Now we’re cooking’! Today, I present part three of my Push to Publish misadventures, which will conclude in the nitty-gritty; the stuff that goes down after the conference is over. We’re talking stilt-fights on trampolines! Fire eating! A song about a bird! Pawning prosthetic limbs for one more round in the opium den!
Okay, no. But there was a cocktail party in a bookstore, which was very nice. So, before I forget, special thanks to Main Point Books for hosting the event, Cathy who runs the joint, and Amber and Emily who work there and who I pester mercilessly. They don’t seem to mind, but then, they’re paid not to run away. Also, I buy a lot of books from them.
The cocktail party cultivated the proper literary atmosphere, fueled by boxed wine and cheesy consumables and spiced with authors hawking their wares. They wandered up and down the aisles of the bookstore with great barrels of novels that flopped about in a shallow pool of brine, and the authors called out, “Freeeeesh books! Faaaaantasy! Liiiiiiiiiiterary! Erooooooootic romance!” And little scamps clambered about them with the tuppence given them by their governesses, shrieking out with glee, “Oh, please, I’m just mad about the books!” And the authors took their money and snatched the most spirited novels—the ones that had managed to fight to the top of the catch—and handed them to the children with sober advice like, “Mind you use two hands, young master, I wouldn’t want to see you catch a barb in the kidney,” and the children thanked the book-mongers with squeals of, “Bless you, author!” and “I means to be a pen-jockey one day m’self, I do!” Much has been made of the plight of independent bookstores against the monolith that is Amazon, but I think not enough has been said about heartwarming scenes such as that. Think about that, the next time you click on your browser when you’re craving a little fiction.
Betwixt the wine and the book-mongers, I managed to meet a handful of exciting individuals: fellow attendees, one and all, each vying for their place in the sun. There was Lourdes M. Rosado, the public interest attorney who recently returned to writing. Maribel Garcia, the anthropologist who happens to haunt the same coffee shop I do and seems obsessed with the word “dick-pics” (not owning dick-pics, just the way the word sounds). George J. Filip, who regaled us with tales of aimless wandering and waking up in Hawaii, once. Kelly, who confided that she’d never enjoyed boxed wine before and is a legal something-or-other-but-not-a-lawyer, which I didn’t entirely understand, but she assured me she could not represent me if I found myself in a Polish prison.
Afterward, a bunch of us went to Gullifty’s, which is one of those chains of fake bars, but they had an Oktoberfest beer on tap and it was close to the bookstore. Judi Fennell, who is a published author of steamy romance novels, joined us and entertained us with her story about meeting Fabio. Also, there was Adriana Dominguez, who is an agent and not in the photo above because she heard one of the waiters had composed an epic poem in Esperanto, and she shimmied out the ladies’ room window before he could pitch it to her.
Here are a number of links you should look at, when you get the chance. I’m also including Linda M. Scott, whom I met in line at the conference, didn’t drink with, but seems like a lovely woman with some fascinating ideas. If any of my drinking buddies (or anyone else I met at the conference) are reading this, have a website, and are not on this list, please send me the link and I’ll be sure to update this post. I hope to see everybody again next year!
- Push to Publish 2014, Part 2
- PlayPenn Gala