Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Last Bouchercon Story

It’s been a week of Bouchercon stories. My trip was a little longer. I spent a few days before and after in Chicago. When I finally got home, I awoke in the middle of the night and thought I was in a hotel somewhere and was worried about check out time. What a relief to realize I was in my own bed.

Like Monica, I was worried no one would show up for my crochet project in he craft room, or if they did, I wouldn’t know how to teach them. I’m glad to say I was wrong on both counts. There was a nice turn out and I was able to help those that needed it. Then just like any group of crocheters, we sat around and talked while we worked. I certainly enjoyed it.

I went to one of the other craft room events, as well. Sally Goldenbaum had a knit a square to send to South Africa project. I quickly realized I’d forgotten how to cast on, but Sally showed me a new way and I was able to get started.

It’s very humbling to try something you’re not good at. I can fly with a hook, but I stumble with needles. Everyone else was making fancy variations to their square, while I kept taking out mine and starting again. When I finally got going on it, I realized I didn’t know how to end it. The only knit project I completed was a coin purse that kept decreasing until you had just one stitch. It ended just like crochet, by pulling the yarn through.

Sally showed me how to cast off, but the lesson went out of my head as soon as left the room. I ended up finishing it while in Chicago where I had a book on knitting that explained how to do it. I sent my not quite square square to Sally. I hope good intentions count for something, because my lopsided square is full of them. It’s a happy thought that it will become a part of a blanket for scarf to keep someone warm on the other side of the globe.

Since my deadline is looming, I spent a good deal of Bouchercon writing. I had left my computer in Chicago, so it was all yellow pad and pen, but I wrote 30 pages.

My favorite part of Bouchercon was meeting all the people. Even with the cold drizzle, I enjoyed talking to Camille and Ann Parker on our way back from the Etlejorg museum. I pushed myself to circulate at the Berkley party and was surprised at how many people I knew. Afterwards, Maggie Sefton, Sheila Connolly, Kate Collins, Kate Carlisle, Darryl Wood Gerber and I went to the revolving restaurant on top of the hotel and had a fun dinner. We stayed long enough to make two complete revolutions.

There was breakfast with Sandy Harding, who I would like even if she weren’t my editor. I met James Scott Bell in the elevator who it turns out to lives in a nearby San Fernando Valley community. I rode to the airport with Mike Befeler who I seem to run into everywhere. Last time was at Left Coast in Hawaii. I introduced myself to Charlaine Harris and told her how much I enjoyed her panel. Everywhere I went, I found people I liked, to talk to. Mystery writers and fans are the best.

I felt like the ugly ducking who’d finally found the swans.


Terri Thayer said...

You're part of the in crowd, enjoy!

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Some ugly duckling, kiddo. You've written national bestsellers, you're a whiz at crocheting, and you're a blog sister. Puff up those swan wings! Sounds like you really discovered true yourself at Bouchercon.

Betty Hechtman said...

Yes, Terri, I am enjoying.

Thank you for the kind words Joanna. I love being with the swans.