|With my Thorny button fundraising partner, LC Chase.|
We went down to walk through the Supporting Author signing first. I loved it--it was great to meet all of the up and coming authors in the genre. I said hi to some familiar faces and met a lot of new people. Then we checked on our tables in the swag room and restocked. Our collapsible water bottles were flying off the table! Nice to know people are using them after the fact!
|Kris Jacen's daughter did some recaptioning.|
|Archie's Voice camping--I think there are rum-soaked cherries in there!|
My beloved friend Ethan Day had blessed me with a phone call a while back...to solicit me, the hussy, to moderate some of the author readings. Once he assured me that I would basically only be introducing the authors and keeping people from getting rowdy, I gave in. Around lunch time, all of the moderators and Ethan got together for a quick bite to eat and to review the safety features of our GRL aircraft, or actually how to turn on the microphones.
|And your hosts for this evening are...|
Didn't take long to have to put my newfound expertise in mike wrangling to use, as I moderated my first author readings ever that afternoon! My guinea pigs were the extremely gracious and awesome Deanna Wadsworth, Damon Suede and Heidi Cullinan. It was a packed house and thankfully I didn't mess up too bad or do anything to detract from the main attractions! Besides laugh like a crazy person--thanks for the lovely shot of my back fillings, Madison. I'll be sure to see my dentist before next year for some replacements.
I managed to get to one panel that I wasn't either on or moderating and that was Amber, RJ and Stephani's Storytellers session on shifters. I noticed that all of them had a man in their life present, so I asked the guys about the gals' writing, and got some amazing and heartfelt answers that had the audience going "Awww..."
|With Amber's husband, Stephani's son and RJ's hubby.|
The RWA Rainbow Romance Writers had a chapter meeting that afternoon as well, and we ate Chinese takeout (which was great, kudos to whoever chose it!) and discussed...stuff. :) I think I ended up volunteering for something so hopefully someone will remind me when I need to actually do it! After that, the MLR opening reception was the first all-attendee event and featured a nice buffet of nibbles, drinks and plenty of time to visit before Ethan got up to thank everyone for coming and announced the location of next year's GRL--Chicago!
|Going to Chicago!|
|With my dear friend Rick...|
|Trying to decide who's Spicy and who's Sweet!|
|What's your guess?|
Then it was time to get ready for the first big evening event, this year's incarnation of the Juke Joint, with a blacklight neon theme and a DJ that had "Bear" and "Glow" in his name. Actually, he was a VJ, so the videos were up on the screen along with the music. We neoned ourselves up (including our neon Coach high tops) and hit the ground running. I don't think I left the dance floor once until they tried to kick us out.
|Me and Jared...oh and Geoff Knight photobombing.|
|I call this the "before" picture since we aren't sweating yet.|
|Rocking neon lashes with Jo!|
|Jared in my OTHER neon shirt I brought. He looks much better in it than I would have!|
|Neon soul sistahs with Leigh!|
|See what I mean about getting sweaty?|
|With a flash...|
|And with just black light.|
|Cody and Stephani Hecht--love them!|
|Ethan and his harem.|
|Our hired DJ and our awesome volunteer one.|
A fab addition this year was a scheduled after-party in the hotel pub closed to all guests but attendees, and Dalton (who does this sort of thing IRL) took charge of DJing for the first two nights before passing his knowledge along to Travis for the third after Dalton and Lori headed home. We were very grateful to the guys for keeping us dancing.
|Aeriel view of the after-party "dance floor".|
I had a great time hanging out after the after-party with a combo of old and new friends, and ended up making this a really late night. But hey...I figured I could sleep when I got home! :)
Up next: Day Three: Friday Fun Fair and an Enchanting Evening
If you missed Day One, HERE is the link.