Rhys' cozy talks in Santa Rosa and ticketed events for Louise Penny. If I keep this up, I may actually make all the way to the east coast by attending writer's events.

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    1. Deana, one of the things I love about mystery conferences and book festivals is that they've given me an excuse to visit places I never would have gone to on my own. Like Cleveland, which turned out to be delightful, or Anchorage, where we combined Bouchercon with an amazing family trip. I was invited to the Orange County Literary Festival, and then, several days later, a day-long conference at UCSC. I used the time between to drive up the Pacific Coast Highway with my youngest daughter. It was an amazing experience, and there's no way I would have done it if I hadn't been doing the events.

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    2. So true. So many places to explore!

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  26. I am praying that Magna cum Murder (Oct. 23-25) Indianapolis won't be cancelled. I need to see all my author and reader buddies.

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  27. It was going to be grand! I was going to be wearing my cochlear implant, I was going to then visit my CA daughter in Modesto. I was going to win all the applause and hugs from each and every JRW's both above and below the line. Maybe in a parallel universe this did happen. My one experience with writer's conferences as opposed to librarians conferences is simple. You folk are much more fun.

    Did someone say NOLA? hmmmm. I can drive there, I can save for it, and goddess knows maybe the cochlear implant will be ummm implanted? See you there tal vez.

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  28. Thanks to Lesa Holstine, here is a link with the acceptance speeches of the 2020 Edgar Award recipients on the Poisoned Pen blog website:

    https://poisonedpen.com/2020/04/30/the-edgar-award-winners-2020/?fbclid=IwAR1-Pep-PXevJCc3jXllvldEyELu6zwXMyIpnqxGnm3YUnidIXAG70pRQtg

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  29. My first Bouchercon was this past fall in Dallas. I didn't know what to expect. Once I checked in, husband in tow, I never left the hotel. I do wish there had been a get together for Reds and Reds blog readers. That would be fun. Maybe in the future? Malice Domestic sounds like it could be fun but I don't know if I'll ever make it there. Maybe if we move closer. . . I have been to author talks and booksignings at Murder by the Book over the years. Sorry to miss Julia there. And at Bouchercon. Now I'm wondering if some unseen force is at play.

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    1. Pat D , before Bouchercon Dallas , I had asked for a get together on this blog . I was sorry that it can not be done.
      I hope that it can be done in the future. It certainly would be easier to find everyone else.

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    2. Someone suggested Jungje Red badges or stickers, I was at Bouchercon in Dallas last October and would have enjoyed meeting more of theJungle Red blog posters,!even if the authors themselves are too busy or not interested in having a Jungle Red group gathering. I’m sure all the posters attending could arrange to meet fir a meal or gather at the bar so we could meet each other in person,

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    3. Susan and Danielle: I think the badges are a great idea, and ditto for the gathering. Count me in!

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    4. I love that idea, Pat. We should definitely have a Reds tea or something!

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  30. I'm hoping my local indie bookstore will be able to get back to their events soon. There were a lot of great authors there for last summer's town arts festival so hopefully they'll be able to do that again. Otherwise there aren't many book-related events around here.

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  31. Jenn and Edith I had not heard about Shelia Connolly. I read all of her museum mysteries and enjoyed them a lot. It is always sad when someone with so much talent and life left passes. There is so much loss and turmoil right now, which makes the passing of a friend and loved writer so much more difficult,

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  32. I signed up for the Kensington Cozy Con. I hope it is only postponed since I haven't heard anything different. That would have been my first convention.

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  33. Jenn, I'm so sorry you've lost a dear friend. I love the Quaker words of comfort: I am holding you in the light.

    As for missed opportunities...as with everyone, all readings and special events (around my new anthology) have been canceled. Bouchercon2020 was to have been my first, and I was so excited to be sharing an event with Hallie and Rhys, Anne Perry, and several other authors from the book. No idea if the San Miguel conference is happening. But we forge ahead, yes? And hope that we get through this, and that those we've lost will live with us in our hearts.

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