Thursday, March 27, 2014

Left Coast Leftovers

By Gayle Carline
Mystery Author and Exhausted Gal

Where's Marlyn?

I went to Left Coast Crime last weekend and boy was it fun. It's always great to see my CFC buddies. I live in Orange County (California) which, BTW, is the only place in the universe where you identify yourself as being from a county and not a city. Peg lives in Colorado and LJ lives up in Oregon, so these conventions are practically our only face time, but Marlyn and I can't understand why we live 15-20 minutes from one another and still can't seem to get together, not even for lunch. (Drew would like me to be his personal assistant, but he lives near San Diego. Too far for me to commute.)

Clowning with Drew

We did a fun panel together, where we told lies and truths and had the audience guess which was which. I was prepared to tell nothing but lies. I'm a bit of an imp in that way. But after everyone ahead of me told a lie, I broke down and told the truth, only because I thought everyone was expecting me to lie.

Some of the fun for the weekend included:

Quite a few panels on alternative paths to publication. It was fascinating to see this conference catching up to what writer's conferences have been discussing.

I met August McLaughlin. (Warning: her site has a few NSFW references.) I'm a huge fan, and she was all, "Oh, I'm so happy to meet you! I feel like I've been stalking you!" And here I thought it was the other way 'round.

Tee Burrell and her legal cohorts had a fun mock-trial, each of them portraying their protagonists. It was a very creative panel.

In addition to our CFC's "Lying for a Living," I was on a panel called "Closer to Death: The Older Sleuth." It was a depressing title, but ended up with a huge audience and I met some of the most delightful authors. You can bet I'll be checking their books out!

Beginning with me on the right, there's Cathy Ace, Sandra Brannan, and the inimitable Rita Lakin (standing).

One of the things that made it fun was that my hubby Dale came along. I like having him along because he's not one of those needy spouses who tugs at your sleeve and asks you when you're going to be done because he's bored. He's an independent guy who goes off and finds something to do. For this trip, he had the NCAA tournaments to keep him occupied. And a walk to the bay, from time to time.

I snuck off one morning with him to have breakfast at LouLou's, and had dinner with him every evening. On Friday, we had a fabulous dinner at Domenico's with Peg and her hubby George, and our writer-friend Tim Hallinan, who may be the nicest man on the planet.

Unfortunately, I didn't get a banquet ticket for Dale, so Saturday night we scampered off for drinks at the local bar, then dinner at the Crown and Anchor British Pub. Fish and chips and Newcastle Brown.

Belgian Red, served at Peter's BrewPub. Yum.

How was your weekend? What are you doing this weekend? You can find me at the Ladies of Intrigue event in Huntington Beach. Because the fun never stops when you're a mystery writer.


  1. It was a great conference and a blast to see everyone! I've become very remiss at taking photos, so I'm glad you and others did.

    If ever I brought my husband to one of these conferences and he had to go off and find something to do, he'd probably buy a trike or motorcycle and head for home. :)

    1. Maybe you'd have to wait for there to be a motorcycle convention at the same time as the mystery one...

  2. How did we not get any pictures at our panel?

  3. I had a great time and am already stoked for next year in Portland!

  4. I'm late to this game (busy editing and writing, editing and writing), but I agree, it was a total blast seeing all my CFC buddies, and of course, clowning around with you.

    I can't wait until next year!


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