May 2014 provided ample opportunities to stretch beyond my comfort zone and put my introvert-in-an-extroverted-world coping strategies to the test, as I attended the Romantic Times Booklover’s Convention in New Orleans AND Book Expo America in New York.
Yesterday, I shared my Lessons Learned at RT, and today give you my Introvert’s Guide to BEA.
Tip #1: Bring your “security blanket” with you.
You know how Linus (Charlie Brown’s best friend) is always carrying that crazy, blue blankie around with him? He takes a lot of teasing about it, but that thing gives him a shot of strength and courage when he needs it most. Find something (or someone) that gives you a similar shot of confidence and don’t be afraid to bring it with you.
|Knitting with Plarn (plastic yarn) is my go-to stress reliever in social situations. I always have my knitting with me.|
Tip #2: Bring a friend.
|Hanging out with super-agent, Jessica Sinsheimer|
Tip #3: Plan ahead.
|with Kelsey Macke, author of DAMSEL DISTRESSED|
|with Jason F. Wright, author of THE CHRISTMAS JARS|
|at Chelsea Market, with awesome CP, Ashley|
|The introvert & the extrovert: Me & Connor|
|Jessica and Kristin|
|Joanne & Karen|
|Rachel, Summer, Jessica, Me & Dee|
|Summer & Rachel|
Tip #4: Don’t try to do it all at once.
|I even got my picture taken with Ernest Hemingway!!|
|The autographing area at BEA can be overwhelming, but it's very organized, and not as intimidating as it appears.|
Or discover a new favorite!
Tip #5: Plan to arrive early.
|YA Buzz Panel - We got a seat right next to the table with the ARCs - Score!|
Tip #6: You don’t have to do it all.
Once you have a plan (see Tip #3), give yourself permission to walk away from the craziness whenever there’s a break in your schedule. Leave the convention center entirely and take in some of the sights. Sample some of the amazing food New York City has to offer.
|Amazing vegan cuisine at Gobo - it really is "food for the five senses!"|
|With food this delicious, it's a good idea to bring a friend with similar tastes. You can share!|
|Gourmet mac-n-cheese - Yum!|
Go see a Broadway show.
|Jessica is the best agent ever! She surprised me with tickets to see MATILDA, my new favorite musical!|
Tip #7: Just say no.
If the thought of BookCon (the one day truly open to the general public – a day when even arriving first thing in the morning won’t guarantee small crowds) makes you cringe, you don’t have to go. If all of your friends are going out on the town after a very full day, but you just want to curl up in your fuzzy pajamas and read that ARC you’ve been dying to get your hands on, you can stay in. If you have plans to stand in line to meet your favorite author in the whole wide world, but by the time her signing rolls around, you’re totally exhausted, it’s okay to sit that one out. Really. You’ll survive. And you’ll probably be happier if you don’t try to do it all. Or if you take some time to do what you want.
|Best day ever! Candy frogs from Dylan's Candy Bar, MATILDA, and then Macarons with Jessica & Kelsey!|
|It's probably a good thing I didn't have extra room in my suitcase. I could have spent way too much money at Mood Fabrics!|
|Giant button and needle - only in New York City!|
|Even the staircase at Dylan's Candy Bar is sweet!|
|Had to visit the Julliard store, for my daughter who plans to go there someday.|
|A trip to New York isn't complete without visiting Lady Liberty|
|Best part about BEA? Spending so much time with my fabulous agent, Jessica, and still not being ready to say goodbye when it was time to go home!|