GCLS 2014

As readers of this blog know, I attended this year’s GCLS in Portland, Oregon. Several of us here at Women & Words were there: Andi Marquette, Yvonne Heidt, and Jove Belle. Every year brings something new for me at these events. This year, I got to meet Jove in person. I’d met Yvonne last year and was excited to finally meet Jove, as well as many other authors and readers. And, yes, everyone is as nice in person as they are online (although, I can be sketchy at times). And I was so happy to see and hang out with old friends.

Last year was the first time I’d done a reading and an author chat. This year, I was on my first panels: “So I Had This Idea…,” moderated by Karin Kallmaker, and “Eat Your Heart Out: Reading About Food,” moderatedby Lynn Ames, who is the first one to point out that she’s the “right one” to moderate this panel. Not. I love Lynn, but, by her own admission, she’s lucky sbe can boil water.

But first was an author chat with Wynn Malone, Riley Adair Garrett, Kate McLachlan, and Caren J. Werlinger, moderated by Dillon Watson. We discussed processes and what excites us about writing. The “idea” panel also featured Heather Blackmore, Marie Castle, Sandra Moran, Cindy Rizzo, and Susan Thompson. We answered questions about how we get ideas for stories and what we do from there.

The “food” panel was the most fun because we engaged the audience. Lynn was looking for ideas for the panel so I suggested that we do a Chopped kind of thing. I got three bowls and labeled them “protein,” “veggies,” and “other.” I cut up pieces of paper and everyone in the audience was instructed to write down one thing in each of those categories and place them in the appropriate bowls. Each of us on the panel picked one piece of paper from each bowl.

Our assignment now is to create a recipe using those three ingredients. The recipes will be posted on the GCLS website for all to see.

Here’s how it went down:

Georgia Beers got bacon, artichokes, and pasta. (Could it have been any easier for her? I think it was rigged, being that she’s half Italian.)

Mary Griggs got lamb, eggplant, and peanut butter.

I picked tempeh, kale, and gummie bears. (!!!)

And poor Karin Kallmaker got Herring, asparagus, and something from the “other” category that I don’t recall.  I can’t wait to see what she makes with that.

At the end of the session, we raffled off two aprons with the cover of All You Can Eat. Here’s Andi modeling it for us. IMAG1945

Another first for me on this trip was presenting an award. Well, three, actually, in the Romance Intrigue/Thriller category. Andi read the nominees and I read the winners. That was pretty cool. I was really bummed that When The Clock Strikes Thirteen didn’t win, but at least it was shortlisted, and that’s pretty cool, too.

And so, another GCLS has come and gone. Next year, the con is going to be in New Orleans. That’s right—The Big Easy herself. I definitely plan on attending that one, if all goes well. I hope to see everyone again then, as well as those of you who haven’t made it one yet.



  1. And if you haven’t met RG yet – go to New Orleans – not only is she beautiful – she’s intelligent and awesome and stuff (though I did catch her giving me a head shake once) If you were able to attend – you’d know why after being around me for four days!
    LOL… I LOVE the women here at Women and Words – and so honored to be a part of the gang.


    • Thanks, Yvonne! I don’t remember the head-shaking, but I’m always thinking about 10 different things at once so who the hell knows what was going through my head. LOL


  2. I really enjoyed the food panel and can’t wait to see what recipes all of you come up with
    (especially the gummy bears).


  3. I’m really sad that I missed your food panel; it sounds like you had a lot of fun. My only regret about GCLS is having to choose between activities. I can’t wait to see what you did with the gummi bears!


  4. It was great seeing you again. Look out New Orleans. Wow, we can really tear up that town! See you there if not sooner, since we live in the same geographic state!



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