Sunday, July 31, 2011
Printers' Ball Ramble
One of my BFFs, journalist Liz Welter, and I made an impromptu dash to Chicago to check out the seventh annual Printers' Ball at the historic Ludington Building on July 29 to see what all the advance hoopla was about. There was plenty of literary hoopla at the event, which was a free-to-the-public celebration of small press and independent publishing, complete with a giant Ouija board, dance music, costumes, poetry reading, and giveaways galore. We had a fine and interesting time, even though most of the jostling, teeming throng was (1) young enough to be our kids and (2) total strangers. Nevertheless, I still managed to run into one friendly face, Alba Machado, blogging doyenne of the Literary Chicago website, who was looking both adorable and absolutely unrecognizable in her face paint for the evening. After a couple of hours of milling around and grabbing samples of literary magazines, we stepped next door to the Eleven City Diner for dinner. (Hint: the slushy vodka lemonade was perfect for a hot summer night, and you just MIGHT get a dollop of hot fudge added to your cheesecake if you beg for it). The next morning we spent a lovely few hours exploring Michigan Avenue, from breakfast coffee and pastry at an outdoor café table at Starbucks to Buckingham Fountain, the gardens around the Art Institute, Millenium Park, and finally a visit to the Chicago Cultural Center where we checked out the beautiful stained glass domes and artwork, and located a copy of my second book, "Heck on Heels," on a shelf at the Chicago Publishers Gallery. Alas, it was finally time to head back to Wisconsin and pick up Lucky at the kennel. I'm sure he had a wonderful time talking to other dogs while we were gone!