Category: Travels

I Aten’t Dead…

Oct 10, 2014 by

Things are finally starting to ease up in Rowanlandia, after months of estate work, foreclosures, bank accounts, retirement accounts, stocks, bonds, and dealing with a disabled brother and an elderly aunt. The foreclosure is in train, and that should be the last of the estate issues—if the 100-year-old maple that was struck by lightning and went through the roof of the house two weeks ago is the last of the various and sundry catastrophes that we’ve got to face. Since we don’t actually own the house or are on the deed or the mortgage, we don’t have any legal responsibility for it, thank God, but we do try and keep it in decent shape for when the bank takes over. I mean, I did grow up there, and while I hate the damn place, there’s still a sentimental attachment.

Next week I will be at GRL, which happily for me this year is in Bloomingdale, Illinois, less than an hour’s drive away. I’ll be rooming with Marie Sexton again this year. If you would like to meet her, she’s the one with the cool shoes. Me, I’m the fat one with the frizzy blondish-brown hair. We’ll probably be in the bar.

I did have a few escapes from the drama of estate work this summer. I took Amtrak out to Winter Park, Colorado, and spent a lovely long weekend with Marie, Piper Vaughn, Jayden Brooks, CR Guiliano, and Lissa Kasey, hosted by JP Kenwood. The cottage was 9500 feet up in the mountains, and my GOD the views. Got some writing done, and came home with a new desire to investigate the possibilities of medical marijuana for my fibromyalgia and arthritis. That’s happening in Illinois soon. I’m waiting to see how it all shakes out. All I can say is that it did wonders for my asthma and my altitude headaches…

In September, JP Barnaby and I flew down to Atlanta, and she, Shae Connor and I drove up to a cabin in the mountains where we met Sara York, William Cooper, and two young writers who don’t have pen names yet, so I won’t mention their names here. But both are ones to watch! The “cabin” was fabulous, and had a river running directly beneath the family room. And I have to say, Cards Against Humanity takes on a whole new dimension when played with seven slightly drunk M/M authors…! On the way home, JP and I had lunch with Jake Driver and his significant other, and had a wonderful time. What a great couple, the epitome of Southern gentlemen!

Because of all the busyness the past – yikes, is it a year? Just about – I don’t have anything coming out anytime soon. I do have two stories that I’m working on pretty seriously in the few minutes a week I have to write, but I expect they won’t come out until late next year.

’Til then, if you are coming to GRL next week, stop and say hello! I promise I don’t bite… much…

Between GRL and Teslacon…

Oct 31, 2013 by

I’ve only been home from GayRomLit in Atlanta a week, and already I’m heading out again, this time to Teslacon in Madison Wisconsin. Teslacon is a Steampunk convention, and if you don’t know what Steampunk is, Google it. Go ahead. I’ll wait. <whistles>

Okay, back? Well, let me explain something. As awesome as Steampunk sounds, it is TWICE as cool as that. Easily. Steampunk marries historical romance and science fiction and fantasy and adventure and mystery and RAY GUNS AND DIRIGIBLES AND AIRSHIP PIRATES. It’s the ultimate geekdom, where all the geekdoms run together and then explode. It’s like Jules Verne married HG Wells and together they popped out Robert A. Heinlein and Umberto Eco. (Totally possible if you buy Warehouse 13’s premise that HG Wells was actually a woman.) And then bought an airship line.

So that’s where I’m spending my weekend, in a total immersion Steampunk convention, where I will arrive in costume and remain so for three full days. In company with my godson and nephew, Joe V., the coolest teenager in the history of teenagers.

GayRomLit was fabulous, as usual, and the organization was even better this year than last year, with set rooms for Q&As and Storyteller Spotlights and Author Readings so you didn’t have to go wandering around looking for them. And every night was a dress-up thing, the traditional Juke Joint Junket being joined by the Some Enchanted Evening formal ball and the rocking Heaven & Hell Masquerade. The costumes were fantastic.

My friend JP Barnaby hosted an event where people got the chance to finger paint on half-nekkid guys: four professional adult models and four authors/regular guys. It was adorable to see that the regular guys actually got painted more than the models did. They raised over $600 for Lost and Found Youth, a gay youth homeless shelter in Atlanta. JP also writes as Jamie Mayfield, and all royalties from her young adult books go to the shelter. JP rocks.

There was also a Dine with the Author event, that was nice, but would have been nicer if it hadn’t been so noisy it was hard to hear what people were saying. Ballrooms have crappy acoustics. I bet someone could make a bajillion dollars if they invented a “cone of silence” thing that could settle over tables for weddings and conferences like these, so that only the people at the table could hear what was being said…

I had lots of people stop by my table at the signing and even sold a few books so I didn’t have to ship anything home. This is a Good Thing.

So I come home to an invitation to host a chat with FRENCH PEOPLE. Seriously! Apparently Kindred Hearts and Finding Zach have been finding some fans in their French incarnations, and DSP is setting up time for a Facebook chat with them. I have to do the posts ahead of time so that the translator can get them done, and then she’ll be riding along to translate their questions and my answers.  That will be November 23rd, so if you speak French, mark your calendars!!

Then, I was also invited to join a blog tour about rock stars, so Adam gets to come out and play for a while. That one should be fairly soon; it’s still in the process of being organized.

So, that’s it for now. In a couple of hours I’ll be hitting the (wet and flooded) roads to Wisconsin. After I get home from that, there will be no more traveling until April. Thank God – my house is a MESS, and my cat thinks I don’t love him any more.

Deja vu all over again

Jul 25, 2013 by

So, Marie and I are walking down the street in Paris looking for the St. Michel Metro stop, where we want to catch the Metro back to the Gare du Nord train station. And of course it’s 5 p.m. and rush hour is starting up, and we know we’ll never make it back by cab. So we’re looking high and low for the station, and I look up and say: “There it is!” And Marie says “How did you find it so quick?”

Metropolitan  No, it wasn’t just from observing the name on the station. (Duh)

I RECOGNIZED it.

How, you ask, when I have never been to Paris before? Is it a past-life memory? Is it because the red things look like the aliens from the original War of the Worlds??

 

Nope. Because THIS is my train station, where I go every day on my way home from work, at Michigan Avenue and Van Buren Street in downtown Chicago:

Metra

Look familiar?

Kinda thought so!!

 

More tales (and pictures!) from our travels to come!!!