Friday, February 13, 2009

All Good Things Must Come To An End

Sunday, Feb. 8 saw the close of Love Is Murder, Chicago’s premier annual mystery conference. After three exciting days of panels, presentations, and partying, 300 people packed their luggage, hugged one another good-bye, and headed for the exits at the Westin NorthShore Hotel.

I was one of the folks lugging my bags through the lobby that day. I’d come to LIM not only as a fan of the mystery genre, but also as one of the organizers of the conference. As registrar for Love Is Murder, I felt a sense of relief that all had gone as planned. I was also pleased that so many of the attendees called this eleventh LIMcon the best one yet.

There was reason to be happy, yet I was leaving the hotel with a sense of melancholy.

Saturday evening an announcement had been made cancelling the 2010 LIMcon. Love Is Murder would be back in 2011, but there was a need to reorganize and recruit new people to fill the committee assignments. What had started as a small con manned by a few dedicated mystery fans had grown into a large conference still manned by the same few fans. Help was definitely needed.

Losing something -- even for only a year -- tends to disrupt the balance in your life. You count on people, places, or events to always be there for you. It's a bit of a shock when you discover the house you grew up in has been torn down to make way for another McMansion, or your favorite little restaurant has sold out to Subway. Worse yet is when your best friend moves half way across the country and you've only got e-mail to keep you connected.

Losing LIM for a year is a small thing in comparison to the more important losses we all go through. Heck, I lost my job a week before LIM, so I know of what I speak. :) But I've learned one thing over the years: while all good things must come to an end, there are always new opportunities waiting right around the corner.

I'm taking my forced retirement both from LIM and my paying job to concentrate more on things that really count. I have a novellla to submit to my publisher in April, and now I have more time to perfect it. I have a short story in the newly released anthology MISSING, and now I have more time to promote it. And best of all, I have a new grandchild due to be born next Thursday, and now I have more time to enjoy him or her (yes, we still don't know if it's a boy or a girl!) and my other seven grandchildren. And I have more time to spend with the one guy who can still make me laugh -- my husband Fred.

So while all good things must come to an end, I'm looking forward to better things starting in 2009. I hope the same can be said for you.


  1. SO--it's the first day of the rest of your life, as they too often say.

    Love is Murder instantly became one of the must-do conferences, and I must say I was dismayed to hear there wouldn't be one in 2010. But I know the show will go on in 2011! And let me know what I can do to help. (I was born in Chicago. and grew up in I'm a homegirl.)

    What a wonderful title and quote for your blog! Congratulations..and I'll see you here often. (And make sure to keep up posted on the new baby. In our family, I'm Grammy. Who are you?)

  2. Hey, Mary,
    I've only been to two LIMs but your comments are right on. A great event. I'll be, as somebody said, baaaaaackk!

  3. Karen Syed, who is sitting at my table working right now, said it is one of her favorite cons to attend. I look forward to it coming back so I can take my Wine Lover and Horse Lover mysteries on the road.

  4. Mary and the other organizers did an awesome job with this event. I think it was the best Love is Murder yet.

    If you live in the Chicago area, love mystery and romance, and want to get involved with a remarkable group of people, you submit a request to join the LIM team. What a great way to give back to the industry we all love so much!

  5. Let me know if you need a first-reader for your new book. I volunteer.


  6. Well, the bright side is, maybe by 2011 I will have saved up the airfare to return to Chicago!

    Congrats on the ms., the new grandbaby and the new leash on life!


  7. Mary -
    I'm sorry to hear about your job! I'm excited about the grandbaby, though, and of course the novella...
    You all should be proud of LIM - it all went smoothly and was a wonderful conference. I know 2011 will be better than ever, too!

  8. Mary, that description almost made me verklempt! Here's to a well-earned break, eh?


  9. I'm gonna take your comments about the only guy who can get you to laugh as a challenge.


  10. I'll miss going to Love is Murder next year. I've been to each and every one of them. That means one more year to wait before I see some of my favorite people again, but the wait will be worth it.

    Morgan Mandel

  11. LIM is one I've considered but never made. I've heard lots of good things about it, though. Congratulations on joining the retiree ranks (though it was forced upon you). I can't believe I've been retired for 20 years now, and I seem to have less time to get things done than ever. Keep up the good work, Mary.

  12. This LIM was fantastic and it was such fun getting to know you. And Norm, you are a stitch!

    Deb Baker

  13. LIM is a wonderful conference. Of course the best part was visiting with you and Fred.

    Life is full of changes--I've found that out through the years. Just had my 11th great-grandbaby--a cute little girl.


  14. So sorry to hear about the loss of your job. It's tough, but you are keeping a forward looking attitude. There seem to be so many other good things going on in your life now!

  15. Mary,
    Sorry to read about your job loss. Do please keep us posted on arrival of new munchkin.
    I will miss LIM in 2010 and am willing to help to bring it back in 2011, and I agree LIM is a great conference.
    Your partner in novella crime...

  16. Glad to hear you like my blog title and quote, Hank. I think the quote is as relevant today as it was in Cicero's day.

    I'm also glad to hear so many of you who responded to my blog enjoyed LIM or are looking forward to attending it in future years. It really is a great con.