Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Things what I have learned at B'Con pt 2

Mes Amis

Finally I am home.... thanks to Rickards and the Cold that Killed Chicago my voice keeps alternating between Barry White and the Munchkins who represent the Lollypop league.

Bouchercon, as you may be able to tell, has been an amazing experience. I will do a more sober writeup in CSS for next issue, which will undoubtedly be far more suitable for public consumption, but in the meantime my cold-fuelled, jet-lag induced, possibly hallucinogenic impressions (taken from my little notebook; God, I tried to document this!)are thus:


Fuck Dublin airport (Although, Ray, you're right, it is no Charles De Gaulle). It isn't a terrible place, but frankly spending more than two hours hanging around, waiting for my plane is not something I wish to repeat. There are very few places to eat, and the bookstores are tiny. There are no seats because everyone is just hanging around and really there is nothing to do except buy crappy gifts and eat food prepared with all the enthusiasm of Mr Bumble in the orphanage. It costs somewhere in the region of three hundred thousand euros for a paninni, too*.

But finally, the plane boards. On time, too. I've already forgotten Glasgow airport and cannot remember how I got to Dublin. But missing time be damned, I'm on the airplane and it feels good. I spend a while reading Lee Child's Without Fail while the plane takes off. Its a good book; a big, giant spankingly paced action movie; a literate yet still guilty pleasure. Which is good that I've enjoyed some action because the first in flight movie, Mr and Mrs Smith is a pile of pish. Its not even good in that elusively camo fashion some films achieve. And, scarily, the second film kicks its arse. Big style.

Herbie fuckin' Reloaded. And its rather good fun; a throwback to the old herbie films. Almost innocent which is rather endearing. And it has Michael Keaton. Who is always pretty cool. So its a pleasant surprise and passes a few more hours.

I arrive in O'Hare at five local time. No homeland security as they dealt with me at the other end. Apparently you must question, quistion and quostion all writers because they can't be trusted. That lady just didn't like the look of me (and I no longer look like my passport, either; the Hugh Grant vibe has been replaced by a homeless loony look).

The drive to the hotel took something like two hours. I arrived, feeling ill as they made sure all the meals on the flight included mushrooms (I have a pretty bad reaction to them) but determined to enjoy myself. I showered and refreshed myself in the rather comfy room and headed off to find someone who would let me register late.

Down outside the main ceremonies, I was attacked by a devilish apparition who began to laugh mercilessly when I said any word with a "R". Of course, despite her impishly evil sense of humour, Jen is absolutely wonderful and without her - or the rest of the amazing Jordan clan - I'd probably never have met anyone that evening.

And so it begins. I meet many wonderful people. I witness Jen punching poor, unsuspecting writers in the stomach. I get drunk on wine (I haven't eaten much and I'm still trying to be careful not to evacuate whatever is left in my system of the mushrooms, so the alcohol gets into my blood pretty quickly). I start pimping out the business cards like there's no tomorrow. Its not schmoozing, though, I soon realise, and begin to enjoy myself properly while doing some reverse pick pocketing with the cards; slipping them inside people's pockets. Sometimes, when it goes wrong, this gains me some enthusiastic new friends**. Crime Writer type people, I begin to notice, can combine whatever business has to be taken care of with a great deal of partying and other fripperies. Its all great fun but more than a little dizzying. How will I remember all these names?

Trying to crash parties, everyone gets a little lost and as ever, everything winds up in a bar somewhere. By the end of the evening, I'm a little drunk and absolutely jetlagged. I haven't slept since I got to Glasgow. So I depart the bar, leaving behind several others who are still going strong.

Its been a good start. I've met a lot of people and so far no one has punched me. I wish I'd been in time to see the opening and to attend the Crime Spree party, but you can't have everything.

Besides, I have this panel to attend the next day. And it wouldn't do to attend that while still feeling some of the after affects of my drink. After all, I'm not Simon Kernick, am I?

I'll let you know about the second day including the fun of being on a panel a little later. Until then, mes amis,

Au revoir


*Um, that may be a slight exageration of the price.
**Hence why no trying that one on Rickards.


Gary Smith said...

Herbie reloaded? And so the facade of the dark, brooding crime writer is torn down!
You should post things while high on Lemsip more often - it's a very illuminating insight into the real Mclean!

Russel said...

All I'm saying is that it was good for what it was - a nice, family movie. I didn't say I actually *liked* it... Except some horrific part of me kinda did. Maybe I was hypnotised by Lindsay Lohan's unfeasibly jiggling breasts.

And anything looks good after watching Mr and Mrs Smith!

John R. said...

Hey, it's not their business cards that people try to slip into my pockets...

*lascivious eyebrow waggle*

And hey, how come I'm the only bugger on the list to the left without a link attached to my name? Yeah, sure, "think of the children", but still...


Russel said...

John - its Blogger, it doesn't appear to like your name. I keep trying and I'm obviously doing something stupid. I shall try again, though. Its done it to a few others, too, on the list of those without blogs.

Stupid Blogger - easy to use, my arse!