So I went to GRL. It was AWESOME. I went as my alter ego (and a reader) and it turned out that people kinda sorta vaguely recognized me! It was probably the pink hair, because it’s pretty damn memorable. (Next year, it will be actually-pink, and I will not need a haircut as badly as I did this year.)

I mentioned next year, because yeah. I am SO TOTALLY GOING. And as an author, which means I have to figure out what kind of swag I’m going to take — at least I have plenty of time. And I am hoping to have a few more stories out, so that I can actually have some recent swag (or recent stuff to talk about, anyway).

Did I mention it was awesome? Because it was. I usually avoid anything that you could generally label as part of having a social life (i.e. going to bars/parties, concerts*, etc.), but I didn’t have any problems with crowds at GRL. Maybe because they were small, but more, I think, because everyone was so damn awesome that I never felt like I was lost inside an overwhelming group that had no interest in the people that made it up. (I don’t know, it’s a bad analogy. Trust me: I was so comfortable with the social aspects of GRL that the only reason I didn’t get up and sing at karaoke was the fact that the DJ didn’t have either of the songs that I wanted, and I had no idea if karaoke versions of either exist. Normally, you couldn’t PAY me enough to sing in front of a bunch of people I didn’t really know.)

I had to mail my swag (and my books) home. I read both of the books I saved out, and they were both great — I’m pretty sure I had people in both Denver and Seattle thinking that I was kind of crazy because I was grinning and laughing at both stories. (In other news: The Gravedigger’s Brawl by Abigail Roux and One Small Thing by Piper Vaughn and M.J. O’Shea are totally worth buying in any format. I happened to be able to get them in paperback (and then signed, woo!), but whatever’s good for you.)

Speaking of getting things signed… I was so glad for the signing event on Saturday, because it meant that I got to find people that I’d been wanting to blither fannishly at and do so without coming across as a stalker. (What can I say? I’ve been reading the various ‘Dude, don’t be a fucking creeper at a con!’ posts that Scalzi and friends have put up this summer. As someone who tends to be painfully self-conscious in the presence of Very Cool People I Don’t Know, I figured it was just safer to keep to myself instead of seeking them out outside of the signing event. It’s complicated and I’ll probably try to explain it again in another post. Eventually.)

I actually had a point to that previous paragraph, and it was this: I got to make some people who write–and draw–beautifully light up with a few words of my own. I loved that, I loved being able to give them the same fizzy-fuzzy feeling I get when people tell me they like my stuff. Getting stuff signed was a nice bonus, because I was happy enough to tell them things like ‘this is my favorite by you’ or ‘If I have the chance I want you to do my next cover’ or even just ‘I love the way you write’.

All in all, I’m glad I went, I’m glad there are such awesome people in the world, and I’m looking forward to Atlanta like you wouldn’t believe. (And if you have swag preferences, let me know…)