by Jeffe Kennedy
It's kind of a cliché - that writers love to drink.
As if we are all, on some level, the starving artist who climbs to the drafty garret, bottle of cheap wine or absinthe clutched in a desperate hand, returning to those pages that hold us captive through the dark night while the liquor keeps us alive.
Or slowly kills us.
Both are romantic. The struggling for the art and the dying for it. Liquor is both joy and poison. It's all in the math, really.
I love to drink. I admit it freely. I come from an Irish Catholic family, where it's not a party until someone breaks out the wine. I love it all: wine, beer, whiskey, margaritas, frou-frou drinks and sake. I once won a beer tasting contest and I confess I enjoy the surprised blink from the bartender when I ask for my Jameson's neat.
I'm careful, though. Careful to moderate. To make sure I want it, not need it. My grandfather was an alcoholic and died of cirrhosis of the liver. None of us wants to follow in his footsteps. Fortunately, for me, I think his drive to drink came more from misery than from addictive behavior.
Still, I stop drinking every once in a while, just to make sure I can.
Otherwise, yes, I love my evening glass of wine. My favorite treat? A vodka martini, dirty and neat. Blue-cheese stuffed olives with that? Oh yes, yes, yes. The top pic is my version of a Caribbean Blue Martini, which I first had on Virgin Gorda, during a truly memorable evening when I first saw the Southern Cross. And, yes, I totally understood why I came that way.
I love to sit in a great bar. Thank you, everyone, for your efforts to ban smoking indoors - it's made a world of difference. Sitting for hours with lovely glasses and excellent conversation is one of the great joys in life. As the conventions approach, I already have drinks dates lined up on my calendar. People have offered to buy me drinks to celebrate my sale to Carina Press. Or to simply toast one another. It's an ancient ritual, to sit together and consecrate the privilege of safety and friendship.
So, if you're looking for me at convention, you know where to find me.