Monday, September 30, 2013

Beer and Roaming in Albany, Postscript

And so ends another Bouchercon. Personally, a success. I had a great time, made new friends (as always; that what Bouchercons are for), re-acquainted myself with some old friends (also what Bouchercons are for), “discovered” new writers I want to look into in more detail (what Bouchercon is for from a reader’s perspective), and became re-energized about my own writing (what Bouchercons are for from a writer’s perspective).

I was assigned to a great panel that lived up to its promise, and was well received at an author’s choice event. I learned several things I can’t wait to incorporate into my own writing, and validated a few things I’d wondered about I can now use with a clear conscience.

The dispersed conference was a nuisance, but not so much it spoiled anything. The shuttles ran frequently and quickly, though it did make returning to my room for any forgotten items (such as a nap) difficult during the times the shuttles did not run. Walking to the hotel was easy; walking back to the conference was not. (Little known fact: “Albany” is an Iroquois word meaning “There is no San Francisco yet, but these hills will wear your ass out until there is.”) The fact the food court in the conference center was closed on Saturday could have been worked around a little better, but barbecue from the truck outside was quite tasty; sucked to be you if you didn’t find it before the line grew too long.

Maybe it was because the Hilton wasn’t the official host hotel, and it’s bar was the unofficial official meeting place, but the service there left a lot to be desired, especially compared to last year in Cleveland. On the other hand, I didn’t meet a single person in Albany who was less than engaging and genuinely friendly. The wait staff I encountered in Monk’s, Legends, and the Hollow weren’t content to be competent and courteous; they were fun.

The same thing that always makes a Bouchercon successful was present here, too: the people. Many thanks to (alphabetically) Eric Beetner, James Benn, Reed Farrel Coleman, Mike Dennis, Jacques Filippi, Terrence and Rita McCauley, John McFetridge, Rick Ollerman, Tim O’Mara, Absolutely Kate Pilarcik, Todd “Big Daddy Thug” Robinson, Peter Rozovsky, Robin Spano, Holly West, Jonathan Woods, and various other folks whose names I didn’t catch who made it a pleasure for this introvert to spend time with other people.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming…

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