Monday, October 22, 2012

GRL Albuquerque 2012

Albuquerque Scenery photo by author Michael Murphy

If you are reading this blog you probably have either heard of or attended the GRL (Gay Romantic Literature) retreat. It was very neat to meet so many wonderful people, and really the people WERE wonderful. There are always a few of course that you get a less than stellar opinion of, but for the most part that was not the case. I came home with many more books than I had intended, but having a signed book in hand is always very exciting.

Almost all of the authors were just as excited to meet each other and readers as we were to meet them. Everyone, for the most part, was incredibly sweet. I will now expose to everyone just how dorky I am.  I had some seriously major fangirl moments. Like, tongue tied, didn't know what to say, screaming inside fangirl moments. First one was Tj Klune, who is seriously one of the most adorable men I've ever met. Yeah, it took me awhile to get up the nerve to talk to him. 

Scotty Cade and Tj Klune photo by author Michael Murphy
Then there was the super amazing Christopher Koehler, who is as snarky and wonderful in person as he is in online. He actually came up to me, and relieved me of my fangirl nerves. :D

Christopher Koehler during his reading , photo by author Michael Murphy

I met so many others as well that were simply amazing, and far too many to list them all.. but people like J.p. Barnaby, Michael Murphy (a.k.a. Robbie Michaels for his y/a series), Mercy Celeste Deanna Wadsworth, Ellee Hill, Erika Pike, Embry Carlysle, NJ Nielsen, Kendall McKenna, Karenna Colcroft, Shae Conner  among many many many others. This isn't even mentioning other readers.. goodness there were sooo many people there that it was VERY overwhelming. 

And Albuquerque is BEAUTIFUL. I absolutely LOVED it. Seriously, I'm allergic to everything in my state, and it was a novel experience to be able to breathe.. Not to mention the amazing scenery. I really loved the amazing culture, art, and history of the city. I wish I would have had more time to explore. It definitely warrants a return trip someday. 

While in Old Town, my roomie, Elee Hill, stumbled upon the most amazing gallery. Once there we met the handsome Daniel Ramirez and equally gorgeous partner, Jerome. Together they own Studio 13, where Daniel creates the most amazing art, which has won many awards, including what will be " The World's Longest Native American Painting" which showcases mothers and daughters. I can't even tell you how wonderful these men were, and how cool it was to meet them. They thought the reason we were in town was equally cool, as they are a gay and native american. All in all is was an AMAZING experience. :) 

Next year its being held in Atlanta, Georgia, and I'm definitely hoping to be able to go and see old and new friends. I was surprised that my social anxiety didn't rear its ugly head too badly. No panic attacks or freak outs, which is pretty awesome. You might not know it but a year ago, I barely left my house without major major anxiety. Life gets so much better people.

The concept of GRL is unique in that everyone is so open and welcoming that it's a lot like coming home. Meeting online friends was just superb, because even though some people didn't look how maybe they did in my minds eye, their inner selves were just fabulous. I feel like I've made some life-long friendships, and I will always always be grateful for that.

Here is to GRL Atlanta 2013!!

A very HEARTFELT thank you goes, out to Michael Murphy, who let me steal... um share his photos. 


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