I'm still recovering from World Horror Convention 2012. Although the bar closes early everywhere there, small parties and room gatherings were plentiful if you looked. I had a fantastic time and made many new friends including Nicholas Grabowsky with Black Bed Sheet Books, and two of his authors, Alexander Beresford and Sean Hayden. All really nice guys and talented writers. I also spent some quality time speaking with and listening to Mr. Frank Hutton, one of the final nominees for best anthology. A real class act all the way. It was a pleasure meeting Robert Shane Wilson, Jennifer Wilson and Mark Scioneaux of Nightscape Press and co-editors of Horror For Good: A Charitable Anthology for which my first published short story is in among an amazing TOC (Table of Contents). And I'm still pinching myself about it. The anthology can be purchased here. https://www.createspace.com/3829545 Soon, it will also be available on Amazon, and I will post a link for the Kindle version and hard copy of the book.
The Stoker Award Banquet was nice and I really liked the potatoes Au Gratin. Jeff Strand did a marvelous job as always MC'ing the event. And he brought me a copy of Fangboy for my son, which I was tremendously grateful for. It's a wonderful thing to see everyone dressed up. If it weren't for the zombies they hired to hand out the awards, it could have been a computer software event and no one would've known the difference. Here is the list of Stoker Award winners. http://www.stokers2012.org/
The after parties were fantastic, and I really appreciate everyone not giving me any crap for wearing my fuzzy Cheetah flip-flop slippers to the parties. By the end of WHC my feet were in need of a heel hiatus and that was with comfortable shoes that I brought with me. At this party I was able to speak with Jason and Sunni Brock, whom I both adore, Gene O'Neill, he's just wonderful, and Rocky Wood, the HWA President. There were so many more people I can't list them all. I had planned on taking a lot of pictures, but that quickly fell by the wayside with my shoulder aching from just carrying my purse all day. I did take a few panel photos which I will post in the gallery on my website. http://www.renamasonwrites.com/
A special shout out to friend and author Jason Reinhardt for winning the Gross-Out Contest with a story I got to pre-read months ago, and just hanging out with me in general. We spent a few nights closing the bar with Mark Scioneaux and Andy Theundeadreview Taylor, watching the Hellraiser series with the TV on mute, which made the movies even better with our added drunken commentary.
Overall it was a fantastic experience, and has energized me to move forward. Since I've been back, I started working on critiquing stories for a workshop I will be attending at the Saints & Sinners Festival 9.5 in May. http://sasfest.org/ I've also finished a short story for it, am working on another two short stories, and am supposed to be rewriting my next novel from 1st person to 3rd. I'm definitely busy, but it's a kind of busy that I enjoy.
This will be my third May in New Orleans in a row, for the Saints & Sinners LitFest, and I have encountered heat, humidity, and extreme humidity in the form of rain and thunderstorms. I've learned to dress "accordingly." One of this year's "hot" runway looks is the Maxi Dress. A long dress that is usually made of thin, cotton, jersey. Very comfortable and versatile. I actually wore one to last year's Stoker Awards ceremony, but opted for a more traditional "cocktail" look this year. I've recently purchased one to bring along to NOLA again this year. I love the look and versality. Can be worn with a T-shirt underneath and belt. A summer tote, sun hat and sunglasses would complete the look.