Today marked my 13th visit to Mystery Lovers Bookshop in Oakmont, PA. (For those doing the math, that’s 12 novels and one short story collection, Like a Charm.) I traveled by plane, the first time I’ve ever done that, but I just wasn’t up for the up-and-back drive in one day, and I am trying to spend as many nights in my own bed as possible. My early a.m. Southwest arrival meant I got to have a marvelous brunch with Mary Alice Gorman, Richard Goldman and Kathy Sweeney. Mary Alice looked marvelous — wonderful new haircut and the usual exquisite jewelry. The event was terrific, per usual. And Richard gave me a copy of the new Michael Chabon ARC, which he had finished just the night before.
Meanwhile, I did kind of a stupid thing. Giddy with free time last night, I was reading Crimespace and I decided that I HAD SOMETHIING TO SAY. So I registered. Then I remembered — oh, wait, I’m trying not to be so promiscuous with my rather ordinary opinions and I didn’t post. But it turns out that I don’t quite understand the whole Crimespace/MySpace thing, and my e-mail is swelling with these messages from people who want to be my friends, most of whom ARE my friends, and my computer doesn’t seem to like the link much . . . oh dear. What have I done?
And here’s the thing: My big insight was just a little historical perspective on BSP (Blatant Self-Promotion). As originally used in the mystery world, there was some irony in it, a gentle joke. Personally I find BSP preferable to SDSP (self-deprecating self-promotion.) BSP, when I started this gig about a decade ago, was another way to say, “Sing out, Louise.” Make it short, simple and direct, without all the hemming and hawing.
The irony has been lost over the years and now some take BSP very literally.