The Party Planner

Today I’m  breaking the rules. I’m supposed to be blogging about my pet peeves, but I don’t want to. I believe complaining is an unproductive waste of time. Instead, I will tell you about something I enjoy– something I’m in the midst of right now. Planning.

This weekend I will be hosting a murder mystery party for my local writers’ group. In fact, the party itself is a planning activity, in that our group will have its huge annual fundraiser in October, and this little shindig at my house will be our practice event, to see what kind of challenges the big event will bring.

I’ve hosted murder mystery parties before. They are a blast. But they also are risky, because they rely on individuals to carry out instructions, and you have no real control over how or if they will do it. It involves a great measure of trust. Throughout the planning process I’ve been tempted to give very detailed instructions to my guests, and to exercise a little more control. But our trial run is for about 15 characters in this play-out evening, and with our big fundraiser, we hope to have 50 to 75 participants. If I put too much of my own “control” into this small-scale party, there may be bigger repercussions at the large-scale extravaganza.

This weekend is for trouble-shooting and budget-making. We’ll be running through a night of mystery and mayhem, both real and imaginary. And it’s going to be an adventure.

So instead of stressing about whether my guests come dressed in perfect attire, or remember to have all of their lines recited at the perfect time, I will focus on cleaning and preparing my house, and getting all the nit-picky stuff done. The characters will take care of themselves. The fun will be had, if I just let it be.

Someone will “die” at my house. The others will figure it out. And I will make sure the glasses are full and the cookies are plentiful.

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