ONE MORE FOR THE ROAD
by Deborah Elliott-Upton
Saying goodbye has never been one of my favorite things. Instead, I’d like to say thanks for the opportunity to be a part of your life for these past years at Criminal Brief. This isn’t goodbye as I know we’ll still be bumping into each other again. The best thing about writers and readers is they somehow find each other. Since I believe there are no coincidences, it is my conviction we were both here at the same time for a reason.
I hope you were as entertained, enlightened and engaged as I have been with Criminal Brief. I’ve been blessed to be here from its inception all the way to its end.
We could never discount the addition of the reader’s comments: they are appreciated more than one may think. It is not only valuable to know what the thinking is about our writing, but also our readers have contributed much information and points of view we’ve appreciated reading.
Thanks to James Lincoln Warren for coming up with this format and painstakingly getting all of contributions online in a timely manner. When I “met” Jim online via the Mystery Writers of America group, I was charmed by his wit and humor. Who wouldn’t be? I asked to join his PHARTS group and wrote an article concerning techniques for writing a screenplay which was tremendous fun for me. When he decided to create Criminal Brief, he asked me to join the roster. I was complimented to join the ranks of such fine writers. Jim has said we sometimes stretched the confines of Criminal Brief’s structure of writing about short crime fiction and he is absolutely correct. However, I think perhaps we all have been entertained by Jim’s lexicon information, Leigh’s true crime accounts, John’s marketing methods, Melodie’s tales of the lady driving the Hummer, Steve’s vast collections, and Rob’s musical thoughts. As the newbie to the group, Janice has not wandered from the original directive to write strictly about short mystery fiction. She receives a shiny gold star next to her name. We all started out as diligent, but have strayed from the path here and there, but I think we all tried to tie the articles into a mystery vein in some manner. (And I liked writing about Nimrods, Captain Jack, and my dad.)
Almost all of us have traversed into the effects of movies, TV, and actors, and how they have influenced us in our choices. Some of us went where others did not appreciate. (I immediately think of the three blondes we will not name here as it makes at least one of our group unhappy—and yes, for good reason.)
I think it’s all been good. Whether it’s been smooth sailing or a bit rough at times, we have not been bored—which isn’t true of all blogs. I think perhaps it’s because we have so many different points of view involved at Criminal Brief. Not only do we live all over the United States, we also have different lifestyles, voting records, likes and dislikes.
I could not forget to mention the ones who’ve made this trek even more fun: the late Dick Stodghill, the great Bill Crider and of course our around-the-world readership. We’ve managed to corral an amazing comment group and also a diverse cluster of lurkers. Thank you all for being out there and being interested enough to join us.
I agree with Melodie about the week we all wrote about our offices at Criminal Brief. What an imaginative group we have! That was pure fun and from the comments, our readership agreed. James has often been the one finding many of the illustrations accompanying the columns and that is a feat within itself to do day after day for four and a half years.
I hope you continue with most of us at Sleuth Sayers. We have an exciting lineup of writers ready to share! It’s a new adventure on which we are about to embark and there’s plenty of room for you and all your friends. Stay tuned to Criminal Brief for more information about when and where to find Sleuth Sayers!
For now, I won’t say goodbye, but so long for now. I’m sure we’ll all meet again. In fact, I’m counting on it. Until then, “Cheers, friends.” Until next time.