Fuse #8

Monday, February 12, 2007

SCBWI Cocktail Party / Kidlit Drink Night Nightcap Recap

The evening began with me in a bit of a slump.

I'd received a bright n' shiny invitation to the SCBWI Cocktail Party at the nearby Hilton (literally half a block from my library branch) and I was just giddy with excitement. So I RSVPed early, showed up right on the dot, and lo and behold they didn't have my name down on "the list". There is no worse feeling than seeing cool people entering a cool party, knowing perfectly well that you should be joining them and that only bad luck has kept you out. I got very sad very fast which is never good and, as I know from experience, tends to make me a weepy uncomfortable person to be around. Fortunately, I was rescued by people willing to vouch for me and get in anyway. Teary crises averted.

Inside, the Hilton's ballroom provided two essential ingredients: Food and drink. Food was of particular use as I knew I wouldn't be dining that night. I then met (and this is a rough approximation so I am definitely leaving people out) Katherine Paterson, Linda Sue Park, their agent Ginger Knowlton (some agent, eh?), Julie DeVillairs (twin sister of Jennifer Roy and author in her own right, no less), Rebecca Sherman, Greg R. Fishbone, and o holiest of holies, Arthur A. Levine. Not in that order, of course.

I also met up with a great Oregonian SCBWI contingent shown here:

From left to right that's Jaime Temairik, Sara Easterly, myself, and Jolie Stekly. Nicest gals on the planet, bar none. I had cupcakes with them the day before. What you're seeing here is a celebration of the one year birthday of A Fuse #8 Production. Useful Fact: Should you need to entertain anyone in NYC with cupcakes, go to the Cupcake Cafe at Books of Wonder. Gooood meeting place.

So I ate, I drank, and then I met up with Monica Edinger, Roxanne Feldman, and J.L. Bell. J.L. Bell was the real "get" of the evening. Roxanne also physically drew me to David Diaz who was hanging around chatting. I am not a shy person in general, but if I don't have a "hook" or an "in" or a "damn reason for talking to someone" I simply don't. So I did the whole boy-are-you-cool gawking (mighty similar, in many respects, to what I did with Katherine Paterson earlier in the evening) and he was very nice. Mr. Diaz even said he'd show up at my Bar 9 party, which was sweet of him. I missed saying hello to Jane Yolen (happy Sunday birthday, Jane), which was truly too bad. I did search for her but I met with conflicting reports as to her whereabouts. In the end I found myself running behind schedule and had to book it to my own party. So the three of us (Bell, Feldman & Bird) hailed a cab then and made it to Bar 9 roughly 15 minutes late.

The place was enormous by New York standards. Which is to say, it had more than 2 rooms and a bathroom. It was louder than my sweet Sweet & Vicious, but otherwise had ample spillage room. The room I'd reserved already had, I'd say, 20-some people in it when we arrived. Suh-weet. I spent much of my time disappearing out the side door only to re-emerge in the front over and over again. And let's see, there was Pam Coughland from MotherReader, and Ron Hogan from MediaBistro (which I'm keeping a very close eye on), and about 500 cool Class of 2K7 peeps. I will not name these peeps because knowing the slow mechanations of my own darling brain, I will leave someone out and be well and truly damned as a result. I will mention Meghan McCarthy, however, as well as editor Alvina Ling, and Heather Scott, and all but one of the Longstockings (I'm going to get a full showing someday, I swear it), and agents like Barry Goldblatt. Mr. Goldblatt, by the way, was fabulous because he totally remembered a review I wrote of his wife/client's book A Great and Terrible Beauty penned a good 3 some years ago (Title: 60% great, 20% terrible, 20% beautiful and still visible as the Spotlight review on Amazon). He was a very good sport about it. But man oh man, whatta memory. Also saw the lovely Laini Taylor and her handsome husband Jim, which was nice since I found her upcoming novel just about the finest piece of fantasy to cross my doorstep in a very great while. Review forthcoming.

Even Cheryl Klein and Jim Thomas appeared, which was a delightful shock to the senses. I didn't expect either of them, so kudos. Then I chooched out at 11:30 because I am lame and SOME of us have 9-5 jobs and need to work on Saturdays. Apparently after I left Mr. Diaz showed up. You'll need to ask Cheryl or Mr. Goldblatt (God, I love that name) for a full accounting. They probably all ended up playing strip poker or something. Just my luck.

Yeah, so if I didn't mention your name, right a very great wrong by commenting on that fact here. I need a full accounting. I mean, when I write my memoirs about my time holding hearty soirees in New York amongst the kidlit literati (in my memory we will all be drinking absinthe, wearing black, and smoking clove cigarettes) I'll need to remember which up-and-coming rising stars and already existing fixtures in the firmament were present at "my" (i.e. the bar's) party.

Honestly, thank you everyone who showed. It could not have been sweeter. Pictures were taken, so I'll try to foist a few off attendees when I've a chance.

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At 2:35 AM , Blogger Disco Mermaids said...

Sometimes I need to follow my best instincts and not read certain posts. I am so jealous of what I missed.

- Jay

P.S. But I'm glad you enjoyed yourself.

At 3:02 AM , Blogger Gregory K. said...

I'm with Jay on all points.

And I must say I like your use of "chooched".

At 5:23 AM , Blogger Monica Edinger said...

Just so all your readers know where I was (as I'm so veddy important that I'm sure they are all veddy eager to know --- oh, BTW, I was only at the party because someone took me --- at least you got your very own invite:). And if not that, so at least they know that Julius Lester wasn't alone, so to speak, this past weekend (see http://acommonplacejbl.blogspot.com/2007/02/hospitals.html for details).

After one pleasant hour I suddenly started to feel very nauseous and then had several stints in the Hilton bathroom vomiting (and wondering if anyone in there thought I was bulemic). When I thought I could (manage the distance before another vomiting episode) I took a cab home and spent the night in the bathroom mostly or shivering with serious chills in bed. Whew --- the only time I was that miserable in that particular way was when I was hospitalized in Sierra Leone for what turned out to be malaria AND amoebic dysentery. Next time we have drinks ask me and I can go into delightful detail about life in a tropical hospital circa 1974.

PS This doesn't go on my blog because mine is a LITERARY blog:)

At 7:18 AM , Anonymous Katie Davis said...

Argh! I HATE missing a party, especially one as cool as this one. I had it red-tagged to go, as Alvina Ling had invited me back in January on our way up to Kindling Words. (See how smoothly I name dropped in order to seem part of the in-crowd?) And, I saw Monica Edinger at the SCBWI party (looking rather nice, and not barfy at ALL) and wanted to say hi, but was in the midst of a conversation...anyway, this is all to say I'm very sad I missed your party, because I'd heard fab-u things about you, your blog, and this party. Can I come to the next one? And one last thing - they didn't have my name tag either, so I know how you felt!

At 7:18 AM , Anonymous Carrie Jones said...

Thanks for having the soiree, Betsey.

It was amazing and cool and I have very glam pics of you looking, um, amazing and cool and glam.

-Carrie Jones

At 9:39 AM , Blogger alvina said...

Great wrap-up! If it makes you feel any better, they didn't have a nametag for me at the SCBWI party either, although they did have me on the list.

I have my own wrap-up and a few pics over at the Blue Rose Girls here.

It was a great time!

At 10:34 AM , Blogger Jenny Han said...

Yo Betsy, did you see that Galleycat covered the party and put up some pics?

At 11:10 AM , Anonymous Rebecca said...

I had such a lovely time on Friday night: kidlit people everywhere (along with lots of tater tots, sweet plantains, and Cabernet).

I arrived early with Karen Romano Young, discovered a snug bench area reserved by "Alvin" (Alvina Ling, we figured, so we made ourselves comfortable) and watched people arrive for a while before diving into the back. It was wonderful to meet a whole bunch of 2k7 classmates, to put new faces to blogs (GalleyCat, MotherReader, Oz and Ends) and to mingle in general.

Unfortunately, I always seem to start swaying slightly by eleven pm, and before midnight I was heading to the subway (you'd think after my many years in NYC I would know where the subway is, but nope, I walked off confidently in the wrong direction as usual).

It was great fun, Fuse, and once again you have earned the undying gratitude of the Class of 2k7.

Rebecca Stead

At 11:13 AM , Blogger fusenumber8 said...

Yeah, I'm with Katie on this one. You didn't look barfy in the least, Monica. There were several people who got schmoozed out (Molly O'Neill's term for it) at the SCBWI party and didn't move on to the Bar 9 one, which made perfect sense to me. Hope you're feeling better, though. Nothing worse than getting sick at a party.

I'll have to check out these links that are up this morning. Haven't seen them yet. The day is young.

Oh, and I'd like to apologize to the nice Class of 2K7ers who stopped by my library on Sunday. I probably failed to mention this but I don't tend to work on Sundays. My bad.

The term "chooched" goes out to my brother-in-law. I totally assimilated it into my own vocabulary off of him. Thus far, he does not mind.

At 12:39 PM , Blogger Stacy said...

Thanks, Betsy! It was so much fun to see old friends and to finally meet others in person. (Hi Julia DeV and Carrie Jones!). Thanks also for the quick tour of your library on Friday afternoon. It was a great way to kick off the weekend.

At 12:40 PM , Blogger lisagreenwald said...

Sorry I missed it. It looks like it was a fab time!!

At 1:21 PM , Anonymous Kirby Larson said...


That is one adorable glam shot of you, Sara, Jolie and Jaime at Books of Wonder but I can't let Oregon take credit for them! That terrific trio makes magic happen for our Seattle area (Washington) SCBWI.

And, while those cupcakes in the photo look tasty, you haven't lived until you've been to Cupcake Royale -- your choice, my treat, when you get out to Seattle next time!

At 2:46 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The funniest was being at the SCBWI cocktail with a few of my illustrious author friends and all 3 of us saying simultaneously, Hey! Isn't that Fuse 8??!!!

You're a rock star. I'm at 'JenniferRoy's' house upstate right now and she says she's in for next time. So fun to meet you.

Julia DeVillers

PS Hi back at you, Stacy!

At 4:47 PM , Blogger Anne said...

Happy Blogoversary, Fuse! And many happy more. Thanks for posting about the SCBWI conference, so as a Stuck-At-Home-Mom I can live vicariously through you.

At 7:49 PM , Blogger Lisa Yee said...

OooOOoooh, I so wish I could have been there instead of languishing in computer hell. (I wiped out everything on mine.)

At 8:26 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for organizing it! Great fun as usual... and might I say that the photo is really quite nice--it looks professional! I could tell there was some planning with the cupcakes and whatnot.


At 9:17 AM , Blogger Jennifer said...

I would love to make it to a Happy Hour sometime, but since I'm a fringe kidlitter, and more than a fringe NYorker (in CT), and not even a fringe drinker, I don't guess it will ever happen.


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