Sunday, September 22, 2013

Tribal Rites of Passage…

Writing is often solitary. Sometimes you feel you're a secluded hermit. But at other times your membership in this society dictates that you join the other tribesmen in one of the various group rites of passage.

You get out of your holy sanctuary and take a bus-train-car-plane to stand in a sacred circle and chat with dozens-hundreds-thousands of your fellow tribe-scribes in a meeting-party-conference or world convocation.

You drink in the wine of talent and success. You absorb, soak up, imbibe all the wonders of this world that can't be really shared in solitude.

You indulge in handshakes, hugs, laughs, smiles, frowns - tons of human emotions rush into your whole being. You're thrilled to rub shoulders with the great gods of Crime Literature! You blossom with pride to see how much you fit into the rituals of your tribe. Their folkways become your laws.

You say a silent prayer—"It is good to be here!"

Within minutes after you walk in the sacred portals, you exchange brain waves with the lofty, the eminent, the exalted ones of the tribe.

Once there were only a couple of these powwows. In 2013-14 they are ubiquitous and omni-present. City after city, state after state, you can even go to distant lands to join the tribe!

You can link brains with everyone from the bestselling darlings of the literary world to the unknown newborns who have ventured into the tribal haunts for the first time.

As a member of the Mystery Tribe you can choose your poison:

  • murder methods
  • love and sex
  • 10 commandments of mysteries
  • perfect villains
  • taboos, telling lies and thrills

to name a few...

Of course the world's leading Tribal Convention is called The Bouchercon, held yearly since 1970. Named for that noted tribesman, author/editor/reviewer , Anthony Boucher, it is known universally as " A convention of creators and devotees of mystery and detective fiction." This year , Albany, New York, becomes the tribal Mecca.

Whether you are a senior tribesperson or a neophyte, tell us your feelings and reactions to these tribal gatherings. Which one, where and why! And even suggestions for future conventions.

We'd love to have you share your thoughts, opinions and experiences with us at Crime Writer's Chronicle! Click on comments and enlighten us!

Thelma Jacqueline Straw

1 comment:

  1. You're so right, Thelma! The night before Bouchercon started, SinC and The Book House, Albany's big independent, threw a party. The owner Susan Novotny called me over to meet a guy who, against all odds, was John Lawton, the English author of the fine Inspector Troy novels set in London just after WW2, all of which I've read, and meant to look for Lawton at the show. After, 12 of us went to a rollicking dinner next door; met Cathy Pickens, a joy of a companion!...Who would have thought?