Just when I thought the weekend couldn't get any better, I got to meet Mary Higgins Clark.
|The Pittsburgh SinC crew (that's me, second from the right)|
|Hank Phillippi Ryan channels Richard Dawson|
I attended some great panels (Family Feud Jungle Red style, and a rip-roaring Sunday event on red herrings top my list). I spoke to great people, other writers and fans (shared a cab with a retired Cleveland Housing Authority officer who insisted on buying me a drink when she learned I was a writer), including a chance meeting with the lovely Rhys Bowen. I drank my first chocolate martini. And no, it won't be the last.
And did I mention that I met Mary Higgins Clark?
Not once did someone say, "Give it up." To the last, everyone was encouraging and friendly. Hallie Ephron (go get her books, now) recognized me from a chance meeting last spring. Hank (go get her books, now) recognized me from Twitter - and may I say she gives great hugs? The message was always, "Don't give up. Keep writing. Keep learning. You'll make it."
|The lovely & elegant Rhys Bowen|
Nothing on social media compares to hashing out ideas over lunch with a friend. Virtual enthusiasm pales compared to the energy of like-minded others. Yeah, social media introduced me to a lot of people I wouldn't otherwise have met, but to meet them in person? Wow. I came away so energized, so enthusiastic, so ready to jump right back into writing and really make it work.
I'll get more of that this weekend when I attend the "Retreat to the Woods" writers' retreat with my local Sisters in Crime. But after Bouchercon, I really feel confident using the word "sib" to include authors such as Hank. Because the people I met this weekend are my sisters - and brothers - in this wild, wonderful, sometimes hair-pulling, adventure. I'm grateful for all of them and could not be happier I found them. As soon as those hotel accommodations are announced for next year in Albany, I'm there. More than ever, I feel like a writer. This is my community, my "family," my tribe.
And did I mention I met Mary Higgins Clark?