So I just arrived back to Chilliwack from Seattle, so I’m going to tell you all about the fun that J.K. Pendragon, Laurence, and I had at the GRNW meet-up this year. There’s a lot to tell, however, so we’ll have to break this up a little for pacing.
I think I will begin at the beginning, as stories often do.
I drove down from Prince George, my hometown, to Chilliwack, which is where J.K. Pendragon and their boyfriend Laurence live. It’s a seven hour drive, so it’s quite a trek to make. I will have to do it again tomorrow on the way back. At least the drive is scenic, if isolated, as there is nothing but Canadian wilderness and intrepid pioneers in between towns in the north.
From Chilliwack, the three of us made the epic journey across the border into Seattle, and the border guard let us into the States with three bags of grapes (he didn’t even ask about them). Navigating Seattle without any phone data was a bit of an adventure, but eventually we made it to our hotel.
We stayed at the Moore, which is apparently haunted. Also, as we found out upon checking out, we were staying in a room that has had ghost sightings. We didn’t see any spectres whatsoever, so I suppose that’s a good thing. We went exploring our hotel, which was very old and had a lot of interesting little nooks, including a tiny door on the 7th floor that looked as if it had come from Jane Eyre and came with a madwoman in the attic.
The world reknown Pike Place Market was only a few minutes away from our hotel, and so we spent a lot of the day wandering around and getting lost, as tourists often do. We ate delicious seafood while we were meandering – I think you’ll find food is a very common theme in my ramblings about this trip.
Then, we get the the actual pre-conference reading #LoveWins and 5 Minutes in Heaven. I was one of the readers at #LoveWins, and I read J.K. Pendragon’s favourite scene from Rangers Over Regulus in which my main character Liberty plays a very intense game of cards with Rory in the midst of a saloon filled with vagabonds.
Also reading for #LoveWins were GRNW Attending Authors Edmond Manning, Radclyffe, Anne Tenino, and Yolanda Wallace.
Edmond Manning read from his book King John, the 4th book in the Lost and Founds series. The excerpt he read takes place at Burning Man, and the scene is one in which the main character takes in an argument between a couple and helps to reconcile them, not only resolving the argument, but bridging a gap in understanding. The scene which begins with a certain humour ends with an emotional reconnection of lovers.
Radclyffe read from The Price of Honour, which is the 9th book in the Honor series. In this excerpt, the main character and her dog meet a member of the press, during which both women find themselves strangely drawn toward one another. The tension between the characters is delicious, and as usual, Radclyffe was a delightfully fun reader.
Anne Tenino read a hilarious excerpt from Frat Boy and Toppy in which her jock main character has to explain to his roommates that he’s gay after he’s caught the morning after leaving the vehicle of a gorgeous graduate student. One of the best coming-out scenes I’ve ever read, and definitely the most laughter-inducing.
Lastly, Yolanda Wallace read an excerpt from her historical novel Breaking Point, which takes place in 1937 and features a tennis player who wakes up to an unwelcome visitor in the form of an FBI agent. The intense scene left us all wondering what kind of choices she would need to make, all against the backdrop of pre-WW2 America.
The 5 Minutes in Heaven readings were short, spicy-sweet glimpses of writing from some of our favourite authors. There were hilarious commercials for Catholic condoms, a Kavka-esque scene with an orgasmic ending, a cute first date between a movie star look-alike and a film nerd, a fun and hilarious blowjob scene with amazing banter, mysterious admirers and even more mysterious letters, sex rituals, the zombie apocalypse, delicious food porn, and cozy domestic bliss. And of course, as usual, the wonderful Tracy Timmons-Gray organized the whole fabulous event. Thank you, Tracy!
After the reading events, a few of us (including some of our GRNW Attending Authors J.K. Pendragon, Heidi Belleau, Austin Chant, and Amanda Jean (LT3 editor), plus many friends and J.K’s boyfriend Laurence) went on a late-night adventure to Seattle’s mystery coke machine that gives people mystery pop. Surprisingly (or not? Because it was a mystery machine) not a single person got the same soda.
Also, we intrepid Canadians experienced Dick’s for the first time (I’m sorry to say there were a lot of penis jokes made).
Thus we came to the end of our two days in Seattle before the beginning of the GRNW meet-up.
I will fill you all in on the amazingness which was the Gay Romance Northwest meet-up of 2015 in my next post!