In this month of Thanksgiving, I must say how thankful I am that a year of work will (hopefully) come to successful fruition this coming weekend at the New England Crime Bake for Mystery Readers and Writers.
While it has been exciting and stimulating to be co-chair of a conference totally run by mystery-loving volunteers, it also has been challenging and required much effort, as those of you who have been involved in similar ventures well know. It also has eaten up a great deal of writing time and I will be extremely thankful to get that back as of next Monday.
Crime Bake, now in its ninth year, takes place in "DEAD"ham, Massachusetts, and is co-sponsored by the New England chapters of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. Traditionally the co-chairs are the presidents of these two organizations, which in my case means not only presiding over an active SinC chapter that spans six New England states, it also requires heading a committee of 20 people who hail from three of them -- and with someone I'd met only once before. In addition, this is just my second year on the Crime Bake Committee and it is MWANE President Margaret McLean's first so some of it we've been making up as we go along.
The rest comes from a strong cadre of dedicated fellow mystery writers who deeply love this confab, which is known as a writer's conference. Sure, there have been issues, false starts and some mistakes, but I am so grateful for the hard work of each of them because it has been vital to this venture and responsible for us selling out at the beginning of August.
This conference is always stimulating and energizing because the rooms are filled with so many enthusiastic mystery writers dedicated to improving their craft and talking about it. Let's face it: there also aren't many conferences where people can legitimately allow themselves to be excited about discussing murder or ways to dispose of a body. I'm also delighted to note that fellow Working Stiffs bloggers Paula Matter and Ramona DeFelice Long are attending this year, providing an opportunity for us to meet somewhere other than the virtual world and also pose for a photo at the Red & Black Banquet and Vampire Ball that we can share with you later.
As Crime Bake approaches, I realize how blessed I am to have found my way to the mystery genre and to now be part of such an amazing community of writers. And I'll be giving thanks for this experience throughout the entire weekend, both when I'm wearing my vampire cape and fangs -- and when I'm not.