Fantasm in sensory pastiche:
The hotel was much nicer than I had been led to believe it was going to be. I was pleasantly surprised. Of course, we didn't get a room, so didn't have to deal with the overbooked, no towels/air conditioning/hot water/pillows/etc. issues that people staying there did. And the party battles were all apparently held in large saunas. But the public areas were clean, well-lit, and attractive. There were some "hotel issues" that were troublesome, like there were no lights backstage in the main programming room, so I couldn't stage the Ms. Fantasm contestants there, but since there wasn't a "backstage" at all last year, it wasn't a biggie.
The main problem we had with the site was that there wasn't a restaurant attached to the hotel, so food options were limited. But we availed ourselves of the snacks from the con suite and drove home for dinner, so all-in-all, it was only a token bummer.
fings gives amazing massage. He turned me into a pile of purring goo at the con suite last night. Out of curiosity, we compared hands. His hands outsize mine by two full joints. Mmmmm.
My lungs, however, feel like I've sanded them raw. Had to walk through and hang at several blue clouds of secondhand smoke. Much hacking coughing last night and this morning resulting.
My copies of Ascendancy of Blood from Scrybe Press came yesterday as did my promo stuff for the Blasphemy anthology. Swung by the house in the evening to change for the party battles and feed Hobkin, and my mailbox was packed with goodies! I was a little bummed that I didn't have the stuff for my panels, but I was overjoyed to have them in time for the convention. So I assembled a "goody basket" of chapbook and promos, handcuffed a stuffed bunny to it, and donned vinyl skirt, corset, and bunny ears. The Blasphemy folks sent me packs of unholy communion wafers and crosses with naughty blurb excerpt from the antho. I gave out a cross and wafer with every chapbook I sold (and wafers to anyone who didn't buy but listened to me ask for their money). I was sold out within four hours of bunny-hopping around. 'Course I sold the chapbooks for my cost rather than the price on the cover as part of a "Fantasm Special," 'cause I was more interested in promotion than profit this time around, but I suspect I could have sold them for full price with only a little more effort. I also sold three copies of Pixeltown without even trying. Folks asked for them!
Me signing a copy of Pixeltown for Dean
And I'm absolutely gaga about my "Ascendancy of Blood" chapbook. It's beautiful! The cover is glossy and thick and gorgeous, and my name's on the cover, and oh my god, the art is perfect. Scrybe Press puts out an amazing product. I'm totally their gush bunny. Buy from them, folks! Buy my title(s) from them, especially!
The Ms. Fantasm pageant went exceedingly well. There were the usual last-minute complexities and entries. And I was so zoned I had problems doing basic logic (give your entry form to the contestant in front of you, I mean behind you, no I mean in front of you, so she can hand it to the emcee when she goes onstage . . . ) But the girls were beautiful, and I had Matthew and dude_the helping. Although dude_the got totally distracted by one of the contestants so when I sent him to the Infobabe booth to pick up the pile of entry forms and a stack of pens, he returned with a single entry form, no pens, and only incoherent single-syllable non-word noises to explain his lapse in cognitive ability. Hee.
As for the winner: Melanie and Hugh put together the most amazing pony girl outfit. I was totally in awe. Two years ago when I was the newly-crowned Ms. Fantasm, they were an integral part of my party battle entourage. So I was delighted that we could be Melanie's entourage this year! She was fabulous. Just fabulous.
Melanie, Hugh, and Stephanie (left to right)
The judges were Davey Beauchamp (eleventh-hour addition), cmpriest, Ms Fantasm 2003, and James Leary, and my thanks go to all of them for doing a spectacular job.
I experienced vicarious vibratory elation re: the anticipation of signing a multi-book contract with a major book publisher via cmpriest. She got word from her agent that the contract's in the mail while at Fantasm and vibrated ecstatically through the convention. Go congratulate her and read the details on her LJ!
I did two panels: "For Love or Money" on Friday and "Thinking Outside the (Pine) Box" on Saturday. And they went fabu! Having cmpriest and Davey Beauchamp on both of them made it spectacularly easy to put aside my public speaking tremors, even sans prescription-strength tranquilizer.
Here's me, cmpriest, and Jay Lind
Pimping Tales of the Paranormal
Bought a massage glove with vibrating fingers from the vendor room. Went around buzzing and being buzzed by. There's no ice breaker like a vibrating hand.
The party battles were a little disappointing. N9 put together a damn fine circus party, and 54 had glow-sticky goodness with their disco motif (and fresh fruit!), but the other parties didn't really come together as much with ambiance as years past. But the Femme Erotique folks on Friday made the most amazing rum punch, and played jazz and had comfy couches to lounge about on, so my party experiences are pretty thumbs-uppy for both nights. The N9 folks needed to stir their drinks more. The Tom Collins I got seemed to be all flavoring, until I hit the raw gin, and the amaretto stone sour promised a similar drinking experience, until we figured out what the deal was and poured it into a water bottle to shake up. Then it was all yumminess and giggling. I'm pretty sure I'm not hung over.
dude_the just woke up, so I'll stop typing now and be sociable. Much fun had by all.