Skip to main content

Archives - Weekly Update

“Gee but it’s great to be back home.” There’s a little more jetlag to work through. (I think I am up to western Pennsylvania on my way east.) I am getting caught up. 

Last week at San Diego Comic-Con I perfected what I am calling the four-pocket system with my phone, BlackBerry, camera and wallet (with business cards/credit card/ID and cash for overpriced convention food) tucked into my jeans pockets. Thus, I was in ready mode for most of what happened on the floor. Though I was not dressed in costume in keeping with a comic theme, I felt like I had my own version of Quick Draw McGraw going with all my devices. Remember him? For the record, I posted what I think were the best costumes of Comic-Con here, including some lovely ladies who showed me where to store a phone, etc. when you have no pockets. You drop them in your boots. Of course, if I was wearing those boots I would be in traction.

Remember postcards that used to say, "I am having a wonderful time. Wish you were here!" Well that's been my reaction to the most recent stop on my cross-country conference tour, San Diego Comic-Con, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Here I have been surrounded by upbeat, happy people celebrating not just comics, but all of pop culture. The first convention was held in 1970 in the U.S. Grant Hotel where I am staying. It had 300 attendees, which is a sharp contrast to the 125,000 people attending this year. It's like a Disneyland for adults with previews of upcoming movies and television programs, as well as what is happening with graphic novels and comics. My BlackBerry has been filled with press releases as I try to figure out what is news and what is hype. There is a BIG difference!

Yesterday morning the phone rang with a wakeup call. When I answered I wanted to ask, “What city am I in?” It’s been that kind of a week.

I never use alarm clocks in hotels since each one is different, and I really do not have time to learn how to use them. I figure it’s easier to have this handled by someone else. In New York a person called to wake me, in Chicago there was music playing when I answered, and here in DC I again have a person who asked if I would like the weather as well. Of course, I was thinking, maybe when they call they can say, “Good morning. This is your 7AM wakeup call. You are in Washington, DC. The weather is X.” Then I will know what city I am in!

Some people spend their summers at the beach or on vacation. I spend most of July each summer at book conferences --- my version of tourism business-style. Right now I am at ThrillerFest, the International Thriller Writers Association’s conference, then on to the American Library Association convention tonight and Romance Writers of America next Wednesday, followed by Comic-Con the following week. Getting out to hear from authors, publishers, readers and librarians gives me an excellent opportunity to hear not only about upcoming and recently published books, but also trends and ideas.

For something new and different, it’s raining. Imagine that. I slept through the thunder last night. I think it’s become like living in a house near the train track. At some point you just do not hear the train anymore.