Monday, May 7, 2012

Spring High and Low Points

April and May are always filled with activities, most pleasurable, a few, not so. Sometimes too much socializing can be hard on the body and soul. My face is stiff from smiling, my throat is sore from gabbing, and my emotions are ragged from being torn between happy and sad.

Martha Grimes
It began with Edgar Week, the MWA Symposium and the Agents & Editor’s Party. The high point of the Symposium was hearing Martha Grimes bravely admit she had no publisher, and meeting this gracious lady afterward. She has been so prolific, I felt ashamed of my own poor showing. And she is still going strong. At the party, later, it was fun to meet up with friends I hadn’t seen in awhile.

At Malice, again I saw people who I had missed and whose friendship I cherish. I joined in drinking a toast to the memory of Ruth Cavin, my former editor — a sad moment. But I enjoyed the banquet and cheering the latest Agatha winners.

The next event was pure joy. Seeing my eight-year-old grandson as Napoleon in his school play. He was perfect. Didn’t crack a smile, but caused a lot of laughter in the audience. I caught a glimpse of my 2½-year-old grandson and got to push him on a swing. Unfortunately, I missed my five-year-old granddaughter’s dance program because I had to be back in Philadelphia for my 60th High School Reunion! (That’s what I mean about spring being too full!)

The reunion was a mixed blessing. It was fun to see everyone who was there, but not much fun to listen to the list of those who had departed, followed by a moment of silence.

This week I’m staying home, getting rid of the dust that has gathered, giving my husband a break from his diet of Lean Cuisines, and attacking my current manuscript which has languished on my desk far too long.

Robin Hathaway


  1. One of the blessings of membership in these groups, as well as the broader writing community, is the fun, food and fellowship one finds in meetings and gatherings. tjs

  2. Robin, I had to skip the Agents and Editors Party for the reason you gave above! But I was at the Edgar Banquet. Martha gave a very personal speech upon receiving the Grand Master award. There was a lot of talk on the jungle drums about it in the following week. A lot of people seemed to think it was inappropriately critical of the state of the publishing industry. I loved it. She was REAL and spoke from the heart--never attacking anyone personally, but not pulling any punches when it come to her situation as a person who contributed to the expansion and evolution of our genre, whose work is critically acclaimed, and who finds herself at sea at a moment in her life when she is at the top of her game and should be at the top of every publisher's want list.

  3. Annamaria,
    Remember Donald Porter circa 1986 saying only about a dozen mystery writers make a decent living writing full-time? Hasn't changed all that much, I think. I'll keep the Day Job.

  4. The average published writer of fiction in the USA makes $9000 per year, and we are all factored in with James Patterson and Mary Higgins Clark to reach that number. It would be bit higher per capita if JK Rowling were American. But it's still the best job I ever had!

  5. It is interesting how many people are involved in the 'mystery writing world' even though there are so few people who actually make a living at writing mysteries.