Shadow Lane 2011, Part 1
Another Shadow Lane weekend is a memory. As usual, I’m struggling a bit to gather my thoughts and put them in order, but I know I want to get it all down before I forget details. As it is, I’ll probably forget some anyway; so much happens in so little time.
Remember when I wrote on Friday morning that I thought being Chrossed was a good omen? I do believe I was right. John and I normally hit the road for Vegas around 10; for whatever reason, this year we decided to leave a little earlier, so we were on our way by 9:15. The ride was smooth and clear, and even with a stop at Enterprise to add John’s name to the rental car agreement and one bathroom/snack stop in Baker, we made it to the Suncoast by 2:00. After we arrived, we found out we’d dodged a major bullet. Around 12:30, a fire had erupted on the I-15 and shut down the freeway, snarling traffic for hours and burning over 1,000 acres. The specific area on the highway was the Cajon Pass… which we’d driven past it about an hour before the fire started. If we hadn’t left earlier than usual, we may very well have been stuck in the thick of it. And I would have had the meltdown to end all meltdowns.
We got checked in and unpacked and tried to nap, but I was too wound up to sleep. I’d brought my carton of 15 books, plus the 4 that had the cover imperfection (I was selling those for $7 instead of $10). We changed clothes and headed down to the ballroom for the vendor fair; once there, it was the usual whirlwind of hugs and greetings. I found Kitty’s table and set up my books in stacks on the area of the table she’d cleared for me. I really didn’t know what to expect. At first things were a little slow, but then Bob the DJ, Kitty’s hubby, announced the book over the loudspeaker and directed people to our table.
People came over in droves, and the books sold out. Even the “defective cover” ones. And nearly everyone asked me to autograph their copy. I was over the moon. 🙂
I was then able to get up and mingle, go to all the other vendor tables, get tons of hugs. I love that part of SL, the greetings! Seeing friends I haven’t seen in a year, or at least a good long while. I went to Sarah Gregory’s table; she was dressed up like a cheerleader and when she saw me, she shrieked. We jumped up and down like little kids and hugged each other so hard, we nearly fell over. Kyle Johnson took a cute picture of Sarah, me and Clare Fonda; she put it up on her FetLife page.
So many names, so many dear faces. I was happy to hug adorable Sophie to pieces, and to see Djinn from Vancouver again. Our SLBFF Mir was there — it wouldn’t be a party without her! — and we got to meet her squeeze S. Got to see Craig, always wonderful, and I finally got to meet Beth, his Lair play partner. What a cutie! There were a lot of new faces and I met several of them. And of course, many friends who couldn’t make it were missed. (sigh) But it was to be expected, given the economy.
Soon, it was room party time. Here is where I’m going to give huge kudos to a gentleman who goes by the name of Dr. Lectr on Fet — he had booked a suite, and he decided to open his room to all of us for suite parties. Which nights? ALL of them… he had a party Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, each one a different theme. He had music, decorations, tons of food and drink, and he was such a gracious host. I told him he really made this party for many of us this time, and I meant it. He was rooming with Ten Amorette — gawd, that girl is too cute! On Friday night, the theme was Hawaiian, and they had piles of leis on the table. Ten was greeting everyone who came in, wearing her hula skirt and a big flower in her hair, and asking us all if we wanted to “get lei’d.”
And as always, party veteran Tom opened his suite to us as well. So both 1031 and 960 were hopping. And I was itching to play. Who would be my first scene of the weekend?
Backtrack a bit — three years ago, I had a missed connection with a man named Jeff from FL; he’d come to his very first party and he had a suite, which he opened up to us. I really wanted to play with him and although we’d chatted a bit, we hadn’t quite connected enough to get to the “Wanna play?” stage. So late on Saturday night, I screwed up all my courage and flat-out told him I’d love to play with him the next day, if he was going to be around. He said yes, and he’d love to. But… as often happens at SL, we missed each other. Sundays tend to be very unstructured and it’s easy to lose track of people. I was bummed, but oh well.
Aaaand… there he was, at this party. 🙂 OK, Erica. Make it happen, dammit.
In DL’s room, I noticed a container of spanko fortune cookies, the same ones the Spanking Court folks sell. Selecting one, I opened it and read my fortune: “75, Bottom’s Choice.” That meant implement, of course, but I decided to use it for something else. Seeing Jeff across the room (and standing by himself!), I walked right up to him, held up the slip of paper and said, “I just got this fortune that says I have ‘bottom’s choice.’ Can I choose you?”
He grinned and said yes, thank goodness. (damn… being the asker sucks. It’s nerve-wracking. How do guys do it all the time??)
So we went to his room and had a fun little scene with his hand, a paddle and his belt. Nice way to break in the weekend!
Back in DL’s suite, I was chatting with a man named Michael, who was just “coming out” in the scene and this was his first party. He and I had had some correspondence via email (he referred to me as his mentor), but this was the first time we were meeting in person. He was having a blast so far, meeting lots of people, and it was fun to see his excitement. I think he gave me way too much credit, saying how much I’d helped him, but it was nice to hear. As we talked, Craig came over and said hello, and I introduced him to Michael. “I’m sorry, I don’t mean to interrupt,” Craig said. Michael assured him no, not a problem, no interruption. “Well, in that case, would you mind if I take her away and spank her?” “Not at all, have fun!” Ah, I love spanking parties.
So Craig and I had a great OTK scene in one of the suite’s bedrooms, with lots of people watching and much enthusiasm around us. I couldn’t stop giggling… it was fun to be playing with him again. I’d forgotten how powerful his hand is! He was so sweet earlier at the vendor table, telling me twice how proud he was of me about the book. Always nice to hear those words.
The rest of the evening is a blur of talking and laughing — I didn’t have any more scenes on Friday night. Overall, this was a relatively low-key weekend for me, play-wise. Some parties are like that. Still, I ended the evening by losing my voice — always a sign of a good first night!
Part 2 to come tomorrow (and pictures too). In the meantime, before I forget — thank you thank you THANK YOU to both Bonnie and Dana Kane, who each wrote wonderful reviews of my book on their respective blogs over the weekend. I really do have some amazing friends. 🙂