2 Nov 2013

GayRomLit 2013

I've been back home for almost two weeks now, and though I'm glad to be back with my babies, I'm still smiling fondly at all the great memories I've made and shared with so many people in Atlanta. So I want to immortalise those memories, and share them with the rest of the world too.

I arrived in Atlanta on Saturday afternoon, and after a trip to the nearby Publix where I bought a few packs of beef jerky (I'm addicted to the stuff, but can't find decent jerky in England), I was whisked away to Shae Connor's for a lovely dinner, and an evening surrounded by half-naked guys. And that was before we even went to BJ Roosters to look at the lovely gogo dancers and dancing porn stars. Also got to meet Jake Driver. Unfortunately I was exhausted after the long flight, and so I left before everyone else headed to the leather bar.

Sunday was spent at the Pride parade and Piedmont park with a few of the book addicts group. I'll admit, the whole fighting over multi-coloured beads thing had me bemused, and there weren't as many guys wandering our in their underwear as I had imagined, but I had a great time. And there were a few floats that made up for the lack of skin. Mmm, firefights in tight shorts.
I wonder how long their hosepipes are...


I spent the next few days partying it up in the hotel bar, sampling the delights of the nearby restaurants, and stealing Geoffrey Knight's glasses to make myself like an intellectual. Or, at least, that was the idea at the time. I'd had a few glasses of wine by that point. Some of the more memorable moments included dinner at Henry's with the awesome Charlie Harding.

Such a great group, and the food was awesome, too.
 We also tried out a rather odd, but very tasty, menu at Metro Fuxon. Their specialties included lobster mac and cheese, goat meat, and cow feet soup. They also served the best sweet potato fries, and these chicken satays with a spicy peanut sauce that were to die for. Pricey, but very good food. And the watermelon long islands were amazing.
That's not red eye... I'm just that evil.
From what I remember, the following picture was taken after the meal pictured above. I'm just guessing by the clothes because I certainly don't remember grabbing Jared's furry breast.

I don't remember this picture, but I'm sure there was plenty of alcohol involved beforehand.
It was so great getting to meet everyone before the events started. I had lots of fun hanging out, getting drunk, stuffing our faces, and whatever else we got up to. I'm really not sure what else happened. Oh, and there was the incident at the strip club also. I got a lap dance from a super hot guy who was rubbing his dick up and down me, and it wasn't until we got back to the hotel that Poppy pointed out a white stain on my collar. Whoops!

Onto the actual conference...

I got to spend a bit of time at the Wilde City booksellers table, which I really enjoyed. And good job Team Zombie Boyz for selling out so quickly. Got to meet some awesome new people while I was there, too. And Amy made a great shopping assistant for those indecisive readers as well!

Thursday I attended a few Q&A's, including those of Marie Sexton and Mary Calmes. They were fabulous, of course, and I got a bit of a sneak preview for what I had let myself in for later in the week when I'd be up in front of the microphone. That night we had the opening reception hosted by MLR, and the Juke Joint, with Charlie Harding and his gorgeous dancers.

I swear my hair that night had absolutely nothing to do with the stripper incident the day before! Before the Juke Joint I got to hang out for a short while with Aniko, Barb, Whit and Andrea. Had a lot of fun getting drawn on with the blacklight crayon, and making my hair all glittery and glow-in-the-dark-ish. I'm so impressed with how that turned out.

 I had to take a day off on Friday because of all the partying, and spent much of the day asleep, but I was back into the fray on Saturday when I had my very first Q&A sessions. I was so happy to be teamed up with Poppy Dennison and SJD Peterson. They were both great, and, despite my nerves, I had lots of people coming up to me afterward and saying I did a good job. I was shaking for a while afterward, but I'm honestly looking forward to trying something similar again next year.
Take a cookie, dammit!

That same day we had the book signing event. This was my table before the rabble descended and scooped up all those goodies. Well, that was the idea anyway, though I did tempt some people in with the promise of sugary goods. I also was fortunate enough to get seated next to the awesomesauce Abigail Roux. I may have fanboyed a little and ran over to the Riptide table just to buy Stars & Stripes so she could sign it for me. Also signed her banner, #1TyFanBoy :)

The last event of the day was the costume party. I had a lot of fun with my costume, as minimalist as it was. And holy crap, I don't know how you women can stand to have eyeliner and stuff put on. I had Amy try to do some on me and I was giggling half the time, and flinching because it looked like she was going to poke me in the eyeball the rest of the time.
Place your bets on whose boobs will pop out first!
As we descended back to our rooms that night, it really started to sink in that GRL was coming to a close for another year. I had so much fun, and met a lot of new friends (more than 30 if you go by my facebook friend list). That night a bunch of us cuddled up in a big puppy pile on Poppy's bed.

Good job, Jacob for managing to somehow take this photo!
The next morning, it was time for everyone to leave. I couldn't believe how fast the time had passed, and it was a very sad time for me. Sad, because I had to say goodbye to all these awesome people. But at the same time I was beyond happy.

Those who met me in Albuquerque probably noticed that I was a lot more reserved that year. Truth is, I get quite anxious when surrounded by a lot of people, particularly when I don't know a lot of them. That anxiety generally manifests itself in the form of me withdrawing into my shell, being very quiet, and not venturing far from the sides of people I know. This year, however, I feel like I managed to come out of that shell and be a lot more sociable than is normal for me, and I know I couldn't have done that without the people in the photo above. You guys rock my world, and I'm so glad to have met you in Albuquerque, and to have had the chance to see you again in Atlanta. Thank you.

I also want to say thank you to Jan for the sleeping tablet, decongestants and sweets. They helped so much with the flights, and I'm glad to say that I didn't experience even a slight headache from the descent and altitude differences this year. Also, thanks for holding onto the condoms I got from the pride event. Was great to meet your family also.

To Linda and Sara, who both give really awesome back rubs. Can I please have clones of you two to be my personal back rubbers? And don't worry Poppy, you still give the best head scratches. Purrrr!

To Kris Jacen, I'm glad we got more of a chance to talk this year. You looked stunning at the evening events.

And also to JP for putting up with my tired ass for the first night and giving me a bed to sleep in. Next time I'll remember to triple check the hotel dates before booking the flights!

I'm sure there are plenty more people I haven't mentioned here, but there are so many names that the post would go on forever. If I haven't named you, know that I had a great time meeting you all and I hope to see you again next year if you're going.

Until next time...

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