Been there. Done that. Bought the t-shirt.

One of the signs of fall around our house is a change in what I wear when I’m writing. As the weather gets colder, I go from shorts and t-shirts to sweats. I have a lot of t-shirts. When I go to a conference, I buy souvenirs. T-shirts are relatively cheap and easy to pack. Some of my favorites have worn out quickly, like the t-shirt from Malice III, the first Malice Domestic I attended, and the lovely, super-soft, dark brown t-shirt from the last ever Mayhem in the Midlands. Another that was worn into the scrap bin was a memento of the Great Ice Storm of ’98, when we went for nearly a week without heat, lights, or (gasp!) computers or phones. Some of the places I’ve been to for book signings or to give talks have given me t-shirts emblazoned with their store or library logos. And, of course, I’m a sucker for cute cat t-shirts

When the t-shirts overran a drawer in the dresser, they got their own shelf in the linen closet. Right now I have over fifty of them in there.So, naturally, when I needed a topic for today’s post, I thought of sharing some of my favorites. Fortunately, the t-shirts divide themselves fairly neatly into just a few categories. Let’s start with Maine. Here’s an oldie but goodie, commemorating the national championship won by the University of Maine Black Bears ice hockey team. A lot of those players went on to shine in the next winter Olympics, on both the U.S. and the Canadian teams.

From bears to moose seems like a natural transition.

And from there we go to a library event years ago at the Portland Public Library. I’ve always loved this t-shirt. And fellow Maine Crime Writer Kate Flora has one just like it.

There are all kinds of writer t-shirts for sale at the conferences I attend. I picked this one up because it made me laugh, but since I have a great agent, I’ve never worn it.

The one below tells you who I blame when I find too many typos in my manuscripts (or in my blogs!)

Speaking of cats, I seem to have a lot of t-shirts that feature them, from the fantastic . . .

to the just plain silly.

This one says “cat aerobics instructor” on the back. Once, coming back from a conference, someone on the plane with me wanted to know if that was a real job.

Lest you think I only love cats, let me add two more favorites, one from a trip to a long-ago Seattle Bouchercon

(this was research, of course!) and the other a t-shirt I bought just for fun.

What do your favorite t-shirts say?


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11 Responses to Been there. Done that. Bought the t-shirt.

  1. Joan Emerson says:

    Oh, I love your “solve a mystery” shirt . . . and your dragon shirt is adorable . . . and the cat with the book is precious. Most of my tee shirts do not have catchy sayings. Instead, they have a tendency to run to either Precious Moments angels or artistic renditions of the solar system . . . or star clusters in some far-off quadrant . . . or NASA space shuttle scenes.

  2. Deanna says:

    Go Undercover with Books – from the Library one year.

  3. Oh, hey, I used to have that UMaine hockey t-shirt myself. I wore it right into the ground. Its last incarnation was as a painting shirt, if I remember correctly. Nowadays for me, it’s more about how comfortable a t-shirt is, rather than what’s on the front.

  4. Lea Wait says:

    One of my favorites is from the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. It’s a Flannery O’Connor quote. When asked why she writes, she answered, “Because I’m good at it.”
    I had a wonderful Sisters in Crime T shirt — but one of my granddaughters claimed it. Are any Sisters in Crime chapters making them any more? I’d love another one! I loved being asked what a Sister in Crime was. (A nun who volunteered at prisons?) I REALLY need at least one more SIC shirt!

  5. John Clark says:

    I have an extremely rare one that says “An Educated Death. Buy the book or Thea dies.” Years ago a friend went to Israel and brought me back a t-shirt that said Blessed Budweiser in Hebrew, but my favorite is the one which proves if you wish, anything is possible. I’d always wanted one from the University of Wollongong in NSW. When I was the library director in Boothbay Harbor, the treasurer and his wife went to Australia. Upon their return, I was presented with said coveted t-shirt which I still have 12 years later.

  6. Bob Thomas says:

    My favorite T-shirt is one Lea gave me. It says: “Crotchety old man./Formerly known as stud-muffin.” It pruduces some interesting grins in younger women.

  7. Judy Donofrio says:

    I don’t own any “writers” t-shirts yet, but several of the above have inspired me. I know the L.A. SinC group just put out a white tee with their new logo on it. Haven’t been to a writers conference or convention to this point, so maybe there are some tees in my future. The ones I’ve collected in the past included photos of Elvis, Mac Davis, and Cliff Richard so you could presume I love music as well as books. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Ronna DeLoe says:

    I LOVE the “Solve a Mystery” shirt from the Portland Library. Any chance that shirt is still available? I love it. Woudl love to have one like that!
    I’ve got a ton of shirts also. I have one that says “Books, Man’s First Laptop” and “Don’t Judge a Book by its Movie.” Just a few from my funny t-shirt collection.

    • Hi, Ronna. The program Kate and I did there (with Tess Gerritsen, if I remember right) was at least ten yeara ago, so chances are slim. Another favorite of mine says “Books. Cats. Life is good.”

  9. Brenda says:

    So many favorites it is hard to name just a few. A Garfield one with a funny saying about my husband’s grad school alma mater. Several New Orleans Jazz Fest ones. A wonderful Thurber saying. One I love a lot that we put on a t-shirt was a photo I took of my SIL’s cat coming out from under my car with a “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” expression on his face? (I had gotten on the ground with him to take the picture.) A t-shirt advertising Akron, Ohio’s gorgeous old downtown theater. A beautiful purple one with a photo of Mother Jones, union activist, & her saying, “Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living!” that I had longed for and received as a birthday present.

    I haven’t gotten to go to any writers’ conferences yet so those t-shirts are still in my future.

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