Last Notes from BEA

I suspect people who weren't there find hearing about BookExpo America to be the blogging equivalent of looking through somebody's thousand vacation snapshots, or listening to someone relate how exciting some cocktail party somewhere was, so I'll let this be the final notes from BEA. I didn't meet any big celebrities, didn't go to many panels, didn't take notes about anything other than that it would be fun to get a bunch of people to write stories beginning with the word "renowned" (a la, I'm told, The DaVinci Code). But, for those of you inexplicably addicted to BEA posts, here are some, as we say, thangs:
  • Thursday I got to hang out with my best friend from NYU years, whom I hadn't seen since her wedding back in November. We went to see Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill at Arena Stage and got to sit in the cabaret seats right in front of the stage, which was fun. Some lovely singing of songs I love, though the acting seemed stiff. Lynn Sterling, who played Billie Holiday, is a marvelous singer with far more range than Holiday, and I was pleased that she didn't try to do an imitation, but instead inhabited the songs as her own.

  • The parties were often fun, but also usually frustrating because they were so loud, particularly the PGW party on Saturday night, where the techno-band played at such volume every object in the room was shaking. It's annoying when surrounded by all sorts of people you want to have conversations with to be unable to communicate even when screaming.

  • Ed Champion took great advantage of my tendency to make faces and pull poses when a camera is around. Kelly Link and I showed him just what we think of having our picture taken. Later, I failed at impersonating the young Truman Capote. Ed did capture me unawares, though, doing what I do best: standing against a wall, talking to no-one. (What I'm really scared of, though, is the podcast Ed's planning to make with the material he recorded on Sunday, when I had had barely any sleep and was functioning purely on the last vestiges of adrenaline and a bit of caffeine.)

  • Lots of other people have written more substantial and informative posts than I about BEA, including Ed (see in particular his notes on the Embracing the Short Story panel), Mark Sarvas, Lauren Cerand, Wendi Kaufman, and Gwenda Bond.

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