Monday, October 02, 2006

bouchercon -- an introvert's perspective

This is going to take more than one blog post. I think I'll start with just an overview and my general feelings about the conference.

I stayed at the edgewater hotel which was about 1/2 mile from the conference. The hotel overlooked beautiful Mendota lake. Or was that Lake Mendota? The edgewater was probably nice at one time, but the entire building has some major plumbing problems. Drains didn't drain and using the shower caused sludge backup. Tap water was brown. Some areas of the original building smelled like cat piss. Not at all sure what that was about. Didn't ask. But i did manage to write a cat cozy one night.

weather: 45 - 60 first couple of days. Cloudy, windy, rainy off and on, but every day had a large percent of dry and fairly decent weather. The last day was gorgeous. I love to walk, so the walk to and from the conference hotel was no big deal, but I think not staying in the conference hotel made the conference much more exhausting because there was no running to my room for a few minutes.


My biggest mistake: I didn't get cell phone numbers before going to the conference. I thought I would run into people and we could go from there. Many of the people I wanted to see I never saw; some I saw briefly and hoped to hook up with later, but later didn't happened. Tribe and Pat Dennis were two of those people.

The big surprise: Bouchercon was actually smaller than I'd anticipated. Sometimes hallways and areas outside the panel rooms were briefly packed with people, but often they were almost empty. I never saw the massive mobs of people I've seen at RWA conferences. Never heard that roar that signifies hundreds of bodies in one space. not that i was looking for that!

This is what I learned: I don't have the stamina for a conference. I might be wrong about this, but I think conferences are like blogging. If you don't enjoy them, don't go.


I will never do another panel. Ever. Period. The end. It wasn't horrific, but it's just not something I'm good at and it's not something I care to ever get good at. I'm not a verbal person, so it's just a bad fit for me. Some of us have talked/blogged about this before, but I actually see the words in my head and am editing and rearranging them as I'm talking. This is not good for someone on a panel. I could feel the audience waiting for me to just spit it out. :D



What I enjoyed: hanging out. That was fantastic. I LOVED meeting up with online friends, old friends, new friends. I will report on those highlights later.

20 comments:

Brett Battles said...

Anne, it was great meeting you. I have a wonderful picture of you and Bill Cameron I'll post on the Killer Year blog later in the week. You are truly a very nice and kind person. Glad you were there. (And I almost dropped that ice cream I had in the airport on Sunday on my shirt!!)

anne frasier said...

brett: LOL! the cone looked a little top-heavy when you walked by. :D

it was great meeting you too. loved when all of us walked through the dark streets to the edgewater. and you might not know this, but we saved your life. more on that later.

;)

Brett Battles said...

I'm intregued and slightly disturbed...saved my life?

anne frasier said...

when we were walking to the edgewater, you stood on the curb with your back to the traffic while we waited for a walk signal. there was no bike lane, so cars were flying by right next to the curb. sandra? and i grabbed you and pulled you away from the street. of course i'm not sure we actually saved your life. ;)

Stephen Blackmoore said...

Sounds like you had a hell of a time, both good and bad. Wish I could have made it out there. Glad you made it back in one piece.

Brett Battles said...

...oh...right...I do remember that.

Thank you!!! Dying would have sucked.

mai wen said...

I've heard that a lot about conferences before, you either love them or hate them! I have yet to attend one, but someday I will and I'll let you know my take on them. Glad you got through it okay. :)

Any middle fingers necessary this weekend?

anne frasier said...

stephen, wish you could have made it too!

brett, yeah, that would have put a damper on bouchercon.

mai wen: you know, i don't think i ever needed my middle finger!! ever!! that's almost frightening.

Bill Cameron said...

We had your back, Brett. Well, actually your front.

Wait. That didn't come out as planned.

Jeff said...

Welcome back, Anne. I wish I could have been there.

Sandra Ruttan said...

I loved meeting you Anne! You're fantastic! I hope you go to conventions just so I can hang out with you.

angie said...

I hate blogger. The fucker just ate my comment. Glad you got to hang out with cool folks - other than panel mental edit-itis and general exhaustion you did all right. Nice to be home again, eh?

anne frasier said...

bill: hah!

jeff: i wish you'd been there too!

sandra: you are amazing! more sandra info to come!

angie: well crap! blogger was acting up when i left for madison, and it's still acting crazy. and yes -- it feels great to be home!! you are so right about that.

Elizabeth said...

Sorry i couldn't make it to Bouchercon because i would have really enjoyed meeting you! Hope you can make it to another conference!

Jaye Wells said...

I think the hanging out is always the best part. You learn a lot of stuff they won't say in workshops.

anne frasier said...

elizabeth, i hope we can meet sometime too!
jaye, hanging out is definitely the best part. i keep wondering if there is a way to have a conference without the conference. no panels or workshops. nothing but hanging out.

S. W. Vaughn said...

Anne, thanks for confirming that it's acceptable not to do things that make you uncomfortable, like speaking at panels. :-) I shudder at the thought.

Yeah, the hanging out part is the best. Sorry about the crappy rooms, though!

anne frasier said...

s.w. -- people will always tell you that speaking on a panel is really important, but i have my doubts about that. i think it only works if a person is good at it. and i also think that readers have come to realize that being good at working a crowd and TALKING about writing doesn't always mean the speaker can put out a good book. i think there are other ways you can be visible. it's a matter of finding your own particular strength.

Sarah (in Canberra!) said...

Anne - just wanted to say that it was fantastic to meet you and talk to you over lunch, and I am now going out to look for everything you've ever written. Thanks to you and Alex for making me feel so welcome in the US (and allowing me to rant about the Australian political situation, which really nobody cares about even in Oz!)

Sarah

anne frasier said...

woot! sarah!! it was GREAT meeting you!! our all-girl lunch was one of the highlights of the weekend. and i loved hearing about australian politics even though i didn't always get it. much of it really surprised me. i hope you're still enjoying your time in the states!