Monday, July 30, 2012

Marriott #Mancandy Pics from #RWA12

RWA Conference. My very first. Much like other virgin experiences, fun, exciting, and often overwhelming.

Something that helped me keep my mental balance among the 2,000+ women writers and industry professionals, was the tasty serving of mancandy everywhere I went.

Got baggage?

Guys like these stood by in the lobby, ready to assist a bewildered traveler.
Bellhops, check-in peeps, concierges - everybody (male and female alike) was so helpful, and very attractive, but mostly moving so fast it was hard to capture 'em.

Got thirst?

Then there were the men there to get us drunk help us to relax and learn about the romance of the cocktail.  From Van Gogh Vodka's Setting the Scene with Cocktails:
Fine spirits and wines can add sophistication, passion, humor and richness to a novel. Female characters often bond during a ladies' night out, and a romantic evening on the town wouldn't be complete without the cocktails.

Teaching us was The Cocktail Guru, Jonathan Pogash.

Jonathan Pogash, The Cocktail Guru, served us up custom drinks:
Honey Pom Pom, Dutch Chocolate Desire, and Van Gogh Vodka's
tasty and smooth new Cool Peach Vodka over ice.
We were all much impressed by Jonathan's smooth, mellifluous voice
and his whole-body vodka shaking technique.

Vodka not your thing? I sampled several interesting drinks I'd never even heard of before. On my first night, I ordered something called 68 Degrees (which seemed to be the warmest temperature in all the conference rooms, my only complaint). This drink was a pale purple and included elderberry liqueur, with a mystery dark fruit on the skewer that I found out later was a dried black cherry, rehydrated in maraschino liqueur.

Mmmmm, sweet and chewy.

Marriott bar manager Joshua Miller (or Leo di Caprio, as his bartender teased him).
He created the "Nightingale" just for RWA using Creme de Violet.
In keeping with the Hollywood theme, I thought bartender Mike Russell, Jr.,
totally looked like a young Joseph Fiennes (if not from this angle).

Got badge?

Then there were the men in uniform from Breakwater Security, fueling my fantasies keeping us safe.

Flavio Fernandez, I'm sorry. You did have your (very fine) eyes closed. I should've taken another shot.
(With the camera, not with the Van Gogh Vodka, which immediately preceded my effort here.)
Mike Rojas, you've got a sexy look going with or without the glasses.

Got kink?

I did not see a single woman get up from the discreetly draped massage tables or chairs of De'Leon's Heavenly Hands without a smile on her face.  In fact, just walking past the set-up in the hallway outside the ballrooms put a smile on my face.

Mr Heavenly Hands, De'Leon himself.

Masseur Luke Strode

Got kilt?

There were any number of handsome husbands and SigMaleOthers present throughout the event, some looking elegant and classic in suits and tuxes, and several in formal kilts down to their socks and shoes. I did not check under any kilts to see if they were wearing traditional Scottish undergarments (that is, commando-style), but I couldn't help wondering about it...

Our very own LARA member and romance writer Rick Ochocki rockin' a kilt at the Awards Ceremony.
I will be posting later about many of the other interesting and inspirational events from conference, especially the incredible generosity and kindness of so many other writers.  About the dumb things I did or forgot, like packing my glasses (which led directly to The Unfortunate Incident of the Toilet Seat in the Night-Time).

I am still somewhat disorganized in my thoughts, plucking random ones out of the air. Like noticing that the hotel room had electrical outlets everywhere, even on the base of the bedside lamp, which would be especially convenient for plugging in a vibrator a charger for your smartphone.

I did remember to pack that, at least. (My phone charger, what were you thinking?!)

*No males were harmed in the writing and photography of this post.

Did you notice the tasty mancandy all around us?
Or did you bring your own hero to the party?
Your preliminary RWA conference thoughts?