So last week was a fun-filled extravaganza of friends, books, and great food! I still haven’t quite recovered (the suitcase is only half-unpacked, and the new books from our trek to the Strand are piled up waiting for shelf space to open), but I did learn a few things:

1) On Thursday evening, Diane and I joined Andrea Pickens at ABT for Le Corsaire (based on the Byron poem!), and I learned some plotting tips. All a story really needs to be exciting are some fights, an abduction or two, a pirate grotto, a ship wreck, an eeeevil villain, and a hunky shirtless guy. Pretty clothes don’t hurt, either.

2) Those old Harlequin covers are hilarious! Why don’t we have more like that now? And great titles like Pardon My Body and Love Me and Die… (this exhibit is up until June 12, if you’re in the NYC area)

3) BEA is, well, very large. And very crowded. And full of eye-catching book displays that meant I kept tripping over my feet while trying to look at them AND walk. I only got 2 free books, though, unlike Kwana and her 4 big bags full. Next time, I am sticking with her for the whole day. (Crush It!!)

4) Rose laasi + Chicken tikka + Dinner with friends like Hope Tarr, Megan Frampton, Diane, and Kwana = Awesome (street fairs with cheap summer dresses and jewelry on the way to the restaurant just makes it that much better)

5) Cocktails called “French Lavender” are really, really yummy (thanks to Elizabeth Mahon for suggesting Dove Parlor!)

6) I want to live in the Decorative Arts galleries at the Metropolitan Museum

7) Lady Jane’s Salon is totally as much fun as it looks. I wish I could get together something like that for romance fiction lovers here! (And finding out how covers evolve was very interesting, thanks to my editor at Grand Central Publishing)

8) Recording podcasts = Not as fearsome as I thought

9) Sadly, I missed a week-long display of costumes from the Zeffirelli Romeo and Juliet in the lobby of the Time Warner building. This is one of my all-time favorite movies, and I was kicking myself when I found out (after we had already left NYC)!

10) I always feel so much more energized and ready to write after spending time with friends. Now I can’t wait for RWA, which is only 5 weeks away! (Who is planning to be there? We’re hoping to get together a Riskies gathering…)

(And thanks to Kwana for the NY pics!)