However I remain really inspired by RT. I'm going to kick off with an easy and fun one: all about the swag. Now, swag is not why we go to cons. It's a fun side benefit, though. Since I was attending long-distance, I shipped home a good sized box full of books. Being cheap, I shipped them book rate, so they didn't arrive until I was in Sydney, so it just drew out the whole gratification thing for weeks.
Mmm. It's a big one. Size matters, in this case, don't you think?
First and foremost, of course, are the books. These are all signed by the author:
Somewhat frustrating thing about the JR Ward books -- her line was moving VERY VERY fast. Lover Awakened was supposed to be signed for a friend with just a signature, but I was angling to try to get a photo taken and she signed it before I could say anything. Plus she signed them both "To Nicole" which isn't actually my name. Are there any "Nicoles" out there who would like this book? (I bought a new copy for the original intended recipient.) I was hoping to pick up a hardback of Dark Lover but she didn't bring those. Oh well, live and learn. I didn't take any of my own books to be signed, out of sheer laziness. I did not want to haul them on the plane.
These books are not signed, but are nevertheless awesome:
There are a couple in there that I could have had signed, if I had had sufficient organization/togetherness. I ran into Sarah MacLean and Sabrina Jeffries several times, for example.
Bookmarks, cards, and cover flats are the most common souvenirs. I got lots:
I had a fun time yesterday adding some of them into the scrapbook I brought to collect signatures, along with photos and notes.
Then there are the keyrings, pens, and other trinkety things:
Now, one should not assume by this pile that this was all that was available, Most of these came with the bags, as I was a little hesitant to pick up a lot of little things that I don't truly have a use for.
Speaking of bags, like any good conference, thanks to Sylvia Day and Shayla Black, RT gave away some well-designed and highly useful tote bags. Funny story -- I was chatting away with Jackie and Casey from Literary Escapism, and a couple of other attendees on the second day of the con, and they were telling me about some of the previous night's late-in-the-bar antics (which I missed, because I stayed off-site). Apparently some of the businessmen in the lounge were a bit more, um, adventurous than usual in their... interactions... with the RT attendees, even more so than you might expect from the stereotypical drunk business guy in a hotel bar. And someone said, "yeah, but did you SEE what is printed on those bags?" Hmmm, yeah, I can see how that might influence a guy in a bar:
Hee. Anyway, the bags were very useful. I don't think I'll be taking mine to work though.
My dad's an artist, and quite fond of nudes. He always had a couple of pin-up calendars over his workbench in the basement. So I feel I will just be following a family tradition by putting this awesome calendar up in my office:
So amidst much competition, I'm going to give this calendar
Alpha Heroes Award for Best Eye-Candy Swag:
Hot Damn Designs Calendar
One of the evening parties gave away these adorable charms, attached to a bookmark:
I ended up with two. Now, I have two daughters, so you'd think that would be simple. (I also considered earrings for moi.) But the older daughter is into a few of the YA authors who were in attendance, so she received some bookish swag, plus a bag with some of her favorite anime characters on it. The younger one was pretty much out in the cold on that end. So one of these charms went to a fairy-obsessed niece, and the other is on a pretty silver necklace around Daughter The Younger's neck. Very successful. Thus:
Alpha Heroes Award for Prettiest Swag:
The Magical Highland Fling Silver Charm
Now, as it happened, after the con, I took my rental car and drove downstate about 3 hours to visit my mom & dad. But I forgot my sunglasses! (This happens a lot to people from Seattle.) But never fear, I had these:
I believe there is some sort of story behind these, but I'm in the dark (ouch, sorry) about it. Perhaps we'll be lucky and Ms. Aguirre can fill us in? Now it must be said, these are novelty items and not the most comfortable for hours of wear. But still -- free, and right there when I needed them, and UV protected (don't wear sunglasses that aren't, very bad for your eyes, no matter how novelty-cool). Thus:
Alpha Heroes Award for Most Useful Swag:
Ann Aguirre's Too Cool For School Sunglasses
Now, finally, there was one bit of swag that absolutely cracked me up, and put the author's name and work in front of me in a really memorable way. Since I also did quite a bit of flying in April, I found the gum quite useful. I'll be checking out this author just because of how clever this was:
Alpha Heroes Award for All-Around Cleverest Swag:
Coreene Callahan's Anti-Dragon-Breath Minty-Fresh Gum
And that's my list! Award winners receive only bragging rights and my sincerest best wishes. Void where prohibited, restrictions may apply in California and Maryland. Hope you enjoyed this run-down!