Monday, April 06, 2020

Left Coast Crime 2020

I find it funny that my last post here was about being strangely productive.  Then I proceeded to not post anything for almost two months.  Actually, it is because I have been so busy I haven't had time to come back and post, but that's a post for another day.

Right now, I'm going to talk about Left Coast Crime 2020.

With the Corona virus beginning to break out in the states, I was surprised that it wasn't cancelled early.  But it was still scheduled as of March 11th, so I headed down.  It took place in San Diego, and I was looking forward to spending some time with fellow mystery lovers.

However, March 12th was a strange day.  For one thing, it was rainy and cold.  The first real rain we'd had since December.  Then, the major bookseller decided the risk to their employees was too great, so at the last possible moment (the books were on the tables to be sold), they backed out of selling books.  Panels were constantly changing since people were cancelling left and right.

But I still managed to have some fun.  I got books signed by most of the authors I brought from home.  I was able to talk to a few friends while maintaining a distance from there.  Still, the entire thing felt surreal somehow.

And I had a panel to moderate.  When I registered, I'd volunteered to moderate a panel if they needed me, and they put me on one for culinary cozies.  Right up my ally, right?  One of the authors cancelled week of, but I had three of the original four panels, and no new panelists.  I consider myself very lucky.

The panel went well.  The authors were engaging and interacted well with each other.  I had way way more questions than I needed for a 45 minute panel, but that was okay.  I'd rather that than the other way around.  The audience was engaged.  I was happy with how it went, and plenty of people said they thought it went well, which made me happy, too.

It was right after the panel that the word came down that San Diego County was banning all gatherings of a large size, so we were shut down effective that evening.  Fortunately, the hotel was willing to not charge me for the rest of my reservation, so I packed up and headed home, going into work the next day.  I stopped in Oceanside for dinner at the Pit Stop Diner, which was fun.

I'm glad I went.  Yes, part of me is disappointed things turned out as they did, but with everything going on in the world, I certainly understand it.