The title is pretty post-tastic, isn't it? Alrighty, I have my photos now, my stories are all lined up and a hefty amount of redacting has been done to protect the guilty. :-) BEA last week was an absolute blast. Long, exhausting, foot achingly amazing!
I arrived on Monday afternoon and was lucky enough to have dinner with Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit, Anna of Diary of an Eccentric and her daughter, known on her blog as 'The Girl', but whom I now refer to as 'T.G.' It was so much fun and I can't thank them enough for meeting up with me. It's a long train ride from Queens and I know they were hungry!
On Tuesday, I attended several of the seminars at Javits. In the past, I never attended on this day, instead saving my energy for the three days of the on the floor madness of BEA. But since BEA was only two days this year, I decided to try it out. I'm so happy I did!
The Building Online Reader Communities with an Eye on ROI (return on investment) was pretty awesome. From the picture, you can see moderator Charlotte Abbott (far left), a publishing journalist and digital content strategist, Kelly Leonard to her right, who works in online marketing for Hachette, Neil Strandberg, manager of operations at Tattered Cover (@tatteredcover), and author Richelle Mead (@richellemead). They chatted Facebook, Twitter, building an online presence for authors, and connecting with the book loving audience. You know how much I love that! Attendees were invited to tweet #readcom during the event, and a large screen offered us a live feed of what folks were tweeting. I wasn't able to connect to the internet in the cavern this panel was held in, but it was super helpful to see who was in the room by their tweets. Q&As held via tweet? How sweet it is...
But my absolute favorite panel of the day was titled: 7x20x21. I remember people talking about how much they liked this one last year and was pretty excited to make it this time around. (Thanks again to Ami Greko @ami_with_an_i and Ryan Chapman @chapmanchapman for hosting!)
Each presenter was given 7 minutes to speak. They were allowed 20 powerpoint slides, with the slides changing every 21 seconds. There is a story behind how the style of this presentation came about, but aside from recalling that it was Asian in influence, I'm sorry to say that I don't remember it. :-/
Jennifer Egan kicked it off by relaying a chapter of her upcoming book using images created in powerpoint. She shared the she had never used powerpoint before and was curious how it could project her story. It was pretty incredible to see how she illustrated emotion with empty spaces or large blocks of color and conversations with boxes and arrows that conveyed the flow and tone of the speakers. I'm still in awe with how wonderfully she did with this.
Ed Nawotka (@pubperspectives) gave my other favorite presentation. He's challenging us to 'teach literature backwards'. Instead of starting with the classics, begin teaching children about literature through contemporary works so you 'can help the living make a living'. It was hysterical and there was a lot of head bobbing going on as folks agreed with him.
After all that, it was BEA hustle and flow. I was thrilled to finally meet CaribousMom, which was such a treat since her and I have been online friends for several years now! (I stole this image from her post, which the pic is linked to)
I snagged a signed copy of The Passage ARC from Justin Cronin. Many of you already know the panic attacks I get from a chunkster even being in my house. I think I have the attention span of a goldfish, but from what everyone has told me, this one might be worth sticking it out for!
This is Artist Arthur at her Manifest signing on Wednesday. Thank you so much to the bloggers who were able to stop by and sought me out. It was an absolute madhouse in the Harlequin booth and I really appreciate those who took the time. I probably looked like a frightened rabbit trying to stay visible and out of everyone's way at the same time. Did I mention I get a teensy bit claustrophobic?
It was great to speak with her and talk about all the fun Manifest things we have coming up. And her husband was super nice, too.
I also met Adele Griffin (l.) and Lisa Brown (r.) in the Sourcebooks booth. They signed a copy of their book Picture the Dead for me and were such a delight to speak with. Who doesn't love people who wear period costumes for the promotion of their book? As a former theater major, I was in costume heaven! And the book is absolutely gorgeous, with the interior designed to look like a nineteenth-century scrapbook. Can't wait to read it!
BBC on Friday was such an amazing time. I can't thank everyone who pulled it together enough. It was vibrant and chatty, informative and light. I can see that this will soon be a BEA staple event.
In fact, BBC was so great, I stuck around too long chatting. Shocking. I think most folks who met me will agree that I'm not short on conversation! So while Natalie of In Spring It Is the Dawn, accompanied me (thanks for being my partner in the crosstown shuffle!), I made a mad dash to the subway, got to my friend's apartment, stuffed my newly acquired treasures into my suitcase (thanks BBC!) and took a (way too expensive) car service to the airport so I wouldn't miss my flight, only to find it....delayed. Awesome. So I stood around, jittery and sore of foot, looking a little like a lunatic (not enough to pose a threat to anyone, just enough so that people proabably felt sorry for and wanted to medicate me), until the plane finally showed up and ferried me back to Milwaukee. *happy sigh*
I was excited to get back, not just because I missed my boyfriend and my friends, feared my cat would forget me, knew I had a ton of work to catch up on, but mostly because of this:
The view from the cabin my friends and I rented for Memorial Day weekend. It was the most perfect weather we have ever had for that weekend. Warm; not too warm, breezy; not too breezy. It was stunningly gorgeous for Wisconsin in late May. I stood in the water at the end of that pier with a gluten free beer in my hand, dug my toes in the sand, and forced my feet to forget they ached. In the hammock up on the patio, I napped in between chapters of Tinker and ate grilled meat until I hurt. It. was. beautiful.
I hope your week and weekend were just as lovely. A huge thanks to all of the bloggers I reconnected with as well as those I met for the first time. It was an incredible week and I'm almost ready to start planning the next one! Almost.