Wednesday, July 05, 2006
And as the sun sets over the Biltmore...
They say that a panel is only as good as its moderator and when I saw that the panel I was assigned was scheduled for Sunday morning, 9 a.m. I assumed we'd be preaching to an empty room.
The panelists, aside from one unknown drunk, were all worth the price of admission:
The lovely Louise Ure who said she liked my book, which shows she either has excellent taste or is not someone you'd ask to cut the cards.
Bette Golden Lamb and JJ Lamb, husband and wife team who through some kind of criminal yin and yang, achieve a cosmic balance.
Blake Crouch, a young writer who kicks major ass on the page and is a gentle, sweet father in person.
But, in spite of these luminaries, how could we possibly rouse the few stragglers who might wander into our panel?
Easy. Have the Reverend Rhoades stage an old fashioned tent revival right there in the gilded Biltmore conference room.
Can I get a witness?
We had a great house of enthusiastic parishioners and before the service was over, many had been called over to The Dark Side. Hallelujah!
Thank you, Reverend Rhoades for guiding your flock with such envigorating spirit.
(By the way, Reverend Rhoades has been short-listed for the Shamus award. You know what that means. Dusty is a fucking nominee, bitch. Do not stand in his way.)
There were many throughout the weekend who made the weekend so goddamn enjoyable. Here are the ones I was sober enough to remember:
Robert Gregory-Browne. This guy is obsessed with my exploding pants. I don't know why.
Elaine Flinn. It was an honor to share the verandah with Elaine, a woman who knows more about this biz than the rest of us combined. Every time she laughed at one of my jokes I felt like top billing at the Copa.
James Rollins. James was another who was sucked into the gravity of our traveling show, all to good effect. Those cuts will heal in time, James.
Mindy Tarquini. A regular here at the Planet. Sorry about that resaurant mix-up. I think it was Stephen who offered tp pick up your check. And just send the book here. I'll sign it and send it back. I promise.
Elizabeth Krecker. She adds so much heart and soul to this blog, as she did in Phoenix. What a beautiful lady. Now, how do I buy those pictures you say you have?
Michael MacLean. Here's another man who should know better than to let the clown circus snatch him up in the dead of night. But thank goodness, he doesn't.
Jason Pinter. The editor who stepped in at the last minute and before the weekened was out had sixty-two novels, three nonfiction mss and a chapbook of gay cowboy poetry pressed into his hands.
Janine Wilson. How much more love can I show the woman who has hand sold BAPM to friends and strangers. God bless you, Janine. I want to have your babies.
Nick Hughes. Taught us The Mind of the Streetfighter with charm, humor and the requisite amount of sheer amusement at the thought that any of us would stand a snowball's chance in a real dust-up.
Mark Gimenez. Mark wrote The Color of Law, another first novel. I liked the book and I liked Mark, a real class act, in spite of being from Dallas.
Marcus Sakey. Didn't I see you at the bar? Yeah. I thought so.
JT Ellison. Didn't we dance out on the croquet court at 3 a.m.? Or was that...
Chris Everheart. Chris was a very funny addition to the clown show and it seemed, whenever I turned a corner, there was Chris, smiling, ready to make me laugh.
But nothing would have been the same without this crew:
Annie Chernow, a woman of class, taste, charm and discernment. Why she wanted to hang out with us is a mystery.
Pat Mullan, a man who knows a thing or two about having a good time.
Stephen Blackmoore, one of the funniest men I've ever had the good fortune to meet.
Kim Mizar-Stem, who is funny, smart and so willing to grace a graying group of gnarled old men with her luminescent beauty. What a mitzvah.
And Dusty Rhoades, my homeboy. He's more than our spiritual leader, he's a fucking nominee, bitch!