At the Con

Caren & Jae2

Well, I’m finally home and kind of caught up on sleep after we spent a few extra days at the coast then then caught a red-eye from Portland to DC. It’s hard to believe it’s nearly been a week since the GCLS Conference in Portland drew to a close. My mind has been so full of the things I learned in the various sessions I attended, listening to icons like Ann Bannon and Katherine V. Forrest, meeting authors and readers I had only known as online friends. That’s Jae with me, above. Meeting her was a definite highlight of the conference for me.

The vendor room was a beehive of activity, culminating with the autograph session. Here are a couple of photos of that session.

IMG_0067 With Jae and Sheila Connolly.

IMG_0071With Liz McMullen and Lee Fitzsimmons of Desert Palm Press.

One week ago tonight was the Awards Ceremony. I cannot imagine  the work that goes into organizing the awards – getting books to all of the judges, summarizing all of the judging forms, ordering the awards themselves, coordinating the slides for the presentation. It was spectacular. To hear my name called was surreal. I was thrilled to have the award presented by Ann McMan and Carleen Spry.

Caren1 Caren4Goldie

The entire evening was like that – unfortunately, I don’t have photos of all of the other folks whose names were called. Here’s another photo of Jae and myself with our hardware.

Caren & Jae

For an introvert, I was out of my element among 300 women, but everyone was so warm and welcoming that they made it easy to approach folks and say hi. I hesitate to try and name everyone I met, because I’m sure to leave someone out. It was my first GCLS conference, but it will definitely not be my last!

This clip was posted to Youtube and Facebook a couple of days after the conference.

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17 thoughts on “At the Con

  1. It was great meeting you at the conference. Congratulations on your win! This was my second Con. I love the camaraderie. I have met many life long friends there and look forward to the next conference. See you in New Orleans!

  2. What a great set of highlights of the GCLS Con, Caren. Thanks for so many pictures. The Awards Ceremony is always a wonderful experience, especially for the fans who don’t have to worry about acceptance speeches. Your response to winning the 2014 Goldie Award for Dramatic/General Fiction was wonderfully coherent and a reminder to all of us who strive for recognition that we are forever indebted to those who have preceded us for their commitment to creating great works of literature while telling our individual (and sometimes universal) stories. Thank you for producing such an amazing work: “In This Small Spot” is truly like Dr. Who’s Tardis: it’s bigger on the inside than it is on the outside! And no one who reads it will ever shake those characters or places from their memory. Thank you for all you give to our community of writers & readers.

  3. It was such a delight to get to know you and your wife. I did think is was cosmic that they bonded over knitting and ran off to one of several yarn stores. That always strikes terror into my hurt. Congratulations on your Goldie and I am eagerly awaiting your next book.

    Bright blessings.

    • Oh, Lee, you are so right! I was worried she would be bored at the conference, and then she met Laura and the knitting bonding began! I, too, was afraid of how many sheep/llama/alpacas worth of yarn they might return with, but all is well. We truly enjoyed getting to know both of you, too. Best of luck with Desert Palm!

  4. Caren- congratulations on your award for my favorite book of 2013. Glad we got to meet in person. Look forward to your next one. trish

  5. The day after I got home, I went down hard with a cold and some intestinal bug, but I’m on the mend now and beginning to process the con experience. Caren, your acceptance speech was one of the best I’ve heard, ever, and I wish someone had recorded it. You reminded us that we are standing on the shoulders of some very brave giants, and meeting some of them in person in Portland gave me a new perspective on our history over the last 60 years. It has been a remarkable journey, and I’m so glad to still be here to see what we have become.

    • Catherine, I’m sorry to hear you came down with a bug(s), but I’m glad you’re getting over it. Thank you so much for your comments on my acceptance speech. I only had a vague idea of what I wanted to convey if my name was called, but throughout the conference – listening to Ann Bannon and Katherine Forrest, and Lori Lake’s Keynote speech – our history seemed to be the theme of the weekend. The bravery of those early writers is a thing to marvel at. You are a part of that. You published your trilogy when no one else was. You did e-books before others knew what e-books were. Meeting you and sharing a couple of meals with you was another incredible highlight of the conference for me.

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