Tuesday, July 18, 2006
I rolled into Austin at about 4pm on Thursday and immediately headed down to the bar. ConMisterio didn't officially start until the following morning, but I figured I could catch up with a few of the attendees there.
I was deeply, deeply disappointed. I sat there nursing a series of beers by myself for nearly an hour and a half. How can you be so slack you can't make it to the bar?
Finally a woman came and sat down at a nearby table. I thought she sort of looked like a convention goer, and struck up a conversation. Turned out her name was Lee Billings and she was indeed there for the con. A few minutes later we were joined by Laura Elvebak, past president of the Southwest Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America. After a while Lee headed off to the dealer room and Laura and I started out for Mama Ninfa's Mexican restaurant and the Offically Unofficial kickoff dinner.
As we were getting up to leave, I noticed a familiar group ahead of us. Sean, Neil, and Victor had finally decided to put in an appearance. Since Laura knew where the restaurant was, they climbed into their badass PT Cruiser and followed us.
If took us fifteen minutes to ditch the Three Losers, so we were late and didn't get a place at the main table. I did get a change to meet Bill Crider face to face, and the legendary James Crumley passed by so close I could see the food stuck to his shirt.
After a plate of tamales we made our way back to the hotel. I was pretty tired and the place was dead, so after a few minutes I decided to call it a night.
posted by Graham Powell at 5:47 PM