Tuesday, June 23, 2009

On the Road with the GR




by Donna MacMeans
Ah Spring - also known as conference season. The Golden Rooster and I took to the road to travel the opposite ends of Ohio in pursuit of writer and reader events. No plane this time, just an open window with the GR's red comb flapping in the wind.


Our first stop was the Cleveland Rocks conference., sponsored by the Northeast Ohio chapter of Romance Writers of America (NEORWA). Lori Wilde led an intimate discussion about developing high concept - undoubtably inspired by the rooster's high flirtacious antics. Everyone wanted to pose with the rooster!






Here's a few photos for the GR's scrapbook: posing with Harlequin and Warner author, Lori Wilde







...and Jamie Denton


We had a great time in Cleveland, but had to turn the SUV around to head down to Cincinnati for Lori Foster's & Dianne Castell's fabulous Reader Get-together. This was a much larger venue and the GR didn't hesitate to make the rounds.


The GR so engaged NYT's Bestseller Stella Cameron in conversation, she missed her photo shoot with the rest of the Tails of Love authors (below).




From left to right, back row - that's Marcia James, Sue-Ellen Welfonder, Patricia Sargeant, Kate Angell, Diane Castell. Front Row: Lori Foster, Me (in the hat), and Anne Christopher.


Even Michelle Buonfiglio from Romance: B(u)y the Book fell victim to the rooster's charms.



Of course, all reader's events feature lots and lots of raffle baskets. The get-together was no exception. The raffles baskets brought $6,616 to benefit One Way Farm Children's Home.





The Romance Bandits contributed a basket that was won by Jodi Minton. That cream colored curve is really another rooster. The GR was capitivated.




All was not fun and games though. In the course of the event the rooster was KIDNAPPED! Horrors! The ransom note demanded I go to the bar if I ever wanted to see the GR alive again. Fortunately, I was already in the bar, so the nefarious plot was unraveled before it began (grin). As I discovered a Bad Agency button pinned to his feathers, I suspect bandita buddy Dianna Love was behind the scheme. But the rooster's not talking. The two may be in cahoots.


Thanks to the intervention of Sarah Parr (debut author of Renegade), we found a way to keep the GR in line. Sarah provided fuzzy red handcuffs! (Okay - so we won't ask WHY Sarah happened to have fuzzy red handcuffs.) That's Marjorie Liu looking on.


Now that the GR was back, he could participate in the Saturday night luau. Truly a party bird.







Thanks to Treethyme, the GR was reunited with a much younger brother. Here the GR takes the youngster under his wing.



The two went outside to discuss expectations in the lair. I'm thinking we might be seeing the little guy again.




Darn that bird flirts with anything with wings. At least he recognizes the lure of a good book.


So tell me, are any reader or writer events in your plans this year? Want to tell me about a good road trip? Any suggestions where the GR should venture next? Someone will win a copy of TAILS OF LOVE for some fun summer reading. Let's chat.

75 comments:

Helen said...

Is he coming to my place

Have Fun
Helen

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Helen.

Hi Donna,
Had no idea there was a mini GR. Looks like you and the GR had a great time on the road. Is the GR a backseat driver? I don't have any plans to attend any reader events. The GR probably likes to party so maybe he should head to Ibiza. I hear it's beautiful.

Minna said...

Congrats on the GR, Helen!
There aren't any events in my plans this year unless I win the lottery.

Crowded House - Weather With You
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIb6I8gtgtw

Helen said...

How on earth am I going to crontrol him this evening he will be at the computer all day looking at his photos with all those wonderful authors and preening himself. I think I am going to be in for a hard time with him LOL.

Donna
What a great fun post you have such a beautiful smile. What a fun trip. As for reader events I went to the first Australian Romance Readers Convention back in Feb in Melbourne and I had a ball and if there were any more I would be there with bells on they are planning another one probably in 2011.

Dianna Love was there Sherilyn Kennyon Liz Maverick Michele Anne Young Mary Janice Davidson Susan Grant and of course Anna Campbell Annie West Amy Andrews Stephanie Laurens Sara Bennett just to name a few. It was awesome meeting these wonderful authors you are all so much fun to be with.

I have a Romance Bandits Bear and he was with me at the convention and he really had fun as well.

I am looking forward to reading everyone's post on these types of conventions and get togethers I only wish we had more of them here in Australia because I would be there.

Have Fun
Helen

Helen said...

I forgot to mention the mini GR is he going to grow to be like THE GR LOL

Have Fun
Helen

Christine Wells said...

Oh, that is priceless. Fabulous, Donna!!! Helen, you've got your work cut out for you entertaining the Golden One after that!

Christine, from the cave:)

Pissenlit said...

Congrats on netting the GR today, Helen! :D

I'd planned on attending Julie E. Czerneda's book launch for Rift in the Sky which is to follow a presentation by someone from The Chandra Observatory about the first nine years of the Chandra mission(with lots of pictures!) but it just so happens that it falls on the evening before my friend's wedding so I don't know if that's going to work out anymore. :(

I can't think of any good road trip stories at the moment. Normally, I'd suggest that the GR should come hang with me but the city workers are on strike and LCBO workers might strike so I don't think he'd enjoy a visit.

Donna MacMeans said...

Congrats Helen - You've got the GR! You're so right. That bird is bound to be preening - he was such a ham. Believe me, I had many more photos of the bird, but eblogger was not too happy with uploading as many as I did.

Donna MacMeans said...

Jane- He pretty much rode shotgun the entire trip and seemed far more interested in crowing at the cars we passed than in offering driving advice. At least - I think that's what he was doing. Ohio is pretty much farm country, so he could have been giving a shout-out to friends and relatives. Of course, I tend to drive with a heavy foot and that pleased the rascal to no end.

Donna MacMeans said...

Thank you Helen. I'm not sure I have a photo that doesn't have my mouth open - either talking or laughing (grin). I think there were 100+ authors in total at the Cincinnati get-together. The Cleveland event was much more intimate with about ten authors.

I'd love, love , love to attend the Austrailian convention. Hmmm - 2011? We'll see

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Congrats Helen, just take him to see the grandbabies, that will settle him down.

I don't have any plans for a convention but it is something I would love to do someday.

I think I have seen his little brother in these parts, I think maybe he is already like the GR in his traveling mode.

Joan said...

LOL, Donna! Great post!

I of course plan an event in a few weeks known as RWA National so am really psyched about that.

As to a road trip for our boy? Hmmmm...I've heard rumors he'll attend a family reunion on the 30th..

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Minna!

Are there many romance fans in your neck of the world? Part of the fun is just getting together to talk fav books - then the writers get involved and before you know it, the event starts growing in your own backyard. Good Luck on the lottery, we'd love to see you over here!

Donna MacMeans said...

Hey cave-dweller, the GR says I should send Sven down your way with drinks and munchies to help keep up your stamina. He's anxious to see you in Washington in just a few weeks. But for now - back to work with you!

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Pissenlit - That talk about the first nine years of the Chandra mission sounds fabulous! I've always been intrigued by deep space, black holes and phenomena of the universe. Aren't the images being returned to earth absolutely amazing? Bummer about the timing, though. Of course, if you party hard enough at your friend's wedding - you might see a few stars of your own (grin)!

Bummer on all the worker strikes. That often makes it tough to get from A to Z. Make sure you're got a good book with you for the delays.

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi hrdwrdmom - I think you need to kick back and put your feet up at a reader's event - you deserve it. Are you in the Huntington WV area? Send me an email and I'll tell you about one in that area.

You've seen the little bro about? I swear that chick idolizes the GR. I'm just hoping the little guy doesn't pick up the GR's bad habits.

Donna MacMeans said...

Joan - I'm anxious to see you in Washington and yes, the GR has been squawking something about a secret mission at the end of this month. Couldn't get the details out of him - tightbeaked, you know?

terrio said...

What great pictures. LOL! Looks like you're having loads of fun, Donna!

Nationals is the only thing in store for me this summer. And to justify that, as well as all the conferences I've already attended, I'd better finish a dang MS. LOL! Goal is first draft finished by Oct 1. Yes, AC, you can hold me to that.

*gulp*

housemouse88 said...

Hello Donna,

I will not be able to attend any reader/writer conferences this year due to the economy. I hope to attend at least one next year. Have a great day.

Claudia Dain said...

Fun, Donna! The GR sure gets around!

The only big adventure in my immediate future is attending the RWA conference in DC in a mere 3 weeks. I haven't even begun to think about what to wear. Since it's DC in July, I'm thinking a bathing suit might work for every event. Whaddya think?

Donna MacMeans said...

Terrio - Will this be your first National? It can be overwhelming with all the workshops, networking, and well-known authors. Definitely finish the manuscript. That first one is such a learning experience every step of the way through. But once it's done, you'll have completed something only 10 percent of the population has done - finished a manuscript. Good Luck! (and hope to see you in Washington)

Donna MacMeans said...

housemouse88 - THe economy is a real b*%ch, isn't it? Our travel plans have been curtailed due to the uncertainites. But the internet makes it almost like attending a reader event in that you can talk to so many people without leaving the comfort of home. Someday we'll be able to meet face-to-face, but in the meantime, we have the blog (smile).

Donna MacMeans said...

Claudia - THAT I would like to see (remind me to pack a camera). Three weeks, do you believe it? It hit me yesterday that I haven't given any kind of thought of what to pack. I have family in the DC area so we plan to get together sometime as well. It'll be good to see you again as well - especially in what would have to be a stunning bathing suit (grin).

Claudia Dain said...

Oh, yes, Donna. You would be most definitely stunned. Into a dead faint, probably. Then uncontrollable puking. Followed by the shakes.

Best not to look at me if you want to be upright and in good spirits for your family visit. How fun for you! You're going to have an action packed week, not including the puking and the fainting.

terrio said...

Donna - This is my second Nationals. Last year was the first. You know, the one where I attended the Bandit party? And hung out with you? LOL!

Don't worry, you can't be expected to remember all us little people. :)

LOL!

jo robertson said...

Hehehehehe, sounds like that rascally rooster had a good time on the road trip with you, Donna. He may never be satisfied simply going to someone's home!

Wait, he's going across the waters! Now that's an adventure, too! He might be a little spoiled, Helen, so be prepared for some antics!

Clever post, Donna!

flchen1 said...

Donna, thanks for sharing those fantastic photos of the GR's outings with you! Hee! Unfortunately I don't have any reader or writer events in my plans this year. Helen, hope he's behaving for you!

traveler said...

I can't attend any events this year but hope to perhaps next year. Road trip stories always warm my heart. I know many that are special, funny, interesting and memorable.

Blodeuedd said...

Nothing for me, there I get for living at the end of the world. But I sure would like to attend something one day

Donna MacMeans said...

Claudia - No puking - I promise. But if I happen to be in a bathing suit with you (which I'm pretty sure will not happen - no time) we'd both be rolling on the floor laughing.(grins)

Christie Kelley said...

Great post, Donna! I love the pictures.

The only writer conference I have for the rest of the year is the RWA conference in DC. I can't believe it's only a few weeks away. It will be my first literacy signing so I'm really looking forward to it.

Donna MacMeans said...

Terrio - There was so much going on plus I was so concerned with not getting icing on the girls (black blouse, white icing, big boobs - not a good combination)that I can't remember who was there and who was not --- but I do recall that we met at RT last year so you weren't and shall never be forgotten.(grin)

Donna MacMeans said...

Thanks Jo - we had fun and that wily rooster is an ice breaker whereever he goes. I'd blink and he was off visiting with someone. There was a sheep (stuffed) at a table in the back of the room and he tended to gravitate that way.
He'll be traveling to Washington with luggage filled with souvenirs.

Donna MacMeans said...

fichen1 - Hopefully there will be some good booksignings in your area. I think many writers are staying close to home for economic reasons. But we're going to have to get you to one of these events so I can add a photo of you with the rooster to my collection!

Donna MacMeans said...

traveler - My dh, the GR and I are driving to Washington in July. I'm hoping the rooster will behave as it's about an eight hour drive. Strange enough - I'm looking forward to having the intimacy of the car to spend some time alone with my dh. Yes. Roadtrips can be fun esp. when shared.

Donna MacMeans said...

Blodeuedd - You never know...romance spans even to the ends of the world so a reader event can pop up anywhere. But, at least in the meantime we can gather on the internet. Hmmm...now if we could just figure out how to syke and stream video here on the blog, it would be pretty close to the real thing.

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Christie - Come to think of it - I have a photo of you with the Rooster from Orlando (that bird gets around - I tell ya). That's right - I'd forgotten you couldn't make it to San Francisco last year when your first book was out. How cool that you'll break into your first literacy signing with two books on the table (grin). It's a wild, wild time - even more so at National then at RT.

Celesta said...

Donna,

It was great to meet you and the GR at the Lori Foster event! I'm enjoying "The Trouble with Moonlight" and I'm so glad you were able to get this wonderful story sold!

Can't wait to see you in Indianapolis in August!

Celesta Hofmann

Donna MacMeans said...

Celesta - That was fun wasn't it? Glad you're enjoying Moonlight - that's one of my favorites. I'm really looking foward to coming out to Indianapolis - several friends in IRWA (and even more after the get together). Of course that means - ROAD TRIP! (grin)

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

From the Depths of the Writing Caves...
HALLO!!!! (echoes hallo, hallo, hallo)

Congrats Helen! Guard those Tim Tams! I know the GR will be gorging himself on his favorite treat.

GREAT photos Donna! I'm sooo looking forward to seeing the GR and EVERYONE in DC in...3 weeks?!?! ACK!! I've done NOTHING to prepare, and it's my first Literacy Signing too! Please, drop by and say hi everyone! And Terrio, MUAHAHA! I have your word now on the mss and I WILL remember!

AC
who is SURE she saw that younger GR headed for the beach with a surf board

Pat Cochran said...

Hi, Donna,

Seems as if the Golden One had a
grand time on the "Grand Tour" of
Ohio! I love the new addition, he
does look familiar, though. Since
he has been exposed to the GR's
influence, he should be named
Rowdy Rooster!

P.S. I just received the copy of
Moonlight which I won in Brenda's
auction. Thanks!

Pat Cochran

Christie Kelley said...

Donna, when the GR needs a vacation send him my way. We'll go out on the boat, do some crabbing and fishing, and he can keep my cat entertained for hours.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Helen, go the Aussies! But hide them Tim Tams, mate!

Donna, what a gorgeous post. No wonder that rooster is so bumptious, all these gorgeous girls making a fuss of him. LOVE the photos!

I'm all excited - only a couple of weeks and I fly to Washington for RWA Nationals. And I get to see my Banditas. Huzzah! Can't wait.

Donna MacMeans said...

Hey AC -

Well, at least I can take comfort that I'm not the only one not to have started to prepare for National. I'm going to need some new shoes. The ones I normally wear cracked after three years of wear. (Did I just hear Tawny hit the floor?) If I recall that Washington hotel is huge - and getting anywhere requires a bit of hoofing it. Guess I should get them now to break in before they break me in.

Looking forward to seeing you in DC. McGary can't be too far from MacMeans.

terrio said...

No worries, Donna. LOL! You let me wear your hat for that picture at RT. I could never be mad at you. :)

But if you think we're going to believe you've never had icing on the girls....

Donna MacMeans said...

Pat - You were the winner? Neat! Hope you enjoy Moonlight, it's one of my favorites. I love the concept of an invisible race - and the fact that she can't control the phases make for a lot of fun.

I like "Rowdy" for a name, but I'm hoping he'll be more sedate than his big brother. The GR is an armful.

Donna MacMeans said...

Christie - Heck with the GR - take me crabbing (grin). I do miss real Maryland crabcakes...and sitting on a wooden picnic table with a platter of steamed crabs with Old Bay seasoning and a crab mallet. That's good eating! Here's hoping I can sneak away at National to satisfy a seafood fix.

Donna MacMeans said...

Hey Anna - Can't wait to see you again too. We definitely need some photos of the rooster visiting down under.

Donna MacMeans said...

LOL - Terrio, you bad girl you (grin).

Treethyme said...

Helen, congrats on grabbing the GR! Donna, I'm in stitches after looking at these pictures. What, no close-ups of the fuzzy handcuffs (footcuffs?)? I LOVE the pictures of Father and Son GRs -- too funny!

Darn, I wish I had realized that was Marjorie Liu sitting by you. I read one of her books recently and really liked it.

I hope you will continue this saga of the GR's photographic journey. I'll be waiting with bated breath!

Christie Kelley said...

Donna, there's nothing like blue crabs :) Come on down!

Helen said...

Well the GR has been strutting around flicking bits of imaginary fluff of his wings and giving the dogs the evil eye, but I have given him a couple of Tim Tams amd he seems to have settled down a bit. We are going over to Jake today so hopefully he will behave himself there.

Donna and all of the Bandits I would love to see you all make it to the next Readers Conference here in Australia as I said hopefully sometime in 2011 what a blast that would be.

Have Fun
Helen

Donna MacMeans said...

Treethyme - There are lots of pictures & probably closeups of the GR in those fuzzy handcuffs - BUT NOT ON MY CAMERA (grrrr...). I think my daughter had taken my purse up to the room which meant no camera, no phone. But there were lots of photos taken of the shackled GR. Thanks to Kathy Andrico for the one on the blog (she also took the one of Jodi Minton and the TOL authors as well).

I'm also missing a photo of the ransom note scribbled on a napkin. I had the note and meant to take a photo of it once I had possession of my camera again - but I think it got tossed in the flurry of packing.

Treethyme said...

My camera died while I was in Chicago for my son's graduation. Probably all that rain rotted it. I'm either going to have to get a new one prior to National or do a crash course in figuring out how to use my husband's camera.

Donna MacMeans said...

Treethyme - My suggestion - get your own camera, something small, lightweight, and uncomplicated. Many of your photos will be taken by someone else - you know - you hand them the camera and say "can you take a photo of us, please?" You'll actually get those photos if the camera is easy to use (grin). Also you'll want it to be easy to hook up to the computer and download. I have an iphone with this cool camera in it, but all my photos looked shaky -- probably because I am (grin). A small camera that I can toss in my purse works well for me -- as long as my daughter doesn't move my purse (grin).

Estella said...

No events in my plans. They are too far away for me to even consider.

jo robertson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Louisa Cornell said...

Donna, this was SUCH a great way for me to end the work day! I got home and logged on and VOILA, my favorite Golden Boy on a fabulous adventure with one of my favorite authors!! This was just too perfect!

Helen, good on you, my dear, for nabbing the chook! I know he will have a lovely time and he definitely needs some time out of the limelight. Otherwise his head won't fit in the car with Donna and her DH!

My only conference this summer will be the National in DC and I am SO looking forward to it!! I can't wait to see all of the Banditas and have my photo taken with them AND the GR!! The Bandita party was SUCH a great time last year!

I have been writing my head off trying to finish the latest manuscript, but I have been able to get some reading in from time to time.

If you haven't had the chance read Jennifer Ashley's The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie. This is just a wonderful book!! I loved it.

Nicola Cornick's Confessions of a Duchess is another fantastic read. You will LOVE the heroine as much as you LOVE the hero!!

I have been reading those books from Edith Layton's backlist that I hadn't read before and it makes her loss that much greater. To Wed a Stranger is just wonderful!

Okay, back into the writing dungeon! I can't WAIT to see you all in DC, Banditas and Buddies alike!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Donna MacMeans said...
Hi hrdwrdmom - I think you need to kick back and put your feet up at a reader's event - you deserve it. Are you in the Huntington WV area? Send me an email and I'll tell you about one in that area.

You've seen the little bro about? I swear that chick idolizes the GR. I'm just hoping the little guy doesn't pick up the GR's bad habits.


Yes Donna, I am fairly close to Huntington, I am in Charleston, I will e-mail you in a few minutes.

Yes that little chick is showing some serious signs of hero worship, I am afraid he will be giving the GR a run for his money soon.

Tawny said...

What a fabulous pictorial of the Rooster's exploits, Donna!!! You both look like you had an awesome time :-)

My plans this summer. Move. I had wonderfully margarita filled plans for National but the house buying and closing and selling insanity scotched those so I'm telling myself I'm excited about moving instead and looking forward to August when its all done LOL.

Donna MacMeans said...

Estella - Long Distance hugs! I think a book club qualifies as a reader's event. Nothing better than getting together with like minded readers and discussing books over chocolate (grin). Sometimes those can be local.

Tiffany James said...

Donna,

Loved watching you and GH "strut" your stuff and what a touching reunion with little bro! :0)

I'm headed to a writers' retreat in September with my local writers' group. Aaahhh! I can't wait - an entire weekend to write and yuck it up with my pals...it's better than Christmas!

Tiffany

Donna MacMeans said...

Louisa - If you could only pick one event to attend this summer, you picked the right one (grin). You know we'll all be cheering for you for at the Golden Heart ceremony. My good friend (and last year's winner of the Regency GH), Susan Heino, is presenting the GH for your category.

I'be been hearing great things about the Nicola Cornick's book. I'll have to bump it up higher in the TBR stack. (So many books....)

Can't wait to see you again in three short weeks.

Donna MacMeans said...

Tawny - You have my sympathies. Not only because you'll be missing Washington, but also because I can't think of anything worse than preparing a house for sale and moving. I'm a pack rat. I admit it. Having to clean up the back basement and throw things out would cause me nightmares. Moving into a new house, though, that's cool. You'll have to send pictures.

Donna MacMeans said...

Tiffany - A writer's retreat sounds lovely especially in September. I'm afraid writing at a retreat is almost out of the question for me as I tend to talk to anyone in the vicinity (grin). I'd keep everyone up late at night talking books, plots, characters...

I did actually do some writing at a retreat once. There were only four of us at a B&B that one of the four owned. We had quite a bit of property to spread out on. I settled in at a gazebo removed from everyone (I love writing outside). The only problem was the caterpillars that kept dropping from the high-pitched roof of the gazebo onto my keyboard. Guess they wanted a closer look (grin). Be sure to tell us how it went.

Joan said...

I'm thinking a bathing suit might work for every event. Whaddya think? ....

You go, girl!

Joan said...

But if you think we're going to believe you've never had icing on the girls.... ....

I've heard she did and there were cabana boys involved :-)

Nancy said...

Helen, congrats on the GR!

Donna, you and the GR certainly had quite a trip! I'm impressed that you managed to keep him under control so much of the time. He does seem to gravitate toward women for his souvenir photos, doesn't he?

No fun road trips coming up, at least not in the automobile sense. I'll be in the Romance Bandits contingent in DC, hoping to see many of our buddies there. Trish, Caren and I are presenting a panel at Moonlight & Magnolias in October. It's always a fun conference. So I do have a couple of trips I'm looking forward to.

Donna MacMeans said...

Joan - the cabana boys were removing the icing...or that TMI?

Donna MacMeans said...

Nancy - With all the women at National, those handcuffs are going to come in handy. We're going to have to take turns keeping our eyes on the GR so he won't be causing havoc. RWA tends to be such a professional conference - the GR can destroy that image in mere minutes. One could say...chickenfeed.

Virginia said...

Congrat Helen on nabbing that rooster, although he is worn out from all of the traveling he does.

Donna what a cute post! I loved the way the rooster was there! I think he stays on the road all of the time.

Donna MacMeans said...

Virginia - Well...he certainly is in high demand (smile). BUt truth be told, we like sending him all over the world and back. Helps wear him out...you know, the same strategy we use with little kids?

Fortunately, you and Helen are old hands at keeping the GR in line.

Caffey said...

Loved reading that trip of the rooster!

We're not much of travelers here. We find so much comfort in our home. Hubby has new place that he works so now has to earn up his vacation time but we'll still have a day here or there of a picnic and the like that will go to. I love those. Sitting under the tree reading, doing games with the kids, napping with hubby. Now they are young adults and hoping their plans fit with us if not we'll still be taking those day trips for us!

Donna MacMeans said...

Caffey -

That sounds so lovely. We tend not to travel a lot either, but it's because both our jobs are demanding. I do a lot of speaking engagements so it's hard to fit in trips with those weekend scheduled.

However, we had to go to a funeral home tonight to visit the family of one of my husband's work associates. The woman had a heart attack after work and died. She was 53. We left the funeral home promising each other not to put off those trips in favor of work. You never know how much time one has left to really, really live.

Donna MacMeans said...

Drumroll.....Traveler - You've won a copy of TAILS OF LOVE. If you'll send me your contact information at www.DonnaMacMeans.com, I'll get that out to you asap.