Monday, May 26, 2008

Road Trip

by Michael Dymmoch

Libby and I are still friends. After a week and 1200 miles on the road, that could easily not be the case. (You really don’t know a person until you’ve spent 12 or 14 hours in a car with her.) But--speaking strictly for myself--it was a great trip.

We did a library signing in Shawnee, KS, and conducted a suspense seminar in Topeka. (Well, Libby conducted it; I was strictly backup.) We managed a couple of drive-by signings at Borders stores (at one of which I picked up a Jesus Action Figure!). And we spent two nights in Lincoln, NB with a friend, which was like staying in an art gallery. With flowers. (I was actually moved to write poetry*--for the first time since college.) We sold books at The Raven Bookstore. Then we went to Mayhem in the Midlands, where fans outnumbered the authors, for three days of hanging out with friends and groupies, talking mysteries and murder.

Held at the Embassy Suits Downtown, the conference had well-planned panels, no banquet. But the hotel is across from Omaha’s Old Market, which has more great restaurants and neat shopping spots than you could hit in a week. (And horse drawn cabs, photogenic cops, street musicians...) Thursday night, there was a reception. Friday night, Sisters in Crime hosted a buffet supper and the organizers put on an auction to benefit Omaha Public Library’s Children’s Services. Saturday night Alex Kava hosted a cocktail party—free drinks and hors d'oeuvres. Then there was a mystery dinner for those who enjoy organized eating, and the Old Market restaurants for the rest of us. I got to dine with old friends and the head of the Douglas County Crime Lab. For a mystery writer, it doesn’t get much better than that.

*Kansas Weather Report:

Rain came in the night.
Gentle as the quality of mercy,
It blessed the parched fields.
Then it moved on.
©2008 MAD

Okay, so maybe writing that was like poking Murphy with a stick. Storms in Iowa and Minnesota wiped out a couple of cities while we were driving home, but the weather gods left us alone.

1 comment:

Libby said...

Tried to leave a post earlier, but I guess it didnt take. Thanks, Michael, for the lovely post.

Don't forget, though -- we also had Val McDermid with us. We listened to (and finished) A DISTANT ECHO in the car. How that woman can write... I'd probably read the telephone book, if she wrote it.