So, it’s rare that I take more than a few days off at a time, so when I had a 10 1/2 day break from 28 Aug at 4 pm until 8 Sep at 8 am, I took full advantage of it.
For starters, I and several of my closest friends made our annual pilgrimage to Atlanta on Labor Day Weekend for Geek Mardi Gras. That’s right… Dragon*Con, AKA 70-80,000 people, most in costume from your favorite movie / tv show / comic book / video game / anime / lunch box / etc. for the whole weekend.
Selfie with Jay and Margo at Soby’s
Started on Thursday night with a nice dinner in Greenville, SC at Soby’s followed by a delicious dessert at Underground Coffee.
Peanut Butter Pie at Underground Coffee
Friday morning, we drove in from our hotel in northern Georgia to begin the festivities. Just the people watching is worth the trip.
Baby Ghostbuster, right up there with baby R2D2 from last year
A warrior woman with very ineffective battle armor…
The hotels are magnificent, and none moreso than the Marriott. Though, for sanity’s sake, stay at the Westin…
Looking up at the Marriott
Looking down at the Marriott. Yes, that’s Gandalf the White… Funny, he wouldn’t let anyone pass…
I got to hang out with my good friend, Scully, who writes for The Backstage Beat, joined me for most of Friday afternoon and evening. Always great to see her when I hit Atlanta. We toured a couple host hotels (this thing fills 5 hotels, plus rooms in many others for guests), checked out the shops, toured the famous peeps a bit, and as above, did a ton of people watching. Her article is available here at The Backstage Beat – called “7 Tips on How to be Successful at Dragon*Con with photos by yours truly!
DK and Scully
Friday night was dinner with all my peeps and Scully got to join us before rejoining her family. Good pub food before our resident writers who actually are convention guests, namely John Hartness and A.J. Hartley, had to run off to do panels. The rest of us? General merriment!
I can’t stress enough. The main thing is hanging out with your people. Got to see Nicole, Robyne, Aaron, Jay, Margo, John, A.J. Scully, Ernie, Kathleen, Terry, Asher, Anna (no de la Torre pics, darn it…) Kevin, and made lots of new friends. That’s what this is all about.
DK and Kev
Aaron, Jay, and DK
Saturday morning, you might run into the Doctor at Starbucks….
6, one of the best costumes I saw…
Then, there’s the parade. Literally tens of thousands of people along a few blocks of Atlanta. Spartans, the Batmobile, female KISS, they’re all there…
Lined up several stories up for the show
This costume is where it’s at… at.
Holy 1960’s, Batman!
This… Is… Sparta!
Crowd of thousands as the Parade disperses
Give me a KISS…
And a bit more people watching…
I totally wanted this outfit when I was six.
Hey! Who turned out the lights?
Some freaking awesome Kabuki??? costumes
Yes… That’s BatManuel.
Some Duck Tales cosplayers…
Somewhere in there I saw Lou Ferrigno, Gil Gerard that played Buck Rogers back in the 70’s, and sang the theme song to Land of the Lost with Will from Land of the Lost, 40 years after the fact. Shopped till I dropped. Went to tons of cool panels where I learned way more than I wanted to about Sasquatch genitalia. Checked out tons of cool art and even bought a couple of neat prints I really need to get framed and hung. But most importantly, as I said, this was a great weekend with good friends.
Mr. Burns daughter
I have no idea
Sooooooo, after the awesomeness of Dragon*Con, what in the world did I do next?
Well, while in Atlanta, I managed to edit around 12,000 words of Operation: Ghost Story, my current Work In Progress. Over Monday through Friday of last week, I managed to edit the other 30,000 words, and have the WIP pretty much done except the Epilogue. I know, I know, Epilogues… but when you see this one, you’ll understand. We’re getting close on this one. Here it comes, Stacey!!!
So, caught up on rest and editing for the first time in many moons, I headed up to Winston-Salem for the Bookmarks Book Fair and got to meet three of my compatriots from Curiosity Quills and purchased their books as they were melting in the NC heat. Great to meet Ryan Hill, Krystal Wade, and Elsie Elmore. Maybe we can all hang out in Winston-Salem next year for the event! Also, I got to take my nieces, Katelyn and Olivia out as well as meet Matthew, Lara, Madeline (Rose) and Luke (Captain Jack) for lunch after the event. Great times, and good call on the Mellow Mushroom, Olivia!
Ryan Hill, Krystal Wade, Elsie Elmore
Curiosity Quills! Represent!
The rest of the weekend was spent hanging with family. Got to take dad out for a great steak at Texas Roadhouse Saturday night and see all the extended family on Sunday evening for our annual summer get together. Great to see everyone. Feel free to send me pictures you might have and I’ll add to this blog.
So, all in all, a fantastic 10.5 days off. Back to Mussorgsky Mondays next week! We’re getting closer every week to the release The Mussorgsky Riddle. Cover reveal coming soon! Four more short stories coming out in the next 6-12 months. Gala coming up in October. 2014 is shaping up to be a banner year.
And with that, it’s well past midnight! See you all on the flip side!
All best, Darin