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19 November 2004 @ 08:37 am
Work was just plain crappy yesterday. It ought not to have been. I was in the kids' department, after all. But for the first hour it was JUST me, and then I was joined by one other person.

AND there was an in-store book faire for a local school. And we did two storytimes for them. And, at any moment, there were kids running/tantruming/shouting/screaming/crying. And most parents chatted with one another while this was going on.

Good thing I had a better night. It cheered me immensely

There was an author signing at Books of Wonder. I rushed into the city (the LIncoln Tunnel was blissfully jam-free), parked at Port Authority ('cause I had a meeting in mid-town after that is only three blocks from there) and headed for the N/R. Now, getting to the N/R from Port Authority sucks. It just does. You walk underground, up ramps, down bits of stairs, turning down narrow corridors, for what feels like miles. A friend calls it the 'Trail of Tears.' Rather apt. I finally made it to the train, so all was ultimately well.

I made it to the bookstore about twenty minutes before the event. I walked up to the facade and saw three bold signs proclaiming "We've Moved!" Bugger, thought I. Then I looked to my right. Exactly one door down was the new Books of Wonder. It's a perfectly beautiful space. Big, airy, lots more room for books. with an event space and a cafe. I decided to kill some time browsing; as I did so, I noticed a very familiar figure. "Hey, you book buying lady!" I said to Tammy (Tamora Pierce, for those few on my flist who may not know). She gave me a hug and we chatted a bit. Raquel came in shortly thereafter, and when I turned around Tammy was talking to an older man. "Kelly, I'd like you to meet Bruce Coville." Which was just cool. Shortly thereafter, another man, shorter and with graying hair, came by. And thus I also met Gregory Maguire. (and I felt a bit guilty for really not enjoying 'Wicked;' ah, well!).

We waddled over to the event space; Raquel and I grabbed sat on the floor toward the back- but not before I walked, as one in a trance, to examine the artwork on the wall. You see, there was what I thought was a copy of David Wiesner's cover art for 'The Dark is Rising.' Upon inspection, I found it was the original watercolor, it was even more beautiful up close, and it was $6,500. There were also three paintings from the illustrated Ivanhoe (adapted by Marianna Mayer). Stunning. I mean... STUNNING.

Then I sat to chat with Raq and wait. Another friend arrived; later, too, I saw beanswednesday and Galaxy from sheroes.

That blithering I mentioned in the tag? Well… it begins here. There was a young woman talking to Tammy; she was tall, lanky, and adorable, with short hair gathered at the front in two little knots. “Kelly,” Tammy called, “I’d like you to meet Shannon Hale.” I talked SO FAST, I wonder she understood a word. But she was absolutely sweet and kind to an awkward, starstruck fangirl.

The only author I didn’t meet was Jason Hightman, a young man who wrote ‘The Saint of Dragons,’ which – I’m sorry to say – I found absolutely unreadable. I’m guilted, however, into giving it another go, because he was amusing and articulate.

All five of the authors were great. Of course Tammy is always funny, and I’d heard Bruce Coville was a hoot (he is!). Gregory Maguire? Oh, gracious. Funny, funny man. I’m definitely going to have to pick up his kids’ book (‘Leaping Beauty’); I only wish I’d done so last night, so I could have it signed. As it was, I just had ‘The Goose Girl’ and ‘Enna Burning’ signed by Shannon. (who, by the way, had her 11 month old son, Max, there with her – what a good kid! He was chill for the entire event. And since I’ve mentioned how funny everyone else was, I need to point out that Shannon was as well!)

Shannon knew I was on sheroes (she makes an occasional comment in the ‘Books’ forum). I often recommend her books (hell, I sent copies of ‘The Goose Girl’ to six people last Christmas!). She had noticed, and even made a joking comment that she actually sends me a monthly stipend to do so. When I went up to get my books I mentioned that my worlds were colliding: bookselling, reading, Ren Faire (I’d been recognized as Marian while waiting in line) “Do you go to the Faire?” Shannon asked.

“I’m a performer. That’s where I joust.”

She blinked at me.

“Oh,” I said. “I guess I work on the assumption that everyone knows all the personal details of my life.” She asked me about jousting, and whether it was scary. And I blithered a LOT more, talking even faster than when I had first met her. She was gracious and did not ask to have me removed, so I guess I just came across as enthusiastic.

I mentioned I’d been recognized from the Faire. I was standing in line, waiting my turn at the signing table, when a woman approached me. “Excuse me. Do you work at the New York Renaissance Faire?”

You have to know I always get a wee bit flustered by this. I mean, it’s kind of cool, but there’s also that part of me that thinks ‘You want to talk to me?” I’m a freak. I know. Shut up.

Anyway, I smiled and said yes. “My daughter and I go every year. Honey, it is her!” I turned to see a fifteen year old girl staring at me. Smiling tentatively. It was so sweet. Then her friend walked up to her, and the first girl said, “Look who it is!” The friend gaped at me. Again, I’m just me. And I had a huge pimple on my chin, and my hair was both flat and frizzy and I looked pretty icky. So awe, no matter how small the dose, just floors me beyond my ability to convey.

So… I felt kind of famous, for a few minutes.

I bounced back to the subway and headed uptown. I made it to the Bull Moose with twenty minutes to spare. We had our meeting, which went on way to long, even though Robin and I kept trying to pull us back to the subject at hand. Got home at midnight. Still bouncing.
I feel: bouncybouncy
Kerryscreamingdolai on November 19th, 2004 07:28 am (UTC)
Sounds like you had a great time! When I visited my brother at B&N last week I saw a Tamora Pierce display and I got all bouncy saying, "Wow, Kelly knows her!"

Don't apologize for not enjoying "Wicked," I found it awfully tedious, and I think Mr. McGuire left some gaping plot holes, too.

I didn't even have a chance to tell you I *finally* finished "the Grim Grotto," and after reading it I'm completely confuzzled as to who I thought Beatrice was or who the surviving Baudelaire parent would be. Argh!
Bird on a Wing: Believecaragana_leaves on November 19th, 2004 07:35 am (UTC)
GAHHHH! Why doesn't stuff like that happen at MY bookstore???
Kelladyjoust on November 19th, 2004 07:55 am (UTC)
Reason #17 for moving to New York or vicinity.

Books of Wonder has GREAT author sigings.
Tart Tartuberlibra on November 19th, 2004 07:53 am (UTC)
Why oh why oh don't I keep current with what's going on at Books of Wonder? Sigh. I'm v. glad to hear you had such a fabulous time. Is the Cupcake Cafe extension open yet? My current plan is to arrive amid the Christmas shopping crowds and just. never. leave. ever.


Will you be coming in to the city again soon? I miss you!
Kelladyjoust on November 19th, 2004 07:58 am (UTC)
I don't usually keep track of them, either, though I am resolved to do so (dude! Alan Lee is going to be there on Dec. 4th!).

The cafe isn't open yet, but should be soon. So very excited!!!!!!! I'll be returning for a holiday shopping spree. I hope. I know it isn't cost effective - I get a great discount at my own store - but I can always find something I haven't seen, or a new edition, or something.

don't know when I'll be in the city next, hon. Miss you, too!
Tart Tartuberlibra on November 19th, 2004 08:26 am (UTC)
I understand. The Strand is far more cost-effective for me, but a holiday shopping season just isn't the same without a purchase at BoW. Look at it this way--we're doing our civic duty by supporting independant businesses.

I remember the fantastic discount I got as a bookstore employee. Boy, how I loved it.
Helensilawenyai on November 19th, 2004 10:47 am (UTC)

You are cool beyond belief, Kelly. I'm serious.

That sounds like a lot of fun!
Kelladyjoust on November 19th, 2004 03:49 pm (UTC)

I'm really not cool. Ask anyone who knows me. I just know how to get to a cool bookstore!

But thank you.
Stealth Chaos Butterflybunnymcfoo on November 19th, 2004 11:35 am (UTC)

Kel, I find it fantastic that in the midst of this entry wherein you talk about fangirling, you had your own Fangirl encouter.

<3 You, btw, are very worthy of being fangirled.
Kelladyjoust on November 19th, 2004 03:53 pm (UTC)

Valeria Ottturtleott on November 19th, 2004 01:18 pm (UTC)
You just get higher on my OMG she's awesome list. I would've been a blubbering fool getting to meet all those talented people. I'm so envious! Next time I come to visit tim I'll make him take me to BofW!
Kelladyjoust on November 19th, 2004 03:51 pm (UTC)
I was a bit of a fool. I guess I'm just used to that. ::le sigh::

Hey... wait... you have an 'awesome' list? And I'm on it? whoa.

And definitely make Tim take to to Books of Wonder. And let me know, 'cause I'll so very much tag along!
Sarah: Orli yaykachi113 on November 19th, 2004 02:18 pm (UTC)
Ooooh, so insanely jealous.

Of course you're famous! Everyone who's anyone goes to the Ren Faire.
Jobs, baby, Jobs!picoland on November 20th, 2004 05:24 am (UTC)
Yay Kel!

If you ever come to LI a trip to the Book Revue should be tops on your list-the have great events too- and a great pub across the street ( named the Canterbury Ales not so coincidentally)

miss you guys!