My friends and favorite people in the crime fiction community know I've had a hard run of things these last few months. I won't lie, it was crushing to have so much loss, stress, grief, and general insanity smashed together in such a short time. But the light at the end of the tunnel was Boucher Con. I didn't realize until I was there, that being around all the wonderful people who've made writing less lonely, reading more exciting, and life more tolerable was exactly what I needed. I brought home a bag of books and have been reading them two at a time (something I rarely do), trying to hold on to that fleeting feeling.
I got to ride the high a little longer in Pasedena at The Battery, a cool used book shop with a killer podium, where Scotch Rutherford set up a Switchblade reading. I realized after I arrived that I'd actually never done a reading in Southern California. I've read quite a few times in the Bay Area, and once in New Orleans, but there's something special about reading close to home - and getting a good response.
Being around my favorite people, my favorite writers, always invigorates. Reading the books I lugged home, inspires (Ragged: Or The Loveliest Lies of All by Chris Irvin, Young Americans by Josh Stallings, Grand Trunk and Shearer by Ian Truman, Blacky Jaguar Against the Cool Clux Cult by Angel Colón, and more, more, more). Some of the big stresses have lifted, and some will linger (grief is terrible and lasts forever in different degrees) so I am promising myself more.
More reading, more writing, more supporting my fellow writers.
So keep an eye on this space.