Sunday, May 9, 2010

RT Thursday-Friday


So, I missed the Mystery Chix and Private Dix party on Thursday morning. It wasn't even that I got up late, I was just messing around (damn you, internet!) I made it to the first Bookseller/Librarian workshop of the day about displays. I was supposed to be on the "panel" for that, but we ran out of time. And, most of the things I was going to say, Kate ended up saying during the course of the hour. Great minds think alike, huh?

From there, I skipped down to the Librarian session on e-readers in libraries. That kind of morphed into a session about how some library staff refuse to learn about new tech and how some teachers/parents don't think that audio or electronic reading is *REAL* reading. Much commiseration followed, and then the hour was over. It was great listening to how other people are dealing with new collection of materials. Our experimentation with them has been mostly blind, and mostly trial and error. We'll be something, if it goes out we'll get more. If it doesn't, then we don't. Easy Peasy, right? We could be a little more organized about it, but I digress.... (mostly because it's my fault.) :-)

An Ice Cream "social" which consisted of me standing in a line for a tiny cup (which was more than I needed) of cotton candy ice cream. Worth standing in line? No. Did I do it anyway? Yes. 'Nuff Said.

More standing....this time in the fangirl line for J.R. Ward and Jessica Andersen. It was a fun hour (the author chat, not the standing in line!) I don't know what else to say about it other than that. There were lots of questions and answers about the series, writing the series, the process of writing in general. There was much cursing (my favorite part!) and lots of laughs. I was probably the only person in that room who hadn't already picked up a copy of Lover Mine. LOL. Slacker.

Afternoon Delight party where there was cake! But, you know what? I had to leave BEFORE cake because I was starving. The one thing about #twitloss is that a girl gets accustomed to eating on the regular, ya know? Skipping breakfast AND lunch seems to be a no go anymore. Sometimes, I long for the good old days! Yeah....that's a lie. I don't really. So, I hightailed it over to Subway for a late lunch because the Faery Ball (and dinner) didn't start until 8:30!

RT Bookreviews Awards
I'd skipped this the last time I was at RT, so I thought I should go. I was glad I did. I got to put a lot of faces to names, from books AND from twitter. Oh yeah, there was also a huge bag of books and, afterwards, champagne at the launch of the new RT website. And.....Barbara Taylor Bradford!!!! I'm not sure WHY I had such a reaction to her, I've never even read any of her books. But, it was just nice to see a legend, ya know? Longevity deserves some squee, does it not? The website launch afterwards could be summed up like this: too many people in too small a space. The best thing was the champagne. After my glass, I was heading for the nearest exit.

Not so Sweet 16 party
Great party, great bag of books (where I picked the ARC of 13 to Life by Shannon Delany)and I got a book signed by Kelley Armstrong, one of my favorites. I talked with some of the authors, but I have to admit that YA lit is not one of my strengths. There are so many things out there that I want to read, something has to fall by the wayside, right? For me, it is YA.

Faery Ball
The most imaginative costume night of the entire conference. I am always amazed at how elaborate the costumes get. Great to look at if you're a people watcher like I am. Dinner was good (or I was starving) even though there were people at my table who complained about it. The people at my table complained about a lot of things, actually. Somehow, that didn't stop me from eating it all. (#twitloss? what's that?) Best part of the faery ball was that I got to meet the great @KeriStevens in person. We'd been cell phone/twitter tagging it the entire day. The rest of it was a wash and I left when the dancing started. I *WAS* determined to make it to the Kensington morning party on Friday!

Made it to the mixer! Saw my first @VictoriaDahl sighting. I'm sure she thought I was more than a liiiiiitle bit crazy when I came up to her. Heh. I have no idea why I come off as crazy. I'm not, am I? AM I?! Anyway, the mixer had mimosas (yes!) and muffins, literally, as big as the plate the rested on. I think I tweeted one, no? It was fun, and I was glad I got up in time to get there.

Headed off to a Double shot of "Bookseller Resources" which was awesome. My second favorite piece of swag came from there. This painting, made out of dark chocolate, in a frame which I assume is re-usable after you scarf the good stuff. Everything Art has many different chocolate portraits and they look amazing. Can't tell you how it tasted, but I assume it was as good as it looked! The Bookseller Resources first hour were about all the add ons that booksellers can sell in their stores. Fascinating, really, and incredibly fun for someone who loves catalogs and quirky things. The naked wrapping paper was my favorite. If I had my cheat sheet here at work with me, I'd remember the vendor and link to it. Looked like ordinary wrapping paper on the front. But on the your favorite variety, male or female. Lots of other good stuff, and everything was raffled off at the end. I had my eye on artistic chocolate so was glad when my number was called! The second hour was interesting discussion about all the sources we use to find out about books. The handout was 8+ pages full of lots of good things, even though some things were still left off!

The Devilish Delights party had more fun, more food, and I got MaryJanice Davidson to sign a tote bag that went to a lucky MJD fan at my library. She was very excited, and that's what it's all about, right?

The e-book, indie pub, graphic novel book fair was next. I spent more money than I intended to, but got one Kelley Armstrong and two Jim Butcher graphic novels. Spent a little bit of time talking with the EC people, who seemed surprised that we carried their books in the library. The line was crushing, though, and the room was not set up for a bunch of people going every which way. I fled to get ready for the vampire ball.

All I'll say about the vampire ball is this: the costumes were good, but not as good as the faery ball. The entertainment had its moments, but not very many of them. The bar was calling, and I answered.

The bookseller's packing party was great fun, though. It was fun to watch Barry Eisler make lots of bookseller hearts go pitter pat when the cavemen/mr. romance contestants couldn't rouse more than a bored look. I was excited to see Kayla Perrin, because I hadn't seen her much at all during the rest of the conference. There were basket giveaways, book exchanges, book signings and more fun than should be had at midnight towards the end of a conference.

RT Tuesday-Wednesday

So, a recap of this year's RT.

Tuesday was a blur of getting a room, scoping the food court, meeting up with friends, testing out the bar, driving to the mall for a replacement nose ring (not for me), buzzing a porn shop (no one else wanted to go inside), going to a convenience store firmly rooted in the hood, and coming back to the hotel to discover we'd missed dinner and there was a 45 minute wait in the hotel dining room. Yeah. I bought a bottle of Black Cherry Cisco that is still sitting, unopened, on my dining room table. For those of you have no idea what this is (like me) it is, apparently, MD 20/20's crackhead uncle. (I have to say that may be my new favorite website, though! Ahhhh, the sweet smell of knowledge!

The ONLY day I adhered to the tenets of #twitloss. Wednesday, I mostly stuck to the Bookseller/Librarian panels, although I did take time out to swing by Multicultural/Interracial Panel: the Color of Love which was awesome. Kimberly Kaye Terry, Ann Aguirre, Kate Douglas Keisha Mennefee and Vivi Anna talking about their world building, how they include a variety of cultures into said worlds, the stereotype pitfalls they've seen in other people's books, and how they avoid that in their own books, and the great shelving dilemma. It was a fascinating hour, and if I wasn't so lazy, I'd go into great detail about the conversation. But, I am.

More bookseller workshops. Of them all, the only one I wish I'd skipped was the Social Media Twitter/Facebook workshop. Honestly, it felt like the group was split between those who already know and love Twitter and FB, and those who could care less. This workshop didn't help either one of us, in other words. I probably would have liked the Reader party: "It's fun to be bad" or the Romantic Suspense workshop "Bond, James Bond" much better. But, you know, that's just the nature of these conferences. You pick what you think you'll like and if you win more often than not, great. This was really the only *miss* of the conference, so that is a good percentage!

The author chat with Jim Butcher, Charlaine Harris and MaryJanice Davidson was missing a Y chromosome thanks to flight delays. As I am a total and complete Butcher fangirl, this was sadness for me. BUT, if you've ever seen Charlaine Harris and/or MaryJanice Davidson, you know they tend to be hilarious by themselves. The two of them together were, indeed, crazy train in the best kind of way. I don't watch True Blood so I must admit that even though I listened to the details, none of them stuck with me. (Sorry, true blood peeps!) Harris had nothing but complimentary things to say about the show, though. Yes, it is different than the books, but that's okay. You can enjoy the show, or the books, or all of the above. MaryJanice talked a little bit about how Disney keeps buying the rights to the Fred (mermaid) books and then renews when it runs out. The theory is that they don't want any mermaid competition in the world. But, as long as someone keeps PAYING for the right to keep it out of the media market, that is just fine with her. (Can't say as I blame her there!) And, apparently, there is going to be a Betsy.....something. Show? Movie? Germany. Sorry, Davidson fanfolk, not here in the States.

Afterwards, there was a Samhain party that delivered one of my favorite pieces of swag from the entire conference: the Samhain canvas bag. It was heavy, it was pretty, it was the perfect size for carrying books. I got lots of canvas bags at RT, but this one was my absolute favorite. It KILLED me to give it away, but it went to a good home. A Samhain aficionado I work with was thrilled to get it.
(by the way, I gave away nearly everything I got (for free) at RT. Shoot me your email addy if you want to see what I got and offered up to staff.)
The rest of the night was the Ellora's Cave party.....which I missed. I was just too tired to get gussied up in red for the evening. From what I hear, I didn't miss much. I spent a little bit of time down in the bar Monday night, but the rest of it up in my room reading and watching tv.