Happy Tuesday, everyone! Oh my gosh! I leave for utopYA Con tomorrow, and I'm so very excited I can hardly stand myself. I'm sure everyone in my house can't wait to get rid of me, because I can't shut up. *grin* Today, I'm gonna tell you all about my adventure at the con last year, and I'm sharing pictures! Yeah, I know you're all excited. So many authors I can't wait to meet. No way can I name them all, but they know who they are!
Just in case you missed it, be sure and come to the Millennium Maxwell House on Saturday for the ARMI signing. There are a ton of amazing authors there. Best part? Entry is FREE if you bring a gently used children's book, or just FIVE DOLLARS if you don't. Get your ticket here.
Okay, let's get to the FUN stuff!
Last year, utopYA was a three day con. When I arrived on Thursday (a day early), I grabbed my bestie from her hotel and we skedaddled to a place for lunch I found on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives called Arnold's Country Kitchen at 605 8th Ave S. That link will take you to their menu/hours page on their website.
I still remember the taste of the food it was so good. I don't remember what Tia ate (roast beef, maybe?), but I had the country fried steak, fried green tomatoes, turnip greens, and mashed potatoes. For dessert, I had banana pudding. Oh my, it was to DIE for. There's a reason the line is out the door. Luckily, we got there early (around 11:30), before the huge crowd showed up.
We sat at a long table with a bunch of other people. It was true country eating, country style! If you like really great food, you want to check out Arnold's.
Anyway, after that, we headed for the hotel where we ran into a lovely group of women and had a frosty beverage with them in the hotel restaurant, Praline's. Why did we accept the invite? Because it's hot as Hades in Nashville in June. That's why!
Upon our exit, we managed to run into these lovely ladies. It was so fun getting to know them, and I was stoked to recognize so many people right off the bat.
It wasn't long before we ran into many, many other people.
Then, we got to set up our table for the weekend (that was exciting), and we headed to dinner and the planning meeting for Fractured Glass. There were many margaritas had out by the pool, and many great ideas being thrown around out there.
Once we'd gotten everything out, we all headed to bed. There were still a ton of people outside by the pool, hanging out and talking. It was a madhouse. But, since I like my sleep, I went for the pillows.
We hit the floor running the next day. It was off to the breakfast buffet then on to the keynote speaker, Sylvia Day. She was so inspiring and woman empowering! I loved every minute of it.
Friday was full of meeting people, shaking hands, attending panels, and BOOKS! Oh, so many books! That evening, we went to Maxwell's (the hotel bar) and sang karaoke. It was so much fun. Casey L. Bond, Tia, N. L. Green, and I sang Baby Got Back, and Casey got to wear my hat.
There was no messing around. Right after singing, we headed for our beds.
Saturday, again, we hit the floor running. Gennifer Albin was the keynote speaker for that day, and she knocked it out of the park, too. It. Was. Awesome. Later, I got to snag a photo with her and B. J. Sheldon.
There was more meeting of readers and awesomeness going on that day, and that night was the third annual utopYA awards ceremony. It, also, was awesome. So many talented authors were up for awards. I loved being part of the whole thing.
When we got to the dance party after the awards, B. J. and I had an 80s dance off. She's challenging me again this year. But, Tia and I hit the bed pretty early. I do love my sleep. haha!
Sunday, it was off to the races with us both. I dropped Tia at her in law's, and I headed home to my husband (who I missed so dang much). I couldn't shut up about the con for weeks afterward. There were so many ideas bouncing around in my writer brain! To say I'd been inspired would be an understatement. It was amazing.
So, I'm looking forward to all the happenings this year. Just one more day until I'm off to the races!
My post tomorrow will have pictures and stuff from my trip to the con. Look forward to it!
I only regret not taking more pictures last year! This year, I shall remedy that. *grins*
Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!