Daddy's Girls Weekend with the lovely Ms. Carolyn Haines
While driving down to Ocean Springs Mississippi on Friday to participate in DGW's foolishness, I realized something very interesting. I'm thirty ... ish, (the actual number isn't important) and I ain't never been no where.
Now, I don't mean I've never traveled, because I have. Some times to places I didn't like so much then to others that were totally cool. The story associated with this redneck thought is told for the truth by "the two sexiest fat men alive" Rick and Bubba from Birmingham, AL and is so funny it's illegal. Several years ago two listeners named Willie and Wanda won a trip with Rick and Bubba to California. Upon arriving to pick them up and go to the airport, Willie informed Rick and Bubba, "I ain't never been nowhere." For poor Rick and Bubba, the trip steadily went into the pooper from there.
For me, this phrase means I realized it was my first traveling experience where I was totally alone, staying in a hotel and had only met a couple of the people attending online, never in person.
For other people, that might not seem like such a huge deal but for some one like me it can be quite paralyzing. I'm almost positive that in my twenties I'd have been too chicken to make the trip but instead I was giddy with anticipation. Isn't it strange how a few years can make you different?
First, if you ever get the chance to visit Gulf Hills Resort and Ocean Springs, MS DO IT! The resort, the staff and surrounding area is gorgeous! I was so impressed that I'm planning another visit very soon. I could feel my debt card quivering with fear while we walked past all the tempting shops lining the downtown streets.
Ms. Sarah Bewley and our illustrious host the divine Ms. Carolyn Haines, created three days of meeting-greeting and foolishness that was simply awesome. Arriving Friday, I met Ms. Sara, who organized the event, along with Ms. Carolyn and snagged my first photo (left). They are both just as beautiful and gracious as I'd imagined.
Before long, the DG's began to pour in and slap on name tags. I found out very quickly just how small a world it is by meeting ladies from my own stomping grounds of Laurel and Hattiesburg. Heck, there were folks from all over! I'm ashamed to say I didn't put nearly enough efforts into my outfits and several ladies put me to shame with their creativity.
My most exciting moment came when Michelle and Jeannie arrived. It was so wonderful to finally meet them! (on right and middle) Then Ms. Alexis joined us later (on left). They are all amazing young women and writers. I'm honored to have had the chance to spend time with them.
Our first session of the afternoon was with Mr. Dean James, a mystery writer from Texas. His session was a great opener because he's such a welcoming and warm person. This being my first experience with writer's and such I was of course nervous and truly unable to put a thought into a coherent sentence when someone asked me a question. Dean helped ease some of that beginning fear for me with his humor and kindness.
Of course the foolishness came later. After a nice afternoon chat and coffee with Michelle and Jeannie, we all piled into The Carlise House and began the hilarious task of choosing a candidate for DGW's 2011 Big Daddy. The competition was quite fierce. Politicking, limericks, costumes and lots of laughter ensued.
Saturday morning started with a bang! While preparing to go downstairs for the morning sessions, I slipped in the bathroom and mutilated my pinkie toe. In honor of the mystery writer's theme, my bathroom should have been roped off with yellow crime scene tape. I had to warn the maids ahead of time that there hadn't actually been a murder in there. Now you would think my first thought would've been to seek first aid for my bleeding toe but it wasn't. All I could think was how I wasn't going to be able to wear the damn cutesy shoes I'd picked out to go with my outfit. They were adorable!
After patching myself up, I headed downstairs to sit in session with agent Marian Young and Ben LeRoy of Tyrus Books. Michelle, Jeannie and I along with several other lovely ladies enjoyed a very informative session learning about their side of the industry. Everything they told us was so refreshing to hear!
As we were coming out to meet up for lunch, Mark Holmes drove up in what is by far the cutest car EVER. Jeannie Holmes is the author of BLOOD LAW. She and her husband Mark decided to advertise her work with their car. Snaps go to Jeannie for such a original idea! I can personally attest to its influence because I spotted Mark in traffic on my way to Mobile.
Next, we got our turn with Ms. Carolyn. It was a great talk and I learned so much. I think one of the most interesting aspects of this weekend was that it wasn't just for writers. There were ladies there who were just fans of Carolyn's books. The mix made for an unforgettable experience!
Last but not least, we sat in session with Mr. David Sheffield, screen writer. This was the only session I wasn't brave enough to speak up in because I was a bit star struck. David is lovely and so funny! He wrote for Saturday Night Live, one of my all time favorite shows, the movie Coming to America and Nutty Professor among other things. Hearing about that side of writing was something I enjoyed because I knew nothing about it before hand. Plus, as you can see he's an extremely snazzy dresser LOL!
This photo was actually taken at the Crowning of DGW's 2011 Big Daddy. We all dressed up in our fancy duds and enjoyed more laughing than is probably legal. Carolyn gave away copies of her new book coming out this summer Bones ofFeather, video and photographic evidence was taken of our silliness and mass quantities of pizza was consumed by all. Finally, Mr. Dean James was crowned Big Daddy. It was an evening I'll never forget.
Sunday morning brunch marked the end of our weekend together. Even though it was time to go home, great friends were made over those three days so the foolishness can continue. I had a lovely time swaping stories over mimosa's and bloody mary's with the wonderful ladies. Even saying our farewells, I felt energized by the time I'd had the privilege to spend with them all. Lastly, I asked Ms. Carolyn to sign my copies of her Sarah Booth Delaney series and we took a photo together. Because when it's all said and done, I'm most of all a lover of books and the people who create them.