Well, I’m back. *sniff* On one hand I didn’t want the conference to end because I was having so much fun with my fellow FF&Pers, but on the other hand…I missed my pets, my family, my shower, and Lord, I missed my pillow. Those hotel pillows were one of two sizes and neither were right for me.
My workshop went well. I think. I kind of zoned out when more than two people showed up. Rebecca and Staci (two of the most awesome people ever) both assured me it was fine, but all I could hear myself saying was, “blah, blah, um, blah, blah, you know, blah”. I was glad to have it over.
None of us could have expected the horror we were about to witness...
There we were, about sixteen people crowded on the sidewalk across from the creepiest house with a gruesome history. There were three other tour groups in various spots around the house as well and all were focused on the horror before us. Then we heard music. At first I thought it came from a club close by, but soon after the music started, the truck (which appeared to be empty) parked in front of the house started to bounce. And bounce. And bounce. The dome light came on and I saw an ass bouncing through the windows over the tour guide’s shoulder.
I blinked a couple of times because…well, it just didn’t seem right. Besides, I was horrified by the story Adam was telling us, but that ass kept bouncing until finally it all stopped. I heard, “I love New Orleans!” and three people poured out of the truck. Two women and one man. More rapid blinking. The trio walked to the grocery story catercorner from the Lalaurie House without a care in the world.
It was only as we rounded back on Chartres Street that we started talking about it. Some of the people in our group (Rebecca) didn’t realize what was going on in that truck until the rest of us told them. Oh yes, they were uh…enjoying their sexual freedom and apparently worked up an appetite because they went to the store after.
Besides the surprise of witnessing a menage trois happening mere feet away, the tour was an absolute success.
Saturday was spent in workshops learning about fans, crafting blunders, and looking at very graphic forensic photographs before I headed out back into the Quarter with three other authors who wanted to shop for souvenirs, take pictures of some of the architecture, and in one case, try absinthe. Yes, we went on a hunt for absinthe and I even tried some. If you don’t like black licorice, I don’t recommend it.
There's a tiny blue flame coming from the sugar cube, but the camera on my phone couldn't catch it.
Claire Ashgrove after her first taste of absinthe.
Saturday night’s dinner was OMG amazing. Have I mentioned we have good food down here? If you like to eat, you should absolutely take a visit to south Louisiana and eat until you can’t go anymore. There was a raffle and a ton of door prizes to win and everyone had a blast. There was a lot of laughter, a lot of goofing off, and good will.
Despite getting to bed after midnight, I was up before dawn to take Heather Long out to Cafe Du Monde for beignets. Le sigh. I’ve been dieting for so long, eating those beignets was like tasting Heaven.Mais, they were good. We made it back to the hotel in time for me to hide the powdered sugar evidence and ready myself for the signing which was fun as well. I was lucky enough to be seated at the same table as Rebecca Zanetti (that’ll never happen again so we took complete advantage of it) and right next to Claire Ashgrove who became a very good conference companion. We laughed, we talked, we signed books, and pretty much enjoyed two hours of hanging out.
As I said, I was sorry to see the conference end, but my body is glad for it. My feet, hips, and back are complaining this morning about my walking and lack of sleeping. I’ll need to rest up this week because next week I’m heading out to Pensacola to hang out with my Gulf Coast friends for the weekend. Hopefully my witnessing the Bouncing Truck on Governor Nicholls hasn’t targeted me for Sex on the Beach (and I’m not talking about the drink folks).