|Posted on October 17, 2011 at 8:30 PM||comments (5)|
From October 13 – October 16, 2011, I attended the GayRomLit retreat in New Orleans. This was the retreat’s very first year, a chance for readers and authors of m/m romance to network, meet each other, and have a bit of fun at the same time. It was organized by authors Carol Lynne, Amanda Young, Ethan Day, Lynn Lorenz and JP Bowie, and while it did not go off without a hitch (does anything ever?), the snags were minimal, the hosts gracious, and the experience was overall very fun indeed.
Given the fact that I am somewhat shy and an introvert, hobnobbing with a couple hundred strangers is a daunting task for me. So it was not without fear that I decided to attend GRL. The lure of meeting writers whose work I have enjoyed, playing in the French Quarter, and promoting BookWenches (ok, I sucked at that) was greater than my trepidation, however, and I was also lucky enough to personally know one other person who would be attending: author Rick R. Reed. Rick was incredibly kind, shared his time and his knowledge with me, and allowed me to be a cling-on like the social r-tard that I am. And the man has terrific taste when it comes to restaurants. We had some truly excellent meals. So thank you, Rick, it is a pleasure to call you “friend.”
Like a good conference go-er, I signed up for every single event. Didn’t make them all, of course, but I certainly enjoyed those that I was able to attend. Among those events:
I came home with a bag full of what they called “swag” – bookmarks and flyers and chocolate and other goodies that might or might not end up in the waste bin – a couple of books, some nice memories, and a few pictures to share. Not as many as I would like, unfortunately, because my phone is a glutton and tends to suck the battery dry in just a few hours, but I’m hoping that some of my fellow attendees will have pictures as well.
LaFitte’s in Exile – nope, I’m keeping this picture to myself. Think to yourself: lovely young man’s bare backside.
and Book signing
Author readings: Ethan Day and Geoff Knight. Geoff’s reading of a steamy sex scene had attendees fanning themselves by the time he was finished,
and Ethan had everyone laughing out loud.
Will I attend next year? Most likely. In 2012, the retreat will be held in Albuquerque, NM. If this year’s retreat is anything to go by, it will be something to look forward to.
|Posted on October 11, 2011 at 11:25 PM||comments (0)|
My jello brain mold that it is. I have been waiting for weeks for it to arrive and alas it is here. I hurriedly ran out and bought a bunch of different flavors. I kept asking myself, and friends what color I make it, and though I had some fabulous recommendations, I had to go with red for the first try. It came out beautifully!
Now for the real fun...I am just trying to figure out how I can make a jello shot brain. What flavor and how much booze is going to have to go into that one? This is going to be insanely fun. Though I must say Clea's advice to go look up suck and blow jello shots did add some fun ideas to jello shooting (wait, that doesn't sound right)
ANYWAY! LET THE FUN BEGIN!
Teagan (who can't wait to make the jello brain mold for her Zombies)
|Posted on August 16, 2011 at 7:45 PM||comments (5)|
Posted by Teagan
I recently found myself posed with the following question: what makes an author "good"?
What a loaded question. There are so many answers to that question, and truthfully, none of them could be wrong. For me, it is so many things. It is the inherent talent of grabbing me so tightly that I don't want to be let go until the very last word. It’s the author’s ability to paint a picture in my mind so vivid that Hollywood could use the images for the next box office hit. It’s the author who writes an email so eloquently funny that it tickles my funny bone and instantly makes her my new BFF. The reasons are endless, and each and every one of them is important.
I tend to be the least critical of the Wenches. Yes I am saying it again, I'm the fluffy, rose-colored glasses gal. My fellow Wenches are much deeper than I am but there's got to be a lovable goober in every bunch...right? (Yes I said lovable Bobby, I SO saw you roll your eyes!) I like just about anything; if it has words, I will read it, and I love the wonderful authors who write those words.
I have heard someone state they don’t like a particular author because they don’t like the genre the author writes. Well, my dears, that there is just a bad reader, and it has nothing to do with the author.
So again, what makes a good author? I think that all it takes is a single reader who enjoys that author’s writing.
What do you think?
|Posted on July 26, 2011 at 7:27 PM||comments (0)|
On the 4th of July, I had Teagan and her family over for a barbque. I got all kinds of excited after she accepted the invitation and set about planning a menu. I had healthy options for her and me, as we are both still trying to lose weight; I had vegetarian options, in case her daughter changed her mind and decided to come over; and I had the unhealthy choices for everyone else. Then I went shopping and filled our fridge and pantry full of stuff.
By the time the big day arrived, I had most of the stuff prepped and ready to go. It wasn’t anything fancy – just burgers and dogs – but I believe in having lots of options. We had tons of stuff on the side: chips, dips, veggies sticks, potato salad (store bought, because I don’t need the temptation of homemade), fresh fruit salad, corn on the cob, watermelon and a green salad. Then for dessert, we had brownie muffins and strawberry shortcake. As I looked and noticed that every bit of counter space in my small kitchen was full, I realized that I did it again.
There were only seven of us that day, but I had enough food to feed fifteen at least. I do this every time we have company. For any big event (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Birthday parties) most of our budget goes towards food. I always find myself in a panic that there won’t be enough food, and I go way overboard. I am a big pusher also. I keep offering more and more food to everyone and feed them until they’re so full they want to burst.
I do it to my parents when they come up to visit. I am sure they must fast the week before, so they will be hungry when they come up because they know I am going to be shoveling the food down their throats all weekend long.
I did warn Teagan before she came over, but I don’t think she believed me as there was still a look of shock on her face when she saw all the food. Even as they were leaving, I was still trying to push food on them to take home. They practically ran out the door.
My husband and I didn’t have to cook at all for the rest of the week, because we lived off of the leftovers for lunch and dinner. Our oldest child started complaining that she was sick of burgers and dogs.
I don’t know why I do it, but I think that people won’t like me or think I am a good hostess unless they’re stuffed when they walk out the door. I think it’s a sickness and someone needs to stop me. I gotta tell my husband that he needs to reel me in a little bit. Maybe he’ll stage an intervention someday, but until then, bring your appetite next time you come to my place.
|Posted on June 29, 2011 at 4:50 PM||comments (1)|
Now that summer has officially started, it is now beginning to feel a lot like spring here in the great Pacific Northwest. Along with the new semi- sunny warm weather, my family is experiencing a great deal of change. My husband is going back to school to embark on a new career, my oldest daughter has graduated from elementary school and will be having new adventures in middle school, my toddler is about to become a preschooler and fighting potty training and I am shedding some very unwanted pounds. With all these changes we have decided to start purging some things from our lives, to do a little spring cleaning to go along with the spring type weather. It started with the weeds in our front yard and has moved to the items inside our house.
For the last six months, my husband has been harassing our oldest child to get rid of the gargantuan amounts of toys in her very small room. For the first eight years of her life, we thought she was going to be an only child, and we, along with my parents, spoiled the crap out of her. She had her bedroom, a play room and half of the family room full of toys. Over the years, we have gone through and packed up those toys that she has outgrown and stored them in the garage in the hopes of passing them down to another sibling. Now our garage is so full of packed up toys and clothes that we aren’t able to park our cars in there. Over the last couple of years, all that stuff in the garage has begun to feel overwhelming to me.
I was so excited when we had our second child because it meant that we could finally use all that stuff and then get rid of it once she outgrew it. Woohooo! That time has finally come. We have passed along or donated tons of baby clothes and toys, and this week we will be doing the same with the toddler toys and clothes. Now we just have to deal with the never ending flow of toys from our middle schooler’s room. Until this week, she had been refusing to get rid of anything, claiming that she still played with all of it (as witnessed by the thickening layers of dust on all her stuffed animals), but after her graduation ceremony from elementary school, she shocked us all and said it was time to pass it all down to her little sister. Her room is now bare and her closet practically empty, as she went through it all and realized that she has outgrown all of it.
I decided to take her cue and went through my own closet. I have lost 30 pounds in the last few months, and I don’t ever intend to go back to what I weighed before. I got rid of half my closet of clothes that I too have grown out of. Then I went through my drawers and tossed all my old, torn and stretched out unmentionables. I told my husband that his closet is next. He hasn’t worn more than half his stuff in over three years, so I think it is safe to say that he won’t be wearing it this year either.
I went through all of the clothes and toys and saved stuff that I think our younger daughter can benefit from the most. Christmas dresses and fancy shoes that won’t go out of style, Barbie dolls and ponies that she will cherish as she gets older and other things that I think she will make good use of have been packed up and placed in the garage. The rest of it, which is way more than what we are saving, is going to be donated to a local thrift store. I like giving our goods to them, because they give you discounts on items that you can purchase from them. I intend to take that discount and buy some summer clothes for the girls so we can save most of our money for new school clothes in the fall.
This whole process has been very cathartic for me. I am beginning to lose that feeling that our belongings own us. Plus my house is tidier, which is great because I am a massive neat freak who has been feeling like I have lost control of my surroundings over the last three years or so. I feel like I am finding myself again. I like that.
|Posted on June 27, 2011 at 5:39 PM||comments (1)|
posted by Teagan S. Boyd
The joy of a wonderful author!
Being a reviewer isn't always the greatest thing. I love doing it most of the time. Heck, I would say even 95% of the time, I love doing reviews. I am a voracious reader that just can't get enough. Though lately I have been a bit MIA and I hate that. Life does get in the way.
That 5% comes from books that suck and the lack of variety out there, as well as NASTY people, but the good outweighs the bad in the extreme so I try not to dwell! (zip it Bobby -- everyone is allowed to complain -- some of us are just better at it! LOL)
Yesterday I was asked what my favorite part of reviewing is. I flippin' love that question, because it is so easy. It's the authors that answer back and lets me know that the reviews I write mean something to them. I can tell you, that it is the biggest high in the world to be acknowledged and appreciated. We Wenches just get giddy when an author emails us back or puts something on their website about a review. It is easily the best feeling in the world.
As always, I state that I am the rose-colored glasses Wench and part of me wants to give every book a 5 Keeper -- but then Bobby rips my rose-colored glasses off my face and makes me see reality and sense...and Clea just gives me "the look" and a flick to keep me on track and to stop being so fluffily nice. LOL Gotta love me some Wenches.
I especially adore the author that doesn't get a perfect review and still emails me back with a gracious as well as appreciative email letting me know that what I do is worth it.
|Posted on June 8, 2011 at 8:16 PM||comments (1)|
I don’t know if it’s the weather (which until a couple of days ago still felt like fall) or what, but the last few weeks I have been finding myself feeling all kinds of restless. Nothing seems interest me or hold my attention. I haven’t wanted to write reviews or blogs. I don’t want to watch TV or even really read much, and if you really know me, then you know my two favorite things to do are to lose myself in front of the boob tube or in a good book. I haven’t even enjoyed a glass of wine or a jello shot lately. Teagan dropped some of those wiggly-jiggly shots of goodness off at my house last weekend, and they’re still sitting in my fridge untouched. I am just not interested.
I think my main issue is that all I seem to do lately go to work and soccer games. Soccer season has ended for a couple of weeks, but I think I am now due for a sabbatical from my real life job. Summer is fast approaching, and I feel the need to break free and enjoy it. All my co-workers are planning these great vacations, and all I got on my plate this summer is a weekend away here and there. What I really want are a couple of weeks away from my house with my family. We need to go on an adventure far away from home. I don’t care what we do, we just need to get away from here, preferably to someplace warm.
Unfortunately, finances and other obligations are going to prevent us from doing that this summer. I guess we will have to take little mini day trips to local places here in the Pacific Northwest. My husband and I moved up her to the Seattle area about 12 years ago and still haven’t seen most of the local attractions. I think we will have to make this the year we get off out big ole butts and do it, because if we don’t, I may just snap.
|Posted on May 25, 2011 at 6:40 PM||comments (0)|
Teagan and I went to see Bridesmaids on Sunday, and it was hilarious. One thing that I liked about it, aside from the fact that I laughed so hard I cried, is that it reminded me of the importance of having a group of gal pals.
Although my best girlfriends have changed over the years, I have always had a best friend and a group of friends to hang out with. In school, we were never the most popular girls, but we could hold our own. As I have gotten older, I still have some core friends that I turn to when I need them. My husband doesn’t understand my closeness with my friends. He thinks that I over share info about our private life with them, which I totally do, but to me that is what my friends are for.
The greatest thing about having girls to hang out with is the talking. We talk and talk and talk about everything. I turn to my friends for advice about things that happen in my life. My friends and I use each other as sounding boards when we feel like our hubbies are being difficult (to put it nicely). We compare notes about our kids and the weird or cute things they do. We hang out and get all kinds of giggly when we party.
I tend to find that women understand things in a way that men will just never get. That is why our friendships are so close and our wars with each other are so savage. We understand one another on a basic biological and emotional level, which means that we know how to hurt and how to heal each other so well.
I for one feel so grateful for each and every one of my gal pals, old and new alike, even the ones that are no longer a part of my life. For without each gal pal I have ever had or do have, I wouldn’t be the Wench I am today. Thanks ladies; I love you all!
|Posted on May 19, 2011 at 9:08 AM||comments (0)|
Last week at work, I had to participate in a week-long meeting to revamp a department process. Our company does these multiple times a year, but this was my first time participating in one. I had heard stories about how tiring it was, but you never really know how exhausting it is until you’re in the middle of one. Clea
Every night I came home with a tension headache, dreaming of curling up in bed with a good book. However, I never got to do that, because it was also a busy week at home. We were out doing something every night of the week. I would come home, pop a couple of Tylenol, eat a quick dinner, pack up the kids and head right back out the door. By the time we got home and tucked the beasts into bed, I was so exhausted that I would plop myself in my own bed, open my book, read one sentence and pass out with the light on and book still in hand. Clea
This whole thing of being too tired to read just sucks. I went through the whole week feeling like I never got to rest, because reading is my main source of relaxation. I managed to make time to exercise but not to read, and while the exercise helps me decompress, it doesn’t relax me the same way a book does. Even if it’s only for 15 minutes a day, I have to read something to unwind. It’s why I carry a book with me everywhere I go: if I have to wait in line, or if I catch a few minutes at work, I break out my book. Next time I need to build a contingency plan to get through the revamping work process. And it shouldn’t only consist of two nights of drinking wine, daiquiris and Jello shots with my fellow wenches at the end of the week. Not that that wasn’t a hoot and a half, but that is another story for another time. Clea
|Posted on May 16, 2011 at 10:51 PM||comments (0)|
posted by Teagan
Recently, I have been on a Jello Shot making kick. I have been invited to a few girl get togethers and they said bring something fun. So I thought what is more fun than a jello shot? Okay there really are tons of things much more fun than jello shots but they really are up there on the Fun-O-Meter. I'm not sure what is more fun - making them or slurping them down. It's amazing the combinations that you can come up with on a whim. Let's take this last Saturday. We had a Wenches board meeting and I made Magarita Jello Shots and then Lemon Drop Shots after an oh-so-nice Clea ran to the store and got lemon jello for me. Okay next meeting the Jello Lemon Drops are nixed. Not a hit! The Margaritas were good (I have made them before) and of course everything got slurped...but then we got creative with the Strawberry Rum (Clea brought the rum to make Hungry Girl Daiquiri) and some Strawberry Jello - sugar free of course! Holy crush, the Strawberry Rum Daiquiri Jello Shots were Y-U-M-M-Y! We made two batches and lessened the water on the second batch for a more potent shot. Again, they were YUMMY! There is a whole science out there on making Jello Shots. Google it and you come up with so many options it's amazing...and fun! From true science projects to divinely gorgeous creations. It can become an addiction pretty darn quick, and I am there! The other Wenches have no idea what I am brewing up for the next board meeting. Of course I will be armed with the Strawberry Daiquiri ones but I have to have something else up my sleeve.