Bye Bloody Bye

Bloody Words 2014 will soon be upon us. I’m looking forward to it with mixed emotions. I’m not sure how many times I’ve been to this conference. It’s not held in Toronto every year, so I’ve lost track of the number of times. I suppose I could count the t-shirts but that’s too much work.

bench (s)no(w) place to sit

I first heard about it through Caro Soles when I took her mystery writing course at George Brown many years ago. I joined Crime Writers Of Canada, registered. That first one was held at the hotel on Bay by the Eaton’s centre. I’d name it but I’m not sure if it is still under the same corporate umbrella as it was then.

My first shock was the bumph bag – a heaping pile of books in a conference bag – enough books that would retail for the cost of the ticket. That year I knew few writers there – some from Caro’s class.

keybds winter writer’s block

Over the years I’ve gotten to know more of the writers & organizers, thanks to the Loyalist workshops & always volunteering to help on registration on the opening day. Over the years I’ve had agent meet ups, that lead no where), listened to great presentations about poisoning, police procedure, manuscript evaluations & the state of publishing.

Each year I’ve picked up useful insights – particularly as the publishing industry has changed (& continues to change). ePub has resulted in flop sweat from agents attempting to make traditional publishing still seem the best way to go. Frankly I question question that.

The mid-list writers have been left high-and-dry in favour of those who already sell well, and fresh faces who might sell well. Even these have been saddled with the bulk of their own pr while getting the same royalties. In fact if a new, or established, writer doesn’t have an online marketing platform to show an agent or publisher, it doesn’t matter good their manuscript is.

green deflated but shining on

The mixed emotion comes from the fact that this is the last Bloody Words. Check the web site for some information as to why this is the last. I’ll miss it, I’ll even miss lugging the forty kilo bumph bag around. Maybe the next Bloody Words will be a webinar?


June 6-8 – attending – Bloody Words


June 23-27 – attending – Manuscript to Book – Loyalist Summer Arts – Belleville, Ont


August 28-31 – attending – FanExpo Canada



The Shorts


Mark had shut his garage door. A long day of dull paper shuffling and he looked forward to the quiet of his house. The briefcase was always heaver than he remembered as he lugged it up his back steps.

“Mark! Mark!” He turned around. It was his next door neighbour Steve.

“Looks like rain.” Mark unlocked his back door.

“Let’s hope so. The maples need it.” Steve came through the gate. “I don’t know why, by I just had to tell you.”

“Tell me?”

Steve followed Mark into the house.

“You know we were talking about how I met Dave?”


“Well, I dug out those letters – the ones from the personals – that we exchanged – man some of them were pretty hot.”

“You should show them to him someday.”

“You think? It would just embarrass him. You know how he feels about that sort of stuff. Anyway I was wrong.”

“You! Admitting to a mistake.’

“Not a mistake but a slight failure of memory. That picture of him bursting out of of his briefs, well, it wasn’t of him. At least I don’t think it was.”

Steve took some letters & photos out of a large manila envelope.

“This is his letter. But that’s certainly not Dave.”

The photo was a 4×5 – torso only, from pecs to knees, with the fly of a pair of plaid boxers about to burst with the pressure of what they were holding back.

“I’ll have to take your word for that.”

“That’s not his … um … stomach. He has that scar here. Appendix.”

Mark had seen Dave bare-chested and he had a scar that wasn’t in the photo.

“I wonder if he sent it to me at all, or if it came from one of the other ads I answered.”

“Could be? Certainly is a keeper though.”

They both looked from the photo and caught each other’s glance.

“Um … yes … but I did find his letters.”

“You think he threw in that in as bait hoping you wouldn’t notice?”

“He’s not that devious. If he was I’d certainly know that by now.” Steve began to put the letters back into the envelope.

“Could I read one?” Mark picked up one that had fallen to the table. He recognized those shorts. His mother had them custom made for his Dad several Christmas’s ago.

bench barefoot in the park

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