I had the choice of making this one huge post, or breaking it up, so my Horrorfind rundown is going to be spread over three posts, covering three topics. Scroll down to read them all.
First, my apologies to those I met but who are not named here. Exclusion wasn’t intentional, the message just got too damn long.
Things took a bad turn trying to get from BWI to the Horrorfind Weekend convention at the Hunt Valley Marriott because of highway construction. My accursed Yahoo driving directions told me to take Russell St. Well, I came to a sign pointing to a detour for Russell. Cars were pretty much at a standstill on the interstate, so I took the exit for the detour. An hour and a half later I was able to get back to that point on the highway, after seeing more of downtown Baltimore than I cared to see. But, things got immensely better after that.
So many people. Jim Moore was one of the first people I met up with. Umm, he was … where was he? He was … oh yeah! In the bar. I’m pretty tall, but my face only comes up to Jim’s shoulders. But he’s as nice as he is big; when he gives you a bear hug, you know you’re caught! Lots of people showed up in the bar then, or were already there and it just took me a while to figure out who they were. There was HorrorWench, Nanci Kalanta (who took way too long to recognize me), Catwoman, Kenneth Ward, Matt and Deena Warner, Steve Lukac … well, it’s a long list.
My reading was at 5:30 p.m. Friday and I was a bit nervous. Always am. Not sure if actually having people show up made me more or less nervous. But I read “The God of Discord” and people, being nice folks, said they liked it. Andre Duza, himself a helluva guy, then read a pretty nasty little tale that was quite enjoyable. I didn’t sell any books, but I gave some away.
Eventually I met up with Marcy and G Italiano. I have to admit that seeing them was one of the most anticipated things about Horrorfind. But more on that in the third part of this post. G gave me one of his CDs and I am quite impressed. He’s a helluva musician and a fine singer.
Let’s see. I went through the dealer’s room pretty early on. Long John Silver would have been proud to see all the pirated DVDs for sale in there. Yeah, I bought a couple – Dark Night of the Scarecrow and Rawhead Rex. I also grabbed Midnight Syndicate’s new CD, The 13th Hour. I took it easy on spending Friday evening.
Then came the infamous party in Cat’s room. Oh, but first I must lay a curse upon Marcy. Yes, my buddy Marcy. For bringing that Canadian booze. And her husband, who mixed the drinks. Who knew Canadian Club would make Diet Pepsi not only drinkable but enjoyable? (It was better when I finally found a Diet Coke, though.) Somewhere before going to Cat’s party I slipped away and ordered chicken strips from room service. Between being really tired from the flight in and not having eaten much before the Canadian curse afflicted me, I was … needing food to help me walk straight, let’s say.
Cat’s party has already become legendary. All I can add is that I was there for about two hours and was there when we got kicked out and took the party downstairs, G still carrying his magic bottle of rye. More interesting things happened in the lobby, some of which I’ll recount in Part 2 of this post. Some of it I’ll never post. Ken was sooooo drunk, and I have to admit I don’t remember enough to put everything in context. I got to bed at about 4 a.m.
I spent more money on Saturday. But to be honest, I didn’t spend nearly as much at the con as I expected to. Don’t tell Kim, but I actually came home with quite a bit of cash. I went to some readings on Saturday – Lumley, Skipp and Elizabeth Massie. I know I missed some I wanted to hit, but there was just so much to do and so many people to talk to.
Later, I met Greg Lamberson and his lovely wife Tamara. I vaguely knew Greg from online forums, but had no idea just how nice he is. Meeting him was definitely a highlight of the con. They’re expecting, so soon there’ll be another little Lamberson in the world. Greg, Tamara, Marcy, G and I all had dinner at Outback. (Side note: Humidity in Maryland makes Oklahoma humidity feel like nothing at all.) I picked up Greg’s novel, Personal Demons, and the new DVD release of his Slime City. You should do that, too.
Saturday evening I was invited to the VIP party for Horrorfind staff and guests. Mike told me I could bring one guest, so I stole Marcy away from G and took her as my date. Interesting. Three parties in two connected suites – the actors stuck together, the HF staff stuck together and the writers kept to themselves. Mostly. There was some crossover, but mostly there were cliques. Conversation in the writers’ group ranged from Saturday morning cartoons to politics to … yes … writing. Then many of us migrated to the Italiano room where it was quieter. Cat will claim I almost fell off one of the beds three times, but I’ll deny it.
Some stupid asshole knocked the head off one of the sprinklers and flooded part of the second floor. The Marriott had just put down (butt ugly) new carpet. People can be real shits. My room, which was on the second floor, wasn’t affected. I don’t know if they found the bastard who did that or not, but I hope he got in some trouble for it.
Ashley Lawrence’s room was flooded. Umm. I saw Ashley in her pajamas. No Victoria’s Secret stuff here, but pajamas nonetheless. She’s really, really nice. And she actually remembered me from last time we met. I was shocked by that.
Eventually the sun came up and by the time it did I’d learned a lot. See Post 3.
Sunday was kind of a downer day. People were mostly subdued, getting ready to go home, but there was a good time had in the bar – not many were actually drinking by this point. Keene and Moore were discussing books and publishing while HorrorWench, Bloody Mary and Susan Taylor were putting a digital camera down their shirts to take pictures of their breasts. Geoff Cooper eventually got hold of the camera and disappeared. I hope he didn’t go blind looking at the pictures in the privacy of his room, holding the camera before him with one hand while the other hand … You get the idea.
I left at about 3 p.m., drove back to BWI with no problems and made the lonely flight home with the help of Keene. Damn, that man can write. I’d been looking forward to Terminal since he read some of it in Phoenix last year. I got deep into the book on the flight home and it is fantastic. Brian Keene really is the new Stephen King. This book reminds me so much of old King in the way you’re immediately grabbed by the characters and dragged through a fast-paced plot. Well, I’ll do a real review when I finish the book, and that won’t be too far away.
It was raining when I got home. I found my car right off, which was pretty good considering how long I pulled my luggage around in the rain after the trip to Phoenix last year. Made the drive home with AC/DC blaring on the stereo, and suddenly I was back in the real world.