Dragoncon, Day II


Shane I has the most horrifying ring tone. We discovered this when it rang about nine times Friday morning, as his friends and family back home all needed to report to him that his lost dog had been found. I think the entire town of Gillespie, Illinois was hunting for that dog.

Shane I claims not to be a morning person, but he lies. Because he was up, humming and being all cheerful, a scant five hours after we all passed out in sodden splendor. He opened the shades, people. I didn't kill him. I considered spiking his toothpaste with Anne's whiskey.

The Shanes departed for their booth and Anne went to join her BSG crew. I had a mission: find a Staples to pick up some needed supplies for the weekend's commerce, as well as replacing the flyers I had brilliantly left in my car back in St. Louis. Enter Panya and Michael, who were kind enough to give up a morning lying on lounge chairs by their hotel pool in order to drive me to Staples. They are good people. I would have told me to get a fugging cab, lady.

Note to self: Write to the manager of the Staples on Ponce de Leon and commend the two men working the copy shop at 11:30 a.m. Friday. They were friendly, helpful and they really went the extra mile to help me out. They even made a separate standup for my flyer for free, which went to the Borders kiosk to advertise the reading and signing. Great guys and they deserve a commendation.

On our travels, I caught a glimpse of the Holy Land: a Dunkin Donuts! Real live Dunkin Donuts! I turned into a gibbering idiot on the spot and Panya/Michael were kind enough to indulge me. I bought a dozen for the room and treats for Panya and Michael, and on the way back to the hotel I busted my diet into pieces with a powdered-sugar chocolate creme donut. When I was a kid, the creme filled the entire donut with a flower of cream on the outside, but I'm not complaining. YUM.

The box went to the room, which was deserted. I was tempted to leave a note on the box identifying them as POLICE FOOD. Shane I is a retired police officer. It would possibly have been appropriate retaliation for being so goddamn cheerful in the morning.

The late afternoon brought the photo shoot with Russ Matthews. If you haven't seen his work, you really should. Russ was very accommodating for my stupidity in losing his cell number, which made our shoot almost not happen. He tried a number of poses and I'm confident many of them will turn out to be very nice shots. For the occasion, I wore my black lace cocktail dress with a demure neckline and a fringed green scarf that I eventually tied loosely around my hips.

Dinner was to be a quick affair in the guest consuite, now that I'd caught up with Frank Fradella and his friends. "Quick" turned out to be quite relative, as the Annual Hyatt Elevator Clusterfuck struck early. After an obscene amount of hassle, we made it to the 17th floor only to find that the consuite closes from 6-8 p.m. It was just short of 7 p.m. I considered jumping. To his credit, Frank did not throw me over the side.

We ended up at Gibney's Pub again, where I learned a valuable lesson: sit on the good side. The side with the pool table gets you minimal service and you have to get your own fucking food. The bar side gets you a waitperson and a much more pleasant atmosphere.

My surreal moment of the night: walking through Gibney's and bumping - almost literally - into Dominic Keating, who immediately tried to order a sandwich from me. I wasn't sure what about my cocktail dress screamed "waitress" but I found it cute that he was in Atlanta and trying to find Britishy food.

It was at Gibney's that I realized my con badge was missing. Note to the DC staff: go back to laminating. The "tough" paper used this year did not stand up to even a full day of con-going. We were unable to find my badge. I don't know if someone found it and thought, "Hey, guest badge!" Well, enjoy the VIP consuite, jerkoff.

We went to the Hyatt, which was where I thought Ops could be found. It turned out to be Tech Ops, who sent us to Guest Relations in the Marriott. They were very polite and helpful, and one of them had actually heard of me, which was a plus. They sent us back to VIP badges in the Marriott with an escort, who finagled me a new badge. The one who recognized me asked me and Frank, "So are you two... an item?" The stammering and uncomfortable demurrals filled the funniest ten seconds of my year, as Frank hastened to tell her he's my publisher, not my boyfriend.

After all this, Frank and his crew had stuck with me. Finally we were ready to join Frank's friend Sean Taylor at the annual party for comic artists and writers. It was a minor odyssey of lost-ness, and I'd like to state that it's not entirely my fault, I never claimed to know the way from the Marriott to the Sheraton and suddenly everyone was following me and nobody knew better than me how to get there so it's not MY fault we were three blocks off-course.

The shindig was nice. I ended up expounding quasi-soberly about the state of publishing and the insanity of return policies in a royalty-based industry and newspapers aren't as doomed as everyone thinks and how we should probably all be writing m/m BDSM smut if we want to survive. This might have to do with the free drink coupons. Mmm, bourbon.

At this point my dear, sweet friend Dana Franks finally caught up with me. We wandered to the Marriott for drinks - because I needed more of those? - and catching up and people-watching. We also meandered up to Anne's BSG party before returning to the room.

I'd like to say we had a few (more) drinks, chatted and went to sleep. However, we apparently brought the Energizer Bunny and his twin as roommates. The Shanes came back with a handful of friends and the silliness got severe. Someone had given Shane I far too much alcohol - like more than a thimbleful - and let's just say a Sharpie was involved. Sleep came at five aye em in the morning and I still hadn't strangled them.


  1. This sounds awfully big and scary...

    (And as for m/m BDSM, I made $3 on it last month)

  2. You and I should talk before you decide to do a D*C. It is HUGE.


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