Gearing up for Left Coast Crime

This is a big month for me. I’ll be attending my second conference for mystery writers and fans, Left Coast Crime March 29 – April 1 in Sacramento.

In 2009, I attended the California Crime Writers Conference in Pasadena, a wonderful first experience. I listened to presentations, filled notebooks with new information and talked with a few people at the banquet. Keynotes Robert Crais and Laurie King are two of my favorite mystery/thriller/suspense authors.

Among her many quotes, Laurie King said:

  • “My name is Laurie King and I write crap.  Is this as good as I can make this crap? Don’t   take yourself seriously, but do take the writing seriously.”
  •  “I don’t really believe in New York.”

With my bookshelf full of how-to books, this was golden advice from Robert Crais:

  • “Only one way to write a novel. Your way.”

An admitted introvert, the scheduled networking cocktail party was event overload for me, so I didn’t attend. Although thrilled with everything I learned, I missed out by not diving into the roomful of strangers, and vowed to do it differently the next time.

This article about Susan Cain’s book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking on Brain Pickings was great preparation for the Left Coast Crime conference:

Susan Cain says, “Introversion — along with its cousins sensitivity, seriousness, and shyness — is now a second-class personality trait, somewhere between a disappointment and a pathology. Introverts living under the Extrovert Ideal are like women living in a man’s world, discounted because it goes to the core of who they are. Extroversion is an enormously appealing personality trait, but we’ve turned it into an oppressive standard to which most of us feel we must conform.”

Here’s her wonderful TED talk:

I’m paraphrasing but this advice stayed with me: When you attend a conference or networking event, make it your goal to make one real friend. You can’t really connect with all those people anyway.

This time, I’ve registered to participate in a day-long workshop, submitted pages for review and volunteered as a panel room monitor. But I’m also hoping to make one new friend to share my writing interests with, and maybe even connect with an agent!

Left Coast Crime is for mystery readers and writers. Check it out!

2 thoughts on “Gearing up for Left Coast Crime

  1. Sounds like a great conference — with tools like the ones you’ve outlined here, how could it help but be rewarding? My Alexander technique teacher recently shared an article about thriving as an introvert. It was really good — I’ll send it to you if you want to read it. Thanks for another wonderful blog!

  2. Thank you and do please send the article. Susan Cain’s TED talk is so inspiring for introverts and extroverts!

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