Saturday, May 22, 2010

Catching Up

I sent the revision of You Better Knot Die to my editor via cyberspace on Monday. I felt a big sigh of relief and the feeling of satisfaction from finishing something. In my push to finish, I’d let a few things go, like unpacking my suitcase from my trip to Malice and Chicago. What a surprise when I opened it up today and found a printed note from the TSA that they had searched it.

I wonder what set them off. Was it the apricot yarn in the cute shopping bag I got in Alexandria? Or maybe the Guide to Santa Fe? Did it seem odd that someone flying from Washington or Chicago (not sure when the search took place) was interested in the New Mexico town? The Left Coast Crime Conference is going to be in Santa Fe and I already signed up for it even though it isn’t until next March. I’d picked up the pamphlet at the Malice conference where they were taking sign ups for Left Coast. I figure it’s never too early to see what’s there.

Or could it have been the pamphlet I picked up in the Washington hotel lobby about Williamsburg Virginia. If the other project I’m working on gets a go, one of the books is going to take place there. I’m definitely not counting my chickens before they hatch, but no reason not to have some information on what’s in Williamsburg. I figure that if I’m going to write about the place, I’ll certainly going to be going there.

I can’t believe there was anything about my clothes that was threatening. Dirty laundry is dirty laundry. There is only one thing that might have given those TSA guys pause. The black apron that has Killer Hobbies in blood red embroidered lettering.

Thanks to Joanna, all us blog sisters have these snazzy aprons to use at future events to advertise our blog.

Whatever set the TSA people off, it looks like they were satisfied my suitcase and contents were harmless because nothing seemed to be missing. I finally emptied the bag and was going to stick into the back of the closet, but then realized there was no point making it hard to get to since I’m going away again in a couple of weeks.

This time to Chicago for the Printers Row Book Fair, which is June 12 and 13. It’s a very big deal this year because not only am I going to be signing in the Mystery Writers of America booth on Saturday from 10 a.m. to Noon, but I’m going to be on the Mysteries with a Cozy Twist panel along with Wendy Lyn Watson, Clare O’Donohue, Heather Webber and Kate Collins, as well. The panel is on Saturday from 2:30-3:15.

I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that the weather is better than the last two years. The first year it was hot and there was a thunderstorm and the tornado sirens went off, and last year it rained and was so cold I could barely sign my name.

I hope the TSA people don’t find it suspicious that I pack tank tops and mittens.

Have you ever had your bag searched and did you figure out why?


Julie R said...

I had my carryon abolutely taken to pieces at the Burbank airport over an asthma inhaler. Inside the plastic case is a little metal aerosol with the actual medicine in it, and that flummoxed them until I realize what was going on and pulled the canister out to show them. The people behind me in line were NOT pleased. I carry it in my purse now. Easier to get to.

Betty Hechtman said...

You'd think they would have seen an asthma inhaler before, Julie. Go figure. I once had a problem in Cedar Rapids with my car key. It's one of those little plastic blocks where you push a button and the key extends.

Camille Minichino said...

I think it's hilarious that you had a "bloody" apron in there!

Linda O. Johnston said...

Some of those searches are supposed to be random, Betty, but something in the x-ray could grab the TSA agents' attention--something innocuous. Of course, mystery writers may be carrying things that could look suspicious to those who don't know the profession of the bag's owner. Have fun at Printer's Row! Wish I were going again this year.

Betty Hechtman said...

Camille, I wish I could have seen the TSA person's face when they looked at the apron.

Linda, I'm guessing mine was random search because I can't imagine what would have shown up on an xray.

Sorry you won't be at Printers Row. I have to thank you for telling me about the MWA booth the first year. I never would have thought of signing if it hadn't been for you.

Terri Thayer said...

Williamsburg would be a great place for a mystery. Lots of crafts in the museum there. The governor's mansion has a ceiling of firearms.

And those blacksmiths have the best arms...

Betty Hechtman said...

Terri, thanks for the info. It's hard to tell from the brochure what is there.

Terri Thayer said...

I have a book or two on williamsburg if you'd like to borrow. Better yet, come to San Jose and read them.