Write of Spring - 2008

By Gary Shulze and Carl Brookins
Writing for CrimeSpree Magazine

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 to come?

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.

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This page last updated April 13, 2008