I arrived in Alaska last night, coming to Anchorage for this year's Bouchercon. Naturally the first thing I did was head to the hotel bar, where I saw friends that I haven't seen since last year's conference in Wisconsin. Now if you had told me when I first began writing that such a seemingly solitary pursuit would take me from San Francisco to New York, let alone from Alabama to Alaska, it's fair to say I would have been skeptical. But the friends I've made in the writing community make the trips for this neurotic flier almost painless and the events akin to a homecoming. Funny how sitting alone behind a keyboard, making up stories, can open up a whole new world.
Last week I flew to LA for a library event and saw fellow MI author and friend Sue Ann Jaffarian, whose books are a constant delight. Next week I'll be in San Mateo, CA at "M Is For Mystery" bookstore in conversation with the eloquent and enigmatic Keith Raffel. Never would have met those nice folks if I hadn't decided to be anti-social, stay home and write books.
Anchorage is colder than I expected but so far the rain has been minimal. The mountains are spectacular, as you'd expect, and the number of bars per capita is incredible, which probably comes in handy once the sun leaves town to spend the winter in Hawaii. My panel tomorrow deals with creating a sense of place in your novels, strangely appropriate given all the places writing has taken me this past year.