Category Archives: rainbowcon

Coninsanity

I’ve spent the last almost-three weeks in my own personal “con season.” It’s been an amazing time, albeit exhausting. The bulk of the insanity was a 12-day, cross-country excursion to Tampa and Portland. I left home on April 16 and didn’t return until April 27—and then Outlantacon was 5 days after that!

I started my trip in Tampa for RainbowCon, which was pretty awesome. We had some great panel sessions—I sat on panels about author etiquette and stereotypes in fiction—and the vendor room stayed pretty busy. I left with just one book left from the ones I brought, though of course I had a stack of new ones I purchased from others! I shared a table with the fabulous Nicole Dennis, and we were set up right next to Grace R. Duncan, so we had a great time. It was so great to see so many friends again and to meet some new people. Best surprise: Brandon Shire stopping by! (He’s freaking adorable, too. LOL)

Once RainbowCon ended, I went home with cousins who live nearby for a couple of days off. I mostly did as little as possible: soaked in the hot tub, sat by the pool, ate some great food, and slept a lot. I did write a blog post and worked on plotting my next books, but I focused on resting up because I knew I’d need it!

On Wednesday, April 23, after a quick trip to St. Pete beach, I hopped a plane to Portland by way of Detroit, getting to the hotel at 10:30 local time. Naturally, my body felt like it was 1:30 a.m., so after unpacking the absolute bare minimum and drinking a little chocolate milk, I crashed hard. Thursday, I took care of two Portland touristy essentials: lunch from a food truck (a really good gyro) and doughnuts from Voodoo Doughnuts. When I got back, I started meeting up with people, and if I tried to list them all, I’d leave people out. But I got to see many of my favorite people and meet a bunch more, and that is always awesome.

The workshop itself was fun and interesting. Lots of information about sales and marketing, suggestions for writing specifics, and plenty of laughter. I had a good talk with Elizabeth North, pinning myself down to a three-book series commitment in the process (eep!), and several other Dreamspinner staffers, in addition to a bunch of authors. Nothing like feeling like you’ve found your people. 🙂

I did manage to squeeze in dinner with a local friend, though plans with another fell through just because I was too tired to think by then. I did hit up a couple more food trucks and wander through the Powell’s location at the airport. Portland is a lovely city, and I’d love to go back at some point.

I flew home last Sunday, along with Nessa Warin and Paul Richmond, which led to quite a bit of insanity, some of which might actually make it into a book (pokes Nessa). Of course, by the time I got home, I was dead on my feet and pretty much only had time to collapse into a bed. I did have to work the next day. 🙂

I survived last week, barely, and picked up J.P. Barnaby and Kage Alan from the airport on Thursday to kick things off. I went to the Eagle with J.P. and William Cooper for the Outlantacon kickoff party, had to work briefly Friday morning, and then spent the weekend doing the panels I listed on Friday and the rest of the time in the dealer room, selling books. We had a big pile of print copies of Butt Ninjas from Hell and sold quite a few. And of course we’re already planning for the next anthology or two. 😉

I’m finishing this up Sunday night, and I’m so tired it’s taking me twice as long to parse things as I go. I should probably stop writing and go get some sleep. Back to the EDJ in the morning!

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The Foodie Traveler, or How Not to Get Sick on the Road

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As you’re reading this, I’m in Tampa at RainbowCon, getting my author geek on and spending my downtime doing some writing but otherwise being as lazy as possible. After the convention ends, I’ll spend a few days visiting with cousins who live here, during which time I hope to be by the pool or on the beach, for the most part. And then I fly to Portland (by way of Detroit) for the Dreamspinner author workshop. I’ll be back home a week from Sunday.

 

I started doing regular travel for work of one sort or another 15 years ago, and one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that I can’t stomach it unless I’m very, very careful. Oh, I’m mostly fine with flying, which was something I didn’t learn until I was in my 30s, because we never had the money to fly anywhere when I was younger. My problem is a tendency toward occasional motion sickness, which can happen any time and with any kind of motion but has certain triggers. Riding in the back seat of a car, for example, is usually a bad idea. And eating heavy or greasy meals before travel is right out.

 

When I’m on the road, I do my best to follow the usual travel guidelines. I get plenty of rest, drink a lot of water (most of it bottled), and try to eat healthy meals. That last part is tough when you’re eating out most of the time, but I pay particular attention to what I eat on days when I’m traveling. I’m lucky that I don’t have any serious food restrictions, but light meals on travel days are a must, and I also carry something snacky with me. A bout of low blood sugar is never fun but ten times worse when you’re sitting in an airport. I also stock various medications for various digestive-related ailments in the mini pharmacy that always goes into my travel bag.

 

(I’m trying to avoid going into much detail here. There’s TMI, and then there’s T. M. I.)

 

One thing I still try to do when I travel is eat locally. I don’t want to go across the country and then eat food I can get around the corner. I avoid chains, unless they’re regional and don’t exist near me (I’ll be visiting Wawa while I’m in Tampa). I’m happy to visit tourist-attraction restaurants (I will have a VooDoo Doughnut in Portland) but like to find the places where locals eat. I’m cautious about foods I’ve never had before, and I stick close to my regular personal guidelines (nothing too spicy, for example), but I firmly believe food is a big part of the travel experience, so I stretch as much as I feel like I can. Not that this plan is foolproof, but then, nothing ever is. 🙂

 

So wish me smooth travels and safe eating, all, and I hope I’ll have foodie stories to share when I get back home!

I’m Going to RainbowCon…

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LisaT started a silly little game for those of us going to RainbowCon. I like silly little games, so here you go!

I’m going RainbowCon, and in my suitcase I’m bringing…

ninjacups

Are they not the cutest little ninjas you’ve ever seen?? I’ll have a few to give away, and who knows what you might find inside? 😉

Guest Blogging Today at Pants Off

rainbowconsloganToday, I’m guest blogging over at Pants Off Reviews to kick off the run up to RainbowCon. Come on over and check it out! 🙂

Where to Find Me in 2014

Now that I’m signed up for GayRomLit, my conference schedule for 2014 is set. There are several other events I would love to attend, but I’ve had to keep things reined in due to limitations on time and money. Here’s where I’ll be this year:

RainbowCon, April 17–20, Tampa
Attending author
Panels: Author Etiquette (Thu 3pm), Author Q&A (Thu 4pm), Using Stereotypes to Your Advantage (Fri 3pm)

Outlantacon/Gaylaxicon, May 2–4, Atlanta
Guest
Panels TBD

Dragon Con, August 29–September 1, Atlanta
Volunteer
Daily Dragon staff; panels TBD

GayRomLit, October 16–19, Bloomingdale (Chicago)
General attendee