Sunday, September 25, 2016

Bouchercon and Beyond -- New Orleans to Cape Cod

Zoë Sharp

On the road -- the road from North Truro to Provincetown, Cape Cod, in fact.
As I write this blog, I am still on the road after Bouchercon in New Orleans. My mind is a jumble of impressions, both good and bad. Mainly good, it has to be said. Here are a few of them I'd like to share with you.
The French market in New Orleans, a short streetcar ride from the convention hotel and well worth the experience, despite the humidity and the heat.
New Orleans street, down near the French market. Why can't a terrace of houses in the UK look this cool?

The downside of New Orleans was the homeless population, who at times seemed to outnumber the tourists.

The upside was coming across characters like this one, although I'm pretty sure the cat had use of its legs ...

I always look sideways when I'm walking down any street, because you never know what treasures are lurking in side alleys, like this, not far from Bourbon St.

Buggy rides were available, drawn by some of the most patient-looking mules I've ever seen. This one was a beauty.

Not sure where this is, but it's lovely. Pic courtesy of Cara Black
Part of the joy of events like Bouchercon is running into blogmates, past and present, such as Cara Black and Yrsa Sigurdottir. Pic courtesy of Cara Black
Yrsa's fabulous convention shoes. Pic courtesy of Cara Black

I was lucky enough to be on two great panels. One on vigilantes, with (l to r) Joseph Finder, Stuart Neville, moderator John Gilstrap, Reavis Z Wortham, and ZS. Pic courtesy of Jodi Dabson Bollendorf

I was moderator for the violence panel, (l to r) myself, E.A. Aymar, Melinda Leigh, Thomas Pluck, S.G. Redling, and Taylor Stevens. Strangely, nobody took me up on my suggestion to turn it into a practical ... Pic courtesy of M'Lou Greene

Signed with the other contributors to the CRIME + MUSIC anthology, including editor Jim Fusilli (front row, second from left) Pic courtesy of Three Rooms Press
Was over the moon to learn that last year's Bouchercon anthology, MURDER UNDER THE OAKS, won the Anthony Award. Was honoured to have my Charlie Fox short story 'Kill Me Again Slowly' included. Pic courtesy of editor Art Taylor

Lovely to catch up with friends from the UK (l to r) me, Kirstie Long, Caroline Raeburn, John Lawton at the Soho Press party. Pic courtesy of Cara Black
The sun finally set on New Orleans and it was time to move on to Texas! But before we left NOLA had one last bolt to fire at us ...
... in the form of a rip-off cab driver. As state law decrees dire things if you do anything nasty to  cab drivers in real life, I may have to take my revenge strictly in print!
It's been a good few years since I was last at Murder By The Book in Houston, TX, so it was wonderful to be back.
The Wild Detectives in Dallas was a very cool place to talk and sign with fellow Brit author John Lawton. A lot of fun.
Downside of this part of the trip? The US SIM card I bought in NOLA gave me a day's working time and allowed one solitary phone call before dying. H2o Wireless customer service was dismal. (Artistic rendering of what I felt like doing to my phone after spending some time trying to get the problem sorted out.)
Heading north-east. Changing planes at La Guardia on the way to Boston had the upside of a fabulous view of Manhattan island as we came in to land.
After 20 hours travelling, we finally arrived on the evening fast-cat ferry in Provincetown, Cape Cod just as the sun was going down. Is it just me, or does the Pilgrim's Tower look strangely Florentine ...?
Great poster produced by Tricia Ford at North Truro Library for the talk there by John Lawton and myself. I definitely need to get a blow-up done of this one!
Run aground. Little boat embedded in trees just outside Truro, Cape Cod.
Beautiful doorway in Provincetown, Cape Cod.
Provincetown Public Library was worth a visit just for the architecture, never mind the books.
The locals were friendly.
last word ...

Saturday, September 24, 2016

I'm a Wanderer


I started out here.

And last week ended up here.

New Orleans

Today I’m here.

New Jersey

Tomorrow (at 2pm) I’ll be at the place in the title of the book in you know whose hand.  Well, actually another Sparta, the one in New Jersey at its library.

But no matter where I am, I’m always blessed to have my trusty photo bomber near by.

Cafe du Monde

Who attracts other wonderful folks.

Stan, Photo Bomber, Mette and Me.
And we eat in wonderful places.

Galatoire's with the Georges

Though at times itinerants do creep around.

Peter Rozovsky

But so do famous authors

RL Stine with Connie Perry

And their spouses…again attracted by my photo bomber.

Jane Stine and Photo Bomber

And in case you haven’t guessed by now, all this is called “filler,” to cover up that I’ve been so wrapped up with these folks…

The Bouchercon National Board
that I’ve neglected my duties to you, our MIE family. Please forgive me. If not, I’ll have to offer EvKa a guest slot the next time things jam up, and we all know what that means…New Orleans will be a site of virtue by comparison.

Bourbon Street

Bye for now.


Friday, September 23, 2016

Sculpture Garden

Today we visited the National Sculpture Garden in Washington DC. Lovely city, lovely weather, lovely garden ( very good coffee and key lime tart ).

Chair Trans formation by Lucas Samaras

Moondog by Tony Smith

The central fountain with Pavilion Café and excellent key lime tart beyond. We sat outside. A woman was sitting nearby looking at something that appeared to be a typescript. A man joined her, pulling a suitcase. He was stressed and very hot.  He went off to buy coffee. A conversation ensued that I tried to overhear ( shameless I know ),  at one point he laughed and said loudly..' You know, only an editor can humiliate me like that!'
She was using a lot of red pen.

Puellae by Magdalena Abakanowicz

Wandering Rocks by Tony Smith

                                                      Left me wondering what it was about.

Aurora by Mark Di Suvero
If he says so. 

Amor by Robert Indiana

Stele II  by Elsworth Kelly

Four sided pyramid by Sol Lewitt
which can look like this...

                                                                               Or this


Parked Tractors by Council workers lunch hour

Cubi X1 by David Smth

Thinker On A Rock Barry Flanagan

Pretty flower by mother nature

Fuzzy tailed key lime pie snatcher

Red Horse by Alexander Calder
                                                           House 1 by Roy Lichtenstein
                                              Which changes with point of view. Like a good novel.


Graft by Roxy Payne

Pretty flower

                                                               Nature again

Spider by Louise Bourgeois

Typewriter Eraser Scale 1998 by Claes Oldenburg and Cossje Van Bruggen

Personnage Gothique, Oiseau-Eclair by Joan Miro

Today I walked 16.5 miles. Blogged with feet in  a bucket of cold water,

Caro Ramsay 23/09/2016