BEA – Day 2 – May 28, 2015
The theme of the day was, “Missed it by that much”.
On Wednesday, I stumbled upon the Ticket Booth. I have been to BEA for several years now and must confess I never knew where the ticketing booth was. I always kind of thought you needed to know someone or you had to get in at the crack of dawn to get a ticket for a signing. As I have never gotten out of bed by the time I wanted to for BEA, I have never tried for a ticket, plus the whole not knowing where the kiosk was. How many times have I walked by it and just not realized what it was? What a revelation!
Armed now with that information, I decided to get up early Thursday so I could claim my tickets. They may not be golden, but some could argue that the prize is even better than a lifetime supply of chocolate.
I was hurting. I’ll be honest. My feet were still tender and I was feeling a bit stiff. And with the weather and all the pollen, I’ve been having to take Benadryll every night to try to keep everything clear. Taking Benadryll before bed is not conducive to getting up early in the morning. I set the alarm for 6, got up around 6:20 and was out the door a half hour later. Again, I had no issues with traffic until I hit Secaucus. It’s like a vortex for all the traffic in the state. I had stopped at Dunkin Donuts before I left my town. I needed supplies. It’s not like I couldn’t find any sustenance where I was going, but rather an issue of not wanting to cut off my arm to get it. So, I stocked up on a large ice tea and a raspberry cheesecake square. If you have not tried them yet, I recommend you do. Better yet, don’t. They’re addictive. They probably add an addictive chemical that makes me crave it fortnightly. No time to eat, it’s drive time.
Other than the ridiculous amount of traffic in that vortex called Secaucus, I arrived at the ferry without further issue. Having purchased the 10 ride pass made it all the more easy as I just had to get to the dock. The clouds looked forbidding, but I rode out the waves on the bow of the ship. Arriving in NYC, I was optimistic. I should know that whenever I get my hopes up, they are about to come crashing down on my head…hard.
I stowed my suitcase and hightailed it to the ticketing booth. There was no line. I walked up to the window confidently. Well, I say window, but it’s really more like Lucy’s Psychiatrist’s booth. It’s fitting I suppose. Anyway, confident, yes. I was asked if I may be helped and I responded that I would like a ticket for Gregory Maguire. Her face gave nothing away, but I am certain she was laughing behind her smile. She sadly shook her head at me (I may be embellishing for dramatic effect) and tried to let me down easy informing me that they were all out of tickets for Gregory Maguire, Jesse Eisenberg (doesn’t he know he’s missing an I) and Brian Selznick. All others were available, so I decided to do something nice for hubby and my former boss. Neal Stephenson for hubby and Mary Higgins Clark for my old boss.
Somewhat mollified in receiving any tickets at all, I went and found a place on line to await the opening of the doors to the Inventing Room. First on my agenda was Josephine Angelini at 10 for Fire Walker. After the disappointment of The Truthwitch, I felt it only right I pick up Firewalker. I picked up some galleys first. By the way, I finally figured out after several years of attending that the door by the ticket booth is the door to enter through as Simon & Schuster, Little Brown, Macmillan and Penguin Random House are all right there. I was heading on my way to the autograph shoots, which, by the way are on the opposite end of the building this year. This is a crucial bit of information for later.
As I was passing the Disney booth, though, I saw copies of Passengers by Alexandra Bracken on the table. The PW daily had indicated the books would be available at 9:30. Thinking this was a simple galley drop, I went off in search of the end of the line, which went on and on and on and on. Just kidding. I tacked on an extra one. It seemed fairly long, but not to worry. Galley drops move pretty quickly. I waited for the almost half hour and still nothing happened. I’m not sure what clued me into the fact that this was a signing and not a galley drop, but I wanted the book, so I waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. I became very intimate with a beverage cooler as I had to stare at it forever. They finally came around with numbered post-its. Mine was 128. It got to be 10:00 and still I am staring at the cooler. To spare you the details of my count of the threads in the rug, it was almost 11:00 and I was still waiting in line. What made it even worse is that a woman a few people ahead of me comes galloping back to her friend who was waiting on line with a copy of Firewalker. She had snagged the lost copy. And there my hope died of getting my book and running for Josephine Angelini’s table.
I was feeling resentful, but it was so challenging to stay angry. I could see exactly what was happening. Alexandra Bracken is such a sweet person and cares about her fans that she was stopping to chat with each and every person, add photo ops in there and the sum was a disaster of a signing line. Now keep in mind that I was 128. That was out of 100. I was a little over half way and it took her 1 ½ hours to get to me. How long did the poor suckers behind me have to wait?
I had bypassed the Dangerous Deception signing in favor of Passengers, so all I could say is that I hope the book is worth it. That one line threw off my schedule for the rest of the day. There were galley drops I missed and signings I missed because I was on the line that never ended. So I tried to go to Macmillan for The Clasp by Sloane Crosley, but I missed that. I headed over to the autograph chutes and picked up Son of the Black Sword by Larry Correia, which was pretty fast, so I was able to jump on Rebecca Serle’s line for Truly Madly Famously.
By this time it was 11:30ish, so I figured I would try to get a spot on line for the Harlequin Teen signing. They were signing 5 books, three of which I got the day before at Blogger Con, but I wanted the Adi Alsaid book, which was on the table, but at the end I didn’t start at and with all the sharks circling I did not get a copy, which is fair as I probably did the same thing to someone else. It wasn’t horrific in front of the booth so I asked where the end of the line was. I was informed that the line continued around the side of the booth, but that the tickets had run out, but I was free to stay on line and meet the authors. I just wouldn’t get any books. Say what now? Wait on line for over 2 ½ hours to say “Hi” with nothing to show for it? What are they on?
As I found out, though, this was not the last time I would hear this same offer.
I was aggravated, but so be it. I headed to the autograph chutes again for Megan Shepherd’s The Cage, but the line was already closed. After that, I was lost. I wandered aimlessly. I was in pursuit of I know not what, but I needed to find something. I started walking by booths that were doing signings and I could only grunt and the length of the lines. My feet hurt, my back was stiff and my shoulders ached. I had made a couple of stops at my suitcase so I guess all was not lost.
I was going to go to the Soman Chainani, but found that it was only a poster, that I would end up destroying, so I walked on. He wrote the series The School of Good and Evil. I totally spaced the book I was going to get my nephew who is obsessed with all kinds of trucks, Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site. Judah Friedlander was signing at 2:30. For those of you who do not know, he is or was on a TV show called In Search of Bigfoot and I saw him at a panel at Comic Con one year. I was going to get it for hubby. And no, it is not about Bigfoot. The book that is. But I could not find his table. I looked at all the signs at the mouths of every chute and did not see his name. So I missed that one too.
As I was missing Judah Friedlander, I also missed Lev Grossman signing The Magician’s Land. But it was getting close to three anyway and 3:00 brought its own set of problems.
- I got two tickets for ticketed events that were scheduled in the same time slot. How to prioritize? Go for the shorter line and hope the longer line is shorter by the time I was done. Shorter was Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves.
- The writers of Welcome to Nightvale were signing their novel at the same exact time. Their line was apparently even more ridiculously long than either of the two ticketed events I had.
- Mary Higgins Clark writes slow as molasses. I jumped on her line after Neal Stephenson. I have to respect MHC for her age and all she has brought to the literary world, but I was in line for my former boss. HarperCollins was giving away galleys of After Alice at 4pm. The clock read 3:45. There was still the main chute and our run off chute. MHC had a hard stop at 4pm. I asked the only logical question. Can I get a copy of the book and ixnay the signing? The answer was affirmative, but I started a revolution. Soon, everyone on the run off chute was asking for just the book without her signature. I got my book and hightailed it to HarperCollins to get in yet another long line for Gregory Maguire’s ARC. Which I actually did get.
Once I got that, I made my last rounds and made ready to leave. My suitcase was pretty heavy, but most of the books I picked up were for other people. I had to wheel it back to the ferry which is always so much more difficult that walking to the Javits. I had to keep switching hands and I could only baby step. MY shoelace had actually come undone several times throughout the day and once on the way to the fairy, but my back was so stiff I could barely reach over and tie my shoes.
I made to ride the bow as I had in the morning, but the pain in my feet made it impossible and very uncomfortable, so I finally sat. It was ridiculous I couldn’t walk straight because my entire body was stiff. Then the parking ticket machine wouldn’t work right for me, but I finally got it all squared away, got to my car, stowed my stuff and started for home.
I went about 2 miles maybe when I hit traffic. And I hit traffic for about 15 – 20 miles. One thing to keep in mind is that I drive a stick. Another thing to keep in mind is that my feet were actually causing me pain and I had acquired a cramp in my left calf. Add to that the exit ramp onto Route 3 is uphill in inching traffic and I was in a sorry state. I finally came across a sign, and when I say finally, it was like 5 hours, but in reality only a few miles down the road, that advised that there was a 15 minute delay on the merge from Route 3 to 46. You have got to be kidding! I sat in this traffic that was going nowhere my entire drive home. When I finally hit 46, I finally understood the issue. They were resurfacing the road and closed off the right lane just before my exit. In fact. I couldn’t even take my exit. I had to take the next one down and turn around.
The drive took almost two hours of stop and go traffic with my aching calf and sore feet.
To top it all off, I had to, had to, had to go to the food store. My little Eggie needed supplies. As much as it pained me, I didn’t want to leave him in the lurch. Making the supreme sacrifice, I parked at the food store and proceeded to do the Tim Conway old man shuffle because that was as fast as I could move. Baby steps. Baby steps. It was painful, but worse was to come. I had to get everything, books, groceries and all, in the house. By myself. As hubby was off playing in the woods for the week doing his LARPing thing.
I thought I was gonna die. The exertion of pulling the pounds and pounds of books and then the driving in stop and go traffic was too much for me and I started a coughing fit. It lasted 2 ½ hours. I took Benadryll again when I got home and after I had some soup for dinner it pretty much put me out. SO, Terri, I have no idea what I may have texted, but I’m sorry if it made no sense.
It was a day of want to haves and could have beens, but mostly turned into a day of aggravation, frustration and regret. But there was always the next day.