Looking for somewhere to go for a weekend with the family or with your best friend? The mid October Great Mississippi River Balloon Race is a great place to go. The area has much to offer besides the balloon races - carriage rides, tour of homes, entertainment, fine food, great fishing and hunting, a quaint mini-New Orleans style downtown, rich in history, even casinos.
Balloons from the Louisiana side, near the ampitheatre.
The images below taken by the Natchez Democrat go here to see the entire gallery for the weekend.
Lots of fun at the balloon festival this weekend. Still going on today in case you're close. Yesterday morning balloons were landing everywhere in Natchez - behind the Subway, by the highway, at the Mall, across the river in Louisiana. Perfect weather for the first time in four years brought crowds, bands, MANY MANY balloons, entertainment, a fair and a flea market to the Vidalia riverfront.
This is a great three day weekend for family or time without the kids.
On Saturday Sam Edwards of Lakeway, Texas won the barge drop which doesn't always take place every year because of weather, but is a crowd favorite. Only two balloons tried ti this year and only Sam was able to toss his beanbag onto the barge to win the event. The other balloon piloted by Tom Oberheide of Cary, Illinois came within three feet of landing on the barge then rose up and flew over the bridge before the wind just stopped. They had to tie a rope to a boat and slowly tow him to shore.
“(He) got hung out over the middle of the river and had to have a boat throw him a line and take him to land,” the public relations person said.
Safety is always first with traffic on the river temporarily shut down and coast guard rescue boats on guard. I noticed a helicopter flying around most of the day as well and wondered if it was part of a location operation since the balloons flew way across the river into Louisiana. I saw one parked in several freshly cut cotton fields.
My new website was in some way inspired by the event happening this weekend in our area - The Great Mississippi Balloon Race. Though mine is in a fantasy universe, you can see the influence it had in my choosing it.
The weather couldn't be more lovely, 78-83 degrees, sunny, hopefully light winds. People will be everywhere. This year I hope to catch the Moonglow an afterdark event where the balloonists fire up their balloons and the glow can be seen from across Mississippi on the riverfront.
There will be sidewalk sales, street dancing, live music, booths, much fun. Casinos will probably fill up early. If you ever have a chance to visit Natchez during October you can catch the festival and the October Pilgrimage of homes.
This is me headed out to enjoy the weekend. Hope yours is great, too.
Though the draw to the GRW Atlanta conference was Allison Brennan and Michael Hauge, it was great meeting more members of this great RWA chapter. I joined GRW back in 2008 but living so far away wasn't able to go to meetings. Rejoining this year and making it to the M&M conference was a goal for 2010.
Here are some of the fabulous people who participated and volunteered to make this truly wonderful experience. (Please be patient while they load. I got some good ones and I'd appreciate it if you'd point me to some I've missed).
Jana Oliver offered her time in the pitch practice sessions. She has a new Demon Trappers series coming out soon.
Bestselling author Kate Brady and I shared an outlet! in the Michael Hauge workshop. Lovely lady. Her sequel to One Scream Away comes out soon.
I recognized Leslie Tentler from her website. She also helped with pitch practice.
Nina Bruhns who has a new series with Nocturne started out writing some of my favorites Silhouette Intimate Suspense. She was most gracious in offering her expertise.
THe lady in pink, Sally Kilpatrick was the chairman of the conference and did a fabulous job. She teaches teenagers so often we found ourselves sitting up straighter and listening for instructions, lol. Thanks for everything, Sally.
Serissia Green has an urban fantasy series and generously offered advice on my current project. What a great picture of Serissia.
Tamara McLean has a sexy book coming out with a clever cover.
At registration we got some critical advice from Anna Steffl about our pitches and went straight to our room to work on them. Thanks Anna and Marilyn. You're the bomb!
These lovely ladies, Ava Malone and Madeleine
Suzanna Ives whose book Rakes and Radishes just came out with Carina Press, and Cadence Denton.
Elise Lee, whose book High Stakes, is published by Sourcebooks
Me and the token Scot, Mr. Kerr.
Me and GIAMer friend Walt Mussell. Yes, Walt writes romance AND nonfiction AND does parenting articles. The only one I could talk football with. Go Auburn (and Maryland)!!
Anna Steffl's sister. Don't they look alike? Cute dress!
Cadence, Brenda Davis (a very cool lady) and me.
Karen Hall (who I was really beginning to think was German she affected the accent so well) and Cadence.
And my favorite author pose of Cadence's. Now all she needs is the contract! You go, girl
What a perfect name for a brilliant event put on my the most gracious writers and volunteers I've ever met. We drove in Sunday night at 10:30 on the last of the gas, adrenaline, and euphoria. I haven't had time to get anything done, not even unpacking, except to gather a few pictures I thought you might enjoy.
Tomorrow, I'll post the majority of the pictures and links including many of our gracious GRW members. Meantime, check out the forum at the GRW site for links to other M&M blogs.
My lovely critique partner, Cadence Denton, on the first morning of our pitch appointments
and in the background on her right, Leslie Tentler, who was
one of the authors lending her advice in the pitch workshop.
In the Michael Hauge workshop with fellow writers and Blame It On the Muse bloggers, Robin Kaye, on the left and Grace Burroughs, right.
Me, and Michael Hauge at his book signing. He had to be tired but he suffered his adoring fans taking pictures with him graciously. (Lois L is in the background awaiting her turn.)
The most generous with her time toward other writers, Allison Brennan, presented her No Plotters Allowed workshop and delivered a wonderful keynote speech at the Maggies Dinner.
Cadence, a real sweetheart, Brenda Davis, and me at cocktail hour before the Maggies
Our fearless GiAM leader, Amy Atwell, who is always doing something on our behalf.
It was wonderful to finally meet her.
Oops, you caught me and Thomas. We had to have a mini break on the way to dinner Friday.