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Yo, ho, ho! Malice Domestic (MD) to Treasure Island, FL

Malice Domestic is an annual mystery and crime fiction convention held in Bethesda, MD north of DC. The convention got cancelled the last two years due to COVID-19. Last weekend it re-opened. I had a blast catching up with my writer friends that I haven’t seen in-person since 2019. Honestly, 2019 feels like a couple of lifetimes ago.

Sisters in Crime friendships transcend state borders. Leaving Sarasota, I flew to Baltimore with my Florida Gulf Coast Sister in Crime Teresa Michael and roomed at the Bethesda Marriott North Hotel and Convention Center with my former Pittsburgh SinC chapter sibling Joyce Tremel. I can’t tell you how nice it felt to see real, live in-person 3-dimensional people again.

We took advantage of photo opportunities whenever we could. I behaved myself on the “What I Learned About Writing from Anne Lamott, Stephen King and Others” panel on Saturday morning, moderated by E.A. Aymar with Leone Ciporin, Julia Anne Lindsey, Liz Milliron, and Lynn Chandler Willis.

The Writers Who Kill blog members sat still long enough for a shot just before Guest of Honor Walter Mosley’s terrific interview, and I managed to corral a few members (Cheryl Hollon, Liz Milliron, Joyce Tremel, and Annette Dashofy) from Ramona’s Sprint Club, too.

By Sunday morning I had lost my voice and run out of words to say (I know, hard to believe but true). I came back to Florida re-energized with new story ideas, refreshed from the many friendships, and ready to get to work.

So where is Vaga Bond living now? I’m staying at the historic and very Olde Florida Crystal Bay Hotel near Treasure Island, an iconic 1915 landmark hotel that once hosted Babe Ruth, Marilyn Monroe, and Robert Kennedy. (You know there’s a story there.) I’ll explore the hotel more this afternoon, but last night a very weary Vaga Bond tucked under the covers and watched the sun set over Boca Ciega Bay from her bed.


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