So this month I've been crazy busy with signings, conference appearances, and travel. In fact im writing this post in a hotel room on an ipad... And i have no idea how to do the picture thing to add to the post on this gadget, so you will all have to seriously use your imaginations.
This promotional stuff isn't cheap...as you mentioned, Jenna. And Lois, as you so humorously shared with us, truth is ALWAYS stranger than fiction. So last weekend I was in Florida at Disney, in a far too expensive resort hotel attending a small lesbian writing conference. We have about 150 people attend every year, so we were definitely teeny fish in a very large koi pond.
So the first thing I notice is that this humongous hotel has a great number of conference rooms and the hotel was absolutely maximizing the use of their conference space. Along with us, we crossed paths with a conference of pregnant women. I'm not sure what they were talking about, maybe the best breathing techniques or treatments for chafed baby bottoms. Then as we went down a set of escalators, a new conference was setting up. Sure enough, that sign DID read Annual Meeting of Funeral Directors. This came complete with a room specially equipped to handle vendor displays of the latest in coffins and hearses. Nothing like walking by the room and seeing caskets propped open, just waiting to be filled. Of course, morbid curiosity overcame me and a couple friends one evening when we were coming in from a late supper. No one was around, and the doors to the vendors room of death were closed. Being, shall we say, intrepidly inquisitive, I tried the doors. To my surprise, they popped right open. One of the gals I was skulking around with whipped out her camera and started taking pictures. Just as the flashes began going off, this guy, all dressed like The Men In Black, complete with FBI earpiece, bursts from a door not far away and comes charging right for us. All we could make out before we ran for our very lives was him yelling into his lapel mike, "C3 to base, we have a breach." Needless to say, we busted a move and got our fannies out of there.
The next day, the Boy Scouts moved in on one side of our vendor area. A meeting a physicians filled the space on our other side. Too bad they weren't around a couple of days later when a few of our members were stricken with food poisoning.
The day before we were finished, the hotel came and rudely kicked us out of our vendor area. The same vendor area we were contracted to have throughout the following day. After a heated verbal exchange between the hotel and our con director, the conference bookstore and seven other vendors were kicked to the curb and forced to re-set up in a room that was even further away from the breakout rooms. This was done so a huge wedding could move in where we had been. Then a few drunk attendees of said wedding threatened to come and teach us a lesson. After some very non-veiled threats by one of our board members to the wedding planner, everything remained calm, and no one wound up in any of the display coffins.
So, in the space of four days, I think I have witnessed enough unbelievable, yet true fodder for three or four new books! Reality is absolutely way way way more crazy than fiction ever could be!!!!