Conferences, Confidences, and Chums

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The wind that should have blown in March, continues into April, and I’m so tired of it! I cough a great deal, and it makes me edgy and unsettled. I’m ready for the REAL spring!

We had a fabulous trip to Colorado Springs in March at Left Coast Crime. We arrived on Wednesday afternoon late, and all was fine until we woke up Saturday morning to an icy cold day with snow all over the place! It wouldn’t have been so bad except our hotel rooms were all separated from the main building that housed the conference and eating facilities. It also caused a huge delay in our long-anticipated Saturday afternoon interview with Craig Johnson by Lou Diamond Philips.  Poor Lou was stuck in the airport in Albuquerque waiting for the Denver airport to start receiving flights. He finally arrived during the banquet Saturday night at about 9:30 p.m. The interview got going at 11 p.m. (only seven hours later than scheduled!) But Lou and Craig were great troopers and were in fine form.

I tremendously enjoyed the panels I sat on. It felt really good to finally be up there as a published author. The Sunday morning panel was the best of all. Catriona McPherson is a hoot! She had everybody in stitches, and the panelists went along for the fun-filled ride. Catriona was born in Scotland and has the most delicious accent. She won the Bruce Alexander Historical mystery award the night before at the banquet, so spirits were high for the 9 a.m. session. The authors on that panel were such good ad-libbers, and the questions kept the audience laughing. We all had a great time, and it was the perfect top-off for the conference.

My traveling chums, Charlene (our intrepid driver) and Margaret (my wing-woman) were such fun to be with. Our rides up and back were non-stop conversation. This did not and does not surprise my husband in the least. He maintains that each time our critique group gets together (of which Charlene and Margaret are members) the talk is constant, simultaneous, and impossible for him to follow tucked away in his office down the hall. He says we make his head spin, and he closes his door to shut us out. He says men’s heads are filled with individual boxes. A guy takes out one box, which contains one subject, like perhaps sports, and he deals with that subject. Then he puts that box away and takes out a box for some other subject. He even has a box labeled “Nothing” and when he has that box open, and his wife asks him what he’s thinking, he says, “Nothing,” and it’s completely true!

Women, on the other hand, have all these wires crisscrossing back and forth in their brains. He says we access everything, all at once, all the time. To illustrate to me how my mind and that of my friends work, he places his fingers above his head, wiggles them frantically, and makes a long, drawn-out buzzing sound. He sounds like a bee, and he says that’s what our brains do.

But I digress. We had informative, instructive, and deeply revealing conversations both up there and coming back. The only thing better would be hiring a driver with a van that would hold eleven of us, and we could all talk, all the time, the entire trip. Of course, we’d have to put the driver in a soundproof booth, or he’d lose his mind!

Hey, maybe that would be the thing for Left Coast Crime 2014 in Monterrey, California!

6 thoughts on “Conferences, Confidences, and Chums”

  1. Sounds like you had a great time, Pat. I know what you mean about women’s conversations. My wife has her crochet group here twice a month and there are at least six topics in the air at all times. I close the door. Like your husband, I prefer one box at a time.
    Best wishes for great success with The Easter Egg Murder. I loved it!

  2. You make me laugh, friend. Just for the record, the photos of us in the dining room (exceopt for the one of you holding your book) were taken at the “haunted” hotel on the plaza in Las Vegas, NM. The resort was more modern, western, and the only thing that haunted it was the “Standing Bear” at the bottom of the stairs–not refering to the Bear in Craig Johnson’s books. Your idea for LCC 2014 is one that makes me want to start packing. Thanks for being such a great travel companion..

    1. Yeah, I just wanted to get in some good photos of us, and to my consternation, there weren’t many of us sitting around together at the actual conference! So, those taken at the beginning of the trip show a more alert trio!

  3. What a great re-cap of your adventures! I truly wish that I could have tagged along with you. Maybe next time!

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