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Monday, September 26, 2005

My First Time at MBA

Sorry to anyone who checked in earlier expecting to find out how the Midwest Booksellers Association tradeshow (MBA) went. Oversleeping this morning really put a crimp in my plans. But now, at last, is the long, drawn out story you've been anxiously waiting for.

Sunday was another early morning, I was up before 5am, and left the house by 7:45. St. Paul is a long ride from where I live and I wasn't 100% sure where I was going. I made good time down to the area where the River Center is supposed to be, but I couldn't find it. I found the XCEL Center, but I wasn't going there. I ended up turning around and retracing the drive. Somehow, don't ask me how, I spiraled into the area where it was. (I'll never be able to find it again, it was just a flukey thing.) From the entrance, it was a straight shot to the place where the MBA event was being held.

I was there like half an hour early, wheeling my cart with my box of Crimson Veil books, carrying a tote bag with bookmarks, and a display easel with my cover on it, my purse and my cane. Get my badge, and the woman tells me I can't take my little wheeled cart inside. I'm like, what am I going to do? I can't carry a box of books with my foot like it is. I can't even bring my laptop into work yet because it's too heavy. So I said something like, I don't know how I'm going to manage, and she said, let me ask if we can make an exception for you. The woman she called over said, oh, no, it's fine. Authors can bring in wheeled carts. The badges are color coded so they know who is what designation.

So I wheeled myself to the far end of the auditorium and started to set up. This was my first time there so I began to pre sign books in case there was a huge rush and people were lined up. I was scheduled from 9am to 10am and the show opened at 9am that day. Do I need to mention that it was pretty quiet for a while? It wasn't like they opened the doors and packs of booksellers descended. :-)

But after 10 or 15 minutes, a steady trickle developed and I had a chance to talk with the booksellers as I personalized a copy of Crimson Veil for them, which I guess is better than just hurriedly handing out copies. Anyway, it went really well and the time just flew by!

When the author signing from 10-11 showed up, I went to walk around the tradeshow and check it out. First time there, so I was curious. On the second to last row, I was caught by another author. She was very nice, but her book was on writing your own eulogy. Um, to be honest, if I'm dead, I really don't care what's said about me. Just cremate me and stick me in the ground somewhere. That's all I need. It just seemed like such an odd thing to write about. Shrug. But she'd done a book signing at Barnes & Noble at the Mall of America too, so I guess there must be plenty of people interested. Especially since this was the second edition of the book. I still find it a bit odd that people want to control things after they're dead, but to each his own.

I finished my limping circuit of the room and returned to the MFW booth to collect my purse, tote, and wheeled cart. That's when I found out that people showed up after 10am looking for me! Wow! Booksellers actually specifically wanted to meet me. How cool is that??? I was told, and I quote, that these people said, "oh, no, I missed Patti?" Made my day.

When I got home, I tried to write, but I couldn't keep my eyes open. Tried to nap, but I couldn't sleep. Booted up the computer to write again, and couldn't keep my eyes open. Anything that requires me to be an extrovert is exhausting, but I had full (and early) days on top of it. I did manage to finish the chapter I was working on and revise two earlier chapters that needed work so I was happy with my progress for the day.

To Do List items completed this weekend: 5! Whoo hooo!!! Items Added: 0.