UK author I. Beacham blogs about her trip to Women’s Week in Provincetown, Massachusetts.
I’ve just got back from Women’s Week at Provincetown on Cape Cod and ‘she’ who must be obeyed (the one who runs the BSB UK Fest in Nottingham) suggested (this means ‘Do it’) I string a few words together and say a bit about the event when I got back. ‘She’ scares me, so I obey. Here goes.
I don’t know why but I always end up with blisters at this event. I think it’s because I never stop walking up and down the streets. I cover more pavement than a prostitute. There is just so much to see and do. If you’re into art, this is the place to look at pretty pics. If you’re into jewelry, take your shades to protect your eyes from the glistening gems. If you’re into sweatshirts, tee-shirts, hoodies, Life is Good stuff, pack lightly because you’ll come back to the UK with an entire wardrobe…ask BSB author Andrea Bramhall (How many sweatshirts can a woman really wear, Andrea? Really?)
Of course, the big draw for me is that this is THE big annual event for BSB. It’s where many of the BSB authors migrate in the autumn to breed new ideas and bond with their readers. It’s like an annual pilgrimage – it’s where we get to see The Publisher (Radclyffe) and hear her assessment of where our literary efforts are going. This year, I, like all the other BSB authors who attended, got to do a nice cache of readings from my latest book offering, followed by signings. This all sounds a little ‘Me, Me, Me’ but frankly the MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT of all of this, is that I got to meet the people who spend their hard-earned money on my books. I love this part of the trip because discerning readers don’t hesitate in letting me know what they liked – or didn’t – about my book and this helps me cogitate the next one (Oh, please, Great Muse, Quill of the Sky, let me write another!)
So there’s a lot of lovely exchange going on all week and women meeting women and talking (and possibly other stuff, but I’m British and I don’t talk about sex). PTown is very relaxed and definitely a place every lesbian (reader or not) ought to go at least once in their lifetime. The place is alive, exciting, exhilarating.
Is it expensive? The accommodation can be but if you can team up and book early, cost can be contained. Is it easy to get to? Remember PTown is right on the far tip of the Cape, any further right and you’ll be a fish. Well, first get yourself to Boston Logan airport and then you have alternatives for how to get to your final destination. And I’ve done the lot so can speak from experience. So, in no particular order….
1. Fly from Boston airport to PTown on Cape Air. Cost will probably be circa £150 return. Seek far Grasshopper and you may find a much cheaper flight. Just beware the weather. If high winds appear, the little planes disappear and you’re grounded. But the flight over is short and spectacular, especially in the sunshine.
2. Hire a car at the airport and drive. Easy drive, takes about 2.5 hours (less, if you drive like me). Plenty of places to park in PTown but usually a daily charge, anything between $10-20.
3. Take a Plymouth and Brockton bus all the way down. Catch this at whatever terminal you land in at Logan and head for Ground Transportation, Scheduled Buses. The bus seems to be pretty much hourly and takes you to Hyannis, currently $26, and then you change for PTown. Logan to PTown is $35 one way and $63 return. Lovely buses and friendly drivers. About 3.5 to 4 hour trip so try and land early in Logan so you don’t arrive too late in PTown J
No more travel agency talk.
And if all this bubbly woman entertainment gets to be too much, you can always go and see the whales – they’re always there, I think they’re BSB fans.