So the past six weeks has been crazy. I was in Texas with the Pulpwood Queens (the promised Shelf Awareness article is here) and then spent almost three weeks in New Orleans hanging out with my friend Joi (and writing in sweet coffeeshops decked out in Mardis Gras tinsel, and seeing amazing music in the evenings, like my new one true love the Lost Bayou Ramblers), and of course seeing a ton of parades. I left just before actual Mardis Gras day, but I went to a bunch of the parades leading up to it, including the parade of decked-out dogs called Barkus, a parade called Chewbacchus where Chewbacca himself made an appearance (along with plenty of stormtroopers and random aliens), and three back-to-back parades one Sunday afternoon deep in Cajun country, in Houma, Louisiana. I have never in my life seen so many marching bands, spangled baton girls and flag girls, and people wearing feathers. I’ve also never seen so many Elvises (or Elvii) on scooters (a staple of the Muses parade). Come to think of it, I guess there were many things I hadn’t ever seen so much of, and it was a glorious thing. Here are a few random photos, including a spontaneous light saber dance at Chewbacchus.
It was really a gorgeous time, and I loved the rhythm of getting up every day to work at a coffee shop, then showering and changing later in the day to see live music in some red-lit tin-ceilinged bar. I might go back in October for a big celebration in Houma of the Cajun werewolf, and then next year I want to see all of Mardis Gras and possibly even dress up in spangles and feathers of my own.
Then I flew back to New York, went back to Pennsylvania, and then flew off to Seattle for the launch party and events surrounding The Better Bombshell, this cool anthology I wrote a story for (and which artist Siolo Thompson painted a mermaid to go along with). There were a ton of other writers and artists there and a bunch of great events, including a reading at Elliott Bay Book Company where I read the mermaid story I wrote for the anthology (and contributors Allison Williams and Nicholas Dighiera read theirs). And then I went back to New York and then back to Pennsylvania. (I live in Pennsylvania but my boyfriend and a lot of other friends live in New York!)
Oh and in New Orleans I got to see my good friend Ronlyn Domingue, whose gorgeous second novel The Mapmaker’s War comes out next Tuesday, March 5. My friend Jeanine Cummins ALSO has a new book out that day, and it is also a gorgeous second novel (and her third book) called The Crooked Branch. You should really go buy both immediately. I’ve read them both and they’re stunning, truly. You can also win them both PLUS a galley of The Fairest of Them All (the finished book doesn’t come out until August) PLUS 13 other astonishing novels at the Ides of March Book Giveaway happening right now!
Speaking of Jeanine, this past weekend I took her five-year-old to see her first Broadway play, Annie. I leave you with this photo of us heading off into the wondrous afternoon!