Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Of Baseball and Big Fish

Okay, so we're still talking about RWA National. Yeah, I know other people were posting blogs while they were there, but they have laptops. I don't, and probably never will, given that I only need pen and paper most of the time I'm on deadline. (I do eventually have to type it into the computer, but I can be at home with the big desktop then...)

Anyway, I flew out of Amarillo on Tuesday. Nice short flight in a teeninesy little airplane--two seats on one side, only one seat on the other, and if you're any taller than my 5'8", you have to walk down the aisle bent over. In Dallas, I met up with a lot of other writers from the area, plus some from Houston and East Texas, including one of my roommates, Juliet Burns. Our seats were together, and we talked most of the way to Atlanta.

Writers don't talk a whole lot, ordinarily. At least I don't, having only the one child still at home who is generally either at work or in his room playing video games--or when he comes out to talk, he is the one talking. Mom is for listening. Anyway, when we arrived in Atlanta, my throat was already sore from talking.

They put us on the 37th floor. This would not have been so bad, but the Atlanta Marriott Marquis is one of those hotels with an atrium all the way up the middle and glass-backed elevators so you can admire the view. Lovely, unless you're one of those people who aren't fond of heights. Like me and Juliet. Fortunately, our room was right next to the elevator bank so we didn't have to walk along the balcony. I did eventually reach the point where I could walk around to the vending area, but I never could look out the glass on the elevators.

That night, a group of us had arranged to go to the Atlanta Braves baseball game. One of our company was Bronwyn Jameson, the triple-threat Rita finalist from Australia, and she wanted to experience that quintessential American event: baseball. So five of us--Juliet, me, Bron, Emilie Rose and Linda Steinman--rode the train to the Atlanta underground, hustled all the way through the underground to a shuttle bus, rode the bus to the stadium, and watched the ballgame. It was "mullet night" and it took me a while to figure out that all the players didn't really have mullets. They had photoshopped mullets onto the players' pictures for the big screen thing--but they did it very cleverly, matching hair color and curl, so--or maybe I was just oblivious. Probably that. I'm oblivious a lot. The Braves lost to the Marlins, but we had a good time.

The next morning, I had talked everyone into going to the Atlanta aquarium. The fella has been to Atlanta quite a few times, and he said that of all the things to see in Atlanta, the aquarium was the best--and it was pretty spectacular. We added Michelle Celmer and Leslie Marshman (I think--I'm sure of the Leslie, but the last name is iffy) to the aquarium tour group and all hiked off down Baker Street. And wow--

The coral reef with all the bright, bright fishes! And the tunnel beneath the huge whale sharks with their escort of little fish right in front of the sharks' mouth! And the penguins! And the otters! And the sea dragons! And--and--and--it was just totally cool. I got a big kick out of the Asian otters.

One of them was dragging a toy that looked like a bunch of tangled velcro strips as big as it was, and he was all like: NO, you can't play with my toy. I will hide my toy behind this tree so you can't play with it. And the other otter (who had a similar toy with a buoy in the middle) was like: Oh, that's a great idea! I'll hide my toy there too! And the first otter would go: NO! You can't hide your toy with my toy. I will hide MY toy over there! And the second otter was all like: YEAH, that is so totally a better place to hide my toy. Wait for me! And you could almost see the first otter's eyes crossing with rage as he hauled his toy to yet another hiding place. Okay, yeah, I'm a writer. I imagine otter conversations.

We also went to see the little animated 4D movie--I was very impressed because I could actually see the 3D stuff--a lot of times my weird eyes won't let me. And when the fishes splashed in the movie water, the theater would splash water on us. When the movie fishes swam through jelly fish, they dropped gummy worm feeling stuff on us--I kept checking to make sure it wasn't still in my hair, because that's where it hit me, but I think they pulled it back up as quick as it dropped. Anyway, it was a lot of fun. But after all the cool stuff, it was time to walk back to the hotel--and the first block was a hard uphill trudge. I kept up with all the skinny in-shape women, but I thought my heart was going to pound right out of my chest when we reached the stop light.

We had lunch at the food court in the Mall at Peachtree Center. Everybody had something different--well, except for two who had almost matching burritos. And then we headed for the hotel, some to work the registration desk, some to fall apart and rest up before the booksigning. I think that's when I went shopping too. Found some neat abalone earrings at the Museum of Design Arts store...

This is getting to be a really long blog, but I'm doing Tuesday and Wednesday together. Deal with it.

I wore my Loud Shirt with the Multicolored Horses to the booksigning. Usually I sit next to Geralyn Dawson, but she was two spaces away and I was between Sylvia Day and Kimberly Dean, both erotica writers. Kimberly Dean has apparently been writing erotica for about ten years and is one of the Big authors for Black Lace, and now does some things for Ellora's Cave as well. Sylvia Day writes for Kensington Brava and for Ellora's Cave. And there I was between them with my "hard core" Luna books.

I did sell a few books, gave away a few bookmarks, talked to a few people. I also bought a box of my books to ship home. I wanted to buy all that were left over. Instead, I bought all I could carry. One box. I left a teensy bit early to get to the Futuristic, Fantasy & Paranormal Chapter's Gathering for the Prism awards. The Compass Rose was up for one of them. I came in second--but given that this was the only contest I entered with Compass Rose, I was thrilled to have finaled at all.

And then I hauled that box of books back up to the 37th floor. I set them on the floor of the elevator--once I wrestled them up the escalator to the floor that had an elevator on it--and kicked them out of the elevator and the few feet to the door of our room. I just couldn't pick that box up another time.

And that was the end of Wednesday in Atlanta. More tomorrow.

2 comments:

Carol B. said...

Oh, God. Wednesday was the day that never ends, wasn't it? Or was it just me that felt that way? I was totally exhausted from Mon thru Thurs, until I convinced my roomies we had to take a late afternoon nap.

BTW, I loved your loud shirt!

Gail Dayton said...

Thank you, Carol. I'm proud of that shirt. It's so much fun. And yeah, I took a nap too--on Friday, I think. And when I got home on Monday. And I want to take one today (Wednesday). Of course that could have something to do with the book I stayed up late reading last night...