Note: When speaking of people, I will link to their Twitters.
Here is my Day One recap for BEA! My first day of BEA started off a bit early. I woke up at 7 officially to shower and eat breakfast at the hostel. Amazingly enough, I fell asleep relatively early the night before. At least, way earlier than I do at home. This led to me waking up a few times between 6-7.
I had called for my cab the night before to pick me up at 8. Why so early? I heard it would be hectic. So I showered and packed my bag for the day in case I didn’t get a tote right away. In my bag was my sad little map I mentioned before.
As well as my sad little non highlighted schedules.
Then I went to find breakfast which was a bit harder than I thought it would be… Due to some misinformation, I was under the impression that it was actually in the next door restaurant called the Parthenon.
It was not.
Past Amber didn’t know this fact though.
Past Amber should have read the entire paper the receptionist gave her.
I walked outside and tried to open the door to the restaurant, it wouldn’t open…
So I walked to the building on the other side of my hostel and just looked at it for about a minute telling myself I don’t have time for this. I eventually went back inside my hostel to talk to the receptionist. Of course, then there were people waiting to check in so I didn’t have much hope in finding breakfast before leaving. I decided just to wait in line when I heard them tell the people checking in where the breakfast was. It was inside the building, but through a door (right next to where I was) and in the back.
I rushed back there as I only had about 15 minutes before my cab would show up. I had some oatmeal and about three really tiny cups of orange juice (I don’t think they were over four ounces) before leaving. I received a text saying my cab had “accepted my charge” and an ETA (Estimated Time Arrival) (I’m guessing).
I left the hostel fast and looked for my cab as I didn’t get out of there until five minutes later. I thought I missed my cab, so I called the company and the voice recording said it would be there soon. I was thinking that maybe the cab would be on the OTHER side of the street. For some reason. Maybe because there were quite a few cars on my side of the street. The crosswalk was all the way down the street, I walked down there, crossed the street, and looked around.
When I saw a cab about to go the way of the hostel, I quickly had to cross the street (which had a red light) then basically run down to meet the cab. It ended up being my cab, yay! I learned for future reference to make note of the numbers that I would get in the cab texts, as they tell you what number cab you would have.
I was a bit confused because it was a Yellow Cab and I called a different cab company. Apparently three cabs are connected though.
Much to my surprise and delight, I didn’t end up having to spend more than 15.80 on my cab which included the tip. Rush hour was definitely much better than what I expected.
~Arrival To McCormick~
I finally made it to McCormick a little bit after eight. I went to the Starbucks, paid around $3.80 for a bottled frappuccino that wouldn’t have cost me more than $2.99 at Walgreens, however, I figured what the heck as I didn’t spend as much on the cab. I hung out at Starbucks for about twenty minutes and let the people of Twitter know that I was at the Starbucks.
Rashika had my BEA badge printout since I asked her to print it out for me. Unfortunately, I had forgotten to ask her to bring it with her to the signing. She said she and the others were still in bed, as the conference doesn’t open until 1 and they were a bit tired. I decided I would walk around a bit and see the convention center since I had time to kill. I also wanted to know where the room was for my panel so I would know how to get there.
The panel rooms ended up being on the first floor which wasn’t too bad since there were escalators. Except my room was all the way at the end and then down another hall. I ended up sitting in a chair down there reading Twitter for a bit. Rashika texted me saying she wouldn’t be able to give me the printout in time and to come meet her at her room.
This led to:
~Ton of Unexpected Walking Part 2~
If I didn’t think I was tired when I was walking the night before, I definitely got tired from walking around this morning. Haha. It’s okay, I just looked at it for preparation for the show floor.
I should have had more preparation. 😉
I went across one of the long skywalks and ended up not knowing how to get to the right elevators. I had to talk to several people working at McCormick to get an idea of where in the world the room was.
I ended up near elevators, but they didn’t go up to the floor where Rashika was.
Long story short, I walked for about 20 minutes trying to find her, had several phone calls and talked to many people before I finally found the right room. I met her at the door, came in for a minute, then promptly left because the panel I was going to started in like, 15 minutes and I still had to get my badge. Not to mention walk back across the skywalk. She walked me in the right direction so I wouldn’t be taking the long way around again.
I was able to get my badge pretty fast which was a little surprising, but now that I think about it, not too much because I was there pretty early. I have no idea why my badge says publishing other than I selected the wrong item during registration. Ha. And my lovely business cards make an appearance.
I went to my panel in less than five minutes from it starting. The first panel I went to was called Leading Readers to Your Children’s and Young Adult Content. It dealt mostly with different ways to use metadata along with different programs for metadata. I thought it was really interesting though it was mostly focused on librarians and booksellers. I will be going into detail about all of the panels I attended in a future post as there were quite a few of them.
After that panel, I saw these two girls next to me with a big newspaper. I wanted this newspaper as I overheard them talk about a galley drop or something. I asked them where they got it and they told me there was a stack by where you pick up your badge. Of course. So I went back to pick up the paper, then went back for the second panel.
The second panel was Kids Graphic Novels: How The Industry Has Changed (And Continues Changing).
This was another interesting panel. I wasn’t really familiar with graphic novels except for the japanese translated ones. Even then my knowledge was very limited–limited only to Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon. This was not discussed. Sad.
~The Show Floor~
Okay! So I made it to my first two panels. I went back upstairs to where the show floor would be and waited at one of the two entrances. There were apparently two and I had no idea where the first one was, so I stayed behind a lot of people with the anticipation just building. What would it be like? Would I actually find books? Would I actually get a tote?
The show floor was really crowded but pretty calm from what I saw. I DID find books, I found three in less than ten minutes. I DID get a couple totes that day.
I was anticipating the Lauren Oliver signing to clear a lot of people off the floor, haha, but that didn’t happen.
1. Even with big signings, people are all over for various reasons
2. Her signing was rescheduled to happen later in the day.
I didn’t have anything going on at one so I just roamed the floor a bunch. Lo and behold less than five minutes walking onto the floor do I find three books I want right away. And they were just SITTING there. On the floors and tables all for the taking. That didn’t stop me from asking “Hi, am I allowed to take this?” and whoever was at the booth would be like “Help yourself!”.
Yes. The very same Wrecked that was on my “Books I Really Hope Will Be At BEA” list.
I was so ecstatic, it was already starting out to be a great day. I mostly just roamed around some more until my next panel which involved authors. I have no solid idea what books I picked up really. I know I picked up How To Hang A Witch by Adriana Mather and Be Light Like A Bird by Monika Schröder. This was an MG title that I heard of previous to BEA and wanted to grab.
Afterwards I think I texted Val or Rashika at this time and asked them where they were at, in various signing lines. I stopped by the Harper Collins Tyndale booth and talked to the publicist there for a little bit. I decided to pick up A Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay.
Next was my panel which was the PBS Presents: Women of Fiction at the Downtown Stage. It featured Gayle Forman, Robyn Carr and Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I liked it a lot and it was nice to sit after walking around the floor for a bit. I did feel bad for the ladies though because the mics kept going out.
At the end of it, Robyn Carr’s new book, The Life She Wants, was given away so I got a copy of it as I wanted to pick up an Adult book and an unknown while at BEA.
I ran into Rashika some time after the panel was finished and asked her if she knew where the Autographing Sessions were. She wasn’t sure, but I was introduced to the others in her group. It was nice to meet Val after talking for so long. Unfortunately, I had a signing to get to, so I walked around the floor aimlessly knowing I had seen the Autographing sign earlier in the day and couldn’t figure out where it was.
Funny story, it was right next to the Downtown Stage. Oops.
My first signing at BEA was for Teach Me to Forget by Erica Chapman. Erica was really nice and I wish I had thought to get a picture with her, but I didn’t.
I looked around on the floor some more before finding Holly sitting behind the Penguin booth where she was joined with the rest of her group. Their group was Holly, Shannon, Rashika, Val, Nori, Mishma, CJ and Kalli.
I had it on my schedule to go to the PBS Presents: Children’s Tales and BEA Editors’ Buzz panels, but I passed on them (which I now kind of hate because Panels!) because sitting down was nice and I didn’t want to get up really.
Overall, it was a nice first day at BEA. A lot less hectic than I thought it would be for sure.
I learned that they were going out to eat and was asked if I was coming. I figured I had nothing else to do and I did want to hang out with the group, so I tagged along. They went to their rooms for a bit and I hung out in the lobby area waiting for them and going through the books. We walked to the train stop which makes me really glad I didn’t take it every morning because it was a bit of a walk (for me). It’s also very high hope.
So. One thing that did suck about walking around Chicago was that I had to carry my big heavy tote of books everywhere. It sucked and slowed me down and made me tired. That’s not a big deal though.
We went to a Chinese restaurant which was good. I tried…some wasabi, which was not good but not terrible. It was like, spicy-ish. It was a nice first dinner. Mishma tried sushi for the first time, so that was pretty entertaining. I ordered the Pecan chicken, I think, or something like that. It had chicken. Also, I think I mastered chopsticks there as well. 🙂
Okay, so there is a fork in the picture, but I only used it for like, five minutes! The drink was an Angry Orchard Green Apple Cider, I’d never had one before and it was really good. I couldn’t finish it though because I ate my food first and was full. I gave the remainder to Val which wasn’t much.
~The Bean Adventures~
After eating we went to the Bean and walked through Millennium Park.
The Bean was an interesting sight.
Before I left my city, I was actually asked if I would be seeing it by a friend and had no idea what it was or if I would be. Turns out it’s some huge metal structure that someone created. It’s official name is The Cloud Gate. I like the real name a lot better.
We took some pictures there then walked across the long bridge. More pictures were taken there. It was really gorgeous seeing all the buildings.
After that the group divided into two, Val and Rashika took me to Union Station where I walked back to my hostel. ❤ They’re so fantastic.
Walking back was a little worrying (and also included walking across a bridge, there was a lot of walking across bridges/skywalks for me, haha that week), even the hostel wasn’t far away. It was just unfamiliar and dark out so it was hard to read the signs and figure out where I was going. I managed to find it safe and sound though!
Oh. I obtained my favorite BEA tote on this day too. I’ll show you in a later post. It’s lovely and would be the bag that I used for the rest of the week. I emptied it out as it was so, so heavy with books and decided to revise my schedule for the next day. I decided to watch an episode of Veronica Mars, but I don’t even think I was able to finish it! I was so tired so I went to sleep fast.
Books I KNOW I Picked Up:
- The Movie Version
- The Graces
- How To Hang A Witch
- Teach Me To Forget
- Be Light Like A Bird
- A Portrait of Emily Price
- The Life She Wants
And that’s it for day 1! I’ll be posting about Day 2 on Monday. 🙂