NOLA and the WHC

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So a week has passed since our return from New Orleans, and I realize this post is a little late. When the muse strikes, I must abide. I’ll get to that in a bit.

When we started planning our weekend in NOLA for the World Horror Convention and Bram Stoker Awards Weekend, we didn’t know what to expect. I stayed in a great little house in Treme with Mercedes M. Yardley, Mason Bundschuh, and Bailey Hunter, and I couldn’t have asked for a better set of roommates. When we weren’t rubbing elbows at the convention, we were home writing or reading; a mid-day nap wasn’t uncommon either.

On Friday, I had a few hours to kill, so I walked to the bus stop to head back to our house. I watched the bus pull away just as I turned the corner, money in hand. There wouldn’t be another for at least thirty minutes. So, I headed back into the French Quarter by myself and wandered. It was the best decision I’d made up to that point.

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The cat at Cafe Beignet

The city has so much to offer in history and culture. I stopped and browsed some of the used book stores tucked away inside 150-year-old buildings and made my way to a tiny cafe called Cafe Beignet, where I sat with a coffee and fried deliciousness, flipped open my notebook, and wrote for an hour as a local cat weaved through my legs and some street musicians jammed their jazz across the street. I couldn’t remember the last time I tried to accomplish anything without my computer or iPad. I felt free, and in a way, connected to the city.

The convention was a blast, as well. I attended a few great panels, including the future of zombies in literature, and the rise of Young Adult horror (look for a post on this later). I also had the opportunity to meet some really cool people, including Jonathan Maberry, Mort Castle, and Glenn Chadbourne. It was great to see some of the people I had met at Killercon back in September, as well. I’m looking forward to seeing most of them this September.

The best part of the weekend, though, was spending time with my travel mates. We walked. A lot. We sat in the square and listened to great music. We ended up in a dive bar for open mic comedy/burlesque show (at least the first half was pretty good; wish I could say the same for the latter). These people are awesome. Without them, I would be staring at a blank computer screen, pulling my hair out.

When one of us needed to write, we wrote. When one of us felt stuck, the rest of us helped to inspire through brainstorming session and writing prompts.

I know I’m leaving a lot out here, but I must get back to my novel. Yup, that’s what my friends did for me. I’m back on track.

Cheers to Fears,

M. R. C.