Thursday, September 8, 2016

How I Spent My Spring, the Belated Edition

Posted by: R.L. Naquin
Nope. No reason. 
It’s about that time again when authors and readers scramble to purchase tickets and secure hotel reservations for next year’s RT Booklovers convention. I won’t be going next year—honestly, I don’t think I’ve fully recovered yet from this year’s RT in Vegas. That’s my own damn fault though. I think RT is kind of an every-other-year-or-so thing for me.

Anybody with half a brain would know that a week in Vegas or an RT convention would wipe a person out. This was both. But wait, there’s more! That’s right. We went to Disneyland for a few days right afterward. And then we drove home through the desert. Slowly.

We packed so much into two weeks, it was a wonder we made it home. My husband and I are no longer in our twenties (or thirties, and barely our forties at this point) and, to be honest, we’re a couple of slugs. So, yay us for surviving this crazy trip!

That was way back in April, and we’ve had half a year come and go since then. And yet, I never shared any of it with you. I took a lot of pictures. Sometimes of weird stuff. So, since I’m still working on a deadline for a project that’s due to my editor next week, I thought I’d share a little of the weirdness.


First, let's talk a little about the hotel room. It really was lovely. Lots of open space, a window that took up the entire length of the room and looked out at the city lights.

But do you see those pictures? The one on the left is the bedroom wall. Pretty etched glass, right? Especially on the tiny window in the middle of the mirror.

The second picture is the other side of the window. It's in the bathroom in the shower wall.

Two problems with this. 1) The toilet is right next to the shower, so yeah. Wow. No. 2) This is a wheelchair accessible room and that window was way too high for my husband to be able to look through it. So...what are they saying? People in wheelchairs can't be pervs? So insulting. (I fully realize those two points are at odds with each other.)

Mostly, I stood in the shower and watched him, but I'm not sure what all the fuss was about. I can watch him watch television at home. I don't need a special window.


There was a Zoltar machine in our hotel. How cool is that? If you have no clue why this would be interesting, go now and watch the Tom Hanks movie Big.  Do it. It's wonderful.

If you totally know why a Zoltar machine is important, high five for nostalgia, my friend! You rock! (The rest of you will rock and get high fives once you've seen the movie.)

I did not, in fact, wish I was big when I stood before Zoltar. However, the wish was granted, nonetheless. Zoltar's a bit of a bastard. Yeah. That's right. I'm blaming Zoltar, not my lack of exercise. He can take it.






This is me at the big book signing event. Throughout the afternoon, my lovely Carina Press balloons floated lower and lower until they nearly touched the table. I wish I'd moved them out of this shot. It's hard to get a picture of me. I hate doing it, so once I discovered the ribbons were in the shot, it was too late. Taking another picture wasn't going to happen.

See those tiny bottles in the front? They're Transmutational Thought Transference Bubbles from the Muse department at the Mt. Olympus Employment Agency. No, really.

It only just occurred to me now that my books were in the right order from my side of the table. From the reader's side, they're backwards. Pfff. I wonder how many signings I've done that in?



The craziest part for me came toward the end of the trip when we were heading through Amarillo, Texas. In my fourth Monster Haven book, Golem in My Glovebox, Zoey and her friends follow a trail of bloody clues across the country. In Amarillo, they end up finding a body at the Cadillac Ranch, a place in the middle of nowhere with a line of old, stripped Cadillacs with their noses buried in the dirt.

While we were driving through Amarillo, I watched for the Cadillac Ranch out the window, not mentioning it to my husband why. Had I remembered, I'd have stopped looking, since it's on the west side of the city. But you know what's on the east side? The Bug Ranch, which is where the clues sent my characters next.

So, there we were, when all of a sudden, we HAD to pull over. We'd accidentally come across the Bug ranch, an homage in smaller scale to the Cadillac ranch.

I'd researched it. I'd looked at pictures. I'd
Google Street-viewed it. But I have no words to tell you how amazing it was to come across something I imagined so vividly and set my characters into. It almost felt as if I'd made up that place, and there it was in front of me. It was magic.

Sure. We took a lot of pictures at Disneyland and in Sedona. But you've seen those in some form or another. So have I. But the weird stuff (plus a rare photo of me in the wild) is the stuff worth sharing.

See you at RT in...2018?


Rachel writes stories that drop average people into magical situations filled with heart and quirky humor.

She believes in pixie dust, the power of love, good cheese, lucky socks and putting things off until the last minute. Her home is Disneyland, despite her current location in Kansas. Rachel has one husband, two grown kids and a crazy-catlady starter kit.

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