Friday, November 2, 2007

New York City: Day 1


We have done so much in the last 24 hours! We're in NYC, staying in a hotel right across from the south side of Central Park. You can see the horse-drawn carriage waiting for riders, bumper-to-bumper taxis on Park Avenue South, and the beautiful towering trees of Central Park. Manhattan is, as everyone always says, so alive.

We arrived around midnight last night, then got up early to catch a shuttle to the Javitz Center where registered runners pick up their "race packets". A race packet has your race bib, your "chip" (a device the size of a fat quarter that you tie to your shoe that keeps track of your race time and what check points you've crossed), and some goodies (like your official participant shirt, coupons, samples, etc.). There was also a bright yellow Spongebob Bikini Bottom Track Club hat. Don't ask me.

After we got our race packets and talked to officials about the best way to get to the start point (something we'll post about later), we "hopped in a cab" and went to visit the agency that represents my books. (Fortunately, it did not cost $900 to get there.) I met with the literary agent (who has also become my friend over the years), the foreign rights agent (a dear man who's behind my translations contracts with dozens of foreign publishers), and the film agent (whom I'd not met in person before). Interesting conversations, and fun too!

After that, we ate lunch at a funky New York diner -- it was fabulous. I had pancakes and eggs (yes, lunch, but I was jonesing for pancakes and over-easy eggs) and Mark had the weirdest, most delicious veggie burger.

We walked up Broadway quite a ways, then took another cab the rest of the way to Random House, where I met with my editor and all the members of the wonderful book-making team. (There are a lot of people involved in the publication of a book--a lot more than you'd imagine. It's taken me 20 books at RH to really understand what it takes.) I got to see my Reno 9-1-1 buddies (see previous post) and personally thank the woman who okayed the $900 cab fare.

My editor put together a wine and cheese reception (we loaded up on her delicious spice cake and the available crackers and bread -- no wine, very little cheese) at Random House, then took us out to a lovely sushi dinner (ate lots of rice!). Mark snapped the above picture of us at dinner. From left to right: a RH sales rep who is one of my favorite people.(We 'bonded' years ago durning another transportation adventure when I was on a book tour -- we call it Lillian's Wild Ride.) My lovely editor, and the school-and-library division director (and my pal), and me. Mark was a real sport (as always) as we cackled through dinner.

That's it for today -- oh! Except for tracking down warmer clothes for Mark -- it's COLD here (by our standards, anyway), and if we have to be on our way to the starting line at 4:30 in the morning, he was way under packed.

Thanks for checking in -- I got several nice e-mails from schools today wishing us well -- one signed off "we're running and reading with you!" which made me feel really good. I like that image. It'll help me get over the finish line.

More tomorrow!

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