Well, I just came back from the Fantasy on the Bayou Conference in New Orleans (okay, actually last night, but we're close enough, I think) and I have so much to say about it!!

First, let's get this out of the way: If you didn't go this year, go next year.

So... I drove. 14 hours. And while I didn't think my last trip through Arkansas could surprise me more, I evidently thought wrong. Don't get me wrong, all you readers down there, you're great! But your town founders and town councils... maybe you should have a chat with them about the names that make no sense or induce hysteric laughter. And you should definitely tell them that a red fire engine with a life-size Elvis Presley standing at the ladder base... is not the way to get folks to take you seriously.


Moving on. As you know, the conference was in wonderful New Orleans. I had never been to New Orleans, so of course, this was ten times as exciting for me! And I've always wanted to go.

The causeway freaked me out folks. Perhaps its related to claustraphobia effects, as when I drive locally, I have wide open flat spaces to my right and left. I'm thinking it might be. I'm also thinking that if there were more lights on the causeway, and LESS reflective lane markers, it wouldn't have been so bad.

Anywho, I arrived at almost 2am and promptly woke up my roommate for the night. Bells and whistles.... no actually I was trying to be sneaky-quiet but the front desk didn't want to cooperate with that idea. Apologies, roomie!! Again!

I did, however, get up early and help with registration which gave me the opportunity to meet all the fabulous authors, editors and agents as they arrived. There were so many new faces, so many faces I had met before, and even more faces I recognized from afar -- blogs, websites, names, etc. This would have been Friday afternoon and I pretty much worked through to dinner.

Olivier's came highly recommended. And I went with a very entertaining group of authors that included: Terry Spear, Bonnie Gill, Lynn Lorenz, and several other ladies whose names I DO recall, but I don't know if they are public names or to remain private.

Awesome food!!

After, we did a little shopping and I picked up some Mardis Gras beads for my demidemons. And then we sat down for drinks in the lobby. Not long into the first beer (it was so encouraging to see others drinking beer), our Vampire and Ghost tour was to begin.

I really didn't know what to expect from the tour. Part of me thought it might end up a little corny with some staged theatrics. I was super pleased to have the exact opposite experience. It was a walking tour that slanted more historic and local legend than anything else. We saw sites where active hauntings are regularly reported, we saw a place where a woman--er prostitute--fell from the balcony after jumping out the window to escape a vampiric attack (case was filed with the police!).

We were introduced to the LaLaurie house where a surgeon performed horrific, grotesque, alterations to slaves' bodies and then left them alive to deliberately torture them. His wife played a prominant role in the mutalations as well.

We also heard a very creepy legend about two women who died in 1972, who's recorded percentage of blood loss is not possible to accomplish without some sort of substance being injected into the body to keep cappilaries open. They did not struggle, and they were drained completely of blood.

Then left on the steps to a Catholic convent / records center.

My favorite part??

Jean Lefitte's 18th century blacksmith shop that served as a hub for his illegal trade. There is nothing quite like stepping foot into a pirate's world... even if he's physically not present.

And there's nothing quite like having a drink from there as well!

Did I mention our tour guide was cute as a button? Mmm. Yup. Curiously, I observed he had a limp, which fascinated this writer's mind... although I couldn't bring myself to ask.

Anyway -- I have lots to share about the editors, agents, authors, and news coming out of the conference. But I'll close for here today.


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"Victorians used the term 'limbs' as a euphenism for legs, which were thought to be so sexually exciting to a man, even a glimpse of a table leg could incite him to sexual frenzy. Table skirts were invented to prevent any unnatural unions between men and furniture."
(History Channel International)



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