Monday morning and I got home from Malice Domestic yesterday afternoon after a rather odd but interesting time at the airport–more on that later. I was very tired–exhausted would not be hyperbole–but also very glad I was home. I had a lovely, wonderful, splendid time; the only regrets I have are that there were times when I was tired and had to go rest in my room for a while and take a break rather than spend that time catching up with old friends while getting to know the new ones. I had trouble sleeping the entire trip, which was unfortunate; even going two days without having any Coke didn’t do the trick (and once it didn’t work, why continue depriving myself?). But what a marvelous, friendly event Malice Domestic turned out to be this year! I also got to thank some people in person for their kindnesses over the last year which was also lovely. I read Ellen Byron’s marvelous Wined and Died in New Orleans on the trip up, so didn’t mind the flight delay or the rush hour traffic my cab from the airport was unfortunately timed to cross paths with. But because of the delay I went for a long time without eating–nothing from my yogurt before I left for the airport until about eight o’clock that evening–so my blood sugar dropped and I never really caught up on it over the course of the weekend. That and the no sleep resulted in a very tired Gregalicious who arrived at the Lost Apartment much later than scheduled–which was yet another life lesson.
On my way to the airport in a Lyft (wonderful, friendly driver named Tyrone who got a 25% tip), just as he dropped me off Southwest texted me of a half hour delay on my flight. No worries–I got to the airport about two hours before the flight, so…an extra half hour, no big deal. Of course, it’s Washington National…small, cramped, overcrowded, and not many options for food once you’re past security. And then it seem like every half hour there was another text with another hour delay. Tired and uncomfortable, I started getting annoyed. But as the delays continued to pile up–along with gate changes, which meant moving and trying to find another place to sit–I moved from irritation to acceptance to amusement, along with a lot of empathy for the airline employees. While they never said what the problem was, I’d assumed it was weather–but now this morning, I am beginning to think it was a mechanical issue. The last text I got extending the delay to make it another two and a half hours after the airport was followed shortly thereafter by another text changing the gate and now moving the flight up from its previous 3:45 departure (originally scheduled for 12:45) to 2:00 pm, which clearly meant they’d exchanged an aircraft and crew for the original one I was supposed to be on. So, that was cool, and the flight was two-thirds empty, so I got an entire row to myself just as I did on the way up to DC. I also hadn’t eaten, and there was nowhere to eat during the delay other than a pizza place (and I wasn’t in the mood for pizza) so was starving by the time I retrieved my bag and car and headed for home. I stopped and got Paul and I dinner–I knew there wouldn’t be anything in the Lost Apartment to eat–and then came home, exhausted and happy to be back home. I love conferences; I love seeing my people and my friends and making new ones and discovering new books and writers to enjoy. My Agatha nominees panel was marvelous, and excellently moderated by Alan Orloff. I was fun being on a panel with Elizabeth Bunce again (and her Myrtle series is marvelous; check it out) and Frances Schoonmaker was an absolute delight. We also somehow all three wound up wearing red and black to the banquet, which was a delightful surprise. I got to sit next to Valona Jones (aka Maggie Toussaint) at the table–she’s lovely– as was everyone else at my table. Didn’t win–so, as per my post the other day, it now seems real to me, and I got my nominees’ certificate which I am going to proudly hang somewhere in the my office space. But there’s also no disgrace in losing to Nancy Springer and Enola Holmes, either. I got to talk about my book, which was nice-–when you’re as prolific as I am, sometimes conferences fall in such a way that I’ve had two out since the last conference, so sometimes I don’t get to talk about a book that I’ve written anywhere publicly other than here and social media. I also loved the questions Alan asked us on the panel; I’m thinking I may answer them at length on here because they were that great kind of question that you could literally spend an hour talking about instead of just the limited time we had for the panel. (I was also thinking I should maybe talk more about the book again? I don’t know. It was lovely. I had a lot of people tell me they’d read it and even more telling me it was a great title…so maybe I should talk about it some more? I don’t know.) I got to sit next to Mariah Fredericks at the signing, so I got to meet and talk to her a bit and she’s delightful (her latest, The Lindbergh Nanny, sounds amazing). I am glad I got to spend some time with friends, too–there was lots of laughter, which was wonderful–and I never got over-served, which was also a first for me at a mystery conference! Maybe that was why I couldn’t sleep? Nah, definitely not that. I also got to talk about being banned for the first time in years; for one thing, it’s hard to believe it happened eighteen years ago and now everyone is dealing with the shit I dealt with back then, too….so it occurs to me that in light of the return of the banning, I should probably write about it again from the perspective of how things are now. I also was thinking I should write about how much I love Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels after going to the appreciation panel; she helped found Malice, which always puts Malice into a special place in my heart already because I loved her work.
Anyway, I got home while it was still light out, unloaded my suitcase into the washing machine and got that started; put my dress clothes in a pile to take to the dry cleaner’s; and then spent the evening relaxing with Paul and Scooter while we watched Ghosted (the new Chris Evans/Ana de Armas action/adventure rom-com which was actually kind of cute and fun–the two stars are likable and charming and have good chemistry) and then more episodes of The Watchful Eye, which is quite strange and oddly entertaining. We’ll probably finish off the series tonight. I do have a lot to do today–I took the day off, and am very glad I did, as I was exhausted and OMG, I slept so good; there’s nothing like your own bed, seriously–and then we’ll need to find something new, although I think there are some shows we watch dropping new seasons this month. I have to get the mail, pick up a prescription, gas up the car, have a doctor’s appointment, need to get groceries, and have a ZOOM meeting tonight. I also have to dig back into the book; I am so horribly behind on this revision it’s not even funny. ANd it’s May already. Jesus. I also started reading Lori Roy’s marvelous Edgar winning Let Me Die in His Footsteps from 2015; Constant Reader, it is quite wonderful and I honestly can’t wait to finish reading it. Lori Roy is one of my favorite current authors, and doesn’t get nearly the attention she should. (She’s also one of those rare authors who hit the ultimate dual–Edgars for Best First Novel and later for Best Novel.) The kitchen is a mess, as always, but I’m glad I spent some time before the trip trying to get that shit caught up because it isn’t nearly as bad as it could be (and was).
And now I have a day to get caught up on life after being in my author bubble for a few days to ease my reentry into my regular life. I won’t get to be AUTHOR again until Bouchercon in San Diego. But that’s okay, you know. I like the balance of the two different parts of my life, and there’s nothing like working in an STI clinic to keep you not only humble but grounded in the real world.
And on that note, I am heading into the spice mines. Have a lovely day, Constant Reader, and thanks again to everyone at Malice Domestic for a simply marvelous weekend.
One thought on “I’ll Remember”
Thank you for giving my book a shout-out! Sorry about your travel probs. Glad you had a well-deserved fab time. Xoxox
Sent from my iPhone