FIBE2018: The Aftermath


Craig and I pining for Erik Therme at FIBE


So I’m writing this the day after, the day after, the Sioux Falls Fall Into Books event… Am I recovered from so much awesomeness? Not really, but I had to jot a few highlights for you, before they become foggy and I question if ‘that’ really happened.

The Breadwinner and I drove up the night before, so I could spend a little quality time with my writer and reader buddies. I haven’t seen them in like forever—as in since NIBB, in Clear Lake, Iowa—but my tribe always picks up as if it were yesterday. What a great bunch of people.

We had dinner with Aaron Bunce, Terry Maggert—we have more in common than classic Mustangs, Duran Duran for the win!—and Dennis Green. Pizza, pasta, and locally brewed beer, yum. The conversation was light, fun, and didn’t revolve around writing. Yep, you know you’re ‘friends’ when you can talk about things other than putting words on paper.

I spent time with Micki Fredricks and Lori Ratty, two of the three BF BookiesRachel Smith was arriving later—behind the North Iowa Book Bash, a.k.a. NIBB. Can’t tell you how much I love and admire these girls. Pam Godwin tried—and failed—to convince me of her age. Either she has some fantastic skincare, or she’s really the fey creature she resembles. Rock ’n Roll Barbie, Jennifer Ann, blew me away, as usual. Anny—the lady behind this whole shindig—was a bubbly, ball of energy. Probably riding the high of organizing FIBE, and what a job she did!

The venue was beautiful. Lots of room for readers and writers to navigate, and excellent lighting from the windows and skylights. Which Mr. Bunce can confirm, as if the kid didn’t already stand out in the crowd, he’d ordered a personal sun induced spotlight. I think it was so he could wear his sunglasses and add to his mystic.

I got to catch up with the lovely, E.J. Whitmer. I haven’t seen her in almost a year, even though we live in the same area. Yeah, I know, my bad. Angela Schmeling is an absolute doll, so darn sweet it makes your teeth hurt. It was a treat meeting Jenny Bullington, who hails from the Siouxland area. Did I mention her books are based on Siouxland history? My regret is not meeting Heidi Hutchinson, another Siouxlander. I was kinda excited to meet the ladies living in my old stomping grounds.

I’ve really got to give it up for Craig—Patterson has nothing on him—Hart. What a great table mate. He put up with my diarrhea of the mouth—we all know how I babble uncontrollably in tense situations—and somehow knew not to take anything I said seriously. I think Aaron, Dennis, and the missing, Erik Therme—next year, dude, next year—gave him a heads up.

Craig quickly pointed out that I was surrounded by guys. He and I sharing, Terry next to me, Dennis and Aaron across, and a new to me author, K. Hanson. Either Dennis or Aaron said it was to keep me in line and Terry said it had something to do with the restraining orders… Whatever the reason, I have no problem being surrounded by handsome men. Kinda like Keely. But as Dennis and I discussed the night before, I don’t write harem books. At least I don’t think I do. Right, Dennis?

All in all, it was a fantastic day, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank the readers. You guys rock! There were few I really appreciate spending so much time at my table, when they could have been perusing the other authors. Steven, loved chatting writing and Diana Pharaoh Francis—I’m a huge fan, like she’s on my shelves and my kindle—with you. Melissa, thanks for taking a chance on a new to you author, hope you enjoy. Lindsay, I’m so excited you snagged a copy of Disenchanted, you’re a sweetheart. Carmie, what can I say? Thanks for spending time with me, you’re an absolute delight, hope you enjoy the book. I know there are more of you, but I can’t always remember the names to go with the faces. Drop a comment below and remind me.

On to the reason you really stopped by, why my house smells like peppers…

Sunday we had freezing temps, with sleet, turning to snow by the afternoon. So what did the Breadwinner and I do? Rushed to save his pepper crop. Why do I say crop? Because we had a ridiculous amount this year. We spent the day preserving them for a later date. Roasting, skinning, and freezing Anaheims. Dicing and drying—which took a good 24 hours—jalapeños, Anaheims, and serranos, then turning them to dust for hot pepper seasoning. Always remember to wear gloves and do not touch your face. Oh, and don’t breath when you open the food processor after dusting. Up next, turning the last of the jalapeños into poppers…