Sunday Shorts – “The Biggest Lover” Q&A with R. Jackson

Biggest LoverAnthologies don’t always get a lot of noise, and one of the things I try to do here with my Sunday Shorts series is point out some awesome anthologies that are out and about (or about to launch) by speaking with the editors and authors of collections. Quite a few authors and editors agreed to chat with me about anthologies hitting the shelves in the next few months—so many, in fact, that I have enough people to carry these Sunday chats all the way through to next June, which is kind of awesome.

Today starts the first of these anthologies I’ll be showcasing, The Biggest Lover, an upcoming anthology from Bear Bones Books, and I’m chatting with R. Jackson. What’s The Biggest Lover?

We have all heard the term Rubenesque as a compliment for plus-sized women. The baroque painter Sir Peter Paul Rubens was fond of painting women of the day that were curvaceous and full-figured. The men in his art were not. What is the comparable term for men? Because not every gay man is obsessed with twinks who list the number of visible rib bones on their Grindr profile. Or men who can remember the number of reps at the gym but not their phone number. Some of us appreciate buying in bulk and that includes looking for love. Or just plain sex. Thank goodness for Bear culture which embraces girth. During Bear Week in Provincetown the stores do not even bother to sell clothes smaller than an XL and a man’s virility is often like the potency of moonshine: the more Xs on the jug the better, so XXXL is a chub in high demand.

It has taken too long for an erotica anthology to feature such men. As Girth & Mirth founding father Reed Wilgoren stated, “Just as people are coming out every day—men and women realizing their sexuality—new Bears and new Chubbies and new chasers are also evolving in the world. There have to be people waiting to embrace them and show them the way, much as who helped me to become what I am and who I am today.” It is our hope that readers who felt denied of attention and affection will read these stories and realize that love has no weight limit, no threshold, and neither should self-esteem.


NB: Welcome! I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating: you’re a force of nature for bi-visibility and bear culture. When I first saw the call for The Biggest Lover, I realized that I hadn’t actually seen a collection like it before. On reflection, I wasn’t surprised I hadn’t; you talk about that a bit in the introduction, how the focus in gay erotica is so much more often on the slender twink or the uber-fit (and don’t even get me started on the lack of chest hair). Obviously, there’s an overlap with bear culture here, but where did the spark for The Biggest Lover come from?

RJThank you for inviting me to this interview, ‘Nathan! Thanks also for your excellent story in the collection, and for your kind words about my work.

I started thinking seriously about editing a collection of chub-and-chaser erotica at least five years ago. As I pointed out in my 2001 interview with Girth & Mirth founder Reed Wilgoren in Bears on Bears, bear clubs are really an offshoot of the earlier big gay/bi men’s clubs (as well as queer motorcycle/leather clubs) that were formed at least a decade earlier. I kept thinking someone would do an anthology on this theme years ago, but nobody must have thought it a worthwhile or lucrative project.

Often an idea for an anthology theme take years to germinate, during which I talk with my readers, my publisher, my husbear, and bear and writer friends. I research scholastic and marketing considerations to determine the prospective readership, and contemplate what story themes and contributors would be fun to include. Sometimes I consult the tarot and my Magic 8-Ball, and pray to Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of knowledge, art, music, and learning. In my meditation on the subject I ask myself, Is this a topic that is overlooked and underexposed?  Does it have potential to reach many underserved readers? Is it a book that nobody else has done? Is this a book that I’m qualified to put together? If the answers and omens are clearly positive and the stars and planets are in the auspicious positions, then I’ll obtain a contract and issue a call for submissions. After that, it’s a matter of waiting to see what comes in, and deciding what fits my target word count.

NB: I had a blast writing my story in no small part due to being able to include both a bigger man and a chaser with the knowledge their depiction wasn’t going to come back with edits making them more “traditionally sexier” (whatever that might mean). I remember one piece I wrote, quite a few years back, where the editor wanted to cut out arm hair references, struck out a line or two about laugh lines, and asked me if I’d consider dropping the age of one of the characters below the forty mark so the two characters would be within a decade of each other in age. I’m curious: did having The Biggest Lover‘s atypical theme for erotica also translate to any other welcome surprises where the authors explored something you weren’t expecting?

RJI’m so delighted to have your story “A Slice of Pi” in The Biggest Lover, your third Bear Bones Books anthology. Obviously I liked it enough to place it at the end, thus giving you the last word in the story series. Anthologies are a fun way to gather a lot of ideas and authors together and form a small sort of community and a dialogue that transcends geographic and demographic boundaries. Stories came in from all over North America and the U.K., from male, female, and trans* authors, including a diverse handful of stories by bears of color. Welcome surprises? I expect every story that is submitted to be a welcome surprise in some manner. It should do something different, even if it doesn’t necessarily succeed, something more than A meets B and they meet C and then they all do XYZ. A good erotic story should grab me by the balls and not let go.

NB: Canada Post hasn’t delivered my copy yet, so I’m salivating at the chance to read it. Okay, question number three is a boomerang question from my discussion with Tom Cardamone that I’m going to revisit with all the editors. He brought up how in collections, the author (or editor, in an anthology) have to select and order the tales, and how it’s such an important part of the process, but we rarely hear anyone talk about it. Also, Publisher’s Weekly mentioned that the stories in The Biggest Lover cover a lot of genres, which definitely intrigues. How did you approach the selecting and ordering of the tales in The Biggest Lover?

RJ: This is my eleventh anthology, so there’s not much I haven’t dealt with before. My greatest fear is the dread that not enough great unique stories for a book will be submitted.

As I researched what was in print in fat gay lit, I discovered this gendered lacuna of men as writers and as subjects. Same situation with my earlier books on bisexuality: most of the fiction, nonfiction, and academic writing available had been by bi women. 

So I put out a private call for submissions to a few dozen writers I’ve worked with before. Some of my regulars are incredibly dependable, so that’s nice, to have a stable of writers to call upon.

I didn’t want it to be too much the same styles as my other bearotic anthologies. Men’s chuberotica is really a new literary topic but some writers are so versatile they can handle any topic thrown their way. 

Yet it’s important and necessary to include at least half new/er writers, because you have to keep it fresh for your regular readers and you have to support and develop young/er writing talent.

In shopping the idea around to some of my regular erotica contributors I saw how enthusiastic some became. I was at lunch at a writers’ conference with authors William Holden and Dale Chase when I tossed the idea out. Bill said immediately, “I know exactly what I’ll write about!” That evening, they told me they’d already been plotting out their stories together. By the next morning, Bill reported that he had already sketched out his piece. Nothing like the feeling when your idea for an anthology theme sparks a talented writer and you watch their story ignite.

As far as nays, I avoided anything body shaming and fatphobic, intense descriptions of feeding, unsafe sex, and sex with minors. Positively, I embraced stories of chuberotic romance that turns our preconceived notions of fatness into affirmative sexual feelings.

Certainly now, romance and erotica seem relatively easy for me to judge: a story has be literate, of course, but it also has to tug at my heartstrings to be romantic and to make my pants tighten if it’s erotic. The latter aspect is usually quite easy for me to judge if a story is working!

When I’ve collected enough solid stories, first I decide which are the strongest pieces to start and end the book. Then it’s just a matter of shuffling the rest around to vary length, tone, subject, and genre, until I get the right mix. I do try to curate the reader’s experience so that each story in progression is the next perfectly unexpected tale.

NB: Well I for one can’t wait. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me.

You can get your copy of The Biggest Lover directly from Bear Bones Books (an imprint of Lethe Press) here, or—as always—check out Indiebound for your closest local brick-and-mortar, or look wherever quality LGBT books are sold.


RonRon Suresha is a Lambda Literary Award finalist for his anthologies, Bi Men: Coming out (2006) and Bisexual Perspectives on the Life and Work of Alfred C. Kinsey (2010).
His most recent book, coauthored with Scott McGillivray, is Fur: The Love of Hair, from German publisher Bruno Gmünder. He also authored a collection of Turkish folk Tales, The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah Nasruddin, , which was named a Storytelling World Honor Book. Suresha self-published his first book, Mugs o’ Joy: Delicious Hot Drinks, when he was 39. In 2002, he authored his first trade softcover, the nonfiction Bears on Bears: Interviews & Discussions. Under the name R. Jackson, he has edited the anthologies Bi Guys: The deliciousness of his sex (also a “Lammy” finalist), Bearotica, Bear Lust, Bears in the Wild, and Tales from the Den, published by Bear Bones Books, a Lethe imprint for which he serves as Acquisitions Editor. He also solo hosts and produces an occasional podcast for the adult men’s Bear community, Bear Soup, which runs on BearRadio.net Monday & Wednesdays 10pm Eastern / Pacific.

You can find him online at RonSuresha.com.

 

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Queermas

There are two weeks left to shop for Christmas, which means you’re probably thinking about it quite a bit. If you’re done, congratulations—in my experience of retail, you’re ahead of the curve. If you’re well on your way, don’t panic. Two weeks can be more than enough time. And if you’ve not yet started, well, you’ve still got two weeks, but if you haven’t started because you’ve got zero ideas, maybe I can help.

Buying a gift for an LGBT friend for the holidays—especially if they’re not someone who has a family to go home to—is a huge thing. I had friends who adopted me into their holidays year after year, and it made that time of year bearable. Truly. So if you’ve got that rainbow-lovin’ friend, and you want to tuck something wonderful in some shiny paper to make their season a wee bit brighter, allow me to give you some suggestions. I’m quite lucky to be published myself with Bold Strokes Books, which means that I get to sneak-peek many of their books a month or so before release, and many of the titles I’m about to suggest were found that way.

Shall we begin?

Just Three WordsIf you’ve got a lady in your life who loves the ladies in her life, this year I fell whole-heartedly in love with Melissa Brayden‘s Soho Loft series. I listened to the first two on audio, and am anxiously awaiting the third. These are light, perfectly-paced romances with a great set of women who, as a quartet, run a boutique advertising firm in New York. Bonus points for including a wonderfully written bisexual character in Samantha.

If your lady who loves ladies is the kind with a sly sense of humour who always takes you by surprise with that timely bon-mot, then you need to get her The One that Got Away by Carol Rosenfeld. This book invoked instant nostalgia for me—as soon as I’d read it I wanted to read it again for the first time. It’s full of that sly humour and genuine clever wit I so admire in those blessed enough to possess it.

If the lady in your life likes other ladies and also likes things a little kinky, a little paranormal, or wants to see some characters of colour, then your next stop on your gift giving journey is Rebekah WeatherspoonThe Fling is super-sexy (and again, awesome bisexual content!), At Her Feet has the best role-playing and submissive characters I’ve ever read, and the Vampire Sorority Sisters series is paranormal reinvented (and super-sexy).

That Door is a MischiefFor the fellas who dig the fellas, if you’ve got someone in love with the speculative fiction side of the world, you need look no further than That Door is a Mischief by the brilliant Alex Jeffers. These tales of Liam, a fairy (who is unlike any fairy I’ve ever read, and I mean that as the highest compliment) are in turns amusing, moving, inspiring and heart-breaking. This book lives on my “place of honour”shelf.

If your guy into guys loves a good mystery, then look no further than the works of Greg Herren. The most recent Herren I’ve read was The Orion Mask, which has Herren’s signature “the place is as much a character as those who live and breathe” and is a darkly satisfying gothic romance of a mystery. Any of Greg Herren’s mystery series are worth noting—if your reader likes mysteries a bit dark, then go with the Chanse MacLeod books, but if your reader wants funnier and lighter (and sexier!) then move to the Scotty Bradley series.

Now, if your gay boy is more of a gay bear, a big’n’burly sort who maybe won’t connect as well with the twinkier fare found in many books, fear not. There’s a whole press just for him! Bear Bones Books is an imprint of Lethe Press specifically devoted to the ursine queer. If said big’n’burly fellow is at all rough-and-tumble, I’d be remiss not to mention Jeff Mann, who covers some pretty edgy and dark kink in Fog, moves into one of the best (and at times, bestial) takes on vampires I’ve read with his Desire & Devour collection, where a Scottish vampire drinks plenty of blood, dishes out plenty of vengeance, and has plenty of fun with other big’n’burly blokes. And this year, I also had the sublime joy of reading Mann’s latest poetry book, Rebels, which is not just wonderfully written, but beautifully illustrated. If you have a fan of poetry—especially a fan who also has a love of history, or the South—this book is perfect. Ditto A Romantic Mann, which is some of the finest poetry I’ve read.

Bi GuysThe bisexual can be a bit of a unicorn in fiction, though I’ve mentioned a few up there with the ladies-loving-ladies that can easily reflect a bisexual reader. In fact, I see quite a bit of bi fiction with women, which is awesome, but less so for the guys. I can, however, recommend Bi Guys, a collection edited by Ron Suresha, a tireless force for Bi Male visibility. Any of his bi-themed books are worth checking out, seriously, and if you want something a bit more smexy for pal, then wrap up a copy of Bi Guys: The Deliciousness of His Sex, which Suresha edited under one of the many different versions of his name that helps delineate just how smexy the content will be.

I also bumped into a ménage book this year by the lovely (and funny as heck) Kayleigh MalcolmUnconditional Devotion, which not only has two delicious men, but a lady who has a brilliant characterization of depression that I found so well handled and so rare to find in romance that I wanted to stand up and applaud. This looks like the start of a series, too, so I have high hopes for revisiting.

Heart of the LilikoiNow, if bisexual fiction is hard to find, trans fiction can be a painful exercise in frustration. However, I’ve had some great luck this year, and I pass it on to you! Dena Hankins has brought some nuanced and deftly handled trans and genderqueer characters to the literary world with two books thus far: Blue Water Dreams (a gentler romance) and Heart of the Liliko’i (much smexier, but still lovely). You can tell Dena is a world traveller (Dena lives life on the sea, for crying out loud!) and the settings shine through the page as much as the characters.

For the kinkier among those looking for genderqueer and trans books, look no further than Sassafras Lowrey. From a fantastic retelling of Peter Pan myth through an urban youth-runaway squatting lens in Lost Boi to a group of kids making their own family in Roving Pack, Lowrey hits all the right notes for those of us who dealt with family who were less than supportive (to put it mildly). Finding stories that actually tell your story is huge.

Now, I’ve spoken mostly from the point of view of buying books for adults today, and I’ll be back tomorrow to do the same for queer young adults.

What have been your favourite LGBT books you discovered this year (or any year)? What are your go-to books to give as presents? I’d love to hear.

 

Writing Wednesday – The Saints and Sinners Literary Festival

Usually, my ‘Writing Wednesday’ is an opportunity to force myself to publicly admit how much (or how little) I’ve been getting done on my novel and/or short pieces since a week earlier. The short answer this week is this: not much, because I went to New Orleans for the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival. A slightly longer answer would, however, include that I did send off a short piece for March, so I’m still on track with Jeffrey Ricker‘s challenge.

Instead, let’s talk Saints and Sinners. Mostly sinners, though there are some saints. Okay, a few. Okay, one or two. Okay, the saint is Paul, for doing so much organizing, and his volunteers, who make the whole shebang happen.

But you’d rather hear about the sinners anyway, am I right?

S&S aftermath

That pile there gives you some idea of the last few days. Most centrally, the festival handbook.

Now, there’s no way I’ll get everything into one post, but I will say it’s a good thing that my husband and I got there a day or two early, as it turned out a lot of other wonderful people we wanted to hang out with had done the same, and it let me learn that I am many things, but a drinker of more than two Sazeracs is not one of them. There was a “Sazerac hunt” with J.M. Redmann and her brilliant wife Gillian, and the group of folk that came and went throughout said hunt were wonderful. I got to meet Mark Merlis, who joined Rob Byrnes, my husband and I at the very start of the hunt. We were joined by Candice Detillier Huber, who owns the nerdgasmic Tubby & Coo’s Midcity Book Shop (which is going to be a separate post in and of itself), one of her friends (I want to say Rob, but if I’m honest with myself, I just thought of him as ‘Candice’s hot straight friend’ most of the time), the abovementioned Jeffrey (and his husband, Mike), Stephen King (no, not that one), my wonderful editor and friend Jerry L. Wheeler and Ron Suresha (another fellow I’ve been lucky enough to work with, who edits me for Bear Bones Books). About the time our numbers had dropped to around eleven, I stopped feeling my lips (see above, re: not a drinker) I swapped from Sazerac to beer, but by then, I’d already deserved the fireworks the city so lovingly put on for us all after our successful hunt.

No, seriously, there were fireworks.

New Orleans Hijinks

The festival itself was superb. On the Friday, I made up for my inability to score tickets to the John Waters event by letting my husband abscond with my festival pass and pose as me to enter the interview of John Waters by Laura Lippman (which he said was fantastic), and then did my best to twinkle at the ‘Glitter with the Literati’ opening party at the beautiful Gallier House. Here I saw some of my favourite people, including Jeff Mann and his husbear, John. It was also fantastic to see Marie Castle, who I adore and met last year at the panel we were on about the paranormal and horror genres. We were the crossover people standing betwixt the lesbian discussions and the gay discussions, and personally I think we both deserved more fireworks for bridging the gaps once again.

I tried valiantly to talk to everyone before our dinner reservations, but I’m fairly certain I failed. That’s always the downside at this event – there are so many wonderful people; authors, readers, editors, publishers – and I never quite have enough time to talk to all of them as much as I wish I could.

On the Saturday, it was time to put on my former-bookseller-turned-author hat and be a respectable human being with knowledge and stuff. Happily, I’d only had one Sazerac the night before, and even then, I’m such a lightweight it’s unheard of to get a hangover. That’s how, at 10:00am sharp, I was bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to talk YA with my fellow panelists, Jeffrey Ricker, Greg Herren, and Bridget Birdsall, alongside our fabulous moderator Ruth Sternglantz, to discuss our topic: Forever Young: Writing for the Teen Market. To say it was a great time would put it mildly, and thanks to Ruth’s steering the ship, we stayed on topic and the audience seemed quite engaged. It was a great discussion, and as always, I ended up leaving feeling quite inspired. It was also my first time meeting Bridget, and I finished her book, Double Exposure the day before the panel – I try to do my homework – which was both a good thing and an intimidating thing. I’ve only ever written short pieces for YA, so I relied on my bookseller role in the discussion, given the other three had novel(s) under their belts.

At 11:30a I hit my first major agonizing choice. There were people reading I wanted to hear. There were also two panels I wanted to see – one about LGBT romance, and one about LGBT history (and the writing and researching thereof). I ended up relying on my usual rule of thumb in these situations: do the thing you’ve had the least exposure to and know the least about. I’ve written only one short piece that might barely be considered to have some historical content, so I went to the brilliant Historial Outings: Keeping it Real or Making it Up? Here, panelists LaShonda Katrice Barnett, Jamison Currier, Clayton Delery-Edwards, and Jeff Mann were guided by David Swatling in what I have to say was my favourite panel of the whole event. Again, I know nothing of writing history, but the glimpse these four gave into their world of writing was fascinating, and I even left with an idea for a historical novel – and a much greater appreciation of how much work it would be to do such a thing correctly. More importantly, I’ve learned of multiple new books I need to read, despite knowing that I will feel such rage and sadness at the LGBT history and what was that led us to what is. In particular, Clayton Delery-Edwards’s book about the fire at the upstairs bar in New Orleans is one I need to read.

I also made a rash decision to make it to something at every time slot, so I dashed out for a banana, and a pre-packaged sandwich and then ran back in for the 1:00p slot, in time to hear Bridget Birdsall, Scott Bailey, Clayton Delery-Edwards, Jeffrey Ricker, James Russell, and Shawn Syms read, as well as one other fellow – I didn’t catch his name fast enough, unfortunately, and he was a late addition to the program. All the readers were fantastic (more books to add to my list!), and Evil Mark didn’t have to blare the buzzer at all.

By 2:30p, my banana and sandwich were gone, and I raced over to Make ‘Em Laugh: Humor for Escape and Survival. Here, I got to hear Rich Barnett, Ken O’Neill, Rebecca Chance, and Russ Gregory talk about humour and I basically spent the entire time laughing, gasping for breath, or scribbling down madly in my little notebook. Two major delights here – one was discovering Rebecca Chance, who is so over-the-top funny you’ll want to make sure you’ve done your ab crunches before speaking with, and Ken O’Neill, who has the most brilliant comic delivery I’ve seen in ages. I’ve got books by them both and can’t wait to dive in.

At 4:00p, it was time to put on my grown-up hat again, and go read. Now, I shall preface with saying that it went well, because it did, but I did make one small, minor, itsy-bitsy mistake. At no point did I mention the title of the book from which I was reading.

Yeah.

So, if you went to that reading, the book I read from was On the Run, and my novella from that collection is called “In Memorium.”

Right.

The other authors readings also went wonderfully – N.S. Beranek, J.D. Horn, J.M. Redmann (who Evil Mark buzzed), Cindy Rizzo, and David Swatling gave stirring readings (and once again, I added more books to my pile of ‘to be read’) that pleased the crowd. And they even told the crowd what they were reading, which was pretty clever of them.

At this point I was feeling light-headed, but the 6:00p launch party for the Short Fiction Contest (and the induction for the Hall of Fame, and the Emerging Writer Award winner) was soon, so we hoofed it to the top of the hotel, got ourselves some wine and nibbles, and the festivities began. I finally got to chat some with Greg Herren, watched the wonderful Carol Rosenfeld get her due with her entry into the Hall of Fame alongside Mark Merlis, and we got to listen to some of the short fiction contest winners read before we had to dash off to a bear leather bar.

No, really. We had to.

See, at The Pheonix Bar in New Orleans, we had a ‘LitBEARy’ event – a bunch of us did a reading from The Bears of Winter or other Bear Bones Books titles, and it’s a bit of a hike to get there. We made it, and myself, Jeffrey Ricker, Jerry L. Wheeler (that man can perform!), Ron Suresha, Jeff Mann, and Lewis DeSimone (who, by the way, does a wicked Hepburn) got up on a totally unsafe “stage” and read our hearts out as the puppy play leather boys arrived for their contest. The bestiality donkey-sex stories Ron read between each performer really added to the general ambiance of the night.

No, really.

Actually, it was pretty awesome, except for the smoke (which I’m not used to) and once the reading was done, we grabbed a small group and headed out for late night beignets and hot chocolate with Stephen King (no, still not that one) and Ken O’Neill (seriously, his comic timing is sheer perfection) and the Ricker-Wallersteins. By the time bedtime rolled around, I pretty much keeled over.

Sunday, I paid for my mistakes. I had a decent breakfast from the Clover Grill with my fella, because I’d woken up with that hollow feeling I get when my blood sugar is way off. Here he is: isn’t he adorable?

New Orleans Hijinks

I made it to the 10:00am The New, New Publishing: Navigating the Industry Right Now, where I got to hear David Johnson moderate a panel with Bill Lavender, Benjamin Morris, Michael Allen Zell and Radclyffe that touched on the world of publishing, marketing, and how things are not cataclysmic. It was refreshing, and honest, and while it didn’t pull punches, it was certainly not depressing. Also, I got to see Sandy Lowe again, which was nice. Apparently, she has finally bumped into someone who said their first impression of her was more “off” than mine (I may have intimated that I was surprised she wasn’t an Angry Librarian the first time we met), in that William Holden said he thought she’d be a weathered older woman, worn down and broken by life. I felt bad for her, but then she told me I write really slowly, so I got over it. (Sandy, I’m kidding. You’re awesome.)

At 11:30a, I dashed over to the Love and Murder: Writing Romantic Suspence panel with Rob Byrnes, Rebecca Chance, David Holly, and Radclyffe, once again moderated by the wonderful Ruth Sternglantz, and proceeded to laugh so much I’m fairly certain I snorted a few times. Also, I may have brayed like a donkey. Radclyffle still somehow managed to find a way to dish out phenomenal advice on pacing and structure in between entertaining the audience alongside the never-stop-joking Byrnes and Chance (who need to be an act you can see off Broadway). By the end of that session, I added another few ideas to my list of stuff I could work on if I wasn’t a writer who wrote so slow (thanks, Sandy!)

And then I crashed.

To be fair, I knew it was coming, and the whole beignets for dinner after a day of just-a-sandwich-and-banana was setting myself up for failure, but my hands were shaking, my vision was going sideways, and it was time to admit I wasn’t going to be able to keep going. So I didn’t get to hear Rebecca Chance, Greg Herren, Jerry L. Wheeler, Jeff Mann, or Carol Rosenfeld read, because I had to go stuff my face at the Gumbo Shop alongside my husband, Jeffrey Ricker, Ken O’Neill, and Stephen King (no, still not that one). By the time I’d had rice, my hands weren’t shaking, and I could see properly again. Bless Candice for telling us of a nearby place where we wouldn’t have to wait too long.

Speaking of Candice, at 4:00pm, I gathered a small group to take a road-trip (or, actually, a Streetcar-trip) to go see her bookstore. But that’s a post for another day, as this one is already a bajillion words longer than anyone would bother to read and I want to make sure everyone sees how awesome her shop is.

And after that? Well, after that we had to head back to the hotel for our ungodly early flight the next morning. We had to say goodbye to the wonderful New Orleans.

Until next year.

New Orleans Hijinks