Waiting on a delayed plane and a late connecting flight, so hey, I’ve got time.
The very last thing I did before leaving my second Bouchercon was shake Walter Mosely’s hand and thank him for being him.
My hands didn’t quit trembling until I had to pay my cabbie outside Louis Armstrong International.
This year’s Bouchercon – Christ – this was something. Given a little time to decompress and allow my shredded throat to not make noise – a motherfucking feat, I know – I still can’t peg this feeling.
I saw people I hold in high regard be recognized, I shared conversation with wonderful NEW people, and I talked shop in front of a willing audience of friends and strangers then signed pages with my name printed in bold letters on them – while one of my writing heroes sat next to me doing the same and at an obvious greater frequency (thanks, alphabetical order).
I sat on a set of dirty steps on Decatur Street and watched the New Orleans sun get mean while I drank coffee with just the right amount of chicory, walked the streets and shared my last beignet in town with some fella on a corner dressed as Darth Vader and dancing to Gary Glitter music.
I shared one of the better meals of my life as a guest of one of the most gracious and generous hosts I’ve ever seen and took every opportunity to show off pictures of my kids to the interested and equally uninterested.
It’s sappy, but yeah, I’m feeling all the feels right now. To live a life where I never felt like I was in the right place and to have a history where I did everything to belong outside of embracing what made me weird, loud, off-kilter – shit, what an amazing feeling to finally, FINALLY feel like I’m home and I only had to be myself. IT’s pretty fucking heavy.
Now I have to wait another year to pick up where we left off.
Big thanks to Ro Cuzon for the jambalaya and having me over to his beautiful home, to Jon and Ruth Jordan, Judy Bobalik, and Erin Mitchell for putting together an awesome program, and super big thanks to Kate Malmon for being an awesome panel mod!
Slán abhaile, we’ll raise our glasses again very soon.