Yo. I'm posting my week in review on a Wednesday this week cuz it's my party, I'll blog if I want to. Also, as of tomorrow morning I'll be trapped for the rest of my life without internet in the belly of the Javits Center aka New York City's premier convention center aka the seventh circle of hell.
Yes! It's the most wonderful time of the year. For the remainder of the week, I'll be yukking it up at Book Expo America, a deeee-lightful event I've complained about eighty hundred times before and will continue to complain about until I die / leave publishing, whichever comes first. As of today I'm purty sure they'll be linked, cause of death: General Withering Away Due to Lack of Sunlight and Non Hot-Dog or Soft Pretzel Related Nutritional Consumption.
Bye, guys, it's been real!
Ohhh-kay I'm just being melodramatic but y'all know how I roll. I like my drama as melo as can be. This convention is not actually as bad as I'm making it out to be, it is a pretty fun way to get to meet professional colleagues who I might only know via email and to learn about big books coming out later this year and books are cool and I'm lucky to get a chance to be in the mix of something I so truly love aaaannnnndddd every year the American Doll Company has a big booth which helps me keep up to date on all the latest and greatest in that world (though, don't even get me started on the phasing out of classic historical dolls like Samantha and Felicity in favor of "Dolls of Today," I have MANY thoughts, y'all. Many.) so life could always be worse!
That said, I have a bad feeling about this year's expo, I have not exactly started off on the best foot.
My first official BEA event this year was a breakfast meeting yesterday morning for book publicists and media members to mix and mingle before the madness of the convention really began in earnest. The event was yesterday morning at 8:30 AM at another publisher's office in midtown Manhattan. I arrived early, at 8:15 and killed the time browsing in the Gap next door.
So far, so good.
I rolled into the festivities around 8:33 and employed my number one networking technique which is to make a beeline for the food and then talk exclusively only to people you already know.
It's a foolproof method!
I grabbed a bagel, liberally lathered each side with cream cheese - veggie on one side, scallion on the other, dis party was fancy y'all - and waved hello to a girl I know, the vigorous motion of my enthusiastic hello causing one half of my bagel (the scallion half!!) to fall to the carpet, cc side down.
Did anyone notice? Obv. Numerous people gathered round helping me to clean up my mess, assuring me it was OK, generally drawing more attention to the situation as I got increasingly flustered, trying to casually eat my remaining bagel half with one hand while holding a wad of dirty napkins and my coffee with the other and somehow convince these people I know how to be in public.
I'm not sure anyone bought it. The pal I waved to kept politely asking me if she could hold my coffee while I ate which I'm prettty sure is code for "get your shit together, woman."
THEN! Halfway through noshing on my remaining bagel half, or, having consumed a quarter of my bagel if you're into mathematics, another colleague came up behind me, put her hand on my shoulder and kindly whispered "your zipper!" before zipping up the back of my dress which I had apparently left hanging halfway open upon leaving the house.
Get. Your. Shit. Together. Woman!
I distinctly remembered putting on my dress, zipping it as far as I could and leaving the rest until Brian got out of the shower, upon which time I meant to ask him to finish it but apparently I forgot. What the heck, Liz?! 80% of the reason to even bother getting married is so you have a man around the house to zip you in and out of your clothes. FACT.
(The other 20% is for tax purposes, by which I mean get your spouse to do your taxes for you while you go to Trader Joe's.)
The pain did not end there. I halfheartedly attempted to salvage the morning, blandly wandering about, trying to muster up the energy/confidence to strike up a conversation with a stranger. THIS just ended with me like, weirdly lingering around a group of women I know from my office before awkwardly inserting myself into their conversation...and getting called on being kind of weird.
"Why were you just hovering around?!" one asked me in a manner that may have been laughing with me but also, possibly AT me. At this point my ego was as fragile as the shell of a freshly laid organic farm egg so I really couldn't quite tell.
I chatted with them for about four more minutes before tucking my tail between my legs and heading back downtown, where at the very least I could drop food on the floor in the privacy of my own office.
So so far this BEA I have made ZERO new professional connections, spilled a meal on the ground, flashed my sensible nude bra to a room full of strangers AND been called out on acting like a weirdo.
I am genuinely frightened for what the next two days might have in store. Wish me luck, babes. I think I need it.
xoxo Liz Ho