Top 10 Things You Can Only Do at Pulpwood Queens Girlfriends Weekend
It’s not just the great authors. It’s not just the wonderful books. It’s not just the magnificent parties. It’s the WHOLE splendid, synergistic experience at Pulpwood Queens Girlfriends Weekend (PWQ GFWE)!
There’s nowhere else I know of where—in one weekend—you can:
9) Do the Bunny-hop with an actual Bunny. (Or at least the bunny body—or the bunny head…) My BFF Jan Ward calls it “tribal dancing”. My Jenny Craig consultant calls it “great exercise”. My husband calls it “letting your hair down”. I call it “dancing like no one is watching.” The bunny costume came to the party donned by PWQ Brandi Pound, but the head portion was later seen out on the dance floor atop author Karen Harrington. However, let me assure you, NO animals were hurt in the performance of this bunny hop!
8) Be a Bond Girl (or Show girl, or Egyptian, or Holly Golightly …) You may know that I have a thing for costumes… So every year I am so excited getting ready for the theme parties at PWQ GFWE! Thursday night’s theme was “Vegas in the 50’s”, Friday night ‘s was “Elvis in the 60’s” and Saturday night was “Viva Las Vegas, Baby!” and my group’s costume was The Bond Girls from the Ian Fleming’s Vegas-set book, Diamonds are Forever . Being Bond Girls was especially nice because by designing our own costumes, we didn’t have to wear bikini’s… (as if I have since 7th grade…) But it still felt super-glamorous!
7) Win a diamond (decorating contest.) In addition to the costumes, each group decorates a table on Saturday night for the annual “Great Big Ball of Hair Ball.” (Yes, Kathy Murphy, the PWQ founder lives a double-life as a hair stylist…) And this year, The Bond Girls won with our Diamonds are Forever table! Not only did the table (and adjacent fireplace) drip with diamonds, jewels, and lights, but we also had our own life-sized 007 standee which afforded a popular posing prop!
6) Watch a woman get arrest on “Viva Las Vegas, Baby” night. After all, it wouldn’t really be Vegas, if no one got arrested, right? (And Kathy Murphy is a real stickler for authenticity…) So, although the poor little silver-haired woman was handcuffed very early in the evening, I later got a picture of these two Vegas ‘tourists’ who seem to have come straight from the slammer!
5) Be served dinner by world-class authors. Not only do you have the likes of Melanie Benjamin, Cassandra King and Katherine Pancol handing you your dinner plate and fetching your sweet tea, but Gloria Loring (daytime soap queen, Top 40’s singing artist, and lately famous for being the mother of Robin Thicke) jumped behind the counter when the line stalled, rolled up her designer-dress sleeves, and helped the caterers load BBQ onto the plates. Now, that’s what I call service!
4) Stay at the best B&B in the US. (I say this only because I’ve never stayed at a B&B outside the US, so I really couldn’t compare beyond our national borders…) Innkeepers Tammy and David Doriot of the White Oak Manor B&B spoiled me from the moment I walked in the door. No, I take that back—it started way before when they allowed me to store some items at their home weeks ahead of time, and then emailed me the day of my arrival to inquire whether I preferred red or white wine. (BTW, it’s always Chardonnay…) The beautiful rooms were appointed with every single amenity a traveler could want—from the lush spa robes to the quite convenient fridge full of sodas—and the pièce de résistance—a plate of homemade chocolate cookies. I did have to share the latter with some of the Bond Girls, but what are friends for… Oh, and I probably gained 10 pounds in 3 days just eating David’s scrumptious (but gigantor) gourmet breakfasts! Thanks so much, Tammy and Dave!
3) Be treated like royalty in Jefferson, Texas. “Are y’all with Kathy’s group?” the salesperson asked. After hearing an affirmative response, she continued, “Great, Honey. Then you get a 20% discount. Oh, and hep yourself to a little ol’ Victorian calendar over yonder, while you’re browsin’.” And in another local establishment, “Did y’all get a free taste of our pecan pralines?” (I’ve never been known to pass up a taste of any dessert that began with the word, “pecan”, free or not…)
But, then, I started thinking, “Well, I guess I AM royalty, after all, I’m a Pulpwood Queen!”
2) Party with some of the nicest readers in the world. I guess when you meet people who love to read (and party) like you do, you’re bound to make some great friends. So here’s where I’d like to give a shout out to some of the kindest, book-lovingest, party-hearty gals I know—and whom I look forward to seeing every year: First there’s my Vanden High School BFF Jan Ward who’s my Chardonnay-drinking, chocolate cookie-eating roomie and late night story-teller; Kay Huck, Head Queen of the PWQ of Southwest Louisiana, a great blogger and a wonderful Texas Two Step teacher; Lisa Hodgson, Head Queen of the PWQ of Bristol, Virginia, who sported an elephant head a few years ago as grand as Brandi’s bunny one, and she makes a wonderful Vegas ‘tourist’, as well; and Brandi Pound and Rhonda Cates who devise some of the most creative costumes ever—and are awesome dancers! (But, I still really missed Christi Borden and the gals from Katy, TX this year—hope y’all are back next year…)
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a huge Thank You to Kathy Murphy who started this little clam bake 14 years ago, and no matter how dramatic (or traumatic) the life curves that get thrown her way become, she always reinvents herself and keeps pushing ahead. You know all those characters we admire in books— who overcome adversity and just keep moving forward? Kat is like their poster child—just with really great hair…
1) Be just so blessed. Now, I’m always saying I live a blessed, charmed life—I’m (relatively) healthy, I get to read a lot of great books, and coach some fabulous book clubs. I travel to cool places (like Jefferson, Texas) and I’m married to the best guy in the world. But at PWQ GFWE, dozens of people kept telling me over and over again, “Bless Your Heart!” The first time I recall getting this response, was after telling folks why BFF Jan and I had to go to urgent care on Day 1, missing Keynote speaker, Jamie Ford. Then there was the shock of seeing how ghastly my olive complexion looked next to my bright red/orange Ann-Margret wig… And I think the last time might’ve been when—after some rather erratic aerobic activity on the dance floor (think ‘Elaine dancing on Seinfeld’)—my teased and bubbled hairdo ballooned out of control, taking on an alien life of its own….
But, how much more blessed can one person be than fellowshipping in a room full of hundreds of books, authors, and readers? I mean, really?…
Just needed to rave and share…So, bless all of y’all’s little hearts for reading!