Friday, June 21, 2013

Pictures from the World Horror Convention in New Orleans

Hello. I am not as cranky as this picture suggests. Stick with me and I promise to smile.

This is my Bitchy Resting Face

A week ago I was in New Orleans for the Bram Stoker Awards Weekend incorporating World Horror Convention -- which for brevity's sake I'll refer to as WHC.

I stayed at the convention venue: the Hotel Monteleone in the French Quarter. My friend and fellow writer, Eliza Hirsch, shared a room.

I arrived Wednesday night with no trouble--unlike Eliza, whose flight was canceled, but that's her story to tell. I rode the Airport Shuttle into the French Quarter, checked in to the hotel, dropped off my stuff, and went in search of a grocery store. I was going on an all day tour the following morning and I'd been told there wouldn't be time to stop for food, so I stocked up on bread, blueberry preserves, peanut butter, and a lot of fruit. There was a minor incident when my bag fell off the counter while I was paying and the jar of preserves shattered inside the bag, but the kind staff replaced the jar and I only had to spend a little time washing blueberry paste off my bananas.

The weather was clear during my excursion, humid, and hot. I assembled my lunch for the next day, had a cocktail in the hotel bar (it spins slowly, hence the name Carousel) and went to bed.

A dim view of the Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone

A Vieux Carre at the Hotel Monteleone

Thursday morning I ate breakfast in the hotel restaurant, Criollo--a delicious egg white omelet filled with vegetables and a spicy tomato sauce, plus lots of coffee. Then I caught the tour bus and we headed out to the Laura Plantation.

Front of Laura -- a Creole Plantation, comprehensive info here

Inside of one of the Laura Plantation slave quarters where folklorists recorded the Br'er Rabbit tales

Soon enough we were on our way to the swamp. I had arranged for a six-person airboat tour of the swamp, but lucked out. Only four of us were on the boat.

Waiting for my turn on the airboat. Not pictured: slathering on sunscreen.

My view on the airboat

"Airboat Self-Portrait" is the name of my next band

Our guide feeds marshmallows to a gator

Spanish Moss is not a moss. It is related to the pineapple.

A final stop in the marsh, talking about collecting gator eggs

Overall I really enjoyed the airboat swamp tour. I compared notes with some folks who took the regular flat-bottomed boat and they interacted with more wildlife, but the ride through the swamp was exhilarating.

Time passes. I meet up with my roommate and go on a ghost tour. Buy one Hurricane, get one free...

We were in the Beast group

"Creepy Jesus Shadow"

After the tour was over, Eliza and I took a brief walk down Bourbon Street. Thankfully, no pictures exist of that excursion.

The next morning (Friday) I went to a useful workshop about marketing taught by Matt Schwartz. And then I went to panels and readings.

Lisa Morton interviews John Joseph Adams

Selling Your Short Story Panel: Simon McCaffery, Ellen Datlow, Norman Prentiss, John Joseph Adams

Caitlín R. Kiernan is interviewed by Angel Leigh McCoy

Dinner was at a Paris-style place. I enjoyed the Shrimp Creole and a Bloody Mary. Then I returned for more.

Eliza and I dressed up for the dance.

Eliza looking lovely

Me goofing around

Next day more panels and readings. And a Kaffeeklatsch with Caitlín R. Kiernan.

Robert McCammon, reading

Kaffeeklatsch: Caitlín R. Kiernan (Best two and a half hours of the con)

For lunch I joined a group at Mr. B's for seafood gumbo and a Bloody Mary.

Caitlín R. Kiernan, reading

Eliza and I took a break to go to the Voodoo Museum with a stop at the Faulkner House and another for daiquiris.

Voodoo Museum

Voodoo dolls

Offerings at the Voodoo Museum

That evening I went to the Bram Stoker Awards, but I was too busy telling jokes and stuffing my face to take crummy camera phone pics.

Eliza and I went to see fellow writer Sanford Allen play a gig with his band Hogbitch at Checkpoint Charlie's

Sunday morning arrived fast. As an aside, I ate almost every breakfast at Café Beignet. Fabulous Cajun Hashbrowns and omelets.

Advice for New Writers Panel: K. Trap Jones, Liz Gorinsky, L. L. Soares, Yvonne Navarro, Rena Mason

I also went to the dialogue panel but didn't take a photo. Too busy scribbling notes.

The Future of Writing Panel: Peter Giglio, Jason V Brock, Alexandra Sokoloff, William F. Nolan

After the closing ceremonies I joined up with some cool people, ate lunch, walked around and imbibed a lot--including a stop at Pat O'Brien's for a Hurricane. Also, absinthe.

At The Olde Absinthe House, the bartender prepares our drinks

My glass of Mata Hari absinthe. Very tasty. The anise was subtle.

Sunday night also involved a snack at Daisy Duke's and a lot of packing. Monday morning I caught a shuttle to the airport and had an uneventful trip home.

Can't wait for next year in Portland, OR!


Dawn said...

Your creepy Jesus shadow picture turned out far better than the one I took 10 years ago. Oh, man... it's been 10 years since I went to New Orleans. Now I miss it even more than your post made me miss it. :(

Folly Blaine said...

That shadow is stunning. I took a better picture a few years ago:

It's funny how easy it is to forget the soul-crushing heat and humidity after the trip is all over. Doesn't really come through in the pics. :)

Dan said...

"Creepy Jesus Shadow" is my next band name.

Folly Blaine said...

Dan: We can thumb wrestle for it.

Maya said...

They feed them marshmallows??

Folly Blaine said...

Maya: Yep. We'd see a gator and the guide would toss out a marshmallow. Sometimes the gator would swim over, eat it, and then stick around for more. The gators were surprisingly friendly -- as far as friendliness with wild creatures goes.

Amanda Capper said...

Marshmallows. Huh. I'd have thought they were more of a human right leg type of critter.

Will put this on my places to visit list. Great pics.

Folly Blaine said...

Thanks, Amanda. Our guide said he thought the gator (the one in the picture) had been fed chicken recently, because of how it responded to the water dripping from his hand. It's illegal to feed them chicken, but I guess marshmallows are okay? Once the gator understood it was supposed to eat the marshmallows it hung around for awhile interacting with us in exchange for more of them.