Wednesday, June 08, 2011

The Force is with us

Barbara here. Having spent the last ten days traversing the continent – Halifax last weekend and Victoria this weekend – I’m still spinning. What time is it? What day? And where am I? That’s why I find myself at 12:45 a.m. trying to write a blog. I suddenly realized it’s Wednesday, and my turn. Luckily my body still thinks it’s in Victoria, hovering around 9:45.

From all the blogs and Facebook posts, you’d think every mystery author in Canada was at Bloody Words, and there’s some truth to that. I love Bloody Words. Not only does it shine a rare spotlight on our own Canadian clan, but it’s small and intimate, and over the years it has helped to fashion us into a close-knit friendship circle. Every year I reconnect with fellow writers, readers and mystery lovers, and every year I meet new ones. This year in particular, because it was held on the west coast, many eastern writers and readers could not attend, and I missed them. But I got a chance to meet some west coasters who had never been able to attend before. Writers I had read or met on Facebook, people who felt like friends but only cyberly. I hope they felt that same sense of being among friends, of finally being part of the clan.

This fostering of community is the great beauty of Bloody Words. Over twelve years it has been building and strengthening our connectedness, and I think it’s one of the reasons why Canadian crime writing has flourished. Without this network of friendship, inspiration and mentoring, I suspect few of us would have persevered and been successful.

All of us owe a huge vote of thanks to the vision and bloody-minded persistence of Caro Soles and her Bloody Gang, and to all the Bloody Gangs who have taken up the torch over the years, in Toronto, Ottawa and Victoria. It’s extremely hard work to organize a conference, with the only payment being the pride of a job worth doing and the gratitude of the mystery community. I hope there will always be Bloody gangs willing to step forward, in Halifax, in Calgary, in Winnipeg and Montreal, so that authors and mystery lovers from all corners of the country can share in the community.

Because it’s a damn big country.


Jayne said...

Count me as one who felt like I was among friends, manly of whom I'd only known online before.

We're hoping for Calgary in 2015. Lots of ducks to chivvied into position first...

Donis Casey said...

I love the pictures y'all have been posting.