This past weekend I was lucky enough to be invited to Portland, OR by Lori L. Lake for an event called Literary Lesbian Love, an idea originated by author Louisa Kelley. Behind the scenes, Shawn Marie Bryan did a great job pushing word out on social media, Our own Jove Belle wove her stellar magic on the banner for the gig as well as reading some delightful stuff. In total, seven readers participated, including Lori, Jeanine Hoffman, Jove Belle, me, Louisa Kelley, Sandra De Helen, and Linda Vogt. It was a great event, with the authors sharing romantic-ish passages from their various endeavors.
After the event, Lori Lake and I had an email conversation rehashing the fun. It went something like this:
LORI: Wasn’t that fun last night? We had such a terrific – and responsive – crowd!
JESSIE: We really did! More than 50 avid listeners attended, and it was a great crowd! Raffles, chocolate, and your niece Samantha entertained the masses…speaking of your niece, she was an awesome help!
LORI: I guess she takes after me. LOL! For our blog readers here, we can tell you that Sam counted the crowd, and we had 56 wonderfully romantic bodies in the room for “Lesbian Literary Love” where we had readings and a book fair. The seven readers were Jeanine Hoffman, Jove Belle, Linda Vogt, Louisa Kelley, Sandra de Helen, and you and me.
JESSIE: I didn’t expect that many people!
LORI: How many did you think would come?
JESSIE: I don’t know – maybe ten?
LORI: TEN?! O, ye of little faith! We have a vibrant community of lesbian readers in Portland, and they blessed us with their presence. They were an attentive and patient audience. But I will admit that I was surprised to see quite that huge of an audience. They pretty much filled every seat.
JESSIE: They sure did. Of course, we gave out so many prizes – that totally cool brand prize of “Bubbly, Books, & Bath” stuff, the four boxes of candy, everyone’s books plus all those extra anthologies Jove brought, and a few other odds and ends.
LORI: Like the fleecy winter scarf that Sam, the Raffle Girl, ended up with. She was *SO* delighted! She deserved it for all the hard work she did.
JESSIE: That kid did great. And the readers did a great job entertaining the throngs, too. I do have to say that you really used your hands to great dramatic effect during your reading!
LORI: I did not get handsy with anyone!
JESSIE: I’m surprised you didn’t with your spot-on imitation of a windmill. You definitely did the epitome of a dramatic reading! Where did you learn your moves?
LORI: Oh, please! It’s not like I was doing an octopus imitation. What about you, crazy woman, who wore shorts! And since when does Valentine’s holiday colors include camouflage green? Didn’t you get the memo about wearing red, pink – maybe a bit of purple – or one of those Valentine colors on black or white? It’s lucky you left when you did because I heard the Fashion Police have a warrant out for your arrest.
JESSIE: Rolling my eyes. Wearing shorts in PORTLAND in February is a piece of cake compared to February in Minnesota. And hey, it’s hard to dress appropriately when the memo went out the night before the event and I have three shirts in my suitcase with me. You’re lucky I had a nice Minnesota Wild shirt to add some red to this fiesta. As far as the fashion police…a tie? What were you thinking? That this was some kind of a formal affair?
LORI: Well, at least the tie was a perfect match to the red shirt and there was no olive green involved.
<<<JESSIE makes a rude and immature raspberry sound>>>
LORI: Jessie, even if you only had three shirts, and even if all your bathroom stuff was confiscated at the airport because it looked like some sort of liquid terror device, I’m still glad you came out here. I think you have brought my Muse Goddess back into the picture. I actually think I might be able to finish the short stories I’m working on. My Muse seems to agree.
JESSIE: Yeah, the liquids thing. I was a little afraid I was going to be detained on suspicion of dangerous shampoo. It was all because the line at the bag check was too long for me to wait in, so I decided to carry my bag on instead. Forgetting I’d packed full size everything in it. Oops. Anyway, back to stories. Who the hell REALLY has a Muse? I just grab my characters and tell them what to do on the page. Why don’t you try that for a while? LOL! Are you actually writing something?
LORI: Yes, I certainly am! I have two short stories that are moving right along, the history anthology is almost ready to publish, and I want to get back to the novel. I’m about 50% done with SPARKING CREATIVITY, and if I just budget an hour a day on that, I can get all the commentaries written in a month or so. I have lots of writing and publishing projects going on, *and* my Beloved and I are still sorting and unpacking and working on the house and trying to get me moved in. Slower process than we expected. But Life is good. How about you? Is there a Shay Six in the near future?
JESSIE: Well, you better get rocking because you have waiting fans, woman! Chop Chop! I get the sorting and unpacking thing. Betty and I have moved, too, and holy hell, what a pain in the ass. It’ll be worth it though. Shay Six? Yes there will certainly be another Shay. However, before that will be the first book in my new Art Thief series. It’s called The Puzzle Box. Check out the Evolution of an Art Thief novella from Ylva for a jump start on the series. So which novel are you working on? I know which one I want you to work on!
LORI: I keep getting pulled toward GUNPOINT, which is the fifth novel in the Gun Series, but I’m about half done with the romance, ADVENTURES UNLIMITED, so I will likely finish up the latter. I think about GUNPOINT a lot though.
JESSIE: Why is that?
LORI: I have a character in the novel who is going to be the main character in a spin-off series that I am VERY excited about. I don’t want to talk about it too much because for some reason, discussing details and themes tends to make all the ideas go flat. You know what I mean? Oh, wait, you don’t ever have that problem because you’re an outliner. You already tend to know everything that’s going to happen. But if I know too much and/or outline my novels, then I basically feel like I know all about the storyline, and I lose the energy and forward motion that happens as I organically write and find out many of the scenes and plot points as I go along.
JESSIE: Blah blah blah blah. Set your ass in the chair and get that forward motion going, woman! Huh. All this chatting has made me hungry!
LORI: Well, then, let’s go get some pizza. Or lasagna. Or those yucky roasted parsnips you love so much. You can eat those and I’ll have something else!
JESSIE: You leave my parsnips out of this, Miss I’m So Picky. Besides, more for me then. On that note, it’s been a blast as usual. Peace out!