So here are a few of the things that stand out.
I went with the intentions of meeting Yrsa Sigurdardottir, the Icelandic Mystery writer. I am an Icelandophile if there is such a thing. I am very proud of the fact that I can say the name of that volcano that disrupted air travel a couple of years ago, better than any of the news people on the radio or TV at the time.
I attended the panel she was on, which, as luck would have it, was not at the same time as my own panel, then I went to her signing table to get her John Handcock in the front of two of her books.
As I always do, I signed up to be a time keeper/general helper at one of the session. I didn't pay much attention to what it was. I simply chose a time slot that was convenient for me. The first thing I saw when I entered the room was that the hotel staff had not removed the water glasses from the previous panel. I tore down the hall to get new ones. One of the conference staff was right behind me. Together we set the glasses on the table and as I was pouring water into the first I looked up to see who the author was. Do you ever say things you wish you could call back just after you have dropped them into the air in front of you? I said. "I'm pouring water for Sara Paretsky!!" People who know me know I rarely use exclamation points and I am not usually overwhelmed by meeting greatness.
Three people from my Sisters in Crime local made my stay most pleasant. My roommate, Sandy Cody, made life easy. I am an early riser. She didn't seem to mind at all that I got the bathroom all wet and dropped towels on the floor. She even invited me to a Kentucky Derby party her friends were giving. The operative word is party. The Derby was just an excuse. So I got to be the horse expert in the room. Every Derby party should have one.
Lunch with Jane Kelly at a family pizza place near the hotel was the perfect interlude. She had lived in the neighborhood and knew this place that no one else from the conference could ever find. White pizza wine and good conversation were restful and appreciated.
June Gondi came down for Saturday and I got to introduce her to a few of my non-local friends. I hope she found the trip fun and useful.
The people at Wildside Press (they have the best covers, and the contents are wonderful too; you should look them up) referred to me as "one of our authors." They have published three anthologies with my short stories in them.