Takeaways from GCLS

OHare shuttle CrownePlaza friends smiles hugs hotdogs icecream drinks liars coffee vendors books panel Barbie friends smiles hugs raffle Comella membership presentation anime todayspoliticalclimate vendors tacos spotlight chocolatebras panel AMFA panel Hamilton pasta poetry pajamas friends smiles hugs cosplay virus autographs auction coffee panel todayspoliticalclimate TwoMommies rehearsal tuxedo shoes shiny Goldies thankyou clangingramp RainbowGap groupdance breakfast packing friends 3notrump pizza tears hugs shuttle OHare.

No wonder we’re all so tired hyped happy sad tired.

By any measure, the 13th annual GCLS conference in Chicago was a ripping good time. The best yet in fact, which is something we seem to say every year. That doesn’t happen by chance, and that’s my main takeaway from this year’s event. After my years on the Lambda Literary board, I have a much better idea of what it takes to pull off such a triumph. Scores of people behind the curtain — board members, volunteers, presenters, panelists, sponsors — took care of even the smallest details so the rest of us could focus on having fun. I can’t say thanks enough to all of you who had a hand in the con’s success.

Something else I noticed — more people than ever before are stepping up to help. The GCLS belongs to all of us, and all of us working together can make it still better.

I was thrilled and honored to pick up a Goldie Award in the Dramatic/General Fiction category for Trial By Fury. My deepest thanks to the judges who took the time and effort to evaluate all the submissions. I know it’s hard work, and I appreciate your commitment. Congratulations also to the other finalists in the category, and to fellow winners Ana B. Good (The Big Sugarbush: Lesbian Romantic Comedy) and Chris Convissor (The Urn Carrier).

Finally, I was amazed — though I shouldn’t have been — at the generosity of GCLS members at our notorious “author auction” for the first dance at the awards gala. Danielle Zion, who won the auction for me a couple of years ago and showed up as a character in T-Minus Two, overpaid outbid my partner Jenny to have her feet stepped on by me. In all, the auction raised upwards of $17,000, all to fund scholarships for those authors and readers who might otherwise be unable to attend. Watch the GCLS website for details on how to apply.

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Thanks to all who picked up a copy of Moment of Weakness in Chicago and stopped by to get it signed. It’s now available from Bella in both paperback and ebook. Here’s Chapter One to get you started. If that grabs you, you can follow the link at the end and download the rest. (To read it on your Kindle, simply download the mobi version and email it to your Kindle account.)

I’m back home in NC now, sorting out my next book. I have a pair of works-in-progress, but can’t seem to get cracking on either one yet. That usually signals a problem with the story or the characters, meaning I have to back up and ruminate some more. With the Lammys and GCLS behind me now, I’m out of excuses. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

One Response to “Takeaways from GCLS”

  1. Okay, admitting to sticker shock once I got home for the overbid, whoops winning bid I meant. But no buyers remorse here – contributed to an important and deserving cause, and for a bonus no broken toes on either side – all in all a win/win.

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