The Friday night before Horror Realm, I got insanely sick with a cold. I just can't get a cold and shake it off in a few days. I always get a lung infection and end up with asthma issues. This happened again and I was miserable. Then my husband got sick, and we both worried we would not make Horror Realm.
Lots of meds and rest later, we both felt loads better and realized it was Wednesday and we had to fly out the next day. So neither one of us slept as we prepared to leave for Pittsburgh. I was sure I would sleep on the plane and it would be fine.
I was wrong.
Turbulence and a crying baby made sure I didn't get a lick of sleep.
We arrived at the Pittsburgh airport exhausted, but excited. The amazing Dr. Pus and Travis Adkins (the author behind Twilight of the Dead) picked us up and drove us to the hotel where the event was taking place. Travis, Dan Galli (cover artist for Zombology and other LotLD Press covers), my hubby, and I headed over to the mall across from the hotel to grab something to eat at the food court. We were tired and hungry, but I could only eat about half my meal. My excitement was growing at the prospect of meeting everyone. Travis and Dan were awesome and I was thrilled to finally get a chance to talk with them. That Travis drives like a madman and his GPS talks in an Australian accent only adds to the guy's charm. He's really a very nice guy.
After we ate, my husband collapsed to take a nap, but I was too wired to sleep. I changed into my party clothes for the barbecue at the convention organizer's home scheduled for later in the evening and headed downstairs to meet up with Dr. Pus. We climbed into his car and headed into downtown Pittsburgh to pick up Kody Boye from the bus station. This was the only chance I had to see the city and next year I hope to take a few more days off before Horror Realm to see the sites. Sadly, I didn't make it to the Monroeville Mall or the cemetery this trip.
Kody Boye, only seventeen and a published author, climbed into our van along with his Mom and off we went. We had a great time driving back to the hotel. When we arrived, we found a whole crowd of "good librarians" coming out of the hotel. It was like a massive family reunion. People were hugging and kissing and there was plenty of laughter. I was thrilled to see Jacob from Permuted Press coming toward me and gave him a hug. Dr. Pus was in a great mood as everyone swarmed him.
I grabbed my husband and we hitched a ride to the party. I was living on pure adrenaline at this point. I had forgotten I hadn't slept in over 24 hours and had eaten very little. I wore my zombie high heels to the party, only to have trouble walking on the big back porch. I ignored this annoyance and dove into greeting and talking to people.
I was on drink no. 2 when the alcohol hit like a freight train. This is not always a good thing. I tend to not have filters when I drink too much. I had some great conversations and had a blast, but...ugh. I wish I had remembered my lack of sleep and food. And, of course, since I wasn't sober, I ended up busting the heel off my zombie shoes. I walked around barefoot the rest of the night.
Well, long story short...the producer who optioned As The World Dies: A Zombie Trilogy shows up, I hug him, and he knocks my third drink out of my hand. It went flying and that is how our first meeting went. LOL. Happily, he is a great guy and we had a lot of fun at the party.
At some point, I cornered poor Ken Foree and told him how much his acting in Dawn of the Dead touched me. I poured out how his portrayal drew me in emotionally and taught me that it's the characters who make a zombie story great. I rambled on...hehehe...and on. Poor guy. Then he says, "I want my friend to have a shot!" And I say, "YES!" So drink number three goes down (how can I say no to Ken Foree?) and I was a goner.
The trip back to the hotel was a blur. I somehow managed to drop a cupcake I had in my hand in the elevator. I hugged the producer goodnight and my poor husband managed to get me into bed.
I fell asleep happy, excited and very drunk.
Thus ended day one of Horror Realm.