Write of Spring - 2008
By Gary Shulze and Carl Brookins
Writing for CrimeSpree
Snow fell on Thursday night. It wasn't an infrequent
occurrence this winter. Snow fell again, off and on, the next
day. Just flurries. Even though the temperatures in Minneapolis
weren't the bone-cracking cold we sometimes experience, and the
city was coated with a fresh white mantle, it didn't look much
like spring. It was, after all, mid-March in Minnesota. Almost
the first day of spring.
Overnight, more snow came down. Soft, brilliant, sparkling, water-rich
snow. Saturday morning the city looked fresh and clean and the
water in the snow was needed in the ground. But Write of Spring,
that annual gathering of often hibernating writers and fans was
due to begin at noon. Not just for any writers or any fans. Special
writers and special fans. Members of the mystery community. Would
they rouse themselves and get to our small independent bookstore
named Once Upon A Crime for the annual ritual awakening?
True, more than 50 authors had signed up. But would they show?
Illness always depleted the ranks somewhat, and now overcast skies
and the threat of more snow loomed. Minnesota sports a vast number
of loyal and avid mystery readers. Would they brave the weather
Gary and Pat, intrepid, knowledgeable, hard working proprietors
stuffed down their worries and worked through the morning to rearrange
the shop to accommodate anticipated crowds, but would they come?
They would and did. High Noon and the street and sidewalk teemed
with authors and fans. They filled the store and the street outside.
They never stopped arriving. The surging crowds of readers and
authors swirled in and out of the store and neighborhood beyond
even expectations. Pens and books waved in the air with cries
of "sign my book please." Some authors never looked
up from the table as book after book appeared under their trembling
fingers for signatures. New authors mingled with old hands and
ceaselessly, Pat and Gary moved through the crowds replenishing
stacks of books and gently moving authors from place to place
to better accommodate the hundreds of readers' desires. Authors
came and fans came, the whole afternoon.
Write of Spring VI was an unqualified success.