Hi everyone, so I’m going to BEA. For the first time. I’m excited. This is the first of several pre-BEA posts that will be going on before BEA this coming week as well as next week.
Planning for this (BEA) has been super stressful and nothing has worked out the way I’d planned. Not a single thing. It’s actually been one of the worst experiences of my life trying to do this. 😦 Hahaha. Sigh. Whatever, no use in complaining about things that can’t be changed.
Anyway, due to my going to BEA for the first time, I thought I’d make a list of fears I have while going to BEA for you all to enjoy. Okay.
1. I Hope I’m Liked. . .
Really, this only applies to four-ish people, I don’t really care too much about everyone else generally (<3). I mean, at least I’m not real concerned about anyone else. Ha. But yes. This is mostly a concern because:
A. I’m not rooming with anyone anymore [because life seriously sucks, but this could actually be a GOOD thing ;)]
B. I’ll have to meet almost everyone on Wednesday rather than Tuesday which is terrifying because:
aa. I’ll be meeting everyone, besides Rashika and Holly, at BEA rather than beforehand. Scary.
bb. They all already know each other and oh my gosh, I don’t even want to think about it anymore!
2. Hailing A Cab. . .
(And hoping there’s not a serial killer/shooter cab driver)
I’ll be cabbing it to BEA every morning because
1. My parents (and I) really doesn’t want me to take the L/buses by myself. Besides being slightly unsafe given I’d be alone, I’m very directionally challenged and oblivious on top of that. I’d end up riding the L all day and forgetting to transfer or I would transfer, then get off at the right stop, but walk in the completely opposite direction. . .
2. I’ll have zero worries about finding McCormick because the lovely cab people will get me there. Fast. Hopefully.
But still, what if the cab is LATE? What if I’m too short for any cabbie to notice that my little hand waving in the air is at THEM to come get me!? What if they’re a serial killer? What if they don’t take me to McCormick? What if it’s super expensive!?
So many what-ifs.
3. Where are the books?
I don’t know how to do this book thing. Like, I know there are random drops and such. I don’t get how you still get books when you’re probably going to be in line for some autographing session, unless you’re not in line and ah, I guess I’ll just figure that out…
4. Abductions, Murders, and Other Dateline Mysteries.
I really don’t want to be abducted or murdered or anything else while in Chicago for my first time. I know the odds of this happening are low, but still. I’m staying in some sketchy hostel in a city I’ve never been, what if there are like, serial killers there? Pray for me.
5. TRAIN DERAILMENT
Oh my gosh guys, there has been like THREE Amtrak derailments just over the past month and a half. ONE OF WHICH WAS THE TRAIN THAT I WOULD BE TAKING. Fortunately (but not, because it’s still horrible) it happened past my stop, but STILL. A train could easily be derailed.
Maybe someone would like to blow up the train. It’s possible, it wouldn’t be unheard of. The thought is anxiety inducing. I hope Veronica Mars and Degrassi are enough to keep me sane on my TEN hour (each way) train rides. 😦 I am going to be so freaked out. Plus I leave at 5am so that’s just like ugh.
6. The EL/Buses!
I’m not even lying, I searched online for the Blue Line to read about it (because I’m like that) and I found THIS. A young woman was attacked on the exact Line I would take on a Thursday morning (the same morning I would be going to BEA) and NO ONE DID ANYTHING. That is terrible. 😦 This is why I can’t take a train or anything by myself.
Plus I heard that after transferring to the Blue Line, I’d have to take the Green Line, then get off and walk like a mile? Not sure if that’s true or not, but that does not sound fun.
Or feasible for me. Sad.
7. BOMBS AT MCCORMICK
This goes with my number 5 fear, which is, WHAT IF SOMEONE DECIDES TO BOMB MCCORMICK WHILE WE’RE ALL THERE? BEA IS A HUGE CONFERENCE, IT’D BE A PERFECT PLACE FOR A TERRORIST ATTACK WITH THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE.
Gah. I know, my fears are so irrational, but still. I’ve been fearing this since November after the Paris attacks, when I was seriously considering not going to BEA. This is one reason why I’m thankful that I’m (no offense) not staying at McCormick. It’s amazing I’m even going to BEA rather than just strolling around Chicago instead. Or staying locked up in my hostel blasting Hamilton.
8. HOW Do I Ship The Books?
Okay, so I’m going to be shipping at least half the books I get because that way I don’t have to lug around a heavy suitcase like three times on Saturday/Sunday. Assuming I get a lot of books.
However…I don’t know how to ship my books?
In the past, there’s been a Fedex in Javits and I guess there’s one in McCormick but it closes at 5 and that’s when BEA ends and OH MY GOSH, HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO SHIP MY BOOKS?
I’d rather not have to cab all over to Chicago just to ship my books, but it appears I may have to. AND most post offices and such close at 5. Sigh. Pray for me. Again.
9. Where do I put all the books?
So…I’m not trying to drag my suitcase to McCormick every single morning just to check it in at the suitcase place. So…where am I supposed to put all my books? This is another reason why it totally sucks to not be staying at McCormick like I initially planned (sigh. but should have thought better of), since I could just drop off my books at the hotel.
Ha, yeah right, it’s like a five minute walk, I wouldn’t be taking a five minute walk all the way to the hotel from BEA because it would be super crowded, probably and way messy to go back and forth.
I’m not sure what to do with my books. I’m guessing I’ll bring along some hideous giant bookbag to keep the books in. This reminds me, can you check in something that ISN’T a suitcase at the suitcase drop off? Could I drop off my bookbag? Would that work? Someone help.
And this isn’t even getting into the details of what to do with the books when BEA is over every. day. I have plans to meet up with people at BEA, so what am I supposed to do with the big, giant bookbag? Sigh. I guess I’ll figure it out. I don’t want to start a box there to be shipped with the FedEx people because what if my books were STOLEN? That’d be horrible. I would cry. And be pissed.
10. Seriously, What If I Die?
Okay, to put it nicely, I am not in any sort of shape. Like, there is a real big chance that I may actually pass out and/or DIE while walking on the BEA floor.
Or on the walk back to my hostel which is 3-4 miles away from McCormick. As if I’m actually walking BACK from McCormick, ha ha no.
Or I’ll die before even getting to BEA from walking to Starbucks.
I don’t know. Just, if you see me there and I look like I’m going to seriously just keel over and die, tell me to go sit in a corner somewhere. But come get me later, okay?
11. What If My PHONE Dies?
Okay, I need my phone while at BEA, for a ton of reasons.
1. To check Twitter for galley drops.
2. To know where the heck Shannon, Holly, Val and Rashika are at all times.
3. So the aforementioned can get a hold of ME
4. To call a cab if I need to
5. So I may call police if I spot a murderer on the loose (I know, I know, irrational fear, but come on).
12. Um. Who Are You?
Okay. . . I am terrible at recognizing people. Absolutely terrible. I mean, there’s a good chance I’ll forget Val, Shannon, Holly, and Rashika’s faces the second I walk into my hostel on Wednesday. That is how HORRIBLE I am at recognizing.
13. Do I HAVE To Talk?
So really, I just want to hang out with the people I want to hang out with, meet publicists, see a couple authors, get a few galleys, have some good food, maybe have a drink (not likely) and not get murdered. As for the actual socializing aspect, let’s just say I’ve never been good at it.
So, dear friends, followers and random BEA goers who happened to come across this post, if you see me, please say hi.
Tell me your name.
Forgive me if we’ve talked before and I appear to have no idea who you are.
And forgive me later, if you talk to me again, start dragging me somewhere and I blindly follow you, not knowing who you are, because I’m assuming we’re connected somehow. I hope.
If I struggle to talk to you, just, hang in there. By Friday I’m sure to get better at it. I hope. In the meantime, feel free to say hi if you see me.
13. So, About Those Authors. . .
This goes with #12, but I am really sucky at talking. Like literally, sucky at talking. You will see when we meet. 😉 I guess there isn’t a lot of actual talking going on at BEA since you have a whole 2.5 seconds to tell the author your name and whether or not you want them to personalize your book.
I don’t actually care too much about meeting the authors? I just want their books. Once again, I’m just being honest. I will of course go to some autographing sessions, like, at least one of David Levithan’s. And Jennifer Niven’s. And Nicola Yoon’s. And I’d like to see Sara Shepard, Kristi Yamaguchi and Jamie Lee Curtis too.
And then there’s also Gayle Forman, Jodi Picoult and Nicholas Sparks.
I need all these books signed and guess what? Some of their signings overlap, some of their signings aren’t even KNOWN. #NoStress
14. I’m A PROFESSIONAL
Okay, so what if no one takes me seriously? Because I think I’m the person that’s not really taken seriously.
I blame my height and my voice and that I don’t really maybe look actually 24? I don’t know, people are always surprised when they learn I’m not in high school. . .
But seriously. I want to go to BEA and own it.
Literally. I want to just go and purchase the entire place.
Bad joke, okay, I’ll stop. I do want to talk to publicists though and let them know about my blog. That would be nice. And maybe while we’re talking they’ll offer me some free advice. Plus maybe find out some books that I don’t know (yeah right). I need to learn to talk to publicists. People, give me tips.
15. So About Eating. . .
My hostel has breakfast which is nice, even if it seriously is the bare minimum, I’ll take it. Assuming of course I don’t have to LEAVE for McCormick before it starts, which would suck, but still, that’s okay, because there’s cafes/bakeries near my hostel.
I will not be spending a lot on food, hopefully. I may do one pricier meal but the rest of the time? Nooo. Otherwise it will lead to fear #16. Running out of money for food and…
16. So About Cabbing. . .
I can’t spend a ton on food because I have my cab to pay to McCormick and then Saturday is a total mess because I’ll have to leave BookCon early (or somehow stay until Sunday), go back to my hostel, get my luggage, then get to Union Station, which I can hypothetically walk to, but I’m not going to want to walk. So hopefully I don’t run out of money for cabs otherwise that is going to be super terrible. 😦
17. She Took The Midnight Train. . . Hopefully
Okay, so my train to go home leaves at 3 and would arrive back in town a bit after midnight. I have to do all of the above before 3 and preferably before 2:30 so I’m there in plenty of time.
Okay, so to you BEA veterans, helppp. I’m pretty clueless. I’ve never been to BEA, Chicago, taken a Subway or been responsible for myself. Er, in another state anyway (for that last one). Give me tips please!
I have questions as well!
- Can I leave a bookbag in the suitcase drop off section?
- What time do I want to get to McCormick if it doesn’t open until 1?
- Is anyone staying in Greek Town who may want to share a cab, take the Line or split an Uber together on the way to BEA every morning? I promise I’m not creepy. We can meet up beforehand! I’m just trying to seriously cut costs here.
- How early should I line up for tickets for signings?
- For people from Chicago, what is the “best” Chicago cab company?
- I’m staying in Greek Town, recommend me some restaurant of sorts.