A few days later than I wanted. Ok…Fine. It has been a week since my last update. Almost sounds like a confessional, doesn’t it?
I confess I had a great time at GRL 2017. *smile*
It was a whirlwind from the get go for this VirGRLin (as they label their newbies).
Friday, Day 2, started bright an early with breakfast around 8 ish and the Storyteller Series: “Liar, Liar Bad Boys on Fire: Trivia and Prizes” with Alexa Land, Charlie Cochet (THIRDS!), and Victoria Sue. It was a lot of fun. I got 16 tickets out of a possible 20! Almost won one of the three big prizes.
Here are the tickets and the black panther from Charlie’s stash that I did win.
I then went to a lot of author lounges. A LOT of authors. I met so many, I’m afraid I can’t name them all without help from the handy Guidebook app the retreat had. But that is boring and who wants to see a bunch a names. Needless to say, I did get some pictures with my favorite authors that I asked to have, but like the Cocky Boys the night before, I’m not going to post here.
There is this one gem that I’m going to have to find a full set from Chris Owens table. She was handing out random cards from this Tarot deck and I got one that has a space one. I thought I had a picture, but apparently I didn’t take a picture of it. Here is the box for the deck though. Will have to purchase that when I get a chance. I think it’s fabulous.
4 pm rolls around and I go another Storyteller Series: Rural Romance — Horse, Cattle, and Haylofts… OH MY!!!!! with Andrew Grey, Sylvia Violet, and Deanna Wadsworth. That was excellent fun and I love listening to their stories and there was a little game of Mad Libs, Dirty Author style. :0
I then meet with Dani, M, and S at 5 for dinner before the Rhys Ford-Jordan L. Hawk Reader meet up at 6 pm. 6:30 pm rolls around and we are finally leaving after paying the check. I did get pictures with Rhys and Jordan and thanked Jordan for the dinner the night before.
Then there was the entertainment portion of the evening with “For the love of Games 2017 Sponsored by the Ecstasy Books.” I had a lot of fun with BINGO but I was done by the time they went to the other games. I went back to the room, chilled for a bit, read some, and fell asleep. No writing but that’s ok.
Saturday, Day 3, started fairly early but not as early as other days. This time, the last big hurrah for the Featured Authors in the massive open-to-the-public signed happened late morning. J. Scott Coatsworth put a call out to attending non-authors, or authors not attending as authors, to see if they could help with the QSF/Queeromance Ink table during the featured signing on FB. I said I could but I needed to get the last of my pre-orders and meet a couple more authors before I could. Probably 30 min to an hour. Almost an hour later, I had finished my rounds and I sat down until the signing event finished at 12:30 pm MDT. Then it was off to the QSF Group luncheon at the Pint Brothers restaurant/bar in the hotel.
I had a great time meeting people and chatting with several of like-minded sci fi writers/readers around me. I finished with that and hung out somewhere that I can’t remember… I might have taken another nap. I’m not sure. It kind of started to blur together. I knew I should have written stuff down….
S had lost her car key the night before and hadn’t found it so we took a Lyft to the Hamburger Mary’s dinner Brandon Witt had setup prior to the retreat. That was fun and a few of my photos of that below.
I did have some of the crowd but I tend to err on the side of caution when posting pictures of people, even group shots, unless I know they are ok with it. We got a Lyft back to the hotel in time to get ready for the Wild Wild West themed costume party.
There were a lot of great costumes. Joel Leslie’s took the cake as a sexy Woody, and won the best costume prize. I understand he was the Tin Man last year. There were issues with someone who was accosted and almost had something worse happened but it was prevented by a really nice gentleman. I’m not going to say anything about that situation other than something went down as it’s not my business, other than being glad it was stopped before harm happened. It’s in the hands of the police now and they will take care of it.
Again, I stayed up way later than expected but I had a great time and actually danced three songs. I was tuckered out afterwards but it was great fun watching the people and the interesting interpretations of “cowboys” and the “west” people did. There were even horses and cows… even a Cactus…
Sunday, Day 4 and the last official day, started with S finding her car keys tucked into a seldom-used pocket in the strap of her backpack. Yay! It’s also the last hurrah with the GRL Farewell Brunch. Boo!!
Lots of people left today (some even the day before) but M, S, and I stayed until Monday. We had a great lunch with people at Pint Brother’s and then chilled out in the room. I believe I either read or napped until it was time to go to the Melting Pot with Lisa Henry, M, S, and I. We had a great time. Yes, that really is my fortune from a fortune cookie. M kindly held it so I could take a picture. I never had one at the Melting Pot before. I’ve only been to the Atlanta area ones. It says, “You’ll get candy corn stuck in your teeth.” Which is probably going to come true because it is one of my favorite Halloween candies. 😀 The dark and light pot is Yin Yang chocolate with dark and white chocolate. It was yummy. The other pot was the cheese but apparently I didn’t get a good picture… The last picture is the front of the restaurant. I was a public library at some point.
We went back to the hotel that evening and all of us did our final packing. I got a spare suitcase earlier, from an author who didn’t need it anymore, to have enough room to pack my books and clothing. I did manage to get everything I could take and have both suitcases under 50 lbs each. Did have to pay the 2nd bag fee for Delta, but it was a little cheaper than shipping. I’ll probably take a picture of the horde of books I got once I finish unpacking. (Yes, as of this post, I hadn’t unpacked yet…)
Monday, S met with her daughter that was leaving the country for 4 months so left really early in the morning (like 5 am early). M and I caught a ride from the hotel with Kim Felding. Kim went on Southwest, I went to Delta, and M got dropped off at his airline that I have no idea how to pronounce, let alone spell. Starts with an L and if you are familiar with European airlines, you are doing better than I. M and I got through security and met up for just enough time to have a meal together before my flight was to leave. We took a last picture and I headed home.
The flight was uneventful but I did spend most of the time writing on my story that I had been earlier in the trip. That was great to do. I got home after dinner with my family around 10 PM EDT got the couple of gifts out that I had purchased (and the Divinity that I brought home). I had to go back to work the next day, and it’s been fairly busy ever since. Also, why it took me so long to type up a post on my travels.
We were told one night (I don’t remember which night, Thursday at the opening receptions probably) that next year’s GRL will be in Portsmouth, VA. At least one person in RGR lives not too far away and she is planning on going. Maybe we’ll get a few more of us to go. I figured out Monday night when I got home that the family doesn’t have plans so I’m going to drive there this time. It’s only 9 hours away, so doable. More books for me…
So, maybe I will see you there? If so, come find me. I’ll have a Hug Me button on from this year. Now, off to way too much stuff to do. Who knows, maybe I’ll go as a Supporting Author. Here’s to reaching for your dreams.
For more information on the retreat, visit here: https://www.gayromlit.com/. Right now, it has the 2017 information. Eventually, they’ll change it to the 2018 info once they have everything ready.