So, how do I begin to write about Mercedes Lewis, the incredible Ms. M? She was a mystery to me for some time. I saw her at some conferences but never got to meet her. It was through association with other Conference attendees that she and I got to meet each other. My mother’s first glimpse of Ms. M was during an author auction in 2010. I think learning about that made Mercedes blush a bit.
Ultimately, it’s Facebook that has helped to build my friend ship with Mercedes – as it has with so many others. Now, she and I serve together on the GCLS Board of Directors. Watch out, for this one! She’s in charge of the VIRGINS!
Where Do I Begin, To Tell The Story of…
This is supposed to be about the GCLS Con?
I KNOW, and this IS about the Golden Crown Literary Society Con, promise! It is a never-ending love story for me. Okay, let me begin at the beginning… well, maybe not that far back, but I DO have to give a little backstory.
I came to the world of lesbian reading somewhat late, after falling out of the largest closet know to womankind, the military. I had no idea such books existed. Visiting a friend, I picked up one of her books to have a look. The author was Karin Kallmaker, and the title was Making up For Lost Time. I borrowed it, and that’s exactly what I started doing! I began ordering and reading everything I could get my hands on. I even emailed the author to thank her for writing about characters that looked like a facet of me. She was very gracious and actually emailed me back. Okay, NOW I was officially in love with lesbian literature, and the community! For all of you readers, don’t think for a moment that writers do not appreciate when you let them know how much you appreciate their hard work. Just ask Ali Vali. But, … I digress.
Karin told me about, and invited me to an upcoming event. The very first GCLS Con! I wasn’t sure about attending. After all, I was ‘only’ a reader, and a ‘new’ one at that. Karin and my daughter Andrea insisted I should go, and that I would love it. So, I did, and I DID! That was eight Cons ago, and I haven’t missed one yet. I hope I never do.
The first Con was in NOLA at the beautiful Renaissance Hotel. It was just before Katrina. Here’s a picture of one of the pieces of Dale Chihuly glasswork in the hotel. I’m happy to note that we will be returning to that beautiful city in 2015.
Here’s the first person I met upon entering the hotel. She was descending the stairs, like an angel. Lynn Ames greeted me with open arms, making me feel very welcome, and I got my very first GCLS Con fangirl picture!
I met LJ Maas, Jennifer Fulton, Frankie J Jones, a ‘recovering from surgery, and OMG, should she even BE here’ Lori L. Lake, Linda Hill, Radclyffe, and so many others, I could go on, and on. Oh, and by the way, I had books for signing by almost every author present. I schlepped those books all the way from Florida! (Baggage was much less expensive then. ) Every writer signed, some got aches in their wrists, and one, very handsome writer actually walked around with my VERY big, VERY pink bag, carrying her tons of books in it so she could sign them for me. Is it MY fault the woman has a complete canon of books! LOL
Sitting in a rooftop hot tub, I was able to list for Linda Hill her entire body of work because she couldn’t remember. Karin Kallmaker said, “Go ahead, ask her anything about an author or their books.” (My memory was sooo much better then. I sure miss it, LOL)
Since that time, I have not missed a Con. I’ve volunteered for everything from timekeeper to Coffee Chat Moderator. I’ve sat on panels. I’ve stuffed registration packets and (wo)manned the desk, and, thanks to the wonderful members of GCLS, I have been blessed and honored to act as a board member for a second term . It you want to be involved, this is the place! I love the Con experience so much that I am the ConVirgin Mistress. It’s the closest I can get to having that ‘first’ Con experience every time. 😉
I’ve learned so many things that they are innumerable. I now have work published in an erotic anthology, as well as an anthology of poetry. One day (soon), I hope to write a full-length novel, and perhaps, a book of poetry.
Most importantly, to me, for the cost of joining, and the price of admission, I’ve made lifelong friends both at home and abroad. Making those friends has allowed me to travel to many places, some of which I never even dreamed. I have my very own, very special, lesbian community/family, and it comes with learning, books, chocolate and fun. Who could ask for anything more!
I plan at least two holidays a year. As long as I am able, one of them will ALWAYS be the GCLS Con.
P.S. Have you read the other blogs leading up to the Con? Hurry over and check them out!
Oh, and everything Ali Vali said about me is true. I love my books; I love my characters, and, I LOVE MY WRITERS!
Be very afraid, writers. I’m going to teach ALL of this year’s ConVirgins “How to Train Your Writer! :Be an Outrageous Fangirl”
Ms. M has been a member of GCLS since 2005 and has attended every conference. She began as a reader and fan. Now she is that and so much more, to include poetess, writer, and character in a novel, and GCLS At Large board member.
- GCLS Author Guest Blog: ALI VALI (carleenspry.com)
- GCLS Author Guest Blog: KATE MCLACHLAN (carleenspry.com)
- GCLS Author Guest Blog: JANET MASON (carleenspry.com)
- GCLS Author Guest Blog: RACHEL SPANGLER (carleenspry.com)
- GCLS Author Guest Blog: DILLON WATSON (carleenspry.com)
- GCLS Author Guest Blog: ISABELLA (carleenspry.com)
- GCLS Author Guest Blog: BEV PRESCOTT (carleenspry.com)
- GCLS Author Guest Blog: ANN MCMAN (carleenspry.com)