Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Lori Foster/Dianne Castell Reader/Author Get Together '07

My photos are completely out of order and I'm not smart enough to change them, so bear with me, please - I'll get to them all, promise. This past weekend was the third annual Lori Foster/Dianne Castell Reader/Author Get Together; I think we have more fun each and every year. I seriously don't ever see myself going to any of the RT or RWA conventions, mainly because of the expense. It's hard for me to think of spending that much money on myself when I still have children who are still (mostly) in my care. Although I do have to admit to giving a visit to Pittsburgh in '08 a thought or two, just because it's close enough for me to drive. We'll see. I have two daughters graduating next summer too, one from high school and one from college, so it's a very big "we'll see."
This get together in Cincinnati is only two hours away for me, it's inexpensive, very casual, and always a great time. Friday night involved reacquainting yourself with everyone while final touches are put on setting things up. There was a pizza party, fun games with prizes, and a question/answer session with those authors from the Scamps & Vamps loop who were in attendance. Lots of laughs all around! Saturday morning we came down to breakfast and more casual time to talk and catch up, raffle drawings for 70 baskets, lunch with the 50+ authors in attendance revolving amongst the tables so readers could ask questions and authors could pass out their advertising goodies, and then a booksigning. Saturday night there were several forms of entertainment to choose from - movies, in-room board game parties, and a bunch of us went to Rodeo, a local country bar, for line dancing lessons which means there were even more laughs and fun. Some of us chose to sit on the sidelines and drink beer while we watched everyone else dance. Sunday morning brought different groups together for breakfast with favorite authors before everyone headed for the airports or the highway for home.
The event serves as a fundraiser, if you will, to benefit the YWCA Battered Women's Shelter and the AAF, which is a homeless animal shelter, as well as our ongoing troop project. I brought home a trunk full of boxes and bags of donations for the troops and will put up pics of the boxes of them once they are ready to be shipped. I haven't heard final numbers, but believe the shelter donation this year will be over $3,300, the animal shelter netted a few hundred dollars, I don't recall the exact amount, and I collected $225. for shopping and shipping for the troops!
The camera flashes were popping everywhere all weekend as people posed all over the place for pictures with friends, favorite authors and online reader and review groups.
I can't wait for next year! The women shown in the above pics are dear to me, each and every one. I only see most of them once a year, some less than that, some more, but they are all so very special.
This weekend meant another celebration for me - Tim and I celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary. Yes, I was in Cincinnati with friends, but he understood how much this trip means to me and we agreed to go to dinner together, alone, sometime soon. This picture of us was taken last month - please, I beg you, do not look at the picture any larger as it is not a good picture of Tim. He seriously looks like he's been out on a bender. He's (I think) a great-looking guy and this pic doesn't do him justice!
Thanks for stopping by! Anyone who has thought about coming to the get together next June, I beg you to do so - it's an excellent time!


Stacy~ said...

Great re-cap Laurie, and hey, isn't that the "NO!" picture? Just askin' LOL

Hey I think the pic of you and Tim is great - what a striking couple, and neither of you look old enough to have been married 28 years! You were a coupla young'uns.

Thanx for the memories....

Lisa F. said...

Hi Laurie!

NO! ha ha

Happy Anniversary to you and Tim. He does not look like he's been "on a bender"! As a matter of fact, I love the mustache. I think every woman ought to experience the sensation of a mustache or beard sliding over their abdomen or other areas!

Judy F said...

Great pictures. I had a wonderful time as usual.

Happy Anniversay you two hotties..

Barb V. said...

Thanks for acting as a "roving reporter" for those of us who couldn't attend the Get Together. It sounds like a wonderful time, and I'm so glad that folks who went are willing to share their photos and accounts of the various events.

Congrats to you and Tim on 28 years. You're a great looking couple. Enjoy that upcoming dinner.

Laurie D. said...

Thanks so much, all of you, for stopping by! Yeah, I'm pretty sure the pic on the right is the "no" pic! Still pretty incredible, huh?

Barb, you simply *have* to come to Ohio sometime - we would all love to meet you!! How are the broken wrists mending?

Stacy, we were babies when we got married - 19 and 20 - I'd brain my girls if they wanted to get married so young.

Lisa, the only time Tim has been moustache-free was once a couple of years ago when he had the wrong attachment on the trimmer and accidentally shaved half of it off - obviously the other half had to come off too! It was like kissing a little boy after all of those years! And yes, it does tickle! lol

Judy, thanks for the kind words - I had a great time too and am already looking forward to next year.

cas2ajs said...

I've always wanted to go but after reading your post, I really, really want to go. :-) I'm in the wrong end of the state, though. I think it's about 4 hours from me and I'm not real good at driving more than a couple of hours at a time. I'll have to see what kind of plan I can come up with next year.


Jodi said...

Thanks for the report Laurie! Although, it makes me more green with envy! LOL Why can't I still live in Columbus? (Becuase I hate the cold weather!)

Happy Anniversary!

Anonymous said...

I know I am late, but I had such a great time!!! You are a sweetie and I think our "Cool" table was the best one there.

Your husband is a cutie, thank him (in a creative and inspired way) for letting you spend your anniversary with us.

hugs, Chris (who may or may not be able to get this to work)

Laurie D. said...

Cheryl, you definitely should try to make it next year - I'll bet you can even find someone close by to share a ride with; there are lots of people from Ohio who attend!

Jodi, I'm still waiting for you to make it back to Ohio! I certainly wish you were still in Columbus because you would just be minutes away from me!

Chris, thanks for stopping!! We sure had a great time, didn't we? Don't forget my motto, ok? I find myself repeating it frequently! Maybe I'll see you in February at RAD? Hope so.