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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Book Expo and the Bozman

Well, Sunday was perfect! Got up, checked email, showered, changed into my suit and took the shuttle to the Washington Convention Center, where the Book Expo was taking place. I had to take it early because it didn't run between 1030 am and 330 pm. I got my badge changed to spell my last name correctly, got a map and decided to check out the children's section of the show.

As I walked in, I saw 100s of booths of publishers. Talk about intimidating. I wandered a bit, talked with some of the publishers and actually made some possible contacts for getting Gil The Gecko published. Cross your fingers!

I got a new copy of Hemingway's Cats by Hemingway's nice Hilary Hemingway for just $10 (it retails for $24.95).

I made my way to the C hall, where my publisher's booth was located and discovered chair massages! So, since I had the free time, I had a 15-minute chair massage, which I desperately needed. Boy, did that feel good!

Got a signed book, The Tesla Experiment, fiction, but for the life of me, can't find anything about it online and the book is in my checked bags (yes, my trip home so far has been hell - that'll be another post).

Saw that Sisters In Crime had a booth directly across from my publisher's. I'm a member and stopped by to say hi, get a SinC sticker and they promised to send folks over for my signing.

Got to my publisher's booth and a fellow author was already sitting with his books. Met Rob Colding, my poor publicist, and we hugged. Met Pat and Amy, who work for my publisher and discovered I actually had some people waiting for me to sign books. So I sat down and began signing. It was brisk for a while and I tried to chat with everyone who asked for an autograph.

I had several people tell me they saw me on CNN! Wow. Honestly, it was a bit weird. It was getting close to 1 pm, the end of my signing and I was doing generic signatures for the remaining few books when another rush of people came over to get the last of the books. I managed to save one for a special person, hugged my publisher, John Bryans (who came by midway through the signing), and Rob and headed out the door with John to get a taxi back to the hotel.

Changed into comfy jeans and a top and took a taxi to the International Spy Museum. I was meeting a fellow blogger Martin Bosworth aka Bozman there. I called his cell to tell him I was there and soon after, he showed up. He's a strong guy - he picked me up right off the floor to hug me, LOL!!

I loved the museum - I love spy things anyway (natch) and really enjoyed it. When they say it takes about two hours to go through the whole museum, they mean it. Boz got me a souvenir t-shirt and I got some CSI stuff for my niece and nephew.

We took the Metro to King Street in Alexandria for the next part of our fun night and waited at the bus stop for the free DASH shuttle.

A woman with one front tooth missing, in her 60s or so, sat next to me. My mom says I "smell right." She began talking to me in short, weird sentences. She couldn't have been homeless because she was clean and so were her clothes. At one point, she stared at me and said, "I panhandle for a living." Okay. I don't know what reaction she wanted, but she seemed to like that I didn't turn away from her. I told Boz I bet she was some eccentric millionaire.

We ended up taking the regular bus (for $1 each) to historic downtown Alexandria and said goodbye to the crazy lady.

We walked down past Market Square, saw where we'd have to meet the ghost tour in a few hours, then I dragged poor Boz to Murphy's Irish Pub, a place I'd eaten at before. I love that place! We ate, talked, then headed to the waterfront, found a bench facing the water and people watched. And boat-watched. They had the tourist boats coming and going and there was one that looked like a Mark Twain-type steamboat. After sitting for a while, Boz said, "This is wonderful" and the steamboat boomed its whistle. I mean, boomed! What timing! We laughed our butts off (help me find mine, please, ha ha).

We walked back to meet the ghost tour, which was a lot of fun. The only thing I wished was that it had more ghost stories. There was more historical info than ghost stuff, but it was well worth the $8 and hour of time. I highly recommend it if you ever go to Alexandria.

We shared a taxi back to my hotel and the taxi driver recognized me from CNN! This is too much! He promised he was going to buy my book and email me. What a sweet guy. We tipped him a lot more than we should have, but hey, he'd better buy my book now!

Boz and I hugged in front of the hotel and I went in to go upstairs and hit the sack. Boy, it had been a long, but fun day.

Phew!

3 Comments:

Anonymous Martin said...

Jayne,

I forgot about the ship horn! That was classic. ;)

It was so nice to see you ("meet" you?), and I would love to show you around town again the next time you come by.

:)

5/23/2006 04:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Debbie said...

If Gil would ever like a US friend, we lived with Dewie (short for Dewlap) for several years. He took up residence in our screened porched and like to spend time gazing at the spa. Our cat wasn't allowed in the porch and it drove him nuts watching Dewie through the glass doors.

Oh yeah, glad you had a fun and successful trip! That is, if you forget about the to and from.

5/23/2006 09:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Debbie said...

If Gil would ever like a US friend, we lived with Dewie (short for Dewlap) for several years. He took up residence in our screened porched and like to spend time gazing at the spa. Our cat wasn't allowed in the porch and it drove him nuts watching Dewie through the glass doors.

Oh yeah, glad you had a fun and successful trip! That is, if you forget about the to and from.

5/23/2006 09:20:00 PM  

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