A lot of people have written up their GayRomLit experiences, and I meant to do a recap post earlier this week but have been super busy. I also took exactly zero photos. Those of you who weren’t there might have GayRomLit fatigue if you spend enough time in Gay Romance Bloglandia, but I will say, if you have even a tiny bit of a desire to go, GO. It’s totally worth it. This year was bigger than last and a ton of fun. I figured for my Friday post, I’d pick five highlights from my trip:

1. The People. I got to hang out with people I haven’t seen since last GRL, people I have interacted with online but never met in person before, and people who were brand new to me, and all of it was awesome. The fabulous thing about this event is that everyone is so warm and friendly and welcoming and, well, uninhibited. It’s a place where you can come as you are and we accept you. It’s such a great atmosphere. (The list of people I got to hang out with is too big and I would inevitably leave someone out by mistake, but I really enjoyed talking to everyone.)

2. The Food. Oh, my goodness, green chiles, where have you been all my life? I ate so much good food. Secret thing about NYC: it’s hard to get good Mexican or Tex Mex food here. There’s a hole-in-the-wall near my apartment with really authentic Mexican food, but otherwise, it’s all crappy, flavorless tacos. In New Mexico, however, they put green chiles and guacamole on pretty much everything and I was delighted by all of it.

3. The Parties. It is not a secret that I love karaoke, and I spent most of Friday trying to cajole people into singing at that night’s Karaoke Party. Of course, then I got socked by the extreme fatigue soon after dinner (enchiladas and a huge margarita at a place in Old Town Albuquerque, natch) and then felt like I HAD to go to the party to show everyone up. I had no alcohol at that party because it would have just put me in a coma, although alcohol is a key ingredient of karaoke, but then Heidi Cullinan agreed to sing a Fleetwood Mac song with me because her husband is a big Fleetwood Mac fan. So, making a fool of myself… check. (I also danced up a storm at the Gentleman’s Juke Joint party. I told Damon Suede that next year should involve MOAR DANCING.)

4. The Hotel. The Hard Rock was a pretty great venue. My room was nice. The bathtub in my room was divine. I actually fell asleep in that tub Saturday night while I was soaking my poor, tired body. The staff there was also really nice and accommodating—I was the jerkface who made the wait staff track down soy milk for my coffee—and I totally saw a number of staff members browsing the swag room. And how great was the swag room? It was handy to just take what you wanted; I managed to keep my take-home bag of swag on the small side.

I’m sorry for running out of postcards, though! I had no idea those would go so fast. (I was out by about midday on Thursday.) Note to self: next year, MOAR POSTCARDS.

I am psyched that so many people took swag and bought books. My suitcase was 15 pounds lighter on the way home!

5. The Connections. The goal of a convention for authors is connecting with readers and networking with other authors/editors/publisher/etc. Mission accomplished. I didn’t get to talk to everyone I wanted to—I somehow completely missed the opportunity to fangirl on Abigail Roux, who I never actually saw even though there is photographic evidence that she was there, and then I only actually met Eric Arvin in the security line at the airport on the way home—but I did get to talk to A LOT of people. A number of important things are now in the works because of the convention, but nothing’s really set in stone yet so I’m reluctant to talk about it.

Although, Shae darling, I am totally down for that baseball anthology. Let’s do it for real!

Adjusting to being back has been harder than expected, even with taking Monday off work to recuperate. I stumbled back into great piles of work and I’m still catching up. But I regret nothing.

So that’s a brief glimpse of my GayRomLit experience. I’m looking forward to Atlanta already!