GRL Write-up

This past week I headed to Gay Rom Lit, a convention of queer (mainly M/M) readers, writers, and publisher. Because I was going as a publisher and we had a lot of stuff to bring, Rachel Haimowitz and I drove.

It’s a looooong drive. Full of blasting rock ballads, talking, and drinking coffee/tea (or chai, since I don’t like Starbucks’ tea).

We finally got there (it’s a 12-13 hour drive), set up our table (just the two of us), and collapsed. I’ll be honest, the day is a bit of a blur. I know we bought a deep-dish pizza (because CHICAGO), but it was not impressive. I also got in my bed. It’s actually the space where they put the coveted fridge if you are lucky enough to get one (they don’t put one in every room). I also fit quite nicely inside.
The show sorta started the next day. It was pretty much only authors and a few early birds, but we were still busy. And I was able to give Amy Lane (who I adore and fanboy over and adore. Did I mention adoring her?) the scarf I made her. And a super sekrit letter.

I look a bit like a crazed maniac in this picture, but I swear, I didn’t kill anyone. I just get reaaaally awkward when I get around people that make me excited. Awkward Alex is awkward.

Otherwise I got to meet some great authors, my coworkers, and have dinner at this place with delicious food (…something Monk). If you’re ever in Bloomingdale, IL, check it out.

The next two days were busier, as all the readers arrived and attended sessions, bought books, denied themselves buying books (and returned later to buy books), and talked. There’s just something about being surrounded by people all with a common interest.

Also Rachel posing with Grumpy Cat.

One of the days, I attended the Cock Walk, which is where artistic people make donations to be raffled off to raise money for a good cause (this year it went to Chicago’s Broadway Youth Center). Not counting the money raised from a book that was being given away, the Cock Walk raised $1,200! Here are a few fun pictures.
Of available items:

And the MC (Edmond Manning).
Yes, that’s a condom hat.
And the men who drew the tickets. They may look familiar…
And finally, the prize I won…because OF COURSE I bought tickets to donate to a good cause.
It’s a bottle opener. And lovely craftsmanship.
After a long two days, my coworkers and I were happy to relax with a cozy dinner in our room (while hanging with the delightful Becky (@fibrobabe). You get really excited about Chinese food when you’re super hungry, super tired, and want super comfort.
Sometime later in the week (it starts to get a little fuzzy after a while), we repacked everything and started the drive back.
More Starbucks.
(I sent my friend this picture. She said they look like a couple and that she can “apparently ship anything.”)
More road.
And then arriving, unpacking, returning the rental, and then I drive home. No interesting pictures from that, since I was obviously driving….But just for sticking through, here’s me happy to be almost home. These are my $5 travel glasses that I wear because I don’t care if I lose them/they get more scratched up, and they protect me when my eyes get severely sensitive to the sun. I look ridiculous, but I kind of love it…
And that was my week! I arrived home to unpacking, grocery shopping, and avoiding my work email to instead post here (I’m not sure anyone wants me to be doing work right now anyway. I’d probably have to redo it all the next morning).
To say the least, I’m horribly behind any sort of writing goal. And I’m tired to the point of not wanting to get up to check my phone six feet away. But I think the exhaustion is worth it!

GRL 2013 – pt 2

So I didn’t say much in my last post about GRL, which seems lame since I was all excited about my first year attending.

Aside from being up and active for 5 straight days, I also leaped over a pile of boxes and strained my ankle. The hotel had no ACE bandages, but we made do with what they did have (sports tape, an arm sling/wrap, and a compression bandage)…and thankfully I heal quickly. But yeah, I was the dope limping around the conference trying not to put too much weight on my ankle.

Also, despite eating less and being more active, I somehow gained weight. I’m not even sure how the math works there. I know a bunch of the foods were high calorie, but they couldn’t possibly be that off balance. So of course now I’m at home and eating everything because I’m angry at the world.

I got to meet Amy Lane (again, but still!) and got yarn from her (-insert squee here-). Plus I got to meet Aleksandr Voinov, LC Chase, Heidi Belleau, Heidi Cullinan, LA Witt, Marie Sexton, Cat Grant, and many others! Did I mention I got to sit next to Amy Lane during dinner? And hear her fantastic stories? She’s a natural storyteller.

And Aleksandr hugged me 🙂

I actually had plenty of hugs this weekend, which I normally avoid. But all the hugs were lovely and friendly and nice. I didn’t take many pictures, because I was more in a working mindset than a fan mindset…which makes me a little sad, because the week seemed to fly by.

And despite it being a 14 hour drive (with rest stops), it was pretty awesome to do that with Rachel and our fangirl Sue. Rachel drove the whole way (for which I’m thankful!) and Sue helped with all kinds of manual labor tasks, which make my work half as much. -whew-

I’m glad to be back in my own bed, although all the aches and pains that went away while on ‘vacation’ are back. Boo. 😛

Gay Rom Lit 2013

This was my first year at Gay Rom Lit. I was lucky because I got to attend as a publisher with Riptide Publishing…which means I worked my butt off and they paid for stuff 🙂

But they also let me out to attend sessions and see people and do stuff. Which was awesome. Just being surrounded by like-minded folks was incredible. Because everyone there loves to read and they love to read the stuff I read and write.

There was lots and lots of swag/free stuff and books! So many books.

…and an oddly large amount of Subway eating. I ate its pizza for the first time. Not bad.

But the best part of the week was talking to people about writing. Discussing growing my skills and making connections with people who are willing to help me improve. So now I’m setting aside all my current projects to write a short story so I can submit it and get hardcore feedback, then cry, then hopefully improve my craft.

Thankfully I had a story idea that I found I could develop into something that will hopefully be short. So my new goal is to finish that, then maybe get back to everything else. By then it’ll probably be the holidays. I don’t even want to think about it!