Thursday, November 8, 2007

New York, New York

I was out of town last week.

I started off in my hometown of Pittsburgh, visiting family and bookstores. Then I headed for New York for an annual event that serves as an excuse to visit the delightful city where so much book publishing occurs.

What’s the event? The Baron Funds Annual Investment Conference. Now, unlike my husband and sons, I’m not an eager aficionado of the stock market. But this is not just any annual meeting. First of all, you don’t have to be a huge investor to be invited to this free event. (Well, sort of free. You do have to pay for your own trip to New York.) Then, at the meeting, heads of some of the companies in which the funds invest discuss their successes and strategies. That could be bland, but we’re talking, this year, about Roger Penske, who happened to give away a car. Then there were the CEOs of some really interesting organizations, like J. Crew, Edwards Lifesciences and WebMD. But would I fly all the way to New York just to hear them? Nope. I come for the fantastic surprise entertainment.

This year, though, there was a problem. The number of attendees grows every year. This time, 4,000 people packed the Metropolitan Opera House. Yes, we all fit... there. But at lunchtime, we all had to file out at the same time to grab our box lunches, and by the time my family and I got outside, the area where we’d headed had run out of food so we had to backtrack. Worse, I soon stood outside eating my lunch from the top of a garbage can while I listened to Sheryl Crow, who was inside one of the lunchtime tents. I only got to see her at all because I begged a couple of the security cops to let me peer in through a window, and they let me... for 5 seconds.

But, yes, Sheryl Crow was one of the surprise celebrity guests. Michael Bolton was in the other tent, and I did squeeze in long enough to hear two songs from him. Even so, I was grumpy when I headed back inside the Met for the afternoon’s funds discussions, vowing to avoid the event next year since I wasn’t sure how the organization of the ever-increasing crowd could be fixed.

That vow lasted for about an hour, when the main surprise celebrity entertainer appeared: Bette Midler! The Divine Miss M was wonderful! So... will I go next year? Yeah!

Besides, it gives me an excuse to be in New York. This year, I had coffee with my Silhouette Nocturne editor. I lunched with my Berkley Prime Crime editor--only to learn she is leaving the company. She did, however, suggest a successor editor for me, and I spoke with my new editor yesterday by phone. She, too, is a delight, so all, hopefully, is well--except that I will miss my former editor. I also visited the New York office of my agent, Folio Literary Management, to speak with the marketing director about upcoming promotion. My agent now spends more time in the Washington, D.C., office, and I headed to that area next with my husband to visit the house he is building there and to have dinner with my excellent agent and her husband.

And now I’m back home, trying to catch up on all that was left behind. I did have a good pet-sitter taking care of Lexie in my absence, but of course I missed my baby. Did she miss me? Well, she woke me up at least five times my first night home by the thumping of her wagging tail, welcoming me back.



Sheila Connolly said...

I'm in the middle of a BPC editor shuffle too. Are we losing the same editor, or is there some sort of stampede going on? Or maybe they always turn over in the fall.

Monica Ferris said...

There's always a sinking feeling when an editor you like and/or trust leaves. I know I was like that when my editor left. She was the one who suggested to me that I write a needlework series, God bless her. Come to think of it, I think she left in the autumn, too.

Bette Middler? Wow!

Camille Minichino said...

Would some one tell me off line who these movers are ???

Meanwhile ... New York City AND Bette can make up for a lot! It sounds like a great trip, Linda.