GRL Thrills & Terrors
In June I stalked the Bahia Resort where the GRL (Gay Romance Literature Retreat) will be held in October. As I surveyed the property I wondered where we would sit and chat, where my smoking Pretties would hang out and who would enjoy the rescue seals as much as me (The hotel has two fabulous seals there who were rescued). How many Starbucks runs would be made? Who would dance? Who would be up early walking on the beach? And how much fun we would all have at such an awesome event?
The GRL for many of us is a thrilling yet terrifying event.
Let’s talk about the THRILLS first
1) Meeting readers, writers, reviewers, artists and my Facebook Pretties
OMG to hug you for real (if you’re a hugger) is incredible. To me the GRL is the proof wonderful people exist in the world. Fan gushing at my favorite writers, reviewers, and Facebook Pretties is fabulous. Meeting readers with incredible insight motivate me to be a better storyteller. Being with people who have the same values as I do, folks who are working to promote happily ever after for all… WOW!
2) Learning and gaining a deeper understanding our genre
Publishers, writers, reviewers, artists and readers share their knowledge and insights. Each year I walk away with pearls of wisdom that make me a better writer.
3) Just having fun!!!!
CUE THE WORRY
The fear of attending an event of this kind can eat your brain. (I going to steal from Carry The Ocean by Heidi Cullinan if you read it you’ll understand the term brain octopus, which are limitations that control/hinder your ability to do/say/be who you want to be). I think everyone has a brain octopus and we calm it down in a variety of ways. One of the ways I learned to deal with my brain octopus is acknowledgement sooooo I blogging my fears to acknowledge them and hopefully release them.
Things I FEAR about the GRL
*Stuttering… I HATE my stutter. I grew up being teased and bullied. It was awful (which is why I’ll never do a reading) I’ve learned to jump over words I can’t say but sometimes (if I’m too nervous &) I’m not quick enough or when I do this the words I grab make no sense… so I attempt to say it again a different way… or I stare blankly.
*Not thinking of a thing to say. Seeing someone face to face and completely blanking on any conversational topics… (Ask Jet Mykles & Kim Gardner two years running I could barely speak to them). Last year I met both Lena Grey & Jayden Brooks. I type to them on Facebook and enjoy their posts… I did little more than stare at either of them = to this day I’m horrified at myself. Becky Condit a similar thing occurred in Atlanta.
*Someone misunderstanding something I do or say & it hurting them. The GRL can be overwhelming so everyone runs on higher emotions. (Inhale & take some alone time)
*Not recognizing a Facebook Pretty… I wish badges used the Facebook font & if we could all add our little avatar’s I’d be SET! At Rainbow Con I met several people I’ve had chats with &/or have responded to their posts but face to face I stared blankly trying desperately to place them and remember what we’d talked about….
*No one talking to me… I have this vision of me sitting at the signing and no one wanting to see me… (ISH!!!) Thank Cate Ashwood for the GRL anthology I figure at least readers will want everyone to sign it… including me.
*Getting sick: Though last year I used vitamin C, Air Bourne and zinc spray seemed to work.
While all this crazy is circling in my head I try to enjoy being with tribe. GRL is where many of my tribe gather: most of you are my Facebook Pretties (if not let’s change that), some of you might enjoy my books, and some of you I know beyond the gay romance niche. I LOVE seeing you and spending time with you!
WARNING: Sipping directly from the GRL Rainbow can intensify emotions… Let’s focus on maximizing the incredible ones!!!
See you in October or if you aren’t making it… PM me and I might stalk you directly!
Hugs, Z. Allora