The reason I went to SF was to meet up with other ERWA writers. Everything else was a bonus.
Cady and I headed to A Different Light bookstore in the Castro at 4. I saw her collection of short stories Any 2 People Kissing on the shelf and pointed it out to her. (Lots of great stories in there, but I love the puppy play one most.)
A Different Light has a great selection of, well, everything, but the transgendered section was amazing. I was tempted to pick up a few more titles, but I knew I was already over my book buying budget for the month. Greg Herren's newest mystery, Mardi Gras Mambo was featured on one of the front tables, but he'll be in LA for a reading April 20th, so I decided to wait to buy it. Besides, the canvas bag was already overflowing.
Nan Andrews, who has a story featured in CREAM- the upcoming ERWA anthology edited by Lisabet Sarai - met us at A Different Light. (Cady's story Drillers is also in CREAM.) We stopped for some coffee and chat before hiking to Nan's car. I was so glad I didn't try to drive. Not that driving is the problem, but parking... Oh honey, leave that to the natives.
ERWA writer Jane was in town too, so we went to the financial district and met up with her, then we all headed for North Beach. I'd never been there before, but plan to go back. Way, way back, I remember my parent's Kingston Trio record recorded live at the Hungry I. I was floored to see that it was still around. I should have crossed the street to see who was performing, but figured I'd walked enough that day.
Nan was an excellent tour guide. It's great to be with someone who knows the city and can throw off little nuggets of information as you pass by landmarks. We trusted her with the choice of bar and later on a restaurant, and she picked great places. So thank you again, Nan. You're an excellent host.
My first drink about put me under the table, so I was only able to make sleepy conversation through our fantastic dinner. I had a good time just listening though. Honest Nan, Jane, John, and Cady - I wasn't bored. I was exhausted. Thus the sleepy grin every time someone said something to me. But by the time we left the restaurant though, ideas were pinging around in my brain. I hoped I'd remember some of them later. Being around other writers is such a creative jump-start for me. I love the energy and excitement over ideas and words.
We raised our glasses in a toast to the other ERWA get-together in New York. For everyone who was in NY - we hope you had as wonderful of an evening as we did.
After dinner, we headed for legendary City Lights Books, home of the beat generation writers. I couldn't help it, I bought Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. Yes, me, buying poetry. After all the terrible things I've said about being forced to write essays in high school about Ode Upon A Grecian Urn (which always makes me think of the Ladies' Auxiliary Dance Committee from the Music Man - trickle, trickle, trickle.) Like Shakespeare's plays, I probably need to hear poetry from the mouth of a talented actor to appreciate it. I remember the funeral scene from the movie Four Weddings and A Funeral where the poem Funeral Blues was read and it took my breath away. Still, I'm willing to try reading Leaves of Grass on my own.
Nan bought a copy of Garden of The Perverse and got Cady and I to sign our stories. I almost felt famous. I love signing books, but (oh, the irony) I can never think of anything to write. Cady has seen me get terribly flustered when handed a book and a pen, so no doubt she was waiting to see how I'd handle it this time. I think I did okay. (Although I did slink off to have a comfort smoke immediately afterwards. )
I was glad when everyone admitted around eleven that they were wiped as well, so we caught a bus back to the financial district and called it a night.
Score for the day? 7 books, 2 magazines, 1 newspaper, 1 cemetery, 1 purple draped Jesus, 3 sex shops, 4 bookstores, 3 ERWA writers, and only two cigarettes. Pretty damn good.