mostly sunny, cool, temps 40
But mild enough to walk to the nearby theatre for the Anthony Awards.
I didn't win - but I sure had a gas. Indeed, so far I have a perfect record. Three noms, three losses. But you know, as much as I love to win, and there is always that little 'ooof' when I hear someone else's name, I know how much mad good luck I've had and do not demand more of the universe.
Having said that, there was one issue that actually hurt quite a bit. I debated saying anything, but thought that this is certainly part of playing in the big leagues...or perhaps not in the big leagues
Michael Connelly won - in a fabulous field made up of William Kent Kruger, Sean Chercover, Stieg Larson and me.
I began to feel a little annoyed when Connelly, as guest of honor, was actually in the lobby when the ceremony began and needed to be called to the front to receive his guest of honor statue...he meandered down the aisle and up the steps and gave a brief speech. He seemed bored. Then when he won our catagory, he again wandered up. Now you must understand, everyone else bounded up - gave gracious talks mentioning the other nominees and the great honor of the award, and seemed thrilled, giddy even, to have won.
Connelly seemed, again, bored. Saying 'thanks'. He did say some nice things about SJ Rozen who was MCing the event. then he sat down.
As one of the nominees I was...I was thinking of saying disappointed, upset, baffled by his apparent ingratitude. But I realize I need to be honest. I was angry. Probably have no right to be, and perhaps an over-reaction due to a certain fatigue. I wasn't actually angry that he didn't mention the other nominees - but that he seemed not to care about winning an award that meant so much to me. I felt like standing up and shouting, 'If it means so little to you, then give it to someone who does care.'
It just didn't feel at all good...a kinmd of entitlement. Especially funny after SJ Rozen had commented that the previous winner had been almost faint with excitement and gratitude and how sad the day will be when she's won so many awards she just says 'Thanks'.
And that's what Connelly did. Not to be funny - but because he didn't seem to be able to muster more enthusiasm.
but, after the awards - about 5 minutes later, I went over to him, put out my hand, smiled, introduced myself and congratulatd Michael Connelly. He looked bored, shook my hand, said 'thanks' and looked away. He obviously had no idea who I was and didn't care.
That also hurt. It was very humbling. Not enough to lose, I must now feel two inches tall.
I also debated whether I should tell you so clearly how I feel. part of me thinks I should just tell you about the good stuff, or pretend to a thicker skin than I have. But then I realize it would'd be much of a journey together - and you have been so generous with your kindness - that I felt I really needed to show warts too. I recognize that my pain at this encounter comes from my own insecurity. My hopes that Michael Connelly, a huge name in crime fiction, might know me. But he didn't. And he didn't seem to care.
Anyway, am at the airport, waiting for the flight to Toronto...trying to shake off a funk. I know I'll feel better by the time we arrive. These things are short-lived and part of the price of competing. And living a somewhat public life. You expose yourself, become vulnerable. Sometimes it feels great...as most of this glorious Bouchercon did - but sometimes it doesn't feel so good.
Like most jobs, writing is the whole package. I do want to say that I really don't mind losing. On Thursday when both the Macavity and Barry awards went to someone else, I was delighted...not a problem at all.
The kind of casualness of connelly is what hurt. Just one more award. One more fan congratulating him.
I suppose he's tired too.
But the rest of the day was fabulous. Breakfast with my friend Dan Mayer, of Barnes and Noble. Then lunch with my friend Robin Agnew, who owns and runs the Independent Mystery Bookstore, Aunt Agatha's in Ann Arbor. wonderful store.
Then Robin and I went up to our panel...a riot! Robin moderated, and sitting with me were the great Willian Kent Kruger (known to his friends just as Kent Kruger) and the terrific Sean Chercover. Our topic was the importance of independent mystery bookstores. We ended up trading war stories of life on tour. Kent and Sean were hilarious. Robin moved it along and asked fun, smart questions.
The Nikki taped an interview with me.
Then headed over to the Anthony awards...and did I mention what happened there? Never mind.
I'm already feeling better. Flight about to leave. Speak to you tomorrow. Michael is still in Montreal - going to his McGill Medical 50th year reunion! And coming to Toronto by train tomorrow. I miss him. Wish I could just curl up in his arms and he'd take the hurt away. Probably good for me to be able to do it for myself, shrug it off. Count my considerable blessings.
But it will be good to hold him. And have him hold me. And say, 'there, there.'
Speak tomorrow. Oh and also want to make sure I congratulate Jim Huang, of The Mystery Company in Muncie, for organizing one of the best Bouchercon's ever!!! Fabulous.