Heading back to BEA (albeit quite weary after 14+ hours of bookish conversation and a late, late night talking about dark, dark secrets) today after what I hope is a not-so-painful dentist appointment. There are some great literature in translation panels that I'd love to catch and there are many folks in town only for the day so as much as I'd love to blog in bed all day, it feels wrong to be only a few blocks from BEA and not drag my slack body on over there.
A few impressions from yesterday's festivities:
- I need to write. More. Now.
- It was excellent to meet Scott Esposito finally. Delightful, actually.
- It is odd to avoid writers whom you've said bad things about - and inevitably they are the ones that keep popping up, around every bend, around every curve of the massive convention floor and it begins to feel as if they are making a point of it...but of course, that's all my head, right?
- The question that is most equivalent to asking about the weather or the Lakers when there is a lull in conversation (and it inevitably comes, no matter who you are or who you're talking to) is "So doesn't it seem that there are less people here this year? It seems less crowded to me." You would be amazed at the depth and breadth of nothingness that can be spun out of this meme. I believe I've now spoken about this topic for a full 1.75 hours over the course of the first day.
- I'm sure this is news only to me but: The Paris Review Interviews III is coming out in November. Part Three! And...wait for it...there will also be a fourth book in the future. Yum.
- I hate when people indiscriminately take galleys and books that they clearly have no intention of reading - especially from small presses. It pisses me off and I hate that those books could be going to someone else that would discover a great new writer. These indiscriminate book-takers are kind of ballsy in their efforts - asking for two and three copies of the same book for friends and then not even waiting for answers but just swiping several books and spinning on their heels to hit up another booth. Disgusting.
- I am very much looking forward to Roberto Bolaño's 2666, translated by the excellent Natasha Wimmer, and I feel like a lucky, lucky girl for scoring an ARC. It was my "get" of the day.
- I tried very hard to say "send it" instead of taking books on the spot - but sometimes you gotta just accept what is being given out. Plus, isn't it somehow more eco-friendly to take them in person so they don't have to ship them all back to NY and then turn around and mail them out to me a few weeks later? Yes, this is my flimsy justification for the five books I brought home yesterday.
- Free drinks in booths are good. Not eating all day and then drinking in booths=less good.
- I finally got up the nerve to chat with Steve Erickson at the Black Clock Party and I'm glad I did. On the way out of the party I had a great chat with someone about live music and the punk scene in LA and as I walked away after that interesting conversation about who saw whom play when and where, I was told that I'd just been chatting with Janet Fitch for the past half hour. Crazy, right?
- It is strange when you like an author's agent better the author. Unexpected.
- Exciting/scary turn of events: so many new people started following me on Twitter yesterday that I wondered aloud (to myself, I believe) if there is a Twitterati. Does this exist? Can we create it? Am I nutso after one full day of BEA? You decide.
- But the real, real question...the question on everyone's mind at the parties last night: who went to the Prince party and what was it like?
Off to the dentist, then off to another day of BEA where I'm quite sure I'll be less polished then yesterday, more bleary-eyed and cranky. But this is me before coffee, so who knows what I'll be like post-dentist, post-caffeine.
Stay tuned to the Twitter at right, as that's the best bet for more coverage throughout the day.