Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Midwest---Ablaze in Color

I'll echo everything Kate Collins just said on yesterday's blog about the Bouchercon Mystery Conference held in Indianapolis. It was one of the best we've had. The Indy folks did an outstanding job of coming up with new and innovative ideas for all the mystery fans and writers who attended. Judging from the huge lines of readers who surged through the aisles of Sunday's Book Bazaar (where writers gave away free publisher-donated books), it was also one of the better attended Bcon's. People were packed in so tight in those lines, they looked like salmon swimming upstream.

I was on a panel which talked about involving "retail shop" settings in murder mysteries and I led a craft room session on knitting a scarf for beginners where the convention organizers had provided yarns and needles. How great is that? There were loads of fun and free sessions like that which the attendees loved. A fun idea which should be considered by future Bouchercons.

Now, I'm in West Lafayette, Indiana, almost halfway between Indy and Chicago, and home to Purdue University. I'm visiting with old Purdue friends and having a fun time. Last night, my friend invited several local groups in for a book talk and excuse to nibble yummy desserts and appetizers. My friend Claudia loves an excuse to cook.

And I'm LOVING the glorious color. This area of the Midwest has escaped a snowstorm like the one of weekend before last which brought six inches of snow and 16 degrees to the Front Range of Colorado and killed all the flowers --- and shriveled our beautiful Fall leaves. Sigh. I hear it also happened in parts of the East as well. I hated losing our Fall color so early. So--you can undestand how delighted I was to be driving from Indianapolis to West Lafayette on a sunny Sunday afternoon and see blazes of bright reds and oranges still on the trees surrounding I-65. Yay!!!! Now, I've been driving around my old stomping grounds in the pretty little college town of West Lafayette and drinking in---literally---all the gorgeous color. The reds, oranges, yellows, yellows and reds together. Ohhhh, yes. Love it. I just drove slowly through those familiar old strees absorbing it all. Sunshine streaming through the leaves. The announcer on the radio station I was listening to remarked how Indiana had had two weeks of cold and rain, so they really appreciated the warm spell. I do, too. And the color. Thank you, Indiana, for welcoming back an old friend and resident in the best way possible. By showering us all in color.

On Wednesday, I fly back "home" to Northern Virgainia where I'm hoping I'll be welcomed with more color. How about you? Are you still enjoying Fall's colorful dispaly where you live?