Monday, April 27, 2009

Off To the Big Apple


From Beantown to the Big Apple tomorrow, the occasion being the MWA Edgar's week, esp. the Symposium, God, how Platonic. I missed last year, being in a funk about my writing. This year, the funk is worse, but since I've resolved to give up crime fiction for mainstream or maybe even literary fiction (can I still do that?) this may be my last year, and I've been trekking down to NYC for at least 10 years for this event.

I have learned a lot about "the state of the market" which grows worse every year unless you are a top gun like Sue Grafton or Harlan Coban, and I've met some nice people, and rubbed elbows and pitched two books. I haven't pitched Festival Madness, and I suppose I should get an elevator pitch ready. For all it's worth. I've learned not to mention the KGB or Osama Bin Laden with reference to these books because that's sooooo yesterday. I've learned that people I met last year (never mind two years ago) won't remember me. I've learned that agents and editors would really rather talk with agents and editors other than aspiring writers, but that's o.k., too. In their shoes, so would I.

I've learned that it's really true. If you're standing like the wallflower at the orgy in the midst of 200 people, that if you just smile, someone will approach. This can be the most forced, shit-eating smile in the world and someone will at least return your smile.

So: life lessons learned at the Edgar's. I used to go to the banquet, too, now, alas, no longer affordable. I was always seated in Siberia, but that was O.K., because there were nice writers seated there, too, and why wouldn't I be in Siberia? Me and The Shadow Warriors. That cocktail party was even more excrutiating unless one of my New England writer buddies was along.

Some of my fellow Guppies (the Great Unpublished) will be there, so I should have lunch companions, although I didn't mind eating alone at a cool Italian place two years ago. Sat at the bar, had a wonderful lunch with wine and an attentive waiter. Sometimes, when one is in a certain mood, others think that you are SOMEBODY and serve you well.

When we were young and sexy this happened to S.O. and I at Chasen's in LA (best table in the house) and also at The Bakery in Chicago (seated in the kitchen where all the VIP's were placed.) The photo shows that young woman.

"You're up in an aeroplane, you're dining at Sardi's." Well, those were the days, and I never write about them, but I'm thinking maybe I should, and tell all the secrets, but I probably won't. Or will I? Nope. Have to outlive everyone first, including myself. Ha ha.

So after this ramble--ramble, not rant, I need to check on the orange yogurt bread and get my chicken breast in the oven. And pack. Those not-too-old-not-too-unstylish clothes. And wash my newly cut, streaked hair. "You're dining at Malibu, alone on the sand."

Onward.

Grapeshot

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