The Gay Romance Northwest Conference was a little shorter this year and it took me a lot longer to get there, but I had a spectacular time and I can't wait for next year. I really love how inclusive and sex-positive this event is. I came away seriously inspired.
My journey had a bit of a rocky start when my flight out of Chicago was cancelled and I had to drive four hours to catch a plane out of Minneapolis. I arrived in Seattle at 2 in the morning. Fortunately, my incredibly patient friend stayed awake and picked me up. Even better yet, we got to sleep in the next morning. For the next few days I managed to ignore that my rerouting meant I'd need to be back at the airport for a 5 am flight on Monday. Ah, the joys of travel.
GRNW kicked off on Friday night with a suite of readings, first TransFics and then Love Bites. I was blown away by the readings, which were universally really good. I was thrilled that I got to join such a talented group and excited to read from Perfection, my short story which just came out in the One Pulse charity anthology from Dreamspinner (proceeds to help central Florida LGBT communities recover from the Pulse tragedy). Since the main character in Perfection is a bi guy, it was also a great plug for our Bi Erasure No More panel the next day.
On Saturday the great group of keynote speakers kicked off the conference by discussing their queer romance dreams. That was followed by some wonderful panels. I would have liked to be everywhere at once, but since that wasn't possible, I settled for grilling other people on the things I missed. I ended up with some tips on crafting a series, a great Trans fiction reading list and some spicy nuggets about writing sex (from the wonderfully named Queer swords and Odd Flowers panel).
I had a blast at our bi panel. If you're interested, a recording of the panel is up on YouTube. Check us out.
Things got racy with the readings at the after party. I hope they do it again next year so I can come prepared to get down and dirty, too. The whole thing was great fun.
Next year GRNW gets a new name, one more appropriate to the all-letter inclusiveness of the event. And it'll be in November. Fourteen months is a long wait, but it'll definitely be worth it. If you're in the Pacific Northwest come next November, be sure to stop by and say hi.
I also promised several people that my First Friday Flash Newsletter would start in October. So make sure you're signed up to get a bit of flash fiction from me every month. The sign up form is just below, as well as up there on the left of this page and on my FB author page. I'm excited to finally get this going!