LCC Redux

Racing to catch up, as usual, but here’s a quick blow by blow on this year’s Left Coast Crime.

I had to work all day Thursday, but still managed to hit the opening night cocktail party with born-again Angeleno Matt Wallace on my arm. We hung, chatted and listened to Bob Ward’s hilarious war stories, but even though I was happy to see my all friends, I couldn’t wait to get out of there. What I was really looking forward to was this:

Eric Stone organized an expedition of hungry writers out to Highland Park for a stand up dinner at our favorite local taco stand. I’ve sung the praises of their Al Pastor across the interwebs many times before, and they didn’t disappoint. You are looking at some full and happy writers in this photo.

Friday was nice and quiet. No real commitments for me that day, so I spent my time socializing and perusing the book room. I managed to drag Eric and several other members of the previous night’s taco posse to the nearby Starry Kitchen for lunch. Delish, good food, good company. Funny how I always remember the meals more clearly than any of the panels.

Later that evening, I wandered over to the Sisters in Crime party at Metropolis Books. On the way in, I was confronted by an intrepid homeless man hoping to sell me a poem. I warned him about the SinC party and explained he was pretty much trying to sell snow to Eskimos in this crowd.

Inside the store it was hot and steamy, even before I met up with the hot and steamy Donna Bagdasarian. I perused the stacks, caught up with people I hadn’t seen in ages and eventually ended up getting sucked into dinner with a group of people seemingly chosen specifically to make me feel short.

In addition to the statuesque Ms Bagdasarian, the group also included Twist Phelan, Colin Campbell, and Jason Pinter. Where were my ten inch platforms when I needed them?

Saturday was my big day. My one and only panel: Sex and the Author. This is actually a topic I have a lot to say about, and not just because I think we authors should get as much sex as possible. Sex is a great way to reveal character, yet so many writers either cut to the blowing curtains or fall back on cliché. The way people fuck tells you so much about who they are and what makes them tick. Real sex is often awkward, imperfect and filled with dozens of little revealing moments, but so often fictional sex comes off as utterly generic and formulaic. If you can skip it and miss nothing, what’s the point?

The panel was a blast. Each of the panelists came at the topic from a unique and interesting angle and the audience was very lively and responsive. (Nothing worse than an audience that just lays there like a dead fish.) Props to moderator Tim Maleeny. That boy gives good panel.

The most enjoyable thing about LLC was, because it’s smaller and more intimate than B-Con, I got to spend more time getting to know people who I’ve seen a zillion times but only as passing acquaintances, like Dana Kaye and Terrill Lee Lankford. I also got to meet plenty of new people, and of course, as always, there’s one or two people who I just couldn’t seem to connect with, (coffee’s on me at B-Con, Beetner!) but over all it was a great way to avoid writing for a few days.

Now, back to work…

(Oh yeah, and for the three of you who aren’t on either Facebook or Twitter, pics here.)

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