Malice Domestic in 3D, plus #giveaway

News Flash: Patricia Borgononi Patricia, is our lucky giveaway winner. Congratulations, and please your email!

Edith/Maddie writing from north of Boston and just home after a whirlwind of activity in North Bethesda.

Yes, I’m stealing Julie’s term from her post a couple of weeks ago about being with writers and fans in person – in 3D! She wrote about being at Left Coast Crime, a conference I had planned to attend but then canceled out of anxiety about the travel and people-contact, despite how much I love New Mexico.

I was determined not to miss Malice Domestic, though, and Barb graciously offered me a seat in the car she and her husband planned to drive south and back. Avoid a round-trip train or plane ride with strangers? Yes, please!

So here’s my report.

The four Wickeds at Malice, plus Barb’s husband, Bill, kicked it right off Wednesday night with dinner at our favorite French restaurant in Bethesda. We were delighted to have this year’s Fan Guest of Honor, our beloved Dru Ann Love, join us!

I had a relaxed Thursday morning and was able to take good walk along the Bethesda Trolley Trail. Goodness, spring in Maryland is way ahead of Massachusetts.

Dogwood and redbud in bloom, two of my favorite spring trees

After helping a crew of dedicated volunteers stuff the conference bags all afternoon, I met up with a few of my Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen fellow bloggers for dinner.

From left, Leslie Budewitz, Molly MacRae, me, and Leslie Karst, who included the giant eggbeater above us in her group-selfie!

We adjourned to my room and were joined by Tina Kashian to assemble recipe card swag packets from all twelve of the bloggers – and drink wine, of course.

Friday the conference started in earnest.

I lunched with more friends, all of whom have been guests on the Wicked Authors. Eating is a big part of Malice!

Liz Milliron, Korina Moss, me, Annette Dashofy, and Joyce Tremel

The afternoon was full of panels celebrating this year’s Agatha Award nominees for Best Novel, Best Historical Novel, and Best Short Story.

Best Contemporary Novel nominees, moderated by Kristopher Zgorski

The Guppies (short for the Great UnPublished) is Sisters in Crime’s largest chapter, and it’s all online (they let published folks like me stay on…). We had a delightful pre-dinner gathering Friday evening. So lovely to put faces to names!

Saturday morning Barb and I talked about keeping a long-running series fresh with Dru Ann moderating us and three other other authors. Dru asked great questions and it was a fun panel!

Dru Ann Love, Amanda Flower, Cheryl Hollon, Edith/Maddie, Barb, and S.C. Perkins

I sat in on a lovely interview chat between Guest of Honor Julia Spencer-Fleming and Vermont-based author Sarah Stewart Taylor. When talking about characters, Julia said something like, “Make things really hard for them” – great advice.

Julie moderated a panel that afternoon titled “The Place of Cozies in a Non-Cozy World.” What a great idea for a conversation, and Julie guided it expertly.

I missed the interview with Guest of Honor Rhys Bowen, but loved Kellye Garrett’s chat with Lifetime Achievement Honoree Walter Mosley.

The Wickeds met up for our traditional pre-banquet drinks and solved all the problems of the publishing industry. We all missed Liz and Jessie not being with us. Hopefully next year they’ll be here.

I was honored to host a table at the banquet that evening.

Up at the podium I thanked the Wicked Authors and others for helping me win the Best Historical Novel award for Charity’s Burden two years ago – and I finally received my teapot!

I was delighted to see good friends nearly sweep this year’s Agatha Awards: Alan Orloff for Best Children’s/YA, Mia Manansala for Best Debut, Shawn Reilly-Simmons for Best Short story, Lori Rader-Day for Best Historical, and Ellen Byron for Best Contemporary Novel!

Sunday morning, Barb and I stayed for Sherry’s panel on Sleuths with Unconventional Careers, then we packed the car and headed north.

It was a weekend full of hugs, learning, and so much celebration at being together in 3D again. After two years of being quiet, it got a little overwhelming at times, but breaks in my room helped.

Now I’m looking forward to writing quietly again, plus taking a COVID test in a couple of days to be sure I didn’t bring the virus home with me.

Readers: Where have you bravely ventured out recently? I’d love to send a commenter a copy of Batter Off Dead, which I gave to my banquet guests.

63 Thoughts

  1. I ventured out for a huge birthday party for a cousin in my home town. It was good to see all my family again. Between family and friends, there were about 100 people there.

  2. I also stole Julie’s “3D” comment because it was so true! It was wonderful to see so many dear friends and make a few new ones. Thank you so much, Edith, for inviting me to join you for lunch on Friday.

    (And I, too, intend to take a Covid test just to be safe.)

  3. Looks like you all had a blast! We went to my husband’s granddaughters basketball game, lots of people there, plus I went to my zumba class where unfortunately someone tested positive for covid a couple weeks back. Still chilly here, but my daffodils are blooming, hardy little lovelies!

  4. Congratulations once again! I lived vicariously through all your posts this week, while you were in Bethesda. What a wonderfully spirited gathering!
    My venturing is limited to our family gatherings, but our six grands sports and end of school year activities will soon have us out and about again.

  5. Edith,

    Thanks for the recap of your adventures at Malice Domestic! I’m glad that you finally got the well-deserved Agatha Teapot too.

    I haven’t really been venturing out anywhere new as of late, unless you count a far less than packed movie theater to see The Batman movie. Fully masked of course and only the 2nd time I’ve been in a theater in more than 2 years.

    Beyond that, I go to Trivia Night (but I’ve been doing that since they restarted it back in September. I also go to my comic shop where depending on the day, I might bring lunch for me and the owner (PIZZA…YAAY!).

    But otherwise I haven’t done anything or really gone anywhere. Any other store I go to, I go in and get out. I had a concert in March (that was delayed from May 2020) with one of my favorite artists (Beth Hart) but I ended up eating the ticket and not going to the Boston show. There’s another concert closer to home on May 5th that I could get into for free but I’m skipping it because I just don’t trust the other people that will be there. I’m hoping things are much improved come October when there is another show that I just HAVE to see. But we’ll see how things break before I commit to going.

    Book conferences aren’t happening any time soon even if I could afford it.

  6. Moved to a new apartment last october so I have been venturing out in the neighborhood going for long walks and seeing all new things.

  7. What a fabulous weekend, Edith! It was so much fun connecting with the mystery community in real life again! Can’t wait to do it again!

  8. With today’s situation, any travel outside of your own home is an adventure. Lately my adventures have included several doctor visits due to an eroded wrist due to rheumatoid arthritis issues. All other plans are on hold until answers are received. I’m hoping to go with my family to a minor league baseball game to celebrate my son’s 34th birthday toward the end of May.

  9. Sounds like Malice Domestic was tons of fun. And yes, good food and great conversation is essential when gathering with friends.

    Having some medical issues, we have been rather homebodies for the past few years due to Covid. We both now have double booster shots and are going to try to venture out in a little over a week going to Indiana to a May Days in Shipshewana. We love it up there, but have had to cancel plans for the last three years. I think the feeling of it’s now or never, being fully vaccinated and knowing it’s a small town where it’s going to be all outdoor events made us say “Let’s do it this year!”. Most of the time will be just the two of us exploring the country side with our cameras trying to capture beautiful farms and countryside, but there will also be that amazing Amish food and friendly folks that have made this a place we love to go. Now to get all that needs done before we leave and pray that nothing happens to cause us to cancel again.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  10. It was lovely seeing so many people at Malice, including all the Wickeds!

    Next weekend is my daughter’s college graduation, so I have a week to rest and recuperate.

  11. I went to a play that ran 3 hours – fortunately, the theater required proof of vaccination and masks.

  12. Thanks for sharing those wonderful photos. You look just wonderful in all of them! I am so glad that you got to attend this event and that you have your teapot, at last!

    We just returned from a few days with our daughter and her boys. Their whole family was on vacation, and while her hubby flew out to visit his relatives, we drove down to Delaware to spend time with Rachel and the kids. The oldest was having a birthday and we got to celebrate a bit. The weather was blustery, but we managed to have one terrific walk at a state park by the shore and did some bird watching that was lots of fun. The boys are 11 and 7 yrs. old, very active, noisy, athletic and funny, too. We hadn’t seen them since December, and each one had grown several inches.

    This weekend we’ll drive up to Massachusetts for another birthday celebration. Youngest grandson turns 5.

  13. No where real exciting, but we did finally meet with a group of our friends for breakfast at a large buffet restaurant. Not seeing them for 2 years was hard.

  14. Wow! It looks like you all had such a great time, and I am so happy for you! I cannot tell you about where I have gone lately because I still don’t venture out very far. Covid is too much of a threat.

  15. Hi, it looks like you had a great time and Congratulations!! This week I went to listen to my husband, he plays the saxophone and he had a gig and I went with him. A couple of days after our 8th grade grandson and his Mixed doubles partner in Tennis had their District Tournament and they won 1st place, so it was really Nice to watch , I am so very Proud of them both, this is their second year they win . Have a great week and stay safe.

  16. My Sister and I went to a book event in Green Bay WI this weekend and had a great time. It wasn’t a huge event but a small step back to normal. Getting the second booster shot made me feel more comfortable. Malice looked like a great time.

  17. In Texas, most of us have pretty much been back to normal for at least a year. I hosted a going away party for some dear friends this weekend. My husband does not like to travel, but one daughter, one granddaughter, and I have our plane tickets to visit Mackinaw Island this summer and Boston in early Fall.

  18. What lovely pictures! Thanks for sharing! We haven’t been out much because of covid and not in a big gathering. We are planning a trip to the ocean this year. We are vaccinated and boosted so that gives me some peace of mind. I do have two kids still in school and they are around people all day.

    Thanks for the chance!!

  19. We went to a college campus to watch a tennis match. The match was outdoors but we had to go into the student union building

  20. The fun you had at Malice was obvious. It looked awesome. My husband and I recently ventured out to Applebee’s to have dinner with my great nephew and his partner who live in Colorado. They came for a visit and we met them and my niece, nephew and another great nephew for dinner. It was wonderful to catch up and to eat out after two years of staying home.

  21. We actually went onto a short cruise from Miami to Mexico and Bimini. We had to test before we went on (negative) and we went ahead and did a test before we came back (negative). There were people around but we kept our mask on at all times unless we were in our cabins and/or eating. We did keep our distance and did not attend anything with alot of people like the pool party and such. The cruise had excellent food (only adults on the cruise) and we did alot of walking each day.

  22. Congratulations to all the winners. We ventured to Ann Arbor, Michigan for a book signing with Brenda Novak. This is the first time we have ever been to a book signing. It was the first time we had been in a crowd of people since Covid. Thank you for sharing such fabulous pictures and memories.

  23. I loved reading about your trip and seeing pictures! What a great time you had.
    I have no great adventures of going places yet unless visiting a favorite store in person vs curbside pickup counts. One day I will!

  24. I plan to venture out this Saturday to a square dance with mostly unvacinated families .we will have our 2nd booster and wear masks but just being around people should be joyful. In order for me to we have to rent a wheel chair van so it is not without expense and extra travel.

  25. It was so lovely of you to invite me to join you at lunch. I enjoyed getting to chat with you and the other authors. My first time at Malice was a wonderful experience.

  26. My friend and her husband came to my city and I met them without wearing a mask! First time I went out maskless in years!

  27. We go out to eat lunch about once or twice a week, the grocery store and to the pharmacy to get our 2nd booster short for covid.

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