Monday, March 15, 2010

Epic NY March Trip

(I know. I've been MIA again. I actually got back late on Friday, but I spent a few days recovering/procrastinating on blogging since I knew that this would be an epicly long post. I meant to blog while I was there, but I never got the chance.)

In no particular order, here are a few...

Awesome Things That Happened in New York Last Week
  • I met my agent. She is even more cool and incredible in person - so cool in fact that I completely forgot to ask her if she would mind if I used her real name on my blog. Shall email her in a bit. (I also got to see her office and meet the head of her agency, an older woman so sharp and dignified that I aspire to be as awesome as she is someday.) We went to lunch and chatted about my manuscript (and revisions), query decisions, our families, and of course, about books. Especially about middle grade books, which we both heart like whoa.

    When we finished eating, it was a little too early to go to the movie, so we headed over to Borders to kill time. Have I mentioned yet how much I love bookstores? It's even more fun to go to a bookstore with someone who loves books and knows the business like I do. (In fact, I'm pretty sure it's one of my favorite things to do.) We couldn't resist buying something. My agent extraordinaire purchased Diane Zahler's The Thirteenth Princess, and I grabbed Frances Dowell's Falling In, which I promised to send when I finished so that my agent could read it (it was so good that I almost didn't want to let it go - book hoarder that I am). Afterwards, we went to see Percy Jackson, which was so interesting that it warrants its own blog post (so, stay tuned), and she even gave me a book to take home with me. (She gives me books!! Swoon.)

    It was really fantastic to meet her in person. I'm even more sure that our tastes are totally in sync as far as middle grade goes and that we have the same vision for my manuscript, and I'm even more excited to be working with her. (I know. I didn't think that was possible either.)

  • My good friend Maria Gomez and her boyfriend Josh had their first Alice's Tea Cup visit ever...and I got to see Maria's face when she realized how huge the scones are. Pumpkin is the best kind, just fyi. (We had an epic sushi dinner in Astoria afterwards. I was sooo full that I couldn't walk, and we had to take the bus back. But Maria and I agreed that it was totally worth it.)

  • My dear friend Arielle (once, my roommate during our freshman year of high school) let me pick whatever I wanted to do on her day off Wednesday. So, we visited the Brooklyn Public Library and two bookstores (I know - the book-related theme shocks you), including...The Strand, which I actually missed like whoa. As far as organization and variety goes, other used bookstores have a hard time competing. They say 18 miles of books, which is kind of hard to believe until you go there and walk around. I bought so many books that I had to visit UPS before I went to JFK so that I could still carry my carry-on without any trouble... :-p

  • Arielle and I stalked dog parks. Not to actually dog-nap anyone's puppy, but to daydream about how awesome it would be to have a dog of our own. Someday. When we stop moving around and traveling so much... :-o

  • Arielle and her boyfriend Zack introduced me to L'asso, a fantastic pizza place about a block away from the more famous Lombardi's, and shockingly enough, we ran into one of Arielle's friends/another Vassar grad sitting at the very next table. Sometimes, it is a small city after all.

  • Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall hit the New York Times bestseller list in its first week!!! (insert squealing here) I'm so happy for her! Let everyone witness that I blogged about it before it was famous. (Yes, I do keep track of these things. I also read Rebecca Stead's When You Reach Me before it won the Newbery, but I wasn't quick enough to blog about it before the annoucement. Sigh.)

  • At Wine and Roses, I had an abbreviated drinks with old co-workers, including the other editorial assistant who used to be on my team and has since left New York but took a train into the city a day early to see me. Yay!! (She was coming in to the City to go to Lauren Oliver's book release party on Friday.) I was so glad to see them and soooo sorry that I had to leave early to rush over to a dinner engagement.

  • Kirsten - my fellow CPC graduate and an editorial assistant at MacMillan - had tea twice at Argo Tea under the flatiron, and I basked in her loveliness. She has to be one of the nicest people I've met ever. Every time she asks "How are you?", she really wants to know.

  • Lunch with author/editorial assistant Alexandra Bracken and our mutual friend Maria Gomez turned into an epic quest for Red Mango in the Rockefeller Center. For those who are curious, it is above NBC Studios's gift shop and probably only intended for tourists, not for determined publishing peeps. Discussion topics included random whatnot that editorial assistants are forced to do, how working as an editorial assistant while aspiring to write can drive you batty, and the upcoming publication of Alex's debut novel, Brightly Woven, next week!! I haven't read it yet, but I'm totally buying it when it comes out. :-D!!!

  • Thursday night, five of my friends from college jumped through hoops to have dinner with me in L'Annam, a nice little Vietnamese restaurant at Union Square, and I was really touched that they all came. Also, amazed that we changed so little. We were possibly a little calmer, but whether that was because it was near the end of the workweek or because we're older and wiser (haha), we'll never know for sure.

  • The weather was awesome for most of the trip, but on Thursday, the sky turned gray and the wind blew cold. It was also the day when I had five appointments on my calendar. In the lull between people to see and places to be, I took a thirty minute rest in one of my favorite spots for downtime in New York, Central Park Lake.
I cannot count how many times I have walked over this bridge.

Um, once, right in front of those rocks you can see in the distance, I fell into the lake.
Shh, don't tell the Park Service peeps...

A couple geese also swam by to make friends.
Sadly, I had no food to offer them, and they swam away...

All in all, an incredibly fantastic, very busy trip. I am so glad I went, and I am still recovering.


Tahereh said...

wow great post! and congrats on snagging your agent!!

Joanna said...

Woah. You weren't kidding about the size of those scones!

So, so, so, so, sooooo fun to hang out, Shelby! We do have scarily similar taste...

Shelby Bach said...

Tahereh - Thanks so much!! Congrats on going on sub this week!

Jo - It was AWESOME to hang out. It kind of cracks me how similar our tastes are...and how many books we've read in common (not sure that sentence is grammatically correct). :-D

Kody Keplinger said...

Aw! This sounds like a great trip. And your agent sounds AWESOME!!


(ps - hi! we have the same agent. Heehee. Welcome to Team JSV!)

Shelby Bach said...

Thanks, Kody!!! It's fun to (digitally) meet an agent-sister! :-D!