Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Suggestions for Bouchercon Orphans

by Julia Buckley
Fall is here; soon mystery writers everywhere will board planes, trains and automobiles bound for Baltimore and the Bouchercon. For those of us who will not be a part of the festivities, it seems a bit sad and lonely. Therefore, I've compiled a list of activities that can keep a mystery-loving soul busy while everyone else is conventioning.

1. Clean Your Closets. Come on--you've been meaning to do it. Why not choose the weekend that all of your mystery pals are away? When they return, their closets will still be messy and yours will be ready to show to guests and closet-inspectors.

2. Alphabetize your Mysteries. If you're like me, you have 1000 books, EXCEPT that one you're actually trying to find to loan to someone. That particular book is always missing. A quick organization of those suspense tomes will put every title be at your fingertips.

3. Go Dancing with Your Spouse. Sure, they're gathering in B-con bars and making publicity plans, but this is some precious time that you can use to get to know your special someone again. (Although I've never been a dancer, this might appeal to you lightfooted B-con orphans).

4. Enjoy the fall foliage. Go to your nearest arboretum, forest preserve, even the zoo. Soak in those fall colors and get ideas for your next book.

5. Write Something Great. Just because you can't schmooze with your colleagues doesn't mean you can't keep writing. Use the time to pursue your work in progress or to start something new. Write something to promote in Indianapolis next year. :)

6. Chat with Other Orphans. Use a phone, a chatroom, Facebook, My Space--wherever you normally connect with your mystery pals. Create a virtual B-con bar and save lots of money in the process.

7. Groom Your Pets. Okay, I'm running out of ideas, but I have four pets, and they could all use a bath. May as well do it on that weekend . . .

8. Have a Fall Barbeque. Did you enjoy your yard enough this summer? Have a last hurrah before the weather gets cold. Invite your neighbors and make some S'Mores over the grill.

Feel free to add your own suggestions. B-con weekend can be productive even away from B-con. Tell us what you're going to do instead if you can't make it to the east coast this year.

My first Bouchercon: in Madison in 2006 I met the great Julia Spencer Fleming, as well as many of my Midnight Ink comrades.

13 comments:

G.M. Malliet said...

Come on, Julia! Chicago's not that far away from Baltimore. If there's nothing else holding you back but those closets, please join us! You can learn to live with messy closets. Trust me, I know this.

(Easy for me to say, I know; I'm only two hours away from B-more by train.)

Julia Buckley said...

Yeah, it's pretty far, and too expensive when you don't have something new to promote. But I'll be thinking of you. :)

Jess Lourey said...

HAHAHAAHAHAAA!! I love this post, Julia. I was feeling left out and like I would be missing the secret meeting at B'con where they pass out the free "get on the bestseller list" coupons, but now, I've got a fun full list of things to do! :)

And from now on, I'm going to post anonymously to this listserv so hopefully more people feel comfortable doing the same. This space isn't just for Midnight Ink authors!

G.M. Malliet said...

We'll know it's you, Jess. You have that "voice" that's unmistakeable. But go ahead, try to fool us. If we guess right, do we get a free book? ;-)

Keith Raffel said...

NYA-HA-HA! What a scheme, what a criminal mind you have, Julia. Yes, let's write great stuff while our colleagues are hanging out a Bawlmer drinking establishments. It would serve them right. NYA-HA-HA!

Julia Buckley said...

Yes, and it's not only writers who might feel left out. There are plenty of readers going there, but many others who can't make the trip to meet their favorite writers. So what do you think, readers? Will you be sorting closets with me? :)

Keith, Jess, and GM, we could always collaborate on something. It works for Joe and Lynn.

Cricket McRae said...

Great post! All good ideas, Julia. I was feeling left out, too, and a little guilty to boot. There's nothing like a clean closet to wipe out guilt, though! And if I write something fabulous that weekend, all the better.

Still, I'll be thinking of those of you who are having a great time in Baltimore!

Julia Buckley said...

Thanks, Cricket--there are more of us orphans than I realized. :)

Felicia Donovan said...

Julia, I think I have the best of both worlds. I'll not only be at Bouchercon hanging out with my fellow Midnight Ink authors, but I'll come home to glorious New England fall foliage not quite at its peak. It's a win-win on my end. Speaking of winning, hope you'll all come and root for me at the Barry Award ceremonies...

jbstanley said...

How about pretend we're all having cocktails together? Is it too early in the morning?

Julia Buckley said...

I'll have a White Russian, JB. You buy me one and I'll buy you one--and the joy of virtual drinks is that you cannot become inebriated. :)

Felicia, enjoy and good luck!

Bill Cameron said...

We'll miss ya, Jules!

Julia Buckley said...

Hey, thanks, man.

Back at ya.