The Cons

I’m a little late to the party, but the real question is: am I fashionably so?

BoucherCon in St. Louis = goodness.

I was able to meet a lot of fantastic folks: From the nicest people on the planet (yes, I’m looking at you Mr. and Mrs. Holmes), to the craziest bastards (ok, Cam, where do I get one of those hats?), to the most down to earth fellows (How does Mr. Rawson think of this demented shit when he seems so “normal”).

I hate flying. With a passion. On the way to St. Louis there was a problem with my ticket. It took over 30 minutes to get that addressed. The whole time I’m clenching my jaw while my wife, smartly, takes over and gets it straightened out. She’s good for me. A jail cell would have been a lot worse than being a little late.

On the way back, it was worse. First, my checked suitcase was over the limit because of all of the books I was taking home. I was glad I could get enough of the titles shoved into my carry on (even though my back is still sore). It would have been very difficult to explain to my wife why I was missing all of my boxers and t-shirts. Security was awful. I get in a line that snakes around the lobby like we were waiting for ribs at Pappy’s. I’m next in line to go through when 7 pilots and stewardesses break in line. “It won’t take long,” they say. Sigh. When I finally go through, it’s the usual routine: Shoes, belt, phone, change, computer, etc. Then I hear the dreaded, “Sir, can we put your bag through again.” I wonder if they are going for Ashley and Rawson’s Crime Factory #1 – I wouldn’t be surprised. “Sure,” I say. The swabbing of my bag arouses my attention though. The pulling out my pocketknife gets me shaking my head. Shit. I forgot it was in there. I’m surprised it made it through Greensboro, but whatever.

They give me two choices: check it which entails locating checked bag, bringing up to front counter, putting it in, re checking bag, and going back through security; or throwing it away. Goodbye sweet pocketknife I shall miss thee.

Ron Earl, my roomie, meets me outside the hotel and shows me the digs. Nice place. Close to main convention. Even better, he’s a nice guy who doesn’t snore. I stuck by him most of the time which was pretty cool.

I pick up my name tag and about 8 pounds of books then hit my first panel. Did I mention I hadn’t eaten? I was freakin’ hungry while I lugged books around.

Overall the panels  were pretty damn great. I was able to catch people like Scott Phillips, Frank Bill, Christa Faust, Tom Schreck, and others share their stories and insights. The panel moderated by Katrina Holm, Death by Good Intention, featuring Donna Andrews, Shirley Damsgaard, Rosemary Harris, Julie Hyzy, Joanna Slan, was perhaps one of the best out of the conference. Funny and insightful, it didn’t get much better.

It was wonderful meeting all my Twitter friends and authors I’ve only read. Some very good discussions with big man Kent Gowran, the sweet Sabrina Ogden, Thomas “shortest man alive” Pluck, the finger guy, Mrs Drew, KatKap (Kathryn Ryan) who is sitting on a gold mine of a story, the tallest man there, Jeidiah Ayers (who, btw, is the only guy who could pitch a children’s book “The Underwear Fairy” without smiling), the shady Matthew C. Funk and his partner in crime the cracked Callaway, Mattew McBride and Daniel O’Shea, the gracious Hillary Davidson (Yea, on the award for The Damage Done), that Andrew the Canadian Maneatingbookwrm, my good pal Barna Donovan, and so many more I can’t list them all here. Just an impressive, impressive group of people.

Now let me just say, I like food and I ate a lot of it. Alligator, ribs, oysters, more pulled pork. Jameson. Yes, it is a food group all by itself.

The biggest downfall of BoucherCon: I have too much fucking shit to read now and my wife is getting sick of the piles of books littered around the house. Eh, what’s a fella supposed to do?

I’m hoping the Snubnose family will be able to represent next year – and if you haven’t checked the crime family yet, go on and take a peak. Yeah, I’m blessed enough to in there with my novel KARMA BACKLASH which will be coming out in 2012.

Pics from BoucherCon can be found here.

Rock on

Many of you may remember that for a long time I was doing a story and song on the blog. Yes it was a simple idea by a simple man: connect a great story with a great song. I even met the enigmatic Matthew J McBride doing it. Great times.

Storychord had the same idea but with a different audience in mind.

So, I found a few things that just seemed to fit together so nicely that I had to bring them together in one spot.

First is the story Terry Yaki and while you’re reading enjoy RJD2, The Horror.

I also want to share the F3 series to you. A community of writers and readers sharing creative work and impressions of their creations. A lot of really good authors are putting up fantastic stories. Best thing, it’s open to everyone.

 

BTAP Rolls It Out

One thing that always frustrated me about books is that everyone I know would read a book, recommend it to me, but by the time I finished they were on to the next read. Or I rec something because I want to talk about it, and when they’re ready to discuss it I forgot the cool little complexities and details that excited me (I’m a bad memory dork that way).

One of the many reasons I love film is because it is communal. Getting lost in a story for two hours then immediately being able to discuss it with others is fantastic. Themes, characters, plot twists, and more technical stuff like lighting or editing and how it added (or not) to the story can be explored right away while it’s vivid in the mind.

A few days ago, I committed myself to write this story for Cormac Brown’s Friday Flash Fiction and did my usual thing — put it off. Usually when I put something off long enough, I’ll get a brainstorm and I’m good to go. This time not so much. I started to surf the great wide inter-tubes for inspiration and ended up at BTAP where I expected a story but found a wonderful short film One Good Turn instead.

The writing gods must be smiling since the starter sentence for this week’s Friday Flash Fiction challenge is: “It was a shortcut that I would regret for the rest of my life.”

If I were witty I make a quip about driving and turns and stalled writing, but I’ll leave that to the dude’s like @steveweddle, @matthewjmcbride, @johnhorner, @dboshea and so many others who are actually good at it.

Go check out the film and let’s talk — though I may be a little late to the discussion — I have some ideas for a story I need to get down.