Saturday, February 03, 2007

Going Through Bruen Withdrawal at Left Coast Crime

There's only one reason I'm blogging at the moment: I'm sick.

Otherwise, I'd be tucked under the covers for at least another 45 minutes. Or running around, stressing, because my panel is this morning. But I don't have the energy to run or stress, and I can't sleep between the coughing.

Since I was up anyway I thought it was a good time to phone Ken and check in on the folks at Love is Murder in Chicago. Sounds like he's keeping super-busy, and from what I gleaned they're having a great time in Chicago.

Despite feeling like death warmed over I have been having a good time. As I mentioned before, I attended the 4MA dinner on Wednesday night. I don't think my brief post emphasized just how much fun that was. We even got to see Colin Campbell's legs.

I had actually been feeling better on Wednesday... See, the bug goes back to the week before, when I did my school event. Which seemed to go well, by the way. After that, I got sick. I thought I'd be over it by LCC, and my body seemed to be cooperating with the plan.

I even went to bed early, no bar, Wednesday night. Good girl.

Woke up feeling like crap. I had a horrid headache all day Thursday. This was not helped by the fact that it was standing room only at the Thursday panels. I managed one, had to escape for air and then went back to the third to see Toni McGee Causey's panel. You know how it is, when you feel like everything's pressing in on you and you can't handle being around people? That's how I felt by the end of the panel - I had to get out of that room.

Where Toni and I were sitting for the first panel was perfect, though. We could see everyone coming in and thus found Gregg Olsen and Sean Chercover.

Between panels I had a great talk with fellow Canadian author Alex Brett. I also got to meet Linda L. Richards.

I met with my panelists Thursday afternoon and was delighted by the group. After that meeting it was the "con tradition" - dinner with Robert Fate and Bill Cameron. We've been trying to persuade Bill to come to Murder in the Grove so that we can go out again. They're such great guys, I love hanging out with them.

After that it was back to the hotel for me. No bar, again. Just bed. In fact, Toni was shocked to discover me already asleep when she came in. I had a really rough night, tossing and turning after that, feeling as though I was burning up. I don't know if I was, but that's how I felt.

Surprisingly, I was up early yesterday and feeling better. And so I was off, grabbed breakfast at the pharmacy (they sell fruit cups there, I discovered) and went to Tim Maleeny's panel in the morning. Tim is one of those wonderful people I met at Bouchercon and have kept in touch with a bit over the months, and we keep having these "in passing" conversations. Tonight, I believe we're having dinner with a few other friends.

I did go to an incredibly fun panel yesterday, in the small room, on swearing. This is a panel topic I'd suggested and really wanted to be on this panel. Alas, Bill Cameron, Brett Battles and Rob Gregory Browne got the privilege, but what a great atmosphere. There was a lot of audience participation and discussion and it was lively and engaging to the very end. The room was pretty packed as well.

And not one of us there will look at Bruce Cook the same way again, as he dropped the "@!#*fucker" bomb on us all. He was talking about the evolution of language and how things that used to be offensive aren't now and suggested maybe @!#*fucker would be the next really offensive term. Judging from the reaction from even the potty mouths on the panel, I'd say that's a possibility.

Of course, what can you expect from someone who had the nickname Juicy Brucey? See, that's why you come early and go to the 4MA dinners. You learn things you can mention on your blog. It is public knowledge.

Bruce is going to be at Murder in the Grove as well. It's so nice reconnecting with friends at these things.

After that I did go to the bar with Rick Mofina. We were having a great chat, so I persauded him to tag along to the St. Martin's party with me, where Rick and Parnell Hall and myself had an interesting conversation about stalkers and reverse stalking.

Next I did make an appearance at the LCC schmoozing thing at the convention hotel. My reservations about going abated when I ran into Cornelia Read right off. Ultimately I went for dinner with her and a great small group, which is what I needed.

And it's at this point I realize I forgot to mention lunch with Alexandra Sokoloff, Toni, Phil Hawley, Rob, Brett, Boyd and Paul Guyot.

Paul loves Canadians.

Oh, and great lobby moment when Rick Mofina held up his nametag to see if we could spot what was wrong with it. Three Americans, one with dual citizenship and one Canadian. Sean and I were the only ones who laughed, because Ottawa was spelled wrong on his card.

Now, this is where I'll take a detour to pet peeve land. Why does where we're from have to be printed is huge lettering on our convention ID cards? I ripped mine off. Kevin flipped when he saw the Bouchercon one, and the town was actually put in small lettering. But he has a valid point, in our case, about me living in a village with only 800 people and being uncomfortable with that being widespread public knowledge. Sure 99.9% of the people at these things are wonderful, but when you start getting 500+ people at a con - or 1200 in the case of B'con - one shady character might slip in.

Normally I'm up and blogging and giving detailed reports if I can at these things. But, suffice it to say that with how I've been feeling I've had an okay time, but haven't been as with it as usual. Thing is, I knew I was getting sick two weeks ago, but was fighting it. This bug is stubborn.

I am looking forward to my panel this morning. I'm looking forward to my panel being done! I'm also looking forward to The Liar's Panel this afternoon, where I will be the Crime Fiction Vanna, keeping score.

I feel as though I'm only skimming the surface of the convention, both in my post and in my experience of it. Yes, I'm not all there. Or here. I may have made it to a bar with Rick yesterday, but it was 4 pm and I didn't drink. If I do make the late-night schmooze it will be tonight only. Otherwise, it's been to bed by 9:30.

Boy do I feel old.

Toni's computer has pop-up blocker. Two versions of it. As a result, I can't disable it and send emails. And as a result of that some people are really wondering where the heck I've disappeared to. I'll do my best to start digging out middle of the week, but tomorrow is another busy day, driving to Portland with Bill and Sean, doing a signing there and then flying home. My flight gets in at 1 am or something ludicrous, so don't expect anything from me Monday.

My general sense of the con is that people are having a good time. However, this is definitely one of those times that someone else will have a more insightful analysis of the event, because I'm not all here.

I look forward to surfing next week and catching up a bit. Oh, Mindy, I haven't met your friend yet. I have met some lovely people, though the names are a big foggy at the moment.

I leave you now, in search of drugs.



M.G. Tarquini said...

heh heh. I had one breathless email from my friend about the con and Seattle and OMG! she was having fun, then...nothing. She'll resurface.

angie said...

Hope your search for drugs is successful - doing a con while sick is pretty nasty. Actually, doing just about anything while sick is a drag. Feel better - time to sleep soon!

Gabriele C. said...

Poor Sandra, get better soon. Do you have Silomat in Canada? Helps like a spell with my coughs. Honeyed coltstfood juice isn't bad, either. If your cough is bad enough, you even start liking the taste. *grin*

Gregg Olsen said...

I was totally a fish out of water, and Sandra made me feel so welcome at my first mystery convention. Plus she's gorgeous.

Judy said...

I'm so sorry you are under the weather, but glad you are having a great time. Hopefully next year I can meet you there.... sigh. Not if I don't get off my duff, stop bloghopping and get to writing, though!

Sandra Ruttan said...

Mindy, I still haven't met your friend!

Angie, I am SO looking forward to sleep.

Gabriele, I don't know about Silomat. We have Buckley's, and their marketing slogan is "It tastes awful and it works." And it's true, but I'm currently in the US.

Awwwww Gregg, you're so sweet.

Judy, I'd love to meet you at a future con, so stop reading my blog and get to it girl!!! Okay, that probably doesn't sound right somehow...

M. G. Tarquini said...

I think she ended up in a bar somewhere. Not sure.

Stephen Blackmoore said...

Oh. Oh, that's not good.

Hope you're feeling better soon.