Sunday, June 10, 2012

BEA 2012 Wrap Up + Winners

(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.

Winner: Melissa

Winner: Cheryl


  1. The pirate was definitely hysterical:) And books definitely are worth waking up at 3:30 for...maybe;p

  2. Books are definitely worth waking up at 3:30 for. Just sayin'.
    It sounds like you had SO MUCH FUN. I'm SO JEALOUS. I almost caught a train to Teen Author Carnival, but school sucks, so I couldn't make it. (Also, I had no money.) Glad you enjoyed!
    That clown sounds hysterical. =D

    ~Riv Re
    Riv Reads

  3. Love the photos! ;) It sounds like you had an awesome time and I would have loved to be there myself. And also, I remember someone making me watch Salad Fingers once but I can't for the life of me recall anything about it. I think I'll keep it that way.. ;)

  4. It looks like you had a blast! I have to say that one year I will come but more than likely you will see me at Lori Fosters next year :)

    I love the photos!

  5. Yay, so happy you had fun at BEA, Jenny! The photos were so adorable and I wish I could've been their to see your smiling face in person! :') Haha the delayed airport trip home (which was probably no fun -- but at least you had books to read, right??) and the hurting feet sound like the only cons to this awesome expo!

    ALSO: I would love to hear your British accent, Jenny! x) <3

  6. Sounds like y'all had a blast! And I love that your mom/ mother-in-law went with you!

  7. The picture of you Frenching the bottle of Penguin water totally cracks me up. Lack of sleep and run-run-running the very second your feet hit the ground will do that. BEA rocked. Thanks for all your advice--glad you had an awesome time!

  8. Wow. Wow. How fun! I can't wait to see this pirate you mentioned.

  9. I just... Salad Fingers? I saw the first episode, then tweeted the link to Kelly. o.O Thanks for that.

    Glad you had fun minus your travel issues.

  10. Melissa - He was. I was in convulsions when he started talking to us.

    Riv - I agree. I just couldn't agree until around 10am when I decided I didn't hate life:)

    Sam - Salad Fingers was the creepiest thing I've ever seen. But I got addicted and had to watch as many episodes as possible!

    Felicia - Ooooo at least I'll get to meet you at Lori Foster's event!

    Mimi - My British accent is awful. Melissa is from South Africa so she has this beautiful accent and I'm all "cheerio!" and "top of the morning to ya!" which isn't event British :)

    Avery - The Moms are wonderful, I'm so grateful to them for coming with me two years in a row:)

    Mary - Hahaha I don't know what happened there. My whole body just shut down and somehow I ended up molesting the water. O_o

    Juju - He was amazing. I'll be sure and post him:)

  11. Amanda - Hahahahaha YES!!!! Isn't it the most disturbing thing you've ever seen? Please watch the Nettles one. You'll die:)

    1. Ahhhhhhhhh! Jenny! I am HORRIFIED. *attempts to drag eyes away* *can't*

  12. Salad Fingers! Eeeeep! It's like a horrifying accident that you can't peel your eyes

    Glad you and Melissa enjoyed yourself and creeped each other out. What are friends for?

  13. I will check out Salad Fingers. I'm so glad you had a great time and sorry about any Pirates who wouldn't complement you and late flights. Hopefully, I'll be able to meet you next year.

  14. Wow! Sounds lilke a wonderful experience Jenny! I love penut butter M&Ms! I never heard of Salad Fingers, so I will check it out and see what is so interesting about the show.

  15. Sighs, I wanna go to BEA too :D

  16. have I told you lately that I love you?!

    "I want to salad finger you."

    that is all.

    epic love to you and all that jazz.

  17. Aww! Except for the travelling incidents which doesn't sound like too much fun, it sounds like you had a great time! LOL I usually have those very pretty, tired pictures when I'm somewhere like that. Not that I've ever been somewhere as cool as BEA so far. o:

    Also: that creepy cartoon? I've seen it before and I so agree with you about the creepy thing. x)

    Sounds like an awesome week. :DD

  18. So we need to work out before we go to BEA, maybe be triathletes before we go is what you're saying? And wear orthotics in our shoes? Gotcha! Maybe next year! Missed you! Looks like you had a great time! Except two hours on the plane on the runway. I'd have been climbing on the door begging to be released. They'd have carted me off in handcuffs.


  19. I love you and I miss you! That's all I'm saying ... And, that I freaking love the Penguin Picture!

  20. I am SOOOOO happy I got to meet you, even if we only got to chat for a minute. You are awesome!

  21. Aww sounds like you had a fab time Jenny despite the pirate and the achy feet! I always wanted to go to BEA! So I will just have to experience it through your posts! :)

  22. Oh what fun! Wish I could have been there, but maybe next year...if people stop having babies and getting married and interfering with my travel plans. :)

  23. Jenny! Glad you had such a great time! And congrats to the winners!

  24. JENNY! I loved meeting you! You and Melissa are the life of the party. :) We are totally meeting and hanging out again!!!!

  25. Lol, now do these delays just apply to planes or to road trips as well? And is it because you're sometimes late too?

    I've enjoyed seeing people's BEA recaps. Who knows, maybe I'll attend one day.

  26. *gasp*

    You didn't bring a camera to one of the biggest book events of the year? Bad Jenny!

    LOL! Glad you all had fun.

  27. Sounds like you had super fun! Great pictures. I hope to go next year...fingers crossed!

  28. Looks/sounds like you had fun! Except for the flying and stuff. I hats sitting in planes for hours. When we're flying everything is okay debut delays, no thanks! At least you didn't have kids. Trust me, its a nightmare with kids!
    I'll have to check out this cartoon you speak of...

  29. Oh wow. Reading that and seeing your photos has made me so envious of all the fun you and Melissa had together! No judgement on the licking the Penguin water bottle photo - I know I've been pushed to strange, unexplainable things while hungry and/or tired. That pirate sounds rude. But then again, I've never heard of a polite pirate.

  30. Awww, Jen-nay, I had a fabulous time meeting you and bumping into you at BEA. Adorable recap. But I would expect nothing less from the girl with hair the color of tree bark on a summer day (see how I upped it a bit there?). ;)