Writing

The General Hospital Fan Club Weekend – 2014, Available now!

Another photography credit for me, another chance for the unabashed soap opera lovers among us to pick up a nifty photobook! Once again, Katrina Rasbold, my fearless leader at All My Writers for the last, oh, almost decade, has released a Yearbook of this year’s General Hospital Fan Club Weekend. She writes the reports; I take the photos.

This 180-page book is jam-packed with full-color photos of General Hospital‘s past and present-day stars from 4 days of events. There’s plenty of behind-the-scenes gossip to boot. What’ll you learn about in the Yearbook? As Katrina writes,

New couples, new babies, famous spouses, Hollywood royalty, a bit of a smack-down from Executive Producer, Frank Valentini, a “Blast From the Past” actor with some very unconventional claims and advice to fans, two Rabbis, plenty of selfies, a double-helping of Michael Corinthos, a male heart-throb who broke all of our hearts on screen, a current GH couple who ditched us, graphic novels straight from ComiCon, impossible schedules, careers made and broken, dogs and cats living together… this year had it all! 

Our print copies of last year’s yearbook sold out as soon as the doors to the main cast event opened, so you know these are beautiful keepsakes for the GH fans among us. Both full-color and black and white paperback versions are available from Amazon.

Color:                      Black and White:
         

I couldn’t leave you without sharing my favorite photos from the event, could I? I was so delighted to see Scott Clifton at the Past Cast Event. Him and Michael Sutton appearing made my weekend.

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I hope you enjoy the 2014 Yearbook!

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WBC14: My Thoughts on the Wine Bloggers Conference

It’s been a little over a week since I returned home from the Wine Bloggers Conference in Buellton (WBC14), and I’ve had enough time to form some opinions on the experience. Overwhelmingly, those opinions are good, and they come from the perspective of a first-time attendee who didn’t entirely know what to expect from the event.

Did not expect ultrasound oxidation!

Did not expect ultrasound oxidation!

Did expect plenty of this.

Did expect plenty of this.

I wouldn’t qualify my experience as negative in any way. My thinky thoughts are more about defining what sort of wine writer I am and considering whether that fits into the WBC’s intended audience or not.

1. Value

The conference was run by Zephyr Adventures, which as their website rightfully claims, “specialize[s] in providing our travelers with big experiences from a small company at a fair price.” That company description exactly sums up my overall opinion of the conference. If nothing else, WBC14 offered two and a half days’ worth of unending wine tastings, two meals a day–

Fare at the Wine Blogger Awards dinner.

Fare at the Wine Blogger Awards dinner.

–the chance to get to know other wine writers and a bevy of industry professionals, and an afternoon spent at the Sanford Winery nestled in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA all for $100 for citizen bloggers like myself.

Next, add in the amazing value of the multiple excursions the conference put together. I attended the Bridlewood excursion for only $15, and we enjoyed a large picnic lunch at the winery’s immensely scenic grounds—

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–tastings of their wines with the meal, and a panel of local food producers that resulted in yes, more food and wine.

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My Wine Writing Philosophy

This Thursday marks the beginning of the 2014 Wine Bloggers Conference, the first professional wine writing conference I’ll have attended.

This is professional wine blogger behavior, right?

It’s located in Buellton, which cracks me up because I spent my formative years just thirty minutes away in Santa Maria and honestly had no idea it was a wine region until I moved to the East Coast after college.

Unrelated to the conference, I’ve been asked what got me started wine blogging and why I write about wine a number of times lately, so I thought, what better time to jot down a treatise on that subject than right before I devote myself to it for four days straight?

First and foremost, I am not a journalist. I am not interested in the story behind the wine, how it came to be, or why the winemakers uprooted their Silicon Valley lives to devote themselves to burying cow horns, as the case may be.

Rob talking about the various crops behind him that included blackberries and raspberries.

From my fantasy writer’s perspective, however, biodynamic farming is super intriguing. This is Rob Bowers of Whitted Bowers Farm, the only certified biodynamic one on the East Coast.

In the six years I’ve been blogging and savoring wine, I’ve learned how that background ifnormation may enhance my wine appreciation, making it more well-rounded and giving me a shared vocabulary with other wine lovers. By all means, if you enjoy writing and/or reading articles about where wine comes from and the people who make it, carry on. I’m in the minority for not being all that interested in what’s going on in the soil or at the vineyard’s family dinner table.

But my primary interest remains the same. What does this glass of fermented grapes smell like, taste like, and would I drink it again?

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