Friday, November 18, 2011

Miami Book Fair International Day 6: The Party Starts Today

This year opened with Christopher Paolini's Inheritance on Sunday afternoon.  The Miami Writers Institute, Student Literary Encounters, and the heavy hitters - Dorothy Alison, Harry Belafonte, John Sayles, Ron Suskind, Calvin Trillin - have been hitting all week long, but these next three days are key.  The Street Fair is its own monster, and Books & Books is 90% ready.

It's ten minutes to six am.  Becky and I are dropping Dylan off at school in the dark so we can finish the job of getting the tents set up.

Some retailers have the holiday season; at Books & Books, we have Miami Book Fair International.

Tensions are high.  Illness runs rampant.  Three of us have almost quit this week, including me.  When the gates open in about four hours, we'll find out if it's all been worth it.

There have been more cancellations.  I read an apologetic email from an author just recovering from the flu.  This author knew that flying down to Miami for the weekend would cause the flu to return, so... he can't make it, sorry.

Not everyone at Books & Books is or has gotten sick but there's a fairly sturdy illness making the rounds on some key players.  I worked a sixty-hour week, spent a miserable Friday night and all day Saturday in bed, and then worked another sixty hour week starting Sunday.  14 and 16 hour days are just as beneficial for your health as you'd imagine.

I'm putting more effort into stocking Authorton McFluwhiner's books than he is into promoting them.

As Becky says, "His loss, don't it so personally."  I don't.  Much.  I just get annoyed when people have the kind of jobs where they can make those choices.  I wonder what it is about me that I have never had the kind of job where I can take a sick day.  It is me, refusing to take one?  People call out all the time at every job I've ever had, so maybe it is just me.

Anyway, I've gone off topic and now the alarm is going off.  My point is, there's stuff I wanted to do.  I haven't written in forever, and not just blogs.  I've been sleeping in until seven, because waking at five would be pushing myself too hard, and this cold keeps nipping at my heels.  I wanted to morph that post about the wedding books into something Book Fairish for The Heat Lightning, because a ton of those authors are appearing.  I wanted to interview someone awesome like Vera Brosgol or Hillary Jordan for THL, too.  I wanted to drink juice and eat soup.

Well, I did that last one.  Just not enough.

By the end of every day, I'm in that mode where I have to keep moving, because if I stop, I'll crash.  It was over a hundred degrees in the tent yesterday.  I think I lost ten pounds of water.  I know I didn't pee once.  It's supposed to rain all weekend.

Wish us luck.

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