Well, still trying to get organized after GCLS. Note: It’s not easy. ::piles of laundry on floor, leftover swag strewn around my office, unmade bed, clutter on kitchen table [oh, wait, that’s normal]::
ANYWAY! So here’s a rundown of the crazy.
First, have a look at the schedule. That should at least help you understand why it was a bit on the bizzy side.
Now, let’s move along.
TUESDAY: I got into Reagan Airport (DCA in traveler parlance; “National” in local parlance, but the rest of us know it as Reagan National or Reagan; see Diane’s comment below) around 2.30 EST and waited a good 40 minutes for the hotel shuttle to Alexandria. No biggie. Chatted with my fellow travelers (who were going to a different hotel), caught up on email, and chilled out after a long day in airplanes and airports. Arrived at the hotel around 4.30 and immediately saw fellow GCLSers in the lobby, one of whom was Subbie (Andy) from Cocktail Hour! Also Kay from ABQ, and of course, we had to go to the bar and get caught up. Gena R and author AJ Adair ended up there, as well, and it was a big ol’ YEE-HA. Around 5.30, R.G. Emanuelle got to the hotel and because she was my roomie, I took her to the room, which was on the 19th floor and looked out toward the Washington Monument and the Capitol. Cool view.
NOTE: I obsessed the whole time about being in Tondc (you followers of The 100 will know whereof I speak) and kept thinking about places the characters from that show were. I texted photos to fellow obsesser, author Blythe Rippon, and we had a good laugh about how I called it Tondc and now I think she’s calling it that, too. LOL
R.G. and I grabbed dinner at a place down the street and then went to get our beauty rest.
WEDNESDAY: R.G. and I helped set up the Ylva Publishing, Curve Magazine, and Women and Words tables in the vendors’ room. This layout diagram will show you where we were, and the special relationship we had with the giant column around which our 3 tables were placed. I took some photos of the vendors’ room and posted them last week. See here.
After we did that, R.G. and I went on a sight-seeing binge at the National Mall. See the link above from last Friday. I posted some tourist-y shots. And of course, it was extremely hot and humid, but we freaking touristed like bosses!
We started at the Lincoln Monument, which is on the far west side of the Mall (and Blythe Rippon totally got a texted photo of it, because it figures in The 100), and ended up at the Air & Space Museum at the Smithsonian. I don’t think R.G. appreciated my fangirling over all the WWII aircraft (fun Andi fact: I have always been obsessed with WWII aircraft and built lots of models of them back in the day), even though I gave her a free lecture about the airplanes that were there for our viewing pleasure. She did seem to enjoy some of the WWII uniforms, though, and my free lecture on women in the armed forces during WWII. LOL
Maybe I should work on my delivery…waxing enthusiastic over the horsepower of a particular plane’s engine would probably put a lot of people to sleep. Thank GAWD I was able to text my dad and get all geeked about the planes with him.
Moving along…we were SO TIRED after our day of touristing that we barely managed to make it back to the hotel.
THURSDAY: This was a busy day. I had to moderate a panel on messages we’re getting from some lesfic covers. Panelists were Jove Belle, Bev Prescott, Ann McMan, and Siri Caldwell. Jove and I put together a bunch of slides with various images to talk about, in terms of what the message might be, based on how the woman in the images was standing or sitting, whether her entire body was represented, what props she held, and how she was dressed. I chose several genres to give us a wide cross-section, and we talked about strength and power, and perceptions of it. We did not actually use any book covers, to prevent any kind of issues, but some of the images we pulled I’ve seen on covers in the past (stock images).
I then popped into a panel that R.G. was on, about paranormal writing and lesfic. That one also featured Marie Castle, J. L. Gaynor, D. Jackson Leigh, and Connie Ward (who is a beta reader for BSB). It was moderated by Karen Badger.
Then back to the tables to help Jove and Jae (who is pretty much like Madonna now and only needs the one name for everybody to know who she is) and Melanie, a good friend of Jae’s who was there and totally helping us out. THANKS, MELANIE! AND THANKS, JAE! It’s also a good thing I brought my iPad, because Jove had one of those Square credit card thingies and because Jove downsized back to a flip phone (true story–go ahead and give her shit about it; I told her to just have both flip phone and smartphone so she doesn’t have to worry about all this Square stuff when she travels), well, she thought we were up crap creek especially since her wife’s smartphone had too much on it to accept the Square app. Well, TA-DA! Andi and her iPad! Go, ME!
Except the hotel wi-fi sucked giant flying monkey butts. We had to get kind of creative about where and how we stood when we ran credit cards. I was all Vogueing with that damn thing (speaking of Madonna) and I’m pretty sure people thought I was more insane than usual.
OH! I absolutely HAVE to break in here and give a HUGE SHOUT-OUT to Jove’s daughter Lily, who is 9 but OWNED PR for us. She was absolutely crucial to the fun we had in the vendors’ room and beyond, and our sales, I’m pretty sure. Lily managed to charm pretty much everybody at the con (it’s not hard for her to do–she’s absolutely delightful) and ended up with tons of surrogate mamas and buddies. Lily, you made this conference SO MUCH FUN! THANKS! Hope you come next year! Your adoring fans need you! BTW, you guys, she’s working on her first novel. I’ve read the first 5 chapters and we have a talent on our hands. FER SURE.
After that fun-ness, I had to get my butt to another panel, this one moderated by Salem West about editing. Fellow panelists included the awesome veteran of editing Nann Dunne, Siri Caldwell, R.G. Emanuelle, and Shelley Thrasher, BSB editor.
Then back to the vendors’ room and then ONWARD to dinner in Old Alexandria town with Ylva authors and Jove, who is director of operations for Ylva, US. We went HERE.
Ermahgerd so exhausted…
FRIDAY: Early morning: Vendors’ room to worship Jove’s daughter Lily and hang out with various people. Until about 9.30 when Jove and I had to go to a panel on Women of Color in Lesbian Literature. WOW. What a lineup! I am so honored to have been a part of this one, friends. Moderated by Dillon Watson, we shared the panel space with R J Samuel, Renée Bess, and Jewelle Gomez (this year’s Trailblazer winner!). To say I was fangirling is an understatement. Everybody — including the audience — wants to see more of this in the future at GCLS, and more discussions like this one.
After that, it was fun n’ games in the vendors’ room, and getting caught up on some emails and yes, I’ll admit it, I was actually posting some fanfic I’ve been messing around with. Also had to do some more Vogueing to get the wifi to work on the iPad for the credit card thingie. #funwithdancemovesandshittywifi
We hung out most of the afternoon doing that and chatting with people. R.G. and I grabbed dinner in Old Town again and went back to karaoke at the hotel and sat in on that for a while. Fave moment: Watty Boss asked Carleen Spry to go get her a glass of ice at the cash bar. Carleen dutifully does it (because WATTY! HELLO! Who wouldn’t do something for Watty?) and brings it back and Watty takes her backpack and busts out this bottle of scotch and pours herself a tumbler-full. You GO, Watty. 🙂
Speaking of that, shout-out to Barrett for bringing me some NM-distilled goodness, with a hint of mesquite. #IloveNewMexico.
SATURDAY: Morning again in the vendor room, then I had to go to an author spotlight where I read from my forthcoming If Looks Could Kill. I had to follow Carsen Taite. SO UNFAIR. Here’s how that day will be remembered: “Hey, Andi, did you go to the author spotlight with Carsen Taite at GCLS?” Me: “Um, yes. I was one of the authors. I read right after Carsen.” Response: “…”
LOL All in good fun, CT! The other authors were KG MacGregor (OMG THANK GAWD I DIDN’T HAVE TO GO RIGHT AFTER KG!!!!! Carsen did!) and Catherine Maiorisi (congrats on the debut, Catherine!).
Jove and I then had lunch with a couple of people who actually spent money to win a lunch-with-authors raffle. Poor things. They didn’t know what they were getting into, did they…MUAH HA HA! Seems a good time was had by all. Then Jove and I had to run to the workshop we were doing on how to LUUUV your editor.
This seemed to be a fave slide.
After that, we hung out in the vendors’ room and THEN it was time to get ready for the AWARDS! The reception started at 6 and went to 7. Everybody (for the most part) was all gussied up. The ceremony started at 7.30, MC’ed by MJ Lowe. I was a presenter, as was Jove. I also live-Facebooked the awards (check my timeline), which seemed to be pretty popular. Folks who couldn’t go appreciated being in on the action, and that’s why I did it. If you didn’t catch the winners, HERE’S THE LIST FOR REALZ, YO.
The ceremony included an acceptance of the Ann Bannon Readers’ Choice award by Cheryl Pletcher, widow of the late Sandra Moran, whose book All We Lack won. Thank GAWD GCLS had the foresight to put boxes of tissues on all the tables, because there was not a dry eye in the house. We all miss her. Thank you for sharing her with us, Cheryl. And thanks to Sandra’s mom, who was there, as well. Thanks to you for sharing her with us, too.
And then it was dancing and celebrating and having a grand ol’ time.
As if I wasn’t already exhausted…
SUNDAY: Packing up the vendors’ room and saying our goodbyes. This is my least fave part of the conference, because I know I’ll miss seeing everybody and being around such great energy. But R.G. and I then went and did more touristy things. We tried to go to the White House, but they’ve got that super-inaccessible these days. Not that I blame anybody. I get it.
Ah, well. Anyway, we then went to the National Museum of American History, which is part of the Smithsonian, and caught a great exhibit on Food and culture (right up R.G.’s alley!) and how transportation helped transform foodways and the food industries. Really well done and so interesting! Then I went and got all obsessed with the transportation exhibit, which included ships, trains, and cars. OMG LOVE. If you get a chance, GO to these. Then we went to Alexandria and hung out at Bilbo Baggins‘ pub/restaurant before heading back to the hotel to sit outside and watch fireflies by the pond out back. It was really relaxing, after a crazy few days.
We left Monday, and a few GCLSers were still around and we said our goodbyes as we headed out.
So there you have it. Another amazing time had, and I hope that others will be able to attend next year, in Chicago.