by Holly West
Bouchercon 2014 is around the corner and I can't wait. While I'm not new to the conference itself, this is the first year I'll be on a panel as a published author and I'm very happy about that.
I've been seeing quite a few posts by fellow authors and readers about ways to maximize your enjoyment of Bouchercon. Things like: "Pace yourself," "Don't feel like you have to do everything," "Be professional," and my all time favorite, "Don't drink too much."
All good advice, of course, but these posts always make me wonder how other people manage to behave moderately in these situations. Admittedly, I'm not that good at taking care of myself during the best of times, but for some reason, Bouchercon--and conferences in general--tend to bring out the most extreme parts of my personality. It's like I've been turned up to 11 and I'm a whirling dervish of social activity that can't be controlled.
As a result, I've come up with my own set of Bouchercon Dos and Don'ts that I hope you'll find helpful (or, perhaps, a cautionary tale):
1) DO buy a whole new wardrobe when you figure out that your nicest clothes, which you haven't worn since last year's conference, don't fit anymore.
2) DO circle all of the panels and events you want to attend in the conference program even though you will only actually make it to about four of them (including your own).
3) DO take a moment to chat with that friend in the hall because contrary to what you might think, you will not run into that person again (they may, in fact, be avoiding you).
4) DON'T eat or drink anything that might make you burp. Or fart.
5) DON'T take into consideration your introverted nature and run out of energy by Friday afternoon.
6) DO, because of the aforementioned introverted nature and resulting lack of energy, get rip-roaring drunk on Friday night.
7) DON'T let that stop you from doing it again on Saturday night.
8) DON'T eat anything resembling a balanced meal for the entire four days.
9) DO come home from Bouchercon determined to lose 40 pounds by the next one.
10) DO be inspired. Because above all, Bouchercon is a time to connect with many people I only get to see once a year. It's a place to learn, to kvetch, and to share experiences.
See you in Long Beach!