Last week I attended Rainbow Con in Tampa, FL. This was my very first writer's conference and I found it very interesting, informative and friendly. I met some great people - authors, readers, publisher and reviewers - and two strippers young enough to be my sons. (Though we all felt compelled to contribute to their burgeoning college fund.) I actually learned a great deal about the writing process which will be extremely helpful as I continue to edit my first manuscript and prepare for the query process. Thanks so much to the folks at Dreamspinner Press for inviting me to send them my manuscript when I am finished. I am the only one they invited to do that right???

But, here is a short list of some of the other fun things I learned.

  1. I learned more about BDSM than I will ever need to know. (for the uninitiated, as I was, that's Bondage, Domination, and Sadomasochism). And whatever you don't know, Brenda Cothern is more than willing to demonstrate.
  2. Don’t assume your new sweetheart of a con wife from Alabama is as snarky and jaded as you are just because she writes tentacle porn.  Find a snarky con husband to round out the trio. (Meet my ménage partners in crime at http://www.aideeladnier.com and http://www.gryphonandtiger.com)
  3. If you sit down in a panel or workshop and the moderator gives you a hand out, accept it, gracefully slip out and go to that other panel you really wanted to attend.  Kill two birds, and all that.
  4. Stop staring at Brandon Shire. Yes, he’s very handsome and a fantastic writer, but now you’re just embarrassing yourself. Seriously. Stop staring.
  5. Male strippers dancing in Embassy Suites ballroom lighting. Really? There are no dimmers on any switch in this room? (see above image) #straightpeoplelighting
  6. It might be a good idea for the hotel manager to let the church group praying in the   atrium know with whom they are sharing the floor.  Oh – wait. That’s why they’re praying. (Poor things never thought about having to watch every one of us descend in the glass elevators - in all our prismatic glory - right into the middle of their prayer meeting).
  7. (My rookie mistake #1) - Printing the wrong twitter handle on your business card. Well that’s one way to go. (For the record, its @ghowardauthor)
  8. (My rookie mistake #2) - Putting a non-existent email address on your business card.  (see above). It exists now, so email away.
  9. Shae Connor has lived a much gayer life than I have and I hate her for it. I'm talkin' dancing to all hours with gay porn stars, getting felt up in the gay bars by the breast appreciation brigade - just the tip of the iceberg, I am sure.
  10. Bottom shame – bad.  Bossy twink bottoms – good. If you know, you know. If you don’t, I believe Kade Boehme will be doing some live tweeting on the subject soon.

I could go on and on, but suffice to say that we all had a great time. Kudos to all of the organizers on their first con!

Oh – one last thing.  I would like to thank the DJ from the opening night event for being so thoughtful and inclusive with his playlist by including such sacred anthems as "Dancing Queen”, “YMCA” and “It’s Raining Men”, but next time can we please hear some Pharrell Williams, Jason Derulo, and Bruno Mars?

So there you have it. I am no longer a con virgin. And boy am I sore.

(check out @AideeLadnier for her feed of live tweets from the panels - you know, the real serious info)