And. I. Am. Exhausted!
After spending a long weekend with family in Florida, I picked up one of my friends from the Jacksonville airport and headed to Daytona for Coastal Magic Convention. While I was not a Featured Author and attended as a reader, mostly, I did participate in the charity book signing (more about that shortly). Jennifer Morris, Tina, and everyone else involved in running this con were some of the nicest people I have ever met. They were warm and welcoming and answered questions and directed you where you needed to go. I would definitely return to this one again if I can. I had such a great time.
We arrived about a quarter to 3PM Thursday afternoon. Valet parking was a life saver as I was rushing to meet the deadline dropping off my gift basket and some Mercury Rising bookmarks, along with swag from Pippa Jay and Philip Hoy that was to go in the gift bags. When I dropped off my stuff, we checked in and headed up to our room on the eighth floor of the Hilton and walked into discover we had a fabulous beach view. My merpeople called to me to join them, but it was a little too cold and windy to swim (and I forgot my bathing suit or I totally would have anyway). But we still meandered around the beach that afternoon to see what was around and then headed to the hotel bar to kick off our weekend.
Registration went quick and painlessly. Swag bags with books and loot and our paperwork was handed to us, and off we went to do our own thing for dinner. The events that night were for bloggers, so instead of heading down to the game room set up for attendees, we chillaxed in our room watching Netflix and got a decent night’s sleep.
Friday came around and the con was in full swing. We missed the first set of panels in favor of breakfast in the little coffee shop and then headed in for one of the panels before the lunch break. After we had nourished our bodies with food and adult beverages (it was vacation!) we headed back and caught a couple more panels. After dinner we ended up lying in bed and not budging until morning. Lol But I will say the panel where Lexi Blake, Christopher Rice, Larissa Ione, and Carrie Anne Ryan played naughty Pictionary and charades was amaaaaaaaaaaazing. Christopher Rice learned what figging was and his face was priceless. And Lexi Blake acted out the title for Taken by the T-Rex.
Saturday came before we were ready. While on Friday we woke up on our own ready for the day, the alarm was an unwelcome intruder to our beauty sleep. At lease for mine. My friend Jenn was up already and on facebook when I lifted my head from my pillows. The only bad thing that occurred by lunch was I knocked my phone off the bench outside and the screen cracked. It still worked at least, but I am going to have to repair or replace it soonish.
We were better about making panels on Saturday than on Friday. We hit four of them before going up to get ready for the book signing. At lunch we realized we were literally the only people who forgot to sign up to sit with an author at the meal. We ended up crashing with Paige Tyler and Coreene Callahan for lunch and had an excellent time.
We did, however, miss the last panel of the day, Flash Fiction, and I heard that it was really entertaining. *sigh* Alas, I had to hide from people to get my courage up to face the signing. Those of you who know me personally know I have a bit of social anxiety issues and am an introvert, so not knowing how crowded it would be and mentally preparing myself to socialize took a Pepsi, a slice of lemon cake, motivational speeches from Jenn, and a deep breath.
The signing was in the same room we had had lunch, only the tables circled around the room leaving the middle completely open to the public. I was seated at a table with Evelyn Lederman and we hit it off right away. Turns out her cover artist is Fiona Jayde, so it opened the conversation right up as we gushed over Fiona’s awesomeness. The crowd wasn’t as big as I had expected it to be, but we sold a decent number of books. And I fangirled at Larissa Ione at the end to get my picture with her. Later that evening, there was a party and Jenn I mingled and people watched while others danced and carried on. Good times!
Sunday morning, the raffle winners for the gift basket were called. A really nice lady named Donna Antonio won my basket and 4 other raffles! Luck was on her side! Congratulations, Donna!
Jenn and I caught one final panel before making a last minute decision to drive to Downtown Disney in Orlando for the remainder of our last day. We walked around, laughed, had food and snacks, and then returned to the hotel by around 10pm. This morning we headed back to Jacksonville so she could fly home and I drove the rest of the way to Savannah. I am currently trying to unpack, figure out what needs to be done so I can get back into the habit of working again since I have had 9 days off from work of any kind.
Melancton’s book is currently with Beta readers. Based on their notes, I should have a final revision before I can submit it to my editor. Cross your fingers. I am trying to decide which WIP I want to tackle while Satyr from the Shadows is in the Revision/Submission/Editing stage. 😉
On Valentine’s Day, I will be taking over a facebook event, For the Love of the Written Word, at 1PM EST (10am PST). Expect some giveaways and fun.
Thank you again to Jennifer Morris and everyone else who helped CMC run so smoothly. It was a blast! Thank you for allowing me to participate in the signing with the big kids!