But first. My friend and I arrived at the Happy Endings lounge to join the group of shivering folks waiting for the doors to open at 7pm. One of those folks was the evening's "star" herself, Susie Bright, complete with tiara. They did finally come and let the folks that were reading in - which was good - otherwise their teeth would have been chattering still as they read.
EllaRegina spotted me and introduced herself. I have to say it was incredible fun to "meet in the flesh" someone who I'd met in blogland. Just as nice in person! I also ran into a couple of the folks that were in the class I took last week. *Waves*
EVERYONE was nice! I was trying to think of a word to describe the feeling I got ... and the word that popped into my mind was "wholesome" - isn't that hysterical? My husband laughed when I told him that on the phone. But it's true. I've been to plenty of other events where I felt quite uncomfortable - but I didn't at this. And maybe that's just me - I do feel a whole lot more comfortable in my own skin these days.
Rachel Kramer Bussel arrived with her bags in tow - does she always carry as much? She had them last week too. The plates of goodies and other assorted sundries where placed on the tables and the readers started. Although the night was primarily dedicated to Susie's X - The Erotic Treasury, the first up was Maxim Jakubowski, who read from Rome Noir, complete with background music. The readers all had about five minutes, so most only got to read an excerpt from their story. Paula Bomer read from "On The Road With Sonia," which I hadn't read yet, but it will be next when I sit down with the book.
I don't remember the exact order of readers (sorry, that's why Donna George Storey's accounts of her book tour are so impressive to me) - so I'll just list them. It also seems that not everyone read their story that was in X, but that didn't matter - they were all great. Ernie Conrick, Chelsea Summers, Nicholas Kaufmann, Lisa Montanarelli, Tsaurah Litzky (complete with Santa hat), Martha Garvey, Marcelle Manhattan (who read her story immortalizing In The Flesh and whose blog seems to have been hijacked so I won't post a link), Rachel, and last but not least, Susie. The entire evening's readings were great - we were laughing, squirming (in a good way), and quiet, often in quick succession.
There was a bookseller on hand, but I did not even go and look, knowing it would be dangerous territory for me. Hi, I'm Robin and I'm a bookaholic. My friend did buy a copy of X and got it signed by all the authors on hand. I had neglected to bring my copy. Oh well. I'd figured it was heavy and my bag was already loaded down. I did however get my well-worn copy of How to Write a Dirty Story signed by Susie.
All in all it was a delightful evening. My friend got me back to the subway (seeing as I'd taken the scenic route to get there) and I caught my train and got home about 1:30am. Long night, but fun. I will do it again!