I’m a little overwhelmed at the thought of talking about BEA. To give you an idea why, let me show you the exhibit hall map. Each of those little squares is a publisher’s booth, each filled with multiple employees of the publishers, with boxes and boxes of books:
So yes, the whole thing is kind of insane. And I’m guessing you’re still coming out of the Memorial Day haze, so I won’t bog you down with a trazillion details.
Instead, a few highlights:
- Staying with Erica and Spencer. It’s a littler nerve-wracking to stay with someone you don’t know. Especially when you aren’t even actual blog friends (Kayla is a blog friend of Erica’s and arranged for me to stay with them). Especially when you are staying with them for four days. In a studio apartment. Happily, they were the most lovely hosts you could imagine. Erica walked me all around New York and stayed up late to talk to me nearly every night, and they both introduced me to perhaps the best pizza I have ever eaten. And invited me along to a birthday party on Friday night. Also, there were cherry-dipped cones. Truly, staying with them was the very best part of the trip. I thanked them by folding up the blankets I slept with each night – I am likely the best houseguest there ever was.
- Spending time with Kelly and Kimberly, two friends from grad school. It was so nice to have people to stand in line, discuss books, and joke around with. Kimberly’s boyfriend Matthew was there too, and he was delightful.
- Meeting a number of very nice authors.
- And, of course, picking up a lot of great books, which I’ll share when my box arrives, hopefully later this week.
- Also, did I mention the pizza?
A few downsides:
- Up until last Monday, Kayla was planning on coming along. And then her baby was kind of sick. And then her baby had pneumonia. So, she didn’t come. I desperately wish she could have come – we would have had a blast.
- That Bart didn’t get to meet Erica and Spencer. Because he would have loved them.
- Mailing my books back (I planned to bring them back on Southwest with my two free bags, but . . . I couldn’t quite figure out a way to haul 44 lbs of books around the city on foot). Paying the $72 of shipping nearly made me ill, but my back will be thanking me for years to come.
- Missing Doughnut Plant again, this time because I was just toooooo full from the many treats over the course of four days. Tragic.
Anyway, it was a lovely trip. Many thanks to Lenore for the funding, Erica and Spencer for their couch, Ralphie for watching my baby, and my parents for the plane ticket. And Bart for being so insistent that we could make my going work.
And Ella for remembering me when I got back (the bag of raisins I fed her may have had something to do with the angelic smiles I got all the way home from the airport).