Monday, September 22, 2014

MEWR (Mid Atlantic Erotica Writer's Retreat)

the tiny bookstore where the signing occurred
First of all, Congrats to Chuck Parker, who won the Advanced Reader's Copy of Blues; thanks to everyone who went, helped out Sommer, and participated.

So, this weekend, I went to my first ever book signing, and a writer's retreat.

That was exciting.

Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, hosted Rose Caraway, Kristina Wright, and I for the release of the Sexy Librarian's Big Book of Erotica. (if you weren't able to make the party and you want an autographed copy, the three of us signed a bunch of books, so you can still get one!)

(I know, I'm not on the webpage list, but I was there, and it was fun!)

may very well qualify as a #1 fan
We had a little twerk where the UPS guy was late delivering books, but they did eventually come in, and it was nice to see a huge stack of them out on tables.

Quite a number of people dropped in, chatted, got their books signed, including this lady here who flew all the way from Canada just to meet us! Wow!

After the book signing, we went out for drinks and lunch at the Tobacco Company Restaurant, one of the more famous eateries around those parts, and chatted. Rose, Nickie, and I headed off to our writer's retreat, Kristina and Michael (so glad I finally got to meet him - he's hilarious - among other things, we share some antho credits, including Lustfully Ever After) headed home.

The retreat was pretty much on the other side of Richmond, and I gave Rose a lift - taxis are expensive! On the way over, I played Jonathon Coulton's First of May for her. It's kinda my thing, subjecting people to my musical tastes...

We got over there, picked up a couple more people, and went to dinner; I know, seems like we were eating all weekend; but both Rose and I had skipped breakfast, had bar-food and drinks as "lunch" and were still hungry. Not to mention that Nickie's husband, and we picked up Elizabeth L. Brooks and hit up a Mexican place for drinks and enchiladas.

here's a group of really really wrong horrible people
 Checked into the hotel, and this was my view from the 6th floor. We did a meet and greet from seven to 9pm, which was just chatting, getting our retreat badges, and planning the rest of the weekend. As MERW is on its first year, we really didn't have lots planned or firm...

After that, we all headed back to my suite for drinking and Cards Against Humanity...

This is the crew who played, minus TB Bond; I can't remember if she was late, or just skillfully dodged my picture taking.

Nobilis - the extremely tall dude in the pink shirt - recorded our game, so if you want to hear drunk erotica writers being horrible people, we'll probably have snippets, or maybe the whole, horrible thing online in the next few days. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, Nobilis, AR Moler, and I went for a hike in nearby Bryant Park, which was pretty, if quite a bit more hilly than I was expecting; I live in a swamp, this inclined ground is weird...

The scenery was pretty; we saw a couple of herons, someone's dog that had slipped its leash, and a few frogs. AR and I had a bit of discussion about whether or not frogs and lizards were cool or awful. You probably already know which side of that discussion I'm on...

 After we made a tour of the park, we headed back to the hotel, where we did some silent group writing; 25 minutes on, 5 minutes off, 25 on, 5 off, and 25 on, before we broke up to get lunch. (What did I tell you, it seemed like I spent the whole weekend eating!)

Rose, Elizabeth, Nickie (and her husband) joined me for lunch, and we talked shop over soup, salad and sandwiches; also we found out that this is the first away from her kids vacation that Rose has had. EVER. So, double plus for her! She came all the way from California to spend the weekend with us, which is cool, and I'm so happy she could come.

After lunch, we met up in our conference room again, ended up discussing publishers, made a new contract (Whetting the Appetite will finally be available in a print edition! Yay! There will also be a few of those stories released in an audiobook format - keep an eye here and I'll let you know the details as soon as I get them.)

Despite the intense negotiations, thrills, and general conversation going on, I had my laptop out and managed another 1,000 words or so. I'm very close to crossing the 50,000 line marker on Classic. There was a slight panic when i thought about 2,000 words had vanished, but in checking some files and backups (yes, I'm paranoid about backups, remind me to tell you some day what happened to the first edition of Marked Man...) when I got home, I discovered what happened is that I'd trashed a chapter early on that I didn't like, but forgot to purge it off my word-count list, and I dumped the "trash" before I left for the con. So I'm somewhat behind where I thought I was in word count, but I didn't actually lose any content.

Rose went back to her room for "a few minutes" and fell into her writing cave, got some 7k words done and I hardly saw her again all weekend. Which was great! The whole idea of a writer's retreat is to get some work done.

Saturday evening, I went to dinner with a friend of mine from high school that I haven't seen since 1990 or so. Catching up was ... interesting. There's a lot going on in her life that it's not my privilege to share, but wow! People have such fascinating lives; it's interesting to see what's happened to people in that stretch of time.

Saturday night was a little more subdued; I had a few drinks, talked with Nobilis and his wife, and then headed to bed pretty early.

Which might have been a mistake, since I woke up at five bloody am on Sunday.

On the plus side, being wide awake and having no distractions, I opened my laptop again and got the introduction to Coming Together: Among the Stars written. I'll need to take a peek at it to revise, but I'm pretty happy with the general plan.

We had a klatch on Sunday to discuss plans for next year; I'm officially the social coordinator and web-mistress. We're going to extend our list of potential attendees by maybe 5 - 8 more writers. It's going to be kinda an invite only thing; we don't want to lose the intimacy of a small group, but if you're interested, you can contact me, and I'll put you on the list for consideration; erotica / LGBT / romance writers only! This is a retreat, not a conference. Networking is available, but not the focus, but there will also not be classes on writing, and while newbies can attend, we're not sure a newbie would get as much out of the experience as a more well-established writer.

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