Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Best Laid Plans

I know it's my turn to blog on Monday of the week before it's due. From the first announcement I get, I start thinking about what to say. This week, I knew on Friday I would be going on a field trip with my students. This particular field trip was a zip line adventure. We would climb, zip, and scamper through the woods 70 feet in the air.

Did I mention I am afraid of heights? I mean, panic attack, whimper in fear, curl up in the fetal position afraid of heights. I was basically pressured into this by my students after having avoided this yearly trip for 6 years. I finally had to give in. How could I preach about facing challenges and leaving your comfort zone if I wouldn't do it?

So, with much trepidation, I went. I was almost sick to my stomach when I had to step off the first platform. I managed to do it, but not without swearing a great deal. I managed to make it through the whole course without crying, vomiting, or clinging to a tree. . .well, okay, not a lot of clinging. I was proud of myself and my students were proud of me and had the opportunity to feel braver than their teacher. It was a win-win for everyone. Great idea for a blog, right?

But then I thought about blogging about my anniversary. My husband and I have been married for 16 years now and we still not only love each other, we still lust each other. Especially when I'm writing. . .

I even thought about blogging about a new book I'm working on.

Then that bitch Sandy decided to slam the east coast and now I'm scrambling to get the blog written before I lose power AGAIN!

AGAIN! Last year we lost power twice for a week each time. Once because of hurricane Irene and once because of a freak October snow storm. Sandy promises to be a little of both and the worst we've seen for a while. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?????

I'm still traumatized from last year. I can't handle cooking over the fondue pot and putting in my contacts by candle light for another week. And if I have to play endless games of Monopoly again, someone may be hurt.

So, if you don't hear from me for a while, say a prayer that my sanity holds out, or at least the supply of tequila...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Romanticon 2012

By now you’ve probably read a dozen blogs on the Ellora’s Cave Publishing Romanticon so I’m not going to expand on the parties and giveaways, lap dancing and naughty photo ops. Instead I wanted to write about how Romanticon made me feel. Towards the end of that week one of my good friends and fellow Scribe, Ruby Storm said to me that I used to be so shy and quiet but this week she saw a big change in me. At the time I told her that it was my job as a midwife that had made me more outgoing and that is partly true but it’s not the whole story. I’m still ‘the quiet one’ externally at least. I watch people and listen and now and again my work mates are surprised when I zing them with the occasional comment or ask me what I am smiling about when I catch them in an innuendo. At home I don’t go out much I just go to work and come home to write, or read. I don’t have many friends and am single and if wasn’t for my job I could go a whole week without speaking to another person, in person that is. Most of my friends are out in the world, in touch only through the silken strands of the world wide web. This may sound rather lonely and I have to agree that sometimes it is but mostly, in the words of Jane Austen, I find myself quite content.

At other cons I have found myself watching the ‘cool kids’ and wishing I could be part of that crowd or seeing things go on and wish I was brave enough to do that. To join in. I rarely ever do though whether it’s shyness, or natural reserve or both.
Romanticon though, was different.

We were all the cool kids. Perhaps it helped that the whole hotel was ours and there was no one to offend. No need to worry about who would see you and what they would say or think. The atmosphere or the Con was relaxed, friendly, open… permissive. There was no divide between author and reader. Everyone was there for the same thing, the love of naughty fun where no one gets hurt. It felt safe.

I am not a good dancer but I danced like no one was watching every night. I danced with hot guys who although they were beautiful and amazing dancers themselves made me feel like I was Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing. Me, the girl who was always picked last in school dance class. I danced with girls too without giving it a second thought and got cheers and cat calls. I presented a workshop and stood in front of a room full of people and talked about dicks and porn without blushing (much) or worrying about what people thought. I posed for a sexy picture with nine of the cover models and giggled like a school girl while they did their best to make me feel comfortable. I did a book signing where people didn’t pass me by because my books were erotic romances, where I didn’t feel somehow less an author because they were ebooks first. When we left the hotel staff said it felt like Christmas was over.

I drank, I danced, I hugged, I laughed, I cried. Not once in the whole week did I worry about what others thought of me.

I heard someone describe Romanticon as a family reunion and yes it does have the feel of a big, boisterous family. Only this family won’t turn you away if you are a bit different. Once you attend then you are instantly adopted and I guarantee you will wish away the year until you can join them again.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

To Romanticon...or not

Many of the Scribes will be away from their desks next weekend, attending Ellora’s Cave’s yearly meet up of authors and readers: Romanticon. Cait, Ruby, Lynn, and Tara will all be there, holding a workshop on “The Nuts and Bolts of M/M Erotica” – with an emphasis on the nuts and bolts :). Don’tcha just want to be a fly on the wall in THAT talk!

Of course, it won’t be all fun and games in Ohio this year. Many of you know that one of EC’s top models, Angelo, was killed last week. There is a tribute planned for him on Friday night. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. Tina Engler wrote a fitting eulogy for the Romanticon website.

Tielle, Cat and I, however, aren't attending this year. For various reasons, life has conspired to keep us home. One of these days we’re going to an event where all seven of us can be in the same place at the same time! To date, we have never done that. All our conversations are done through email with our brainstorming sessions for The Sweet Spot series taking place on a private wiki we've put together for our use.

But isn’t that wonderful, too? That seven people, all living in different parts of the world, can form a group, work together on various projects, and become friends, all while rarely seeing each other face-to-face? I’ve met all the Scribes – eaten dinner or shared drinks and conversation with every one of them. Just never at the same time in the same place.

I can tell you one thing...if we ever DO manage a group-wide, face-to-face meeting? The country that hosts us will never be the same! Some among us are party-ers who love to dance, others are quiet and don’t say much except for an occasional zinger that keeps us laughing long into the night.

I’ll miss getting to see the four at Romanticon and am making a resolution now: Before the end of another year, we’re all getting together in one big group. We’ll swap news about our families, talk about writing and tell dirty jokes till the sun comes up and goes down again. We’ll laugh and cry, rail at the world then solve all its problems. And we will act like what we have become: Scribe Sisters.

Love ya, Ladies! Have a great time at Romanticon; we'll leave the lights on for you :)