Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The glass half full

This past week, I have to admit to feeling a bit blue and sorry for myself. You see, I was stuck here in cold and snowy Toronto while a lot my friends got to be out in sunny and beautiful Monterey taking part in one of my favourite mystery gatherings: Left Coast Crime. All those Facebook postings from them made me positively lonesome. Problem was, I couldn’t justify the cost of attending, because traveling across the continent, missing a week of work (plus two rehearsals), and then having to pay for additional transportation, food and lodging, was all just too much for my wallet. And it broke my heart. I so would have loved to be there.

For a day, I ineffectually railed at the fates for not allowing things to fall into place. Sure, if I had a ton of money in my bank account, I would have been able to tell work to do without me for a week. The really big drawback for that is my writing doesn’t provide that level of disposable funds. I can’t justify telling my family to do without because I want to gallivant out to California for a few days.

On Saturday, my mood improved somewhat, and I realized that, even though I couldn’t afford to be where I wanted to be, I still had a lot to be thankful for because I took up the writer’s life. I have made a staggering number of friends in the crime writing community, people who understand what it is to write this very specific kind of novel, struggling over all the tropes and intricate details that their plots demand, not just getting the ideas and words onto the damn pages, but then having to deal with shepherding your novel through the publishing pipeline, which is always a long and tortuous course. You really can’t talk to “regular” people in your life about something so specific. You need another writer to listen, encourage, and share hard-won thoughts and information.

Yeah, I wasn’t able to be in Monterey on this occasion, but I was able to go there once for Bouchercon. I did get to attend LCC when it was in Seattle. I had those memories. There would be other occasions. Heck! There’s one right here in Toronto in June (and over my birthday!) when we convene for Bloody Words 2014. And I’ll get to see a lot of those people I missed not being in California last week. Plus, if you’re interested in attending, the special Guest of Honour this year is Type M’s own Vicki Delany!

And if I really want a reason to feel optimistic, I have a novella and a novel coming out this year: The Boom Room (available really soon) and Roses for a Diva (out in November). Believe me, I know how incredibly lucky it makes me, having two publishers willing to take a chance on my scribblings. As always, and like every other author, I live in hope that one might become a bestseller. Then next year I can go wherever I want – although my darling wife might have something to say about that!

Now if spring would finally arrive, I would be able to feel even more positive about things.

Late breaking news: Look what just showed up on the doorstep! Now I feel all better. Buy lots of copies, please, so that I can attend Left Coast Crime next year.

Just kidding…sort of…

And it’s snowing. Again.


N. J. Lindquist said...

I can so relate. I feel like I'm missing something good with every posting about a mystery con somewhere.

Rick Blechta said...

Yup, Nancy. That's exactly the kind of thoughts that led to my brief depression over my lot in (the writer's) life.

Eileen Goudge said...

I feel your pain. I spent part of February in Santa Cruz, CA, where I go every year to hole up and write, and it was a shock to my system to return to New York. Next winter HAS to be better, right? Because it can't be worse. BTW, I love your blog! I'm a traditionally published author setting sail onto the seas of self-pub, in the mystery genre, and it's nice to see other boats on the water navigating just fine.

Rick Blechta said...

Eileen, we should all be thankful we're not in the Canadian Maritime provinces today: winds up to 100 MPH and possibility of up to 3 feet of snow in some places. Man! It's been some winter.

Welcome! Glad you're enjoying our blog. And best of luck on the book front, too!