As some of you know, I along with fellow Stiffs Pat Remick and Ramona Long attended the Crime Bake conference in Dedham, MA. Awesome conference and I hope to see a couple more Stiffs attend next year. Hint, hint.
Two highlights for me came on Sunday when I won prizes. A new event this year was the Scavenger Hunt which I believe was sponsored by the New England SinC chapter. Attendees were given a sheet of paper and had to go around collecting signatures from people who matched the description. Such as: First Time At Crime Bake which Ramona signed; NE SinC Board Member which Pat signed. Twenty-five blocks and I had a ball meeting new people and talking with others I already knew. Hank Philippi Ryan signed Anthony Winner, and the bookseller signed Grandfather. A great way to interact with other attendees.
To top it off, I won a book by Margaret Maron!
The other prize I won Sunday morning was as one of four winners of the Flashwords contest.
Contest Description: Use at least ten of the listed “Title Words” from novels by Charlaine Harris in a flash fiction story of no more than 150 words. Include a crime or suggestion of a crime. Keep it clean. Write in English.
Title Words: Bedroom, Bone, Club, Corpse, Counselor, Dark, Dead, Family, Fool, Grave, Heels, Ice, Landlord, Living, Pick, Scene, Secret, Surprise, Trollop, Worse
Dead to Me and Worse, I Paid for Law School
I didn’t have to pick the lock, thanks to the foolish landlord. Grateful he didn’t know about Vinnie recently dumping me for that trollop at the VFW club, I moved quickly through my ex-fiancé’s living room and into the bedroom. I grabbed Vinnie’s revolver, then hurried to the VFW.
Now, crouched over her corpse, the gun resting against my hip bone, I pictured the scene outside my cramped, dark hiding place. Vinnie’s family--the rotten heels--had decided to go through with the unnecessary-but-paid-for bachelor party. An excuse to celebrate Vinnie winning his first case.
I had five bullets left. One for each of them.
I waited for the secret signal--what would’ve been Trollop’s cue to jump out of the cake.
“Grave situation, Counselor, we’re out of ice!”
I put a smile on my face, my finger on the trigger, pushed the hinged lid up and yelled, “Surprise!”
Mo Walsh, the woman in charge of the Flashwords contest, read the story beautifully, perfectly. Winning this prize two years in a row tells me I need to stick with short stories! My prize was a bottle of Vampire wine, a nice Merlot. Other choices were mugs or T-shirts.
And with Crime Bake over, so is the 2010 conference season for me. I'm thinking of attending Malice Domestic and Pennwriters next year. And Crime Bake, of course.
How about you? What will you be attending? Do you have a favorite annual conference or writerly event you can't miss? What do you look for when attending these events? What's your most memorable moment?