The Short Straw

Chris Holm and Katrina Niidas Holm at Bouchercon before the drinking began

Chris Holm and Katrina Niidas Holm at Bouchercon before the drinking began

Oh, I see how it is. “Chris Holm is the new kid on the block,” my fellow bloggers must’ve said. “Let’s give him the short straw, and stick him with the Monday after Bouchercon.”

Bouchercon, for those who don’t know, is the World Mystery Convention. Think of it as Comic-Con for mystery geeks. It’s named after writer/editor/critic/noted champion of the genre Anthony Boucher, and often shortened to B’con, both for convenience and because no one can agree on how to pronounce “Boucher.” (Hint: it rhymes with “voucher.” I know because Wikipedia says so, and Wikipedia never lies.)

Bouchercon moves around from year to year. My first, in 2011, was in St. Louis. Last year’s was in Long Beach. This year’s is—er, I mean was—in Raleigh.

(Okay, you got me. I’m writing this ahead of time. I know myself too well to put it off. After four days of drinking into the wee hours with several hotels’ worth of fellow crime writers, there’s no way I’m going to have the brainpower left come Sunday night to write a recap post. But that’s okay. I write fiction for a living. I’ll just make something up.)

It was lovely to see MCW’s own Kathy Lynn Emerson this weekend, although I confess I was surprised when she ordered a round of flaming shots for the entire bar. My karaoke outing with Dorothy Cannell was as entertaining as it was eye-opening; who knew she had such a comprehensive knowledge of mid-90s West Coast hip hop? Kate Flora’s much-hyped arm-wrestling match with her Beat, Slay, Love co-author Gary Phillips was the hottest ticket in town… but I don’t want to spoil the result for those of you who haven’t seen the video yet. (Suffice to say there was crying. And cursing. And some minor structural damage. According to YouTube, it’s gotten over 100,000 hits so far.) And then there’s Brenda Buchanan. This was her first Bouchercon, and she certainly made the most of it… but now that the Camaro’s been fished out of the fountain, and the authorities paid off, all’s well. The less we speak of it, the better.

In all seriousness, Bouchercon is a wonderful event, and I highly recommend attending. Lord knows once my hangover abates, I’ll be eagerly awaiting the next one. By then, maybe there’ll be a newer new kid we can stick with the Monday morning post.

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6 Responses to The Short Straw

  1. Well, I suppose I have to go along with whatever pronunciation Anthony used, but since I have a lot of Boucher relatives, I always say “Boo-shay.” You may have heard of the family; one of my grandfather’s uncles set off from Detroit to sail–yes, sail–across the great plains. He built a raft on wheels, bolted a chair to it, and away he went.

    Hmm. Maybe I could replicate the feat for next year’s Boo-shaycon.

  2. Chris says:

    Nikki, that is the greatest thing I have ever heard. Reality is always so much stranger than we give it credit for. I think you owe it to your ancestors to replicate the trip, and film it. No way that wouldn’t go viral.

  3. MCWriTers says:

    I didn’t make it this year … and now I see (hear) (read) what I missed. Wow! Ee’d better all register now for next year — in New Orleans. Surely nothing interesting could happen THERE!~
    Great post, Chris!

    Lea Wait

  4. It was a Corvette, Chris. Kindly get your facts straight.

    And there’s a reason they call it “hush money.”

  5. Barb Ross says:

    So sad I missed it! But New Orleans, here I come!

  6. Amy M. Reade says:

    Great post! I’m definitely making reservations for next year in New Orleans!

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