21 Oct 2014

GRL 2014: Part 1

Wow, where do I start? This year was such a blast for me, and I think almost everyone would agree. Everything from the events, to the late night parties, to the after-after parties was amazing, and the people I shared that time with, even more so.

I guess I should start at the beginning. After a few minor delays at the airport in Chicago, namely due to one person's missing luggage, I arrived at the hotel around 16:00 on Wednesday with Clare London and Jaime Samms. I was whisked away by Lara Brukz to our hotel room, and what was definitely the most comfortable bed I've slept in for a very long time. Not that I did much sleeping, mind you, but we'll get to that later. Big thanks to Lara and the rest of the roomies - Amy DiMartino, AJ Corza, and Poppy Dennison - who didn't give me much grief for passing out in their beds during the day. You all rock.

A quick, panoramic view of the hotel room, with AJ Corza, Amy DiMartino, and Poppy Dennison.

After stuffing myself with mini Cheeseburgers and buffalo wings - and having my mouth go numb from all that spice - I traded presents with Poppy Dennison. I know she loves some of the cakes we make over here, so I had packed some Mr. Kipling's cakes and curly wurlys for her. Also took her some coffee and chicken seasoning. Yeah, chicken seasoning. Apparently it costs a lot in 'MURICA. In return, I received lots of beef jerky (I'm seriously addicted to the stuff), Twinkies, and Ding Dongs. I love my Ding Dongs. *winks* Oh, and a bottle of Jack Daniel's from Lara. I'm a big fan of JD :) Also, thank you to Carol Lynne who made a jerky contribution right before I left - those would be the Turkey Perky Jerky, which is the awesomest name ever!

Well, I do love to stuff my hole with meat, twinkies, and ding dongs :)
That night we mostly relaxed, but I did end up having a few drinks at the bar. And I really do mean just a few this time. Not like Atlanta where I think I was permanently sozzled. After a chocolate cake martini and some pink vodka drink, we ended up playing Cards Against Humanity. What a fun game! This was my first time playing, and I don't think I had ever laughed so much in my life. One of my favourite moments was when I gave AIDS to naughty children, instead of coal. I'll have to invest in a set of cards sometime soon. I'm sure it would make a lovely game to play on Christmas Eve with the family. Thanks to the guys who introduced me to this game; William Cooper, JP Barnaby, Brandon Witt, Michael Kudo, and everyone else who was there. Sorry my memory is a little fuzzy around the edges, so I'm sure I'll forget a lot of names along the way.

Awesome people, at an awesome card game.
Woke up the next morning at 6am, after tossing and turning most of the night, and went straight to the gym for a quick workout. How I managed to be so perky in the mornings, I'll never know. I try waking up at 6am when I'm at home, and I end up hitting the snooze button several times until I absolutely have to get up or risk being late to work. The first order of business was breakfast. Sausages and maple syrup! Seriously, my new favourite breakfast food. And then it was off to the swag room to lay out my pens and wrist bands. We showed up again after the doors opened to the masses, and picked up some awesome swag.

Can you tell I like pens?
Afterward, I spent some time at the Wilde City Press table in the Booksellers room. Firstly, I just wanted to say HOLY CRAP! I couldn't believe how different it was from last year. In Atlanta we had a small table in the corner of the room. It was clear to see how far the publisher has grown in just the last year, and there were some seriously great books on show. The highlight for me, though, was seeing the reaction to my latest book, Slasherazzi. It's been doing great in the reviews on Goodreads, and within the first hour all of my backstock had gone. To everyone who bought a copy, I really hope you enjoy the book, and thank you for making me a very happy soldout author by the end of Friday.
Because the table now needs two photos to fit it all in. Awesome work by the Wilde City folks.
Not sure what happened to the flash in this one.
 At lunchtime I went for a trip to Walmarts and Dick's for a pair of swimshorts. I'm a real water baby, being a Capricorn and all, so I was excited to find out about the pool. I could have swam in there for hours on end if I hadn't been tired half the time. I also picked up some more jerky, pretzel M&M's, a zero bar, and peanut butter snickers. So much candy to try!

After lunch it was an action-packed afternoon of attending events. We started with a storytellers spotlight on 'Why We Love Our Shifters', with the awesome Mary Calmes and Poppy Dennison. You guys totally rocked it.

Then it was off to my Q&A. Now, I hate being in front of large groups of people, which you'd think was odd for a former Biology teacher, but I do hate it. Particularly when you don't know everyone there, and you're going to be asked a bunch of questions you can't anticipate, it's nerve-wracking! Luckily, I managed to mostly hold back the nerves and had a bit of fun. Thanks to everyone who came up to me afterward and said I did great. That kind of encouragement really means a lot to me.

After that it was time for more food, and then the opening reception, hosted by MLR. It was announced that GRL 2015 will be in San Diego, which I'm so looking forward to. Next year, my plan is to get in a couple of days early so I can look around the city, as well as getting used to the time zone differences before the events start.

I honestly don't know how those jeans fell down...

We had free time for an hour, which I believe we spent sampling the delights of Xara Xanaxas' cake vodka. If you haven't tried this stuff yet, you totally have to. Then we headed to the Juke Joint. Wow, I can't believe how drunk I was that night. I was one of the last people there still dancing away after 1.30am. So much fun stuff happened that night, and there are plenty of photos online.

Wow. So hawt. Much dancer.

I was spanked by Ethan Day with my jeans down around my knees. Inexplicably, there's another photo of my underwear while dancing on the stage. I'm totally unsure as to how that happened. And the go-go dancers... Wow! I wouldn't mind having a few of those around the house for entertainment and... other things.

That seems to keep happening. Maybe I need a belt...
I'm going to wrap this post up now before it gets too long, so let me just say what a crazy and fun day that was. I think I've definitely come out of my shell since my first GRL in Albuquerque, 2012. Alcohol helps, of course, but even during the sober times I feel I did a much better job at interacting with people. Partly I think that's down to how welcoming and nice everyone is at GRL. It's so great to see hundreds of people coming together over their love for M/M books, and I know it's only been 2 days, but I miss everyone so much already.

That's it for post one, but I'll be back in the next couple of days with post 2. Until then, see ya.


Brandilyn Carpenter said...

You definitely had a lot more crazy times at GRL than did I, but I enjoyed the tame moments when I got to see you in person :) See you next year.

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