the midwest booksellers association trade show was this weeking in st. paul, mn. i'd never attended before. i don't know why, because it's such a great way to meet booksellers -- and a great way to see old friends. i signed free books for an hour, met a lot of booksellers, then checked out the other booths, which were mostly publishing houses displaying their fall selections. the one thing i kept hearing was that there weren't the give-aways this year. i imagine this is a reflection of hard times.
cut to mall of america where eight members of midwest fiction writers later signed books in conjunction with their annual mini conference. a lukewarm turnout, but kathleen eagle asked me if i'd ever once had a publicity photo taken with a parrot on my shoulder. hmmm. don't give me ideas, kathleen.