Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Trouble in Tucson Recap #LCC2023


Just some of the many mountains around Tucson, AZ

Well, I’ve returned to the starting-to-thaw North after 4 wonderful days in Tucson, where the sun was shining (except for the day I flew in) and the temperature was a refreshing 70ish. There’s something to be said about spending that much time with fellow mystery writers. Saw old friends, made new ones, and got my share of sand, sand, stone, and cacti. Oh, so much sand! So many pointy, prickly plants. So much sage, and mequite, and whatever else they have out there.

The first thing that struck me, being a Minnesota nature girl and all, was the stark difference in the landscape. No dandelions here! No lawns either, except for the golf course. Who knew they also have palm trees in AZ?

View of the resort from one of the walkways. Yep, that blue is a pool.

I arrived Wednesday afternoon; the convention started Thursday morning. I caught up with a friend I’d met at last year’s LCC in Albuquerque (actually I caught up with a lot of friends I met in ABQ), met another writer whom I’ve followed on her blog and met in person last year (she was on my panel), and met a new friend, a Canadian writer who is a nomad. Yep, he retired from software developing and is now travelling for fun, basically. He stays someplace for a few weeks, writing during the week and touristing during the weekends.

[OKAY, bitch time about wordpress–so, I finished my post, and the thing was Autosaving for, like, ever, so I refreshed the page (without copying what I’d already written–I know better) and lost half my post. Stupid wordpress!]

So, trying to remember what I wrote before wordpress eff’d it up….

Soo many authors. J.A. Jance was there to receive the Lefty Lifetime Achievement award. Wow, she is tall! Glen Erik Hamilton was the guest of honor, Ellen Byron was the toastmaster. Lots of other people I’ve heard of, including Joanna Slan Campbell, Lee Goldberg, Lee Matthew Goldberg, and Anne Hillerman. Great networking opportunities for sure! There was at least one agent there (J.A. Jance’s agent) and at least one publisher. They didn’t advertise who they were, but I sat in on a panel where the agent was the moderator and the publisher was a panelist.

Speaking of panels, I neglected to get a pic of my first panel, the one I moderated, but I did get a pic of myself with a couple of the authors after we divvied up some shamrock seeds in honor of St. Paddy’s Day.

Me, Barbara Barrett, and Anne Louise Bannon, with the bag of smaller bags of shamrock seeds

Every time I go to a convention, my TBR list grows, and this time was no exception. I did move a few books to the top of my list, though, a couple books I’ve been meaning to read since they came out last year, but just haven’t read them yet. One I moved up because I sat in on the author’s panel, and some of the things she talked about made me want to read the book sooner.

My first panel, the one I moderated, went quite well. The second one, Setting as Character, I did manage to get a pic of, thanks to fellow Twin Cities SinC member and fellow Camel Press author Priscilla Paton.

Baron Birtcher moderating, Diana R Chambers, moi, Kwei Quartey

The Awards Banquet on Saturday night was the culmination of the event. Authors can host a table, and attendees can sign up to sit at an author-hosted table. Basically, it’s an opportunity for authors to distribute swag and for readers/writers to talk to the authors and each other. This year I hosted a table with a good friend I met in ABQ (she moderated our panel), Ann Goldfarb, half of JC Eaton (her husband is the other half).

Ann Goldfarb and me at the Awards Banquet

We had so much fun we’re going to host a table together next year in Seattle. Yep, I’ve already registered for next year’s LCC. I’ve been to Seattle, and loved it–my husband and I took a road trip there during spring break while we were in A&P school. The temperate rain forest is a lot more appealing to me than sand and rocks and prickly pokey things. Although the cacti are cool in their own way.

By Sunday I was ready to come home, even if it meant returning to temps hovering around freezing. I’ve finally recovered from all the stuff (read: being around so many people, but at least it wasn’t as many as were at Bouchercon, which is roughly three times bigger), and am starting to get back into revising Book 2. That was one thing I noticed: I absolutely NEED to get book 2 out. During the pandemic, when I couldn’t write (pandemic-block), so many other authors were super-productive because they couldn’t go anywhere. I wish it had been that way for me, and had even anticipated it, but something stopped up the works and I couldn’t write.

Anyway, I’m working on revisions on book 2 AGAIN, but I have figured out how to handle some of my agent’s concerns. Once the revs are finished, I’ll get a beta reader before torturing–um, sending it to my agent again. And a week from now I get to cat-sit my son’s cats, and his girlfriend’s cats, while they go on a roadtrip to the southern tip of Texas with her family. Yippee! A week+ of cuddly cats (Zoey looks cuddly, but don’t fall for it; I’m lucky if she decides to sit on the footrest of my chair).

And it’s officially Spring (not that you could tell by the snow outside, or the ice rink in the yard). Can’t wait until things warm up finally, and dry out. By this point I’d rather have a muddy yard than an icy one.

Happy Writing!

Rocky Mountains from 35,000 feet! Look at the snow!

Author: Julie Holmes, author

A fiction writer since elementary school (many years ago), and NaNoWriMo annual participant for over a decade, I have been published in small press magazines such as "Fighting Chance" and "The Galactic Citizen". I write adult mystery with a touch of romance, mystery with extrasensory elements, contemporary fantasy, and epic fantasy, and I'm represented by the fabulous Cynthia Zigmund of Second City Publishing Services. My debut novel, "Murder in Plane Sight", has been released by Camel Press (an imprint of Coffeetown Press/Epicenter Press). In real life, I am a technical writer and empty-nester with a wonderful hubby, one cat (what writer doesn't have cats??), one dog, five chickens, and more chipmunks, squirrels, and rabbits than any garden should have to deal with. My garden, our hobby farm, and Nature's annual seasons are some of my muses.

8 thoughts on “Trouble in Tucson Recap #LCC2023

  1. Thanks for sharing those fabulous pictures, Julie! It sounds as though you had a fantastic time, you learned a lot, and you connected. What more could you want from a conference?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the good news about this conference. It’s always so fun to get together with other writers. Good luck with Book 2. Time to get that baby out into the world. Have fun with the cats!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Chris! Yes it is past time to get that book out (and listening to your interview helped; the part about coaching and how Laurie B always subs on Mondays). And I am looking forward to spending some time with my son’s cats–they are adorable!

      Have a great writing week!


  3. So glad you had a good time! Great pictures. Great contacts. Great books. Great fun. Great to be home again. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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