The River of Ideas
This past Saturday, I attended the monthly meeting of the Washington Romance Writers, my local chapter of Romance Writers of America. I don’t get to a lot of our meetings — they last all day (one day a month), they’re often in a building that’s about 45 minutes away from my house, and they often cover topics that aren’t directly related to my current writing career.
This meeting, though, was three *blocks* from my house. And I didn’t have anything else specifically on the calendar. And the topic of the meeting was law enforcement.
I’m not currently writing any romantic suspense novels (or mysteries or thrillers or anything else that relies on law enforcement), but I often have ideas that spin off in those directions. And so, I bundled up against the wind (lucky us – no snow here!) and headed out.
And I had a wonderful time!
It was great to visit with chapter mates. And I enjoyed the presentations by Allison Leotta and Alma Katsu, providing an overview of “law enforcement in books and movies” and “the intelligence community”, respectively.
But it was the afternoon session that made the day. Allison brought in three colleagues from her former life as a prosecutor — an Immigration agent whose primary responsibility is busting up brothels in Maryland, a D.C. detective whose primary responsibility was investigating sex crimes, and a prosecutor whose primary responsibility was serving as the head of the Homicide unit, managing all the other homicide prosecutors and taking the lead on major cases.
Each of them had stories to tell — some funny, some tragic, some just unbelievable. Each of them demonstrated tremendous dedication to jobs that could become soul-deadening. Each of them answered questions directly, even when those questions were prying or less-than-artfully phrased.
I didn’t walk out with any grand new novel ideas. But I sure have a lot of little teasers floating around the corners of my mind. And the books that were cited, the ones I now want to read…
There aren’t enough hours in the day. There *never* are enough hours in the day, but I’m feeling the lack particularly sharply this morning!
Mindy, who also had a fantastic time chatting with friends old and new at lunch. And Katie’s fudge, at snack break… Ah, the joys of “Five Pound Fudge” (is that the weight we collectively gained? Or the weight of the pan Katie carried in?!?)