All right.. it's been a week and a day since HorrorFind Weekend and I've finally recovered. I had a fun time, as I always do at these things... being around writers and other like minded people does have a battery-charging effect. But this year was a little disappointing as there wasn't enough book vendors or publishing houses. Hopefully this was just an off year, but aside from that, it didn't pull any enjoyment from the weekend.
I went with one of my best friends, Doug, and after arriving, as he and I sat at the bar having a beer, the first person we recognized was Padrone himself, Tom Monteleone. He came up to us with his wide smile and after enthusiastic greetings, he ordered a vodka tonic and we shot the shit for a few minutes before he left to go tend the Borderlands table.
Then I made a passing reference to hammering a fork and making a snake gig. This prompted Doug to call our friend John to taunt him.
Doug and I had a few more beers. And then a couple more.
A couple hours later, our friend Tim arrived, and the drinking commenced.
We ended up drinking and grabbing a bite to eat with JF Gonzalez
and a couple of guys who manage a liquor/beer store in Maryland. These guys came in handy later.
Horrorfind's classic gathering spot is in the front of the hotel, and in past years, our crowd has pretty much taken over the spot. It's rare that I go out and don't spot someone I know... this year... not so much.
We wandered outside around 12:30 or so, and... tumbleweeds blew through. Well.. maybe I exaggerate just a bit, but there wasn't anyone I recognized.
Several moments later, Dallas Mayr
(Jack Ketchum) strolled out of the building. He looked like a cat that had eaten a canary, and walked up to us.
"Evening fellas. How you doing? I'm pleasantly buzzed right now."
It's rare for Dallas to be strolling around alone, but we took this moment to hang with him a bit. Then Steven Lukac and Drew and crew came out... the rest is a bit blurry... but it was generally fun.
Saturday came, and corazón de mi corazón
showed up with daughter in tow.
We laughed ourselves absolutely silly for the next hour, mostly about Wafflehouses, Tucker Max, and toothless vagrants.
Later that evening at 5:00, I had a reading in Salon F.
My already mentioned best friends, Doug and Tim were there. Doug's wife, Amy and his mother, Grace. My wife, Jen, and my cousin, Kristie were there as well. Steve Lukac, and Kelli and Amanda Dunlap, as well as a couple guys filming a documentary, and another guy in the back who I "think" goes under the screen name "Slimey."
And of course, my reading slot room mate, Gord Rollo.
This year was a bit different from last year. I do presentations a lot, so getting in front of people doesn't really bother me. But reading your own work in front of people... yeah, that's a bit tricky the first time.
This year though... I felt relaxed. Not exactly what I'd say old hat, but comfortable there in front of everyone. I saw people's eyes glass over as I read. Saw one of the film guys' eyes get red at the edges.
And I always know I'm hitting a mark when I see Lukac's
mouth open as I'm telling a story.
After the reading, a crewwwwww of us went to dinner and as the night went on, we drank.
And um.. well.. we drank.
I went to a VIP/celeb party and hung with Michael Laimo
, Gord Rollo, Steve Lukac, Beth Blue and a host of others... had a great time talking with those guys.
Thankfully that night, there was at least a bit more people out front, but not much.
By the end of the night, Tim had gotten the rumbly-tumblies and visited the porcelain god (this fills me with a certain amount of glee, as I've only see him vomit twice in my life, and he almost never - NEVER - gets hangovers. I on the other hand.. well..). Doug had crashed hard into his bed.
I, being the utter and vast repository of Captain Morgan Private Stock that I am, hung out with the crew from Fearnet.com and marched onward to sunrise, then returned to the cave to snore my ass off.
I'm still tired, but recovered and looking forward to my next live reading, wherever that may be.
Tune in tomorrow, when I tell you the book that Keene didn't only push on me, but shoved it into a syringe and injected into my veins so I'd become hooked on whatever the author's writing for life.