Wednesday, May 8, 2013

BEA Goals


If you all know me at all, you know that I like to organize things. I NEED to organize. Lists help me think and function, which is really helpful when it comes to planning for events in my life that incite high levels of emotion. And nothing is currently inciting high levels of emotion in me like BEA 2013.

BEA carries a lot of firsts for me. It will be my first time at a professional conference, first time in NYC, first time rooming with an Australian, first time meeting other people as a blogger, first time interacting face-to-face with publishing professionals, first time out of state on my own. (I've been out of the country all by myself, but never out of the state. It's scarier, somehow.)

I've been reading like a madwoman on different blogs to gather together the best tips and tricks for packing, what to expect when at BEA, what to see in NYC, etc. I've even put together an itinerary of the autograph signings I want to attend and programmed it into my phone, complete with times, locations, and pre-set alarms.

One thing I really need to get on top of, though, are the things that I have to do before I leave (as opposed to once I'm there), so I was super-excited when I came across a BEA Goals post on Hobbitsies. The point of a BEA Goals post is to list all the things that need to be done before leaving for BEA so that they'll be in one place and public, thereby keeping the goal-maker accountable. The biggest point of the post seems to be listing books that the blogger wants to read before going to BEA so that they'll be fresh and ready to dig into whatever books they receive in NYC.

Tara, the creator of Hobbitsies, borrowed the idea from April of Good Books and Good Wine, and I in turn am borrowing it from her.

Books I'd Like to Have Read Before BEA:
  • Furious by Jill Wolfson
  • The Rules For Disappearing by Ashley Elston
  • Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith
  • You Look Different in Real Life by Jennifer Castle
  • Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross
  • In the After by Demitria Lunetta
  • Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
  • The Cavendish Home For Boys & Girls by Claire LeGrand
It's not a huge list, but I only read 1-2 books a week, so I'll be pushing it right down to the wire. The first six are review books that release either the month before or the month after BEA. I'd like to have them at least read before I go so that they get their fair shake before I come home with an armload of new review books. The last two are books by authors that I'll hopefully meet at BEA. I've interacted with both authors on Twitter, and they're both ridiculously nice. I've also heard great things about their books, so I want to have them read and firmly cemented in my head so I can gush when I meet the authors in NYC!

Other Things I Need To Do:
  • Create a way to identify myself
  • Design and order business cards
  • Buy more business casual clothes
  • Buy a business card holder
  • Buy a straightener
  • Preschedule posts
  • Print out some resumes (because you just never know!)
  • Make a packing list
  • Make a sightseeing list
As you can see, I've already gotten a head start on this part of my planning. I was worried that it would be hard to find and connect with fellow bloggers at BEA since it's not like anyone knows what I look like, so I ordered a big lapel button with my Twitter avatar on it. Between the familiar picture and my badge (which lists me as "Shelver M."), I figure I have my bases covered. After much whining, complaining, and general anguished flailing, I also designed and ordered business cards.

I need to buy some clothes for the trip, as the unspoken dress code is "business casual" and my wardrobe needs a revamping anyways. [Completed this one in the time between scheduling this post and actually posting it!] I also need a cheap straightener, as I doubt Sunny will let me take hers with me, and my bangs take on a life of their own without proper handling. Prescheduling posts is a must, because while I'll let the blog take a little break while I'm out of town, I'll have to start back up again when I get back, and there's no WAY I'll want to write a week's worth when I get back in town. And I need to have some crisp resumes ready to go, because I do want to make connections while at BEA, and if one of them gets me started in the right direction career-wise, so be it!

And lastly, surprise surprise, I need to make more lists. :)