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.