After a really good night’s sleep on a bed that is way too comfortable, I was up and at ’em at around 7:30am.  Of course, I would have slept longer if my mother hadn’t called me at 7:20am to ask why I hadn’t called her the night before. 🙂  But, that’s okay…I’m missing Mom on this trip.  It was good to talk to her.

We started the morning with the Conference Welcome.  Patty Schram – our fearless Conference Director – opened the session in her usual, witty style.  After announcements and “Dance Dare” challenges to the membership, Patty turned things over to Ellen Hart, Catherine Friend, and Jessie Chandler to give us all some tips for places to visit in Minneapolis and the surrounding areas.  I hope I have a bit of time to visit one or two.

After a short break, the first of the panel sessions began.  I chose to attend the Coffee Chat with Lynn Ames (moderator), Ellen Hart, Marianne K. Martin, and KG MacGregor.   A Coffee Chat is just that…a chat with some of our favorite authors.  These sessions usually generate interesting discussions and allow us to learn more about the people who write such wonderful novels.  This group spoke quite eloquently about being called a Lesbian Writer vs. a Writer; how Lesbian Literature – in particular – has changed over the years and how that has changed their own writing; what steps they each take to grow as writers with each book; and so many other fascinating topics.  There are way too many to chronicle here.  Needless to say, these are women who are experts at their craft and highly respected – we all listed intently.

Again, there was a short break and we all moved to the next panel session.  Again, I chose a Coffee Chat.  This one also had Lynn Ames moderating and included Georgia Beers, Mary Vermillion (standing in for Jewelle Gomez), and Erica Lawson.  This particular group spoke less about societal/political topics, but they were no less eloquent.   This group tended toward conversations dealing with their writing methods; the genres they write and why they write in those genres; their biggest influences; the importance of editors; the importance of book covers; and many more great topics.  It was quite fun!

Lunch time!  People began congregating in the vendor room where box lunches were provided for attendees.  I took another walk around, mentally tallying up what I plan to purchase before the evening is over.  I might end up broke!

For the next session after lunch, I took a break.  I just wanted to mellow out for a bit.  I know that Friday and Saturday are going to be long, full days, so I’m taking advantage of any downtime I can find.  I hung out for a bit in my room, got the laptop hooked up to the internet, and watched a little TV.

Have you ever watched the SyFy channel?  This cable channel frightens me a bit, to be honest.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a truly good movie on this station.  Today, I was watching “Meteor” with Billy Campbell and Marla Sokoloff – not a SyFy original, but worthy of the channel.  It was frighteningly bad.  While watching, I saw the advertisement for a SyFy original movie:  “Piranhaconda” with Michael Madsen and…wait for it…Rachel Hunter.

Click the link.

Watch the trailer.

Go ahead.

Be both amused and horrified.


Uh huh.  Yeah.

Anyway, I was so caught up in the mediocrity that is “Meteor” that I was nearly late for the last session of the afternoon!  Blasphemy!

I decided to attend “So I Had This Idea…How Inspirations Become Reality” – moderated by Karin Kallmaker and consisting of Mary Griggs, Jessie Chandler, Rachel Gold, Erica Abbott and Barret on the panel.  The panelists are all debut authors – or were at the time when the group was put together for the panel – who talked to us about how they got the idea for their first novels and where they found the motivation to actually sit down to write…and finish. It was a fun, spirited conversation. I really want to read all of their novels, just based on how they talked about their process for writing and their experiences with submitting their manuscripts. I learned a lot and I laughed a lot. I love those kinds of sessions!

Since it was the last session of the day, I didn’t have much else to do.  I walked around a bit and got to see some of the recent arrivals to the conference.  Again, it was very nice to see the people that I only get to see once a year – at this particular event.

There were no “official” activities planned for the evening, so I decided to return to my room to just kick back.  Tomorrow night is Karaoke night and Saturday night will be taken up with the awards ceremony and dance, so I figured I would take it easy tonight.

The next post will cover Friday, 6/15.

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