Saylor's Goodreads Bookshelf

Saylor's books

Animal Farm
Where the Sidewalk Ends
The Great Gatsby
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Catcher in the Rye
Of Mice and Men
The Alchemist
Me Talk Pretty One Day
Lord of the Flies
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Little Women
A Tale of Two Cities
The Count of Monte Cristo
Les Misérables
Moby-Dick or, The Whale
The Joy Luck Club
The Memory Keeper's Daughter

Saylor's favorite books »


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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

LCC 2012 Banquet Dinner

I hate these things, banquet dinners at hotels.  The food is bad and I generally get stuck next to an absolute bore or worse and end up trying to make the best of a bad situation.  It's not that convention hotels have bad food it's just that it is impossible to make a good meal for 500+ people at the same time.  (Although this being Northern California I did see a lot of people eating at this one.) And when there is assigned seating everyone always put me next to the worst person because "Oh Saylor, you have such a good spirit with difficult people."  All ya'll are now on notice! 'Cause now I've had a taste now of what a good time a banquet dinner can be.  No more sitting me next to the shmo! No more dried chicken breast smothered with nasty sauce! Okay, here's what happened:

Now, I don't really know anyone from Adam or Eve at this thing.  I've met people, very nice people, but I wasn't planning ahead or really thinking ahead enough to realize I was walking into.  I get to the hotel and everyone is in groups around the bar and talking it up.  There's me, not making eye contact, not recognizing anyone specifically.  So I do the old playground act where you walk around as if you have a destination in mind hoping against hope an arm will reach out and stop you to chat. No such luck, I do a cursory lap and when I'm almost done with it, thinking: crap now what?  I catch Al - my breakfast buddy - out of the corner of my eye.  Al does this 'come on over' head bob at me and I think 'Oh no. Not Al.'  I'm kidding, I was so grateful I almost lost my cool.  Because you know, when you do the lap, you gotta play it cool.

So I sit down next to, are you ready for this?  William Kent Krueger.  Shut up! I kid you not!  I honestly didn't notice him at first because Al was wearing such an obnoxious tie I couldn't take my eyes off of it.  No seriously, Al looked like he got dressed in the throw away bin at the Goodwill store. And that's because Al is the most self-possessed person I've met since Phyllis Diller who, at the age of 90, was so smooth  she could be the most interesting woman in the world.  Anyway, what do you say to WKK?  I went with 'Hi, it's nice to meet you, I'm Saylor."  My other fleeting thought options were: Dude your shit is goooood and How the (F) did I get so (F-ing) lucky just now. So we chat for a few minutes, mainly about me and my little dog and pony books, because he's a pro at sighting crazy people and calming us down.

Things start to return to normal when another person shows up.  A me out here.  Despite the much maligned librarians of yesteryear I happen to think a lot of librarians have a touch of super hero in them.  Good librarians know things.  Important, obscure, and if they don't know the answer, they know where to find it, things. So, I'm good with the librarian.  This night has just turned book geek epic for me.  I realize, somehow in my giddy daze, I'm going to be having dinner with the Sacramento Library Director, W.K.K., and the chair of Bouchercon 2013.  And if you don't know what Bouchercon is stop reading right now and get out.  You don't deserve to read the denouement of this blog.

So dinner is going fine, we're at a table of like 10 people.  I have no idea who the other people are but they all had a deer in the headlights look about them. (And honestly who of us can blame them.)  So midway through the wine pouring we hear Rivkah say "Yes, that's so profound."
WKK:   What is?
Rivkah:  Al just said, when the revolution comes you need someone who's not drinking.
              (Blank stares. What revolution?)
Al:         No I did not.
Rivkah:  Yes you did and it was very profound.
Al:  (blank look at Rivkah) I did not say that.
Rivkah:  That's okay, it's true.
WKK:    You're planning a revolution?
Al:          There's no revolution. I said, (enunciating) when you do the wine tour you're going to need someone who's not drinking.
EVERYONE:  Bwhahahahahahaha.

Okay, it was funnier in person.  But you know me, I'm not a gusher, not easily given to unearned praise and idol worship. I keeps ma' cards close to ma' chest.  But really is there anything better than when you feel like a fish out of water, and you happen upon people who are self-possessed and relaxed in their skin and they say, 'come over and sit by me?'  In that situation, there is no greater gift.

Of course you know what this means now.  It means no more playing grab ass with the writing.  I have to do my very best with this next book.  I have standards now. I've had the epic book geek dinner. I have something to live up to.  Some day these three people will look at me and say, "I remember when you were walking around LCC 2012 like a lost sheep and we had to round you up...".  And worse yet,  I'm going to have to reload my good ju-ju jar by volunteering for Al at the Bouchercon in 2013. Damn you Al, the breakfast buddy.

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