Okay, so I don’t actually live on a farm, but while I was in New York there seemed to be an underlying theme that I was a bit of a hayseed who was unfamiliar with many aspects of “Big City Life.” [g] I’ll admit–I got a stupid little charge out of being buzzed into Mary Robinette Kowal’s apartment, because I’ve only ever seen that done on TV. See? Hayseed! (And then I experienced some moments of Total Fail when trying to get on and off the elevator in her building, which caused John Scalzi no end of amusement.)

However, I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to the city, and from a purely professional point of view it was a complete success. I had extremely productive meetings with both my agent and my editor–my first time meeting either one face to face. To be honest, last week my enthusiasm for this trip had dimmed since it had originally been planned with both Jack and me going for several days, and had then morphed (post-Gustav) into just me going for only a couple of days. Jack was the one who had insisted that I should go, advising me (quite correctly) that there’s just no substitute for “face time.” You can have all of the email exchanges or phone conferences in the world, but it’s just not the same as getting to know someone in person. And he was absolutely right. Moreover, I believe that even if I had met either one at a convention, it still would have been worth making the special trip to New York, because this way I was able to spend several hours with each of them with essentially no distractions. Not only was there a great deal of professional-level discussion, but there was also the chance to really get to know the other party’s personality, which makes any relationship–business or personal–easier and more productive.

However, it wasn’t all business! Thursday night I hooked up with Lindsay and experienced Forbidden Planet, chocolate soup (and chocolate martinis!) at Max Brenner’s, the Village, New York-style pizza, and Lindsay’s unintentional impression of lemur. Oh. My. God. Fun!

Friday I spent the morning and early afternoon just wandering around, playing quasi-tourist. I walked from my hotel (on 31st St.) to Times Square (where I saw the Naked Cowboy,) and then on up to Central Park, then back to my hotel, where I collapsed for a while. I was supposed to meet my editor at her office at 5, so at 4:30 I went downstairs to get a cab–thinking (like a hayseed) that half an hour would be MORE than enough time to get there and would give me the chance to walk around a bit first. I did not understand that 4:30 is in the middle of rush hour, which translates into “no cabs available.” Twenty minutes later, and only with the help of a VERY determined bellhop (who I tipped ten bucks!), I finally climbed into a cab and made my way to the Random House offices. Fortunately, I managed to be only about five minutes late. Once there, I had a great sitdown with my editor, during which I got to see a preliminary mock-up of my cover art. (It’s AWESOME, by the way!) She then took me on a tour of the offices, which culminated in a visit to a room of free books. “Take all you want,” she urged, but all I could do was stare, slack-jawed, at the heaped treasure before me. She eventually just grabbed books and thrust them into my numb little hands.

Saturday I met up with Mary Robinette Kowal and John Scalzi, and we proceeded to brunch at a nice little diner on the upper west side–during which Mary took a nicely incriminating picture of John and me involving his sausage and my bacon. I’m not sure that there’s anything more that can be said about that.

And finally, Saturday afternoon I headed to the airport to return home. Unfortunately I did not have a direct flight on this leg of my journey, so I didn’t make it home until nearly midnight.

Now it’s back to the writing, so that I can justify more trips to the city. :)