Romantic Times went very well in many ways this year. I got filmed for a documentary that was interested in me as a male writer in a female-dominated field, I was interviewed and quoted by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and my buttons were a hit. Alessia and I had a book given away in the freebie room and were pleased when all 100 copies got scarfed up and some people even sought us out to sign them.
I met several people I'd been looking forward to meeting, such as Barry Eisler and Elaine from Coffee Time Romance and The Dark Castle Lords. I got to know some people better that I only briefly met last year, like Samantha Kane. I got to meet great new people like Larry from Torquere and Erika. I got brief introductions to people I hope to get to know better, like Caprice Crane and Alexandra Sokoloff. And of course I partied and enjoyed the time with Lillian Feisty, Eden Bradley, Christina Cross, Tawny Taylor and my dear partner Alessia Brio.
The only thing bad about it was the return. Not just leaving my friends, but troubles and inconsistency with the airlines. First, the airline website said my flight was delayed. This created anxiety about making my connection in Minneapolis. Then, we took off on time with the original schedule and even made up time in the air, arriving early. Obviously, that isn't a bad thing. I don't mind having an hour and a half to make my connection instead of 45 minutes. But it does add to the inconsistency portion.
That time ended up being a positive, since the tram was broken down in Minneapolis. But I made it to my connection in plenty of time. I called my mom and told her we were on schedule, or just behind it, and it looked like we would arrive in San Diego just after 11 p.m. as planned, then got on board. And sat while a thunderstorm passed. We backed away from the gate late. We taxied and sat on the tarmac. Eventually we made it into the air.
And I arrived in San Diego safe and sound, if a bit late. My mom had to wait a while, but she was understanding, despite the witching hour being upon us. I told her by phone I would be out as soon as I got my bags. It took a long time for the baggage carousal to start, perhaps due to the lateness of our arrival. I suspect we were the last flight of the evening and that they had a skeleton crew. I got my garment bag right away, one of the first bags off the belt.
And waited for a second case that never came. One that they still can't locate. They know it left Pittsburgh and that is all. This is not good. All of my jeans. About $400 worth of boots and shoes. Lots of brand new promo gear, some autographed books, things I had purchased for the costumes, autographed books, gifts for my kids.
Sure, the airline website says they cover losses up to $3000.00. But it takes a minimum of thirty days. Yeah, I'll have to buy a new electric shaver and pants before then, gang. Plus, if I know the way insurance works, you'll want receipts for things I never expected to need receipts for.
The thing that bugs me the worst is that they had an extra 45 minutes to do it in and they still screwed it up.
But I'm not using the name of the airline deliberately, because I'm hoping they will still get the bag to me, and soon. If they have lost it completely? Then I'll drag their name into the mud.
But other than that one issue (which I really didn't think was gonna be such a long rant) the trip was great.