Saturday, April 24, 2010

Side Trips

It seems like everything is hitting the fan at one time. I got the go ahead on the synopsis for the sixth crochet mystery and today got my revision letter for You Better Knot Die. Tomorrow (I’m posting this Friday night) is the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books and I’m going to be in the Sisters in Crime booth Saturday from 4-6. Anybody in the area please stop by. The booth is near Royce Hall. Then it’s get ready to go to Malice Domestic in Washington DC. I’m leaving Thursday morning. It’s a chance to meet up with a lot of my writer friends, and hang out in the hospitality room with Joanna. Berkley takes all their writers out to a fabulous dinner at RuthChris Steakhouse (they have a nice vegetarian option) and there’s a banquet on Saturday night. I’m going to be on a panel Sunday morning about red herrings with a book signing afterwards.

The cool thing about the Washington Trip is that the subway station is practically in the hotel. The first time I discovered the subway, I was surprised at how easy it was to get to all the good place. A few stops and you come up in the Mall. One direction is the capital and the other the Washington Monument. And in between all the Smithsonian museums.

This year I’m planning to go somewhere different. I discovered if you take the subway in the opposite direction, it’s only a few stops plus a bus to Old Town Alexandria. I have an book that describes walking tours in and around Washington. That’s where I found out how close Alexandria is to where I’m staying. The book didn’t have any pictures, but it described various old buildings. I find the pictures never really tell enough anyway.

So for now, what it looks like is a bit of mystery to me. I know there is an old apothecary that in the old days had globes of different color water to tell people who couldn’t read when there was an epidemic of some bad disease like plague, cholera or yellow fever. There a Palladian style mansion which interests me because there was a whole thing about Palladian houses in Dead Men Don’t Crochet. I had to write about the style from pictures. It would be nice to see what it looks like in real life.

I know this trip is about meeting readers and spending some time with my agent and editor, but I always like to throw in some tourists stuff. I already signed up for next year’s Left Coast Crime because its in Santa Fe and I’ve always wanted to go there. Last year’s Left Coast was in Hawaii. I loved the day trip I took around the Kona coast. Each night I watched the sunset either from the balcony of my room or from down by the water. It was very cool to encounter a sea turtle sleeping on the black rocky beach.

It’s not going to be all fun and tours, though. I’ll be working on the sixth crochet mystery and the revisions for You Better Knot Die, though that will be mostly during my stop in Chicago after DC.

How about you? Do you like to mix pleasure in with business?



Linda O. Johnston said...

I always combine business and pleasure while traveling and otherwise, Betty. I think that all writers do--getting ideas, visiting bookstores and conferences, and of course writing wherever we are.

I'm unfortunately not going to Malice this year, nor the Festival of Mystery near Pittsburgh, although Mary Alice Gorman, of the Mystery Lovers Bookshop that sponsors the Festival, was very kind when interviewed for a feature article about me that appears this week in the Duquesne Duke--the weekly newspaper for Duquesne University, my law school alma mater.

Hope to see you at the L.A. Times Festival! I'll be there today and tomorrow.

Camille Minichino said...

Betty, don't miss the Spy Museum and the Museum of Crime and Punishment, in DC.

If you've already been, you know they're a great "business" resource, and also a pleasure trip!

Betty Hechtman said...

Nice about the article, Linda. I've never been to the Festival of Mystery, but I've heard its great.

Camille, I've been to the Spy museum. Oh, what fun. I'll check out the Museum of Crime and Punishment.