Sunday, March 25, 2012

Thank You For Feeding The Zombies

Sometimes I wonder why I get up at 5:30 in the morning to torture myself--I mean run. Especially those mornings when I have to wear a beanie cap, mittens and a parka. It helps to imagine I'm training for the the zombie apocalypse. When that sucker hits, I swear I'm going to be the fastest guy on the block. Until then, I'll keep preparing myself with challenging events like the Mud Run! Six miles of mud, five foot walls, push-ups, sit ups, drill sergeants...and a beer tent at the half way point--it's a blast. And I mean that in the 'thank god I made it to the end' way. Seriously, I love to run, so to all those runners out there, keep on truckin, and to those who don't-- thank you for feeding the zombies.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Fantasy On The Bayou

Did I hear that right? The RWA Chapter of Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal(FF&P) authors picked New Orleans as the site of their first annual FF&P conference? 
Yes, indeed.

My love affair with New Orleans has gone on for nearly a decade. During which time I've repeatedly strayed from California's sandy beaches and fresh produce, to N.O.'s powdered beignets and smooth jazz. My decision to attend the conference was an easy one to make.
Who can resist buildings and bustling streets like this?

Or a Ghost Tour...
This tour took place in the French Quarter. Founded in 1718, I'm guessing quite a few folks have met their maker on these cobbled streets and behind these decaying walls, possibly leaving behind more than a few rattling skeletons who refuse to stay in the closet.
Or two?
The second tour took us to the Garden District, around the block and as the crow flies, to a home that once belonged to famed writer, Anne Rice.
All that walking was tiring. Rest and rehab was in order.
We recharged with an afternoon cooking class where dutiful students learned to make gumbo, jambalaya and bread pudding, while the less than attentive plotted ways to get to the food first.
After securing a 'healthy' portion for myself, I was able to successfully march with a jazz band in Louis Armstrong Park.
They were very patient as I learned the ropes and posed for my adoring public.

After the parade we watched a jazz band play at Cafe Beignet, over, you guessed it, beignets and chicory coffee!
Yes, it was all play. Even the conference workshops where I learned about Down 'N Dirty Plotting, Platform, Product & Promotion and many other engaging topics from such entertaining speakers as Bob Mayer and Staci McGothlin. Workshop groups were of a size we could ask as many questions as we wanted, yet product and delivery by the speakers was of the highest calibre.
Don't miss the fun, I highly recommend you attend next years conference!