Reminder: I’m reading tonight at Lady Jane’s Salon in New York City.

It’s been an interesting few days in New York.

I stayed up until 1am March 1 to register for GayRomLit in Albuquerque. (I will learn to spell “Albuquerque” without looking it up before October!) I did not hesitate even a second before registering, and I’m really excited to be going again.

On Thursday, my friend A and I went to a reading at a tiny Brooklyn bookstore (Word in Greenpoint). We saw Eloisa James, Maya Rodale, and Sarah MacLean, all historical romance writers. A and I have been attending all manner of romance-related events in NYC and having a really great time. Granted, part of that is just fangirling over authors we really like, but we’ve also gotten the chance to talk to both readers and writers who are just as enthusiastic about the romance genre as we are.

Anyway, the “reading” was run more as a panel discussion, and one of the first things the panel talked about was writing. Some of their suggestions were solid if maybe standard writerly advice: read a lot, constantly work on craft, etc. But one suggestion they made was to make friends who are about at your stage in the publishing process. I hadn’t really thought of that before; I’ve only really started seriously networking with other authors over the last six months or so, but it’s nice to have that support network.

The discussion also included some questions on gay romance, although the focus was more on lesbian romance. Someone posed the question: if attitudes about women’s sexuality are changing within romance novels (which everyone agreed they are) is there room for bisexual or lesbian heroines? That stumped the panel, who weren’t sure what the barrier to success for lesbian romances was. I’d like to think f/f books can succeed; someone I talked to after the panel suggested there just needed to be a critical mass of really good ones before they became a phenomenon. (I don’t really buy that there’s no interest in lesbian romance, which is an argument I’ve heard a lot.)

Speaking of women, Friday night I did something I’d never done before. I went on a girls’ night out to nerdy burlesque. When we were waiting on line to get into the theater, one of my friends remarked that this was one of those strange, possibly Only In New York things. The show had a Batman theme, and most of the dancers wore costumes based on villains from the comic books. I think my favorite was the woman who dressed up as the Joker; her interpretation was based on the Heath Ledger Joker, and she stripped down to a nurse’s uniform before showing off her pasties that were made to look like tiny hand grenades. It was pretty awesome. (I’d never been to a burlesque show before, but I’d heard that a lot of the ones in New York are very pro-woman. I’d say that was true here. The audience was respectful but appreciative, for example. It was fun and not sleazy.)

A good friend of mine from college came to NYC this weekend, so we spent Saturday afternoon together doing dumb touristy things. I rarely do things like that—hell, I rarely leave Brooklyn these days—but I think it’s fun sometimes to see the city from the perspective of people who don’t live here. I forget sometimes what it’s like. For example, I had a job on Fifth Avenue for a long time. It was a few blocks from Rockefeller Center and I got so used to walking through that area every day that navigating it felt like more of a nuisance than a wonder. But as my friend and I were walking up Fifth on Saturday, she kept pointing stuff out, and I kept thinking, “Oh, yeah. That is pretty cool.” It’s nice to have some of the magic back.

So tonight, I’ve got the big reading, then later this month is the Rainbow Book Fair. I’m currently working on edits for Out in the Field, my upcoming romance between two baseball players. (That comes out at the end of April.) So March is busy!