I am back from this  year’s GayRomLit and the whole experience was totally amazing. I can say without a doubt that the conference far exceeded even my wildest expectations.  If you follow me on Twitter you probably already know I had a wild and crazy time (fueled by an awful lot of alcohol).  But I was also a diligent blogger and took lots of notes about various events and a ton of pictures.  And I got lots more from friends I met.  So over the next few days I will recap all I can about this incredible adventure.

First off, the chance to meet all those authors in one place is amazing.  I was doing my fangirl squee all over everyone.  And the authors were so friendly and so welcoming to their readers and other authors it was so nice.  I never felt any separation between authors and readers.  Everyone was friendly and willing to hang out, chat with the readers, and even squee a bit at other authors themselves.

And of course, I loved meeting so many fellow readers.  There is just something about hanging out with people who totally get you.  You know I love talking about books, as do most of us, and being able to have a huge group of people who all share the same interest in books is just amazing.  It is so rare to be in a place with people who all enjoy the same thing and it was just a liberating and wonderful experience.  And I must say I was so touched and honored by how many people came up to me and mentioned liking the blog. I am always amazed that anyone even reads it, so hearing from folks about how much they enjoy it just totally made me light up. So if you stopped by to say hello, please know I truly appreciate it.

I mentioned this to a few people at GRL, but I will say the most amazing thing about it was just the complete open acceptance I felt from just about everyone.  Even for those of us who are relatively open about our love of glbt romance, it is rare to be around so many people with whom you can talk and act so freely.  GRL was a chance for people to be themselves, to be openly out, to talk about glbt romance, to be wild and crazy and have no one care.  I mean, I do not exaggerate when I tell you I had about 10 conversations about rimming over the course of the week and no one blinked an eye.  Guys were making out, girls were grinding/dancing together, we talked about everything possible openly and loudly, and we never even got a funny look.  I personally think I got felt up more this week (by both men and women) then I have in years by anyone besides my husband.  Who knew gay men liked boobs so much? And thank you to Jason for telling me you liked mine! 😉

Sign above the front desk

I was also so impressed with the hotel staff at the Hard Rock.  To be honest, I was expecting the place to be a bit on the garish, Vegas side, but the hotel was really lovely. And the staff was just amazing pretty much across the board.  I am sure we are not their typical convention group and they just rode along with all the crazy with us.  And not just the hotel staff, but other folks too.  I laughed as we had (yet another) rimming conversation at the MLR reception and the server came over just then.  We apologized for our conversation and she was like “whatevs, I’ve heard it all before”. The only place I got even a hint of negativity was at the bar when we were asked to tone down our conversation.  Of course, we were talking loudly about the pros and cons of 12 inch cocks, but still, if that is wrong I don’t want to be right!

So overall and incredible experience in every way.  I am going to go day by day through the event so for now I will get you started on Wednesday, our travel day…

P.S. I have tons of pics so I made these all small, but if you click on them you can see them bigger.  And big thanks to Leigh as many of these are borrowed from her.


Marguerite Labbe and me

So I left for GRL on Wednesday morning. I am not sure if I mentioned this, but I basically went into GRL knowing no one in real life with the exception of my amazing roommate Marguerite Labbe. And we had only meet at a GR group get together a couple of times.  So I was really nervous about showing up with all these people not knowing anyone outside the Web.  Fortunately, Marguerite was great and helped introduce me to a lot of new people since she attended last year (plus she is an author so she knows lots of folks).

Edmond Manning

We ended up on the same flight out to Albuquerque and made it into town around mid day.  Edmond Manning was arriving just before we did so he waited for us at baggage claim.  Edmond and I chat a lot by email so it was so exciting to meet him in person.  Especially when I got a “Welcome to Albuquerque” text as soon as we landed!  It turns out we were also on the hotel shuttle with author Kate McMurray as well as my new friend Leigh Logan (who you will see in a million pics since she is a photo queen and I stole all her pictures!).  So barely arrived and I had already met two fabulous authors and a great new friend.

We were totally starving so as soon as we checked in we went to get some lunch at TIWA, a restaurant in the hotel. And right off the bat we ran into J.P. Barnaby, Marie Sexton, and Rowan Speedwell!  After hanging around the hotel for a while, I also got a chance to meet Heidi Cullinan, Ethan Day, Damon Suede, Piper Vaughn, Cherie Noel, and K-Lee Klein who brought me these awesome Avenger pins from Yaoi Con.  Don’t you love little Tony Stark with his goatee?

Cole Riann

So after running around the hotel for a while, we went to dinner.  Marguerite was nice enough to invite me along with a group of folks she knew from last year and we went to a Mexican restaurant in town. There I was super excited to meet Cole Riann because he and I have been online friends for a while and it was great to meet in person.  We quickly became fast friends over the course of the week and I miss hanging out with him already!  Cole runs the fabulous blog The Armchair Reader, and if you are not following it you should be because not only is Cole amazing in every way, his reviews are great too.  Here is a picture of us. It is from later in the week but it is a nice one of us together.

I also met a bunch of other fabulous people, many of whom I ended up hanging out with the rest of the week. Here are a few more pictures from dinner…

Lauraadriana, Tina, and Cole

Gyn, Heather, Marguerite, Cole and the rest of the gang

Heather and Gyn

Leigh and me

So that is it for our first day. I’ll be back with details on the rest of the trip soon!

FILED UNDER: Jay's Thoughts