Left Coast Crime Small Press Panel

If you think we look a bit strained, it's because we are. Our panel was the second one of the con and we had a big crowd.

In the back row from left to right: Susan C. Miller, Clark Lohr, Vicki Doudera and in the front row, me and MM (Madeline) Gornell.

In my case, I got up at 3 a.m. showered and dressed. Hubby and I headed over to my daughter's (neither of us are comfortable driving at night) and she drove us to Hanford's Amtrak training station. While waiting there I realized that my train wouldn't be there until 8, though another was leaving at 6:15, but that particular one you had to transfer from the train to a bus in Stockton. I decided straight through to Sacramento would be best. So we went out for breakfast.

First problem, when the train came, the step was way to high for me to get into the train without using both hands. So I had to toss my luggage up first then haul myself in. The last time I rode the train, they had a stood for you to step on and the conductors helped. No more.

I got to sit in the lower level which is reserved for seniors and anyone who can't make it up the stairs. I didn't want to haul my two carry-ons up there--plus the bathroom is downstairs, so I settled myself in that first car. The ride was fine though I stayed in my seat.

We arrived in Sacramento right on time. I was taken by electric cart to the taxis and got right in one. I arrived at the hotel with enough time to check into the hotel, find my room, leave my luggage there, head back down to register for the conference, then find the room where the panel was located.

None of that is conducive to being bright-eyed and silver-tongued. Despite that, our panel was informative and we were answered lots of questions.

I really can't tell you exactly how things went from then on, but here are the highlights.

I was thrilled to see many people I haven't seen for a long time and visited lots. I made friends with some I've never met before. I shared meals with some and ate chocolate candy in the hospitality room with others.
Spent lots of fun time with Victoria Heckman and her son, Zack.

Madeline (M.M.) Gornell was my roommate--and bedtime was like a slumber party. We yakked way late into the night.

I got to see No Bells for the first time in the book room.

Visited with two of my favorite authors, William Kent Krueger and Jan Burke.

The hotel restaurant was expensive--but had great appetizers that were delicious and enough to fill me up.

Madeline checked out on Sunday after breakfast and Billie moved in with me then. We talked and talked and talked and shared a fabulous meal in an interesting restaurant with fellow author Lou Allin.

I met a young mystery fan from Hiroshima Japan.

I sat with Naomi Hirahara during the awards banquet. I've know Naomi for years.

I know that the Starbucks across the street from the hotel doesn't open until 7 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
And down the street from the hotel and Starbucks is a deli that makes delicious coffee drinks.

One afternoon it rained and hailed like crazy. Everyone stayed inside for lunch and the wait was horrendous.

The panels were great. The most fun was Men of Mystery.

And that's all I can think of at the moment.

Oh, the trip home on the train was uneventful--but it's really hard to find the time when the train leaves on the ticket, it's there, but well hidden.

Still tired, but nearly got caught up with most of my work today.


M.M. Gornell said…
Haven't caught up yet, still a bit tired, fond memories... Great rooming with you! Two people told me they enjoyed our panel--so I think we gave good information--I sure hope so!

stepstoenglish said…
nice pictures
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