Cowboys! Cowboys! Cowboys! Parties! Parties! Parties! Fun! Fun! Fun! Will you be there? Oh! wait a minute ….. I think I’m getting carried away. This Retreat is really about the GBLT readers, authors and publishers. Sorry!
GRL 2012 is only a few days away. Some of you just can’t wait and are planning to arrive at the beautiful Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Albuquerque, NM on Sunday, October 14 and maybe earlier. I’m so jealous and wish I could be there before next Tuesday.
As a public service to those of you who are like me and can’t find your way out of a paper bag despite all the information sent out by Ethan Day, Damon Suede, Carol Lynne and all the other organizers, I thought I would put something together to rev you up even more before the big event if you’re attending GRL this year (not that you need revving up from what I have read so far. Damn!!!). If you can’t make it this year I’m sorry you’re going to miss out on all the fun, starting with the Wild West party, but there’s always next year. BTW in case you didn’t know this, GRL is the only Retreat/conference specifically for our genre, and the first Retreat in New Orleans was such a resounding success that people were lining up before the official announcement was made about the 2012 event.
Of course there are always naysayers which is why this needs to be said:
GRL is a non-profit venture and the organizers are not getting kickbacks, lining their own pockets, or taking a salary – they are doing this to support the genre, which includes everyone especially you, the readers.
The organizers realize that the vast majority of people who will be attending GRL 2012 are happy with the Retreat and pleased as punch to be there, and you are very much appreciated. They are as excited to have you as you are to be in Albuquerque, and they want to continue their mission to keep GRL a happy and positive environment for readers, authors and publishers as well as stalkers.
On the question of refunds: Please note that every penny taken in has been spent and the organizers have already settled with all the various venues on site. The programs and neck wallets have been ordered. The food has been ordered and the bus company has been paid. Despite the reason for anyone having to cancel at the last minute, no matter how heartbreaking, there are no funds available to offer you your money back. What does your money get you? Three breakfasts, two lunches, lots of appetizers and snacks as well as some cocktails thrown in. You also get to meet your favourite authors and other readers as well as publishers in a wonderful setting.
Because I needed some factual information I asked Damon Suede to give me a list of all the fun things you can expect when you arrive, and here are some of them:
On the Fun facts side:
§ There are nearly double the authors and readers than last year so even more of your favorite authors are going to be there and everyone will be meeting up with the LGBT romance tribe in a big way.
§ There are at least four different spotlights at any one time during the day: Readings, Author Q&As, Publisher presentations, and the swanky new “Author Boutique Events.” More varied events than anyone is expecting.
§ The new Author Boutique Events run the gamut from games to virtual tours to crafts and beyond. You’ll be able to check out dirty pictionary and a kinky craft room, badge-blinging and scrapbooking, a blog fiesta and a rom-com roundup.
§ Newbie Meet-n-Greet is scheduled for Thursday 10.00 A.M. to 11.00 A.M in the Sunrise Room to help acclimate any GRL virgins who are nervous about the weekend (Don’t forget to change your watches to the local time zone as you don’t want to miss this event.) Newbies will get a quick overview, have their questions answered, and be able to discuss general GayRomLit wackiness in store.
§ I’m told that there’s a BIG announcement about next year’s plans that is going to make you pee your pantalones.
On the Cool Info side:
§ A customized App… If you use a smart phone or a tablet, you should download the GRL2012 app: Go to the GRL Bloodhound page and get a download link texted to your device. Alternately you can just search for Bloodhound in your device’s App marketplace. Look for this logo and download it. In Bloodhound you can just load the GRL 2012 info and you’ll have the whole event in your hands.
§ Improved registration to cut down on the wait. The process has been streamlined ferociously to get you signed-in and participating with less complication and delay. At registration everyone will receive their badge, the printed program, and a custom tote bag perfect for swag hunting…
§ A Swag ROOM! Rather than bury everyone in random promo, you will be able to choose your own swag. You can head to the swag room all weekend long to browse and choose the things you’d like to take with you.
§ Answers to your FAQs…The GRL organizers have also created a GayRomLit 2012 FAQs page in GoogleDocs with answers to some of the most common questions about GayRomLit 2012. They have tried to address the questions that keep cropping up, and have included copies of the hotel floor plan and the most recent schedule.
GLBT romance has grown at an explosive pace and the GRL organizers love this and want to celebrate the community and create a groovy, protected space for you to come have fun together.
Sante Fe Getaway Those of you who are going to Santa Fe on Wednesday, October 17 don’t forget to register. I’m really looking forward to riding the New Mexico Rail Runner train. I understand Ethan will be traveling with us incognito. I’ll be wearing a disguise so if you see two Ethans or two Carols don’t be surprised.
Balloon Ride If you’re thinking of going on a balloon ride – after all, Albuquerque is the Balloon Ride Capital of the world – Tracy Ward did some research for us on safety, availability and price and the best two companies that she found are World Balloon and Rainbow Ryders. World Balloon is offering a great group rate of $145 to anyone attending GRL compared to the regular rate at this time of year of $199. There is an extra charge of $10 for pickup. Thanks Tracy!
Volunteers If you were hoping to volunteer this year I think the roster is full but there’s always next year.
I have included in this post a few pictures from last year’s Retreat to get you in the mood.
I’m looking for a couple of ”official” photographers so that this year’s pictures will be bigger, better, BADDER than ever and Totally Uncut (well you can come with a hoodie if you have one). Email me jessewave [at] gmail dot com if you would like to be one of the site’s photographers, with the subject heading “GRL Photographer.”
HUGE thanks to all the organizers of this Retreat who have worked so hard on our behalf on their own personal time and money. I know I speak for everyone when I say we really appreciate you: Carol Lynne, Ethan Day, Damon Suede, J.P. Bowie, Heidi Cullinan, Teresa Emil, and a special thanks to William Neale who is no longer with us but gave of his talent and time during his short stay as an organizer.
Thanks also to all the participating publishers who have been SO gracious to fund some of the events and meals: Samhain Publishing, Torquere Press, MLR Press, Resplendence Publishing, Loose Id, Silver Publishing, Total-e-Bound and Dreamspinner Press.
If you live in the area or within driving distance and are thinking of dropping by for a day, please note there are no day registrations. If you have not registered you can email Ethan at email@example.com but admittance is based on availability and you would have to pay the full fee of $125, so contacting Ethan in advance is HIGHLY recommended; you may be wasting your gas otherwise. However, the organizers are opening the book signing up to the general public on Saturday afternoon. It will take place in Ballroom B & C of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino from 2:15 to 4:30 pm.
Looking forward to seeing you next week.