(Before I start rambling about my BEA experience, I just want to say that I stole all the pictures in this post are from Melissa at I Swim for Oceans because I'm lame and didn't bring a camera.)
This year was my second year attending BookExpo America, and I have to say the the event just seems to keep getting better. Authors, publishers and publicists, and fellow bloggers were there in force and I had an absolute blast meeting as many people as I possibly could. Of course, because I'm me and can be more than a little challenged in large groups of people, the trip was not without its entertaining moments. Let's start from the beginning shall we?
For those of you who read my previous BEA post, you know Melissa flew to Ohio a couple days early before she, my mom, my mother-in-law (also known as the Moms) and I flew to NYC absurdly early on Monday morning. I'm not a morning person. Not even a little.
See this photo?
That's me on the right pretending to be excited by life at 5:30 in the morning at the Columbus airport. That expression fell from my face the minute after Melissa clicked the button and I returned to my sullen, half-asleep, "are books really exciting enough to wake up at 3:30am for?" state of mind.
For those of you who have never traveled with me, I have a secret for you. I'm bad news for anyone that wants to be on time. Without fail, every plane I get on is late. Or catches fire (seriously). Or has mechanical failure. Or the entire flight gets canceled. Our flight to NYC was no different, and we were of course delayed because our crew was "resting". Super. Once everyone was properly rested, we managed to get to New York late but without further incident.
Once there, the days all sort of blurred together in a whirlwind of awesomeness. There were books. There were fantastic people. And there was exhaustion. When I get exhausted, I get slaphappy, and then things like this happen:
I have no excuse for this picture. This was taken at the Teen Author Carnival event Tuesday night, and all I can say is I was tired, it was late at night, and I was hungry. If you look in the hand not holding the Penguin water bottle, you'll notice I have a vise-like grip on a yellow wrapper. That would be a bag of peanut M&Ms (win!), which, along with the water, was absolutely keeping me from certain death at that point in the evening. I hadn't eaten much that day which might explain why I'm licking the water bottle. Or not. Whichever. Melissa, of course, was kind enough to document my slow dissent into death. Bless her.
One of the primary activities at BEA is standing in lines. Lots of lines. And then more lines. This might not sound like fun, but for me it's a blast as I'm surrounded by fellow book-lovers and often stumble upon bloggers whose blogs I follow or whom I've spoken to on Twitter, and that makes it all worthwhile. While waiting in one of many lines this year I was introduced to a hilariously horrifying cartoon called Salad Fingers, and sat with Melissa watching in rapt fascination and terror as she played episode after episode on her phone. If you haven't seen this cartoon, watch it immediately. I've been scarred for life and I want everyone else to be scarred along with me ;-) Seriously, his soft, lilting voice will haunt my dreams for years to come, as will his need to caress rusty kettles. Melissa and I may or may not have adopted British accents and whispered the creepiest of his lines to one another in the middle of the night just to freak the other out. Whuh.
Also, there was a pirate at the event this year. One who refused to leave Melissa and I alone to wallow in our pain (my feet still hate me) on the floor of the Javits Center while waiting for the Moms to get their books signed. He called her Melissa of the Helmers and me Jenny of the Zemanek and asked many a passerby what brew they were drinking. He went on to tell Melissa her hair was the color of the sun. I got no such compliment. Where was my "you have hair the color of tree bark", that's what I'd like to know. Apparently the pirate was fonder of Melissa than me. *cries* We took a picture with him but it hasn't been emailed to us yet, as soon as it's in my hands I'll update this post ;-)
In all honesty though, BEA is an unforgettable experience, and one I look forward to repeating again and again despite my body's protests at the moment. To all the wonderful people I met, thank you for making BEA 2012 the best one yet!
Oh, and don't even ask about my flight home. Yes, it was delayed. And it's possible I cried like a little girl when we sat on the runway for 2 hours. Travel + Jenny = MADE OF WIN.
Top: Me, Melissa, Author Dan Cohen, and Danny from Bewitched Bookworms. Lower left: New York City from the the top of the Standard Hotel. Lower right: The Empire State Building at night from our hotel room.
Lastly, I hosted a few giveaways prior to leaving for BEA and have finally drawn winners! Thank you to everyone who entered and to Jennifer Estep and the people at Penguin for providing such generous giveaways! Winners have been emailed.
DARK FROST + KISS OF FROST
PENGUIN GOODIE BAG: