Bobbing with weirdness

Do you love stories about weird coincidences? Here's one:

Last night, I was at a meeting of SouthWest Writers. During intermission, I sold a few copies of my latest paperback, 1500 Rules for Successful Living, including one to a fellow author named Pete David. I've met Pete before and we've e-mailed a few times. Nice guy.

As I began to autograph his copy, I had one of those senior moments (which seem to be more frequent lately), and I didn't write "For Pete," as intended. You're thinking I wrote "For David," right? That would make sense. But what did I write? "For Bob."

Where did "Bob" come from? I have no idea.

Laughing at my own strangeness, I tossed the book back into the box and signed a different copy "For Pete." I've made this kind of mistake before. The screwed-up books become giveaways or shelf copies. No big deal.

Minutes later, while Pete and I were still chatting, another SWW member approached with money in hand, wanting a copy of the RULES. Guess what his name was? That's right. BOB.

As soon as I saw his name tag, I fished the "For Bob" book out of the box and said, "Here you go. Already inscribed for you."

That freaked Bob out a little, but he was a good sport once I explained what had happened. And we all went away, shaking our heads and laughing.

If you want some laughs of your own, give my 1500 RULES a try. Filled with twisted humor, the RULES are 106 pages of utter nonsense for only $5.99. Perfect bathroom reading! Click here for more info, or e-mail me directly at abqbrewer@gmail.com. I'll be glad to autograph a copy for you. Or for any Bobs you might know.


Conference crud

Most writers are solitary creatures, but once in a while we gather in drunken hordes to meet our fans and shake hands and share some germs.

We have no immunity from the viruses, germs and assorted other bugs that normal people pass around, so most of us come away with a cold or something worse. Pile that on top of the hangovers, sleep deprivation and jet lag that accompany most conference weekends, and it's a wonder any of us survive.

We have a term for the flu-like symptoms that follow these weekends away: Conference crud.

I just attended my first conference in two years, so the crud is raging at my house. (New Mexico bonus: Record-high pollen levels, so even people who don't normally have allergies are sneezing their brains out.)

The conference, Left Coast Crime, was at a swank resort in Colorado Springs that had a splendid view of the Rocky Mountains as the blizzard rolled in. Kidding! It was just a little windblown snow, conveniently cleaned off the roads in time to drive home.But the icy weather meant there was even more staying indoors and shaking hands and spreading germs than usual.

As always, I had a great time at Left Coast. These conferences are the only times I see many of my scattered pals, and I spend most of the weekend telling jokes and playing poker and hoorawing over drinks with them. There are also lots of interesting panels and awards handed out and such like, and you can get all that information here: http://www.leftcoastcrime.org/2013/

For me, it's all about the fellowship. And the germs.