Monday, October 02, 2006

Drinking at Bouchercon 101

Look, mouthwash is made from alcohol. You can’t carry around a bottle of Listerine and swig a mouthful around whenever you start to feel like something crawled down your throat and died. Alcohol is your friend.

Although you don't have to tell Russel that. Making fashion statements like this by the end of the weekend, I think he's the one person alcohol might be the enemy of.

And no, this isn't a commentary on the only Scot who doesn't drink. He uses breath mints.

(Me and the fantastic, sensational, charming, sexually depraved Al Guthrie)

So, you drink alcohol. Consider it a sacrifice, a social nicety, a favour you’re doing for everyone else. And who's going to complain when Al's partner is doing the buying?

Because the truth is, by the second night you usually do feel as if something had crawled down your throat and died.

It’s like fitting all the socializing an author typically does in a year into a weekend, but I do have a few rules.

You never get drunk until the last night, if you’re going to. By then, everyone’s in the same boat, all the panelists are wearing dark glasses Sunday morning anyway (never mind the audience groaning over their coffee and grunting if anyone gets too close) and it doesn’t matter. But until then, you behave. Right Marcus?

Either that or you end up partially dressed and in cold water.

But if you’re me, you're a good little girl. ☺

Just don’t ask Jon Jordan about Wednesday and the beer and why I had my head in my hands by dinner time.

When I was at Harrogate, the song You’re Beautiful was the frame for my holiday. This time, it was drinking beer at the Jordan’s, who won the Anthony for best fan publication for Crimespree. A well-deserved honour for people who’ve given so much to the mystery community. In fact, Jon gave me some extra copies of the last issue to take with me and I ended up giving one to the woman I sat beside on my last flight last night. She read my article and actually looked through the whole magazine – her and I had a great talk. It was a fantastic ending to a wonderful trip, and I’ll probably touch more on it later this week, because it was a fluke. I was asked by the airline to move seats so that some people traveling together could sit together, and I was glad to find myself sitting next to a woman my age, named LARA (and damn, she says it the way my Lara says it in my book – rhymes with Sarah) and we talked about everything under the sun. And she doesn’t read crime fiction, but she is a high school science teacher and I told her about Rankin, Lippman, Billingham, etc. I’m a good evangelist for the genre. Felt a bit like the JW’s, pulling a magazine out of my bag and asking if she’d heard the Noir News.

Anyway, at this stage I really do have a million things going through my head, and so much I want to say, but it’s hard to break it down and make it cohesive.

So, I’ll just tell you that I kissed Lee Child.

And that he commented to me that I have a huge internet presence and that he’d now met the famous Sandra Ruttan.

Oh, and I’ll tell you that Ken Bruen has incredible hand strength. If he comes up to you and squeezes your shoulder, it’s better than a chiropractic treatment. You find yourself snapping your fingers saying A little lower Ken. That’s it. (Insert various moans of pleasure here.)

I have a lot of pictures to post this week.

Plus, I have the video.

The Truth About Dave White video.

But we’ll give him a few more days to get his affairs in order first.


Trace said...

WOW! You kissed Lee Child! I'm going to Bouchercon next year come hell or high water dammit!

Sandra Ruttan said...

Yes, start saving your pennies now Trace! Anchorage will be fantastic.

Anonymous said...

I think there may be a law that you have to wear a cheesehead while in Wisconsin. So where was yours Sandra. I also am doing everything I can to get to Anchorage next year.

JamesO said...

Sounds like you had a great time, Sandra. But tell me. Just how do you pronounce Sarah?

mai wen said...

Yeah, you gotta give the cheesehead some slack, you guys Were in Wisconsin!! Hehe, as a native to Rochester, Minnesota I'm quite used to seeing Cheeseheads around, they don't phase me.

Loved the pictures!!! Keep the stories and pictures coming.

mai wen said...
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mai wen said...
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Patry Francis said...

Reading your commentary and seeing the pix was ALMOST as good as being there. Or maybe I'm just consoling myself...

anne frasier said...

what great photos, sandra!
you are amazing. i think i have to blog about sandra ruttan and only sandra ruttan one day this week. i thought i had a fairly good grasp of you from this blog, but sandra can't be fully captured in print.

russel is a cutie!

Stephen Blackmoore said...

There's something unnerving about the entire concept of a Cheese Head. No matter how you say it it just sounds wrong. Cheese and head are two words that should never go together. Cheese head. Head cheese. Wrong. Just wrong.

Dave White said...

Bring it on.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I wish I had half your chutzpah.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Norby - Alaska! Yeah! That would be awesome!

Ha ha James!

Mai Wen, there will be more all week. Very fun ones, I might add.

Patry, wish you had been there. It was a lot of fun. But you're having fun without the headache and lack of sleep, so you probably look a lot better right now!

Anne, there aren't words to describe YOU!

Stephen... you've said it all.

Dave, I look forward to it.

Patti - I wish I'd seen more of you! Wow, what a crazy conference, but it was wonderful to meet you in person!

Karen Olson said...

Sandra, so sorry I didn't meet you! But I'm sure there'll be other opportunities...

Bill Cameron said...

Dave. I was the camera man, and all I can say is we laughed, we cried, it became a part of us.

Thank god for antibiotics.

Steve Allan said...

So, when I go to Alaska next year, who do I get kisses from? And how drunk do I have to be? And how drunk do they have to be?

And keep the photos coming. If I have to live vicariously through others, I want visual aids!

Sandra Ruttan said...

I hope so Karen!

Dave, Bill isn't lying!

Steve - a man who requires visual aides. You can quote me on that. (There will be many more, but Julia Buckley also has a lot on her blog.)

Bill Cameron said...

Steve, when I kissed Joe Konrath, I don't think either one of us was drunk. For what it's worth.

angie said...

Dear god. What the hell did I miss out on?!! Smoochies and Cheese Heads and beer, oh my!

Sandra Ruttan said...

Yes, I wasn't drunk either. :) You don't have to be to kiss Lee.

Angie, yeah. You missed out!!!!! More from me in the days ahead!

Daniel Hatadi said...

Man am I jealous of everyone that went to Bcon!

But what I really want to know is, did you kiss the Cheese Head?

Actually, no, scrap that.


Elizabeth said...

OMG, you kissed Lee Child? I'm SO jealous!!!

Sounds like you had a FABULOUS time!

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Well, at least you got a lot of good pictures...that makes for long memories, although I don't think you'll ever forget the kiss...LOL!

Sandra Ruttan said...

For a moment Daniel, I thought you were going to say you were jealous I kissed Lee.

More about Russel "D" McLean later. (I didn't say it Russel, I didn't say it!)

Elizabeth, the short answeron that is yes.

Probably not Bonnie!

Russel said...

Nobody kissed the cheese head, sadly. I'm beginning to wonder if it really was such a good look after all... heh (although everyone seemed to appreciate my "badger badger badger" t-shirt).

I am just home and off to sleep.

Russel said...

And Anne, bless you, m'dear... you're absolutely lovely!

I do hope you didn't have any more problems with the Edgewater's plumbing... I just about drowned myself in the wonky showers on Sunday (nothing to do with having imbibed alcohol the night before)...

Gabriele C. said...

I better stay away from these cons. I'm so not a tactile person, and there's a lot of hugging going on. I bet I would offend a dozen people by telling them, no, no touch, it makes me want to cringe and run to the next shower. ;)

Sandra Ruttan said...

Excellent Russel - I'll catch up with you tomorrow! It's like you've painted a target on yourself by admitting you're back!

Gabriele, there were a few who did make me run and take a shower... Wait, no way to take that wrong. ;)

Russel said...


I hate hugging too. But with these lot I make an exception.

Although in some cases I didn't have much choice but by the end you don't care!

Yeesh, I must be tired. I never usually comment on the backblogs.

And Sandra, I always have a target painted on my back!