This year’s Deadly Ink convention was particularly fun, with nicely packed rooms on topics ranging from historical mysteries to cozies to short stories and writing process. Ah, if only life could be more like conventions:
1. We’d spend all our money on hotel rooms and books. (One category is a much better bargain than the other.)
2. We would have all of our meals prepared for us; and while they might be only borderline edible, they’d provide the basic nutrients required for life.
3. We’d learn great new terms, like “woo-woo” (something supernatural-ish that doesn’t sit right with readers) or “speaking forsoothly” (using archaic-sounding language to convey an “historical” sense to a book).
4. We wouldn’t get any more reading done than we usually do; and in fact we might actually get less done; but the trade-off would be worth it.
5. We’d be regaled with anecdotes of the “I can’t believe someone would say something like that variety.” Case in point: A reader telling Donald Bain that she couldn’t quite get over Jessica Fletcher’s resemblance to Angela Lansbury.
6. We’d wrestle (alongside the novelists) with the many decisions to be made when writing historical fiction, and realize that no matter how much we know about history, there’s much more that we don’t know.
7. We’d toss back a few drinks in the bar and trade crazy family stories that nobody would believe if we put them in a novel.
8. We’d find new plots in the other conventions going on at the same time (for example, a raucous wedding celebration with angry confrontations near the restrooms).
9. We’d always have someone to talk to, in person, about our favorite genres and books, in real time instead of on the Internet.
10. We’d be surrounded by literate, literary, polite, intellectually curious people; and we’d never hear the word “Kardashian.”
But, alas, everyday is not a convention; so back we go to earning our livings (or enjoying our retirement).