Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I Heart My Friends

Today’s post will be a short one. I think I’ve still got jet lag. Which is weird, because I haven’t flown anywhere.

Group pic at BanquetThese past four days, I’ve been attending the Malice Domestic convention in Bethesda, MD, and the Festival of Mystery (FOM) in Oakmont, PA., and it’s been all about friends. Making new ones, seeing old ones, meeting ones I’ve only known online. (Facebook, Twitter, blogging, and other forms of connecting via cyberspace are terrific ways to make and maintain friendships all over the world, but sometimes there’s no substitute for that face-to-face contact.)

Luckily, I didn’t have any trouble recognizing my cyberpals. Most of them looked like their profile pictures. Some even looked better than their pictures (I’d like to thank everyone for not pointing out that my profile pic has far less gray hair than my actual self). Not surprisingly, everyone seemed to “behave” like I’d expect, too (a good thing, of course).

I got a chance to hang with members of my wonderful MI family (some of whom I met for the first time): Terri Bischoff, Jessie Chandler, Vicki Doudera, Kathleen Ernst (and her sister, Barbara), Beth Groundwater, Jess Lourey, Alice Loweecey, Gin Malliet, new Inker Maggie Sefton, Deb Sharp, Joanna Slan, and Lois Winston.

I spent time with people I’d met at other events and through Facebook and Twitter, members of my local MWA and SinC chapters (I was even made an honorary Guppie), writing idols, peeps from my Bouchercon bowling team, fellow Agatha nominees, the wonderful Malice volunteers and FOM organizers (Hi Richard and Mary Alice), booksellers, and, of course, many, many, many mystery fans. Which was the coolest thing of all. (Meeting Sue Grafton was pretty cool, too!)




Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Sounds like it was amazing! Wish I'd been there. :) Great picture!

Dru said...

Nice picture of the group.

Darrell James said...

Wish I had been there, Alan. Next year, I promise not to leave you alone with the ladies.

G.M. Malliet said...

I know what you mean. I'm exhausted but didn't fly anywhere. I have a great photo or two of you at Malice, Alan. I'll post them on facebook at
when I can dig out of the waiting emails.

Lovely to see you and so many MI authors.

Darrell - I think Alan likes having a harem and his lovely wife knows there's no harm in it.

Keith Raffel said...

The photo reminds me of the old quizzes in kids' books: which one doesn't belong?

Lois Winston said...

Malice was amazing. It was wonderful to get to meet so many M'Inkers in person. I'll have lots of pictures from Malice and Festival of Mystery up on my blog tomorrow.

Deborah Sharp said...

I completely agree, Alan ... everyone was just as nice as I hoped they'd be. Didn't you love Sue G's speech about how she divides herself into ''She Who Writes,'' ''She Who Speaks/Promotes,'' ''Little Sue'' and etc?

Alan Orloff said...

Elizabeth - Next year!

Dru - Thanks! Pictures are always better if I'm mostly obscured.

Darrell - It's tough duty, but someone's got to do it.

Gin - Hmm. Was I just dissed?

Keith - No argument here!

Deb - I still can't forget her nose story. Nor do I think I'll ever be able to!

Travis Erwin said...

I'd love to meet more of my cyber-pals in person but my conference budget has been nil as of late. Someday soon I hope.

Alice Loweecey said...

Alan, you are charming and fun. It was great to meet you in person!

Keith Raffel said...

Alan, who told Alice he was you?

Alan Orloff said...

Lois - It was a great convention, wasn't it? And FOM was fun, too!

Travis - Bouchercon is in Sept!

Alice - You are charming and nun, too! (Thank you, thank you. I'm here all week.)

Keith - I keep a charming and fun guy on staff. He charms whilst I write.

Keith Raffel said...

Alan, why didn't I think of that for myself?

Jessie Chandler said...

It was indeed awesome to meet everyone and get to know the folks behind the profile pix. Alan,you handled all the female vibes around you with much grace :-)

Kathleen Ernst said...

It was terrific to see so many MInkers, and next time I hope to see/meet even more.