Chicago. Windy City. I won't be disputing that now or ever.
This was my third GRL (Gay Romance Literature Retreat) and the goal this time was to spend time with my Mischief Corner Books crew (check) and to take the time to get to know some new people. Cue the hysterical laughter in three...two...one.
Two things happened that made the second half of that sentence difficult. I had a car and I volunteered for lots of stuff.
I like to help. That's one of the issues at these things. While I truly do enjoy being able to lend a hand, there were lots of things I wish I could have done. So instead of doing the usual "I did this and then I did that" recap, thought it would be nice to visit some of the things I hope to have time for next time.
Time With Friends
I did get some. Really. But I've gotten to know so many people through these cons, and there were so many folks I didn't get to spend more than a few passing sentences with.
It was great to have a couple of days beforehand, to spend some time shopping and sightseeing. (I'm normally not much of a shopper, but Toni Griffin came in from Australia. With Toni, it was fun.)
The night of the Time Travel Ball was hilarious - I've never had the experience of getting several grown women into costumes before. Good thing the hotel rooms were, well, roomy.
But there were so many people I wanted to actually sit and talk with - and I was running so much, it often didn't happen. For that, I apologize. And I'll try to do better next year.
Here's a for instance - this was the year I was going to have some time to talk to Edmond Manning. We've been running into each other at GRL for a couple of years now - and we're online friends - but our paths never seemed to cross for more than five minutes at a time. This was the year. Yes.
*hangs head* It didn't happen. Our schedules had us at different places too often. A concerted effort must be made for 2015.
Actually Attending Some of the Cool Stuff
I had everything mapped out on my little Guidebook App - which Spotlights I was going to, who I wanted to see read and answer questions and so on. How many Spotlights did I manage to attend (aside from my own?) Two. Yay me. I'm so sad that I missed the Q&A's and the Storyteller sessions I had marked and so many of the readings I wanted to hear.
That needs to be handled better next time. Without a doubt. That's half the point of coming - to see my favorite authors, too.
Stopping Long Enough to Breathe
Stopping for a drink? Hanging out by the Cave Bar? Those would have been really good things. But I did a lot of "Hi!" *hug* "It's so good to see you! I have to run here or there! I'll see you later!" Sometimes it felt like blowing people off. And I didn't want that. But there were so many places I'd promised to be - and by the end, I'd noticed how I'd overbooked things.
I had a fabulous time. I really did. But next year, if you see me volunteering for everything in sight? Come smack me. I'll thank you. See everyone in Tampa in July for Rainbow Con!
For all of my GRL pics - come on over to the Pinterest board :) GRL 2014