Laini Taylor met her husband, Jim Di Bartolo, on the first day of Art School in the parking lot. She was a Navy brat. And now she's an awesome author with pink hair and a cool illustrator husband. This makes me feel good about the futures of my own two children, who are also growing up military. And! And! She has a new blog about writing, Not For Robots, which makes me feel immensely better about my struggles with revision just now. I'm wearing the button she gave me as inspiration.
Ellen Klages can name five kinds of blue cheese. Just ask her. She also spoke up bravely for those who HATE the term "kid lit." This doesn't include me. I only hate it if it's "kiddie lit" but still, kudos to Ellen, who knows how to speak her mind.
Gregory K. knows the real purpose of the appendix. And would have advised me to name this post: "Sixty Boobs Meet in Chicago," which would have caused my stat ratings to go through the roof. If I had named it "Judy Blume and Sixty Boobs Meet in Chicago," I would have attracted a "narrowcast" of just the right crowd. (I know, Judy wasn't there, but her little sister was. My, how rumors spread...)
Adrienne can pull a cute pink t-shirt out of thin air. And next time, I'm coming to the conference early so I can shop with her. That girl covered some ground!
Esme Raji Codell knows exactly how wrong Meet the Author Events can go, and thus, provides posters and cookies and lovely signs, and makes every single person feel loved and part of the circle. Please, someone put her in charge of the National Office of Children's Authors Book Visits: Policies and Plans. And pay her a lot so she never leaves.
Imps act rather impish if you sit between them. They pass notes. They make jokes about balls and nostrils. They look oh-so-sweet and innocent, but those are some wickedly funny and sharp minds those two have. One might even call them juggernauts of the kidlitosphere, if one wanted to risk sparking a rash of witty give and take.
Robin either knows herself very well or has an evil internal clock. On the first coffee run, she told me to meet her in SEVEN minutes in the lobby. The next morning, she instructed me to appear in THREE minutes. What? Does she not do five/ten/fifteen minutes intervals like the rest of us? Where are those missing minutes, people?
Confidential to Sara: Someone tell that poor girl not to order only one hard-boiled egg at an IHOP. (Okay, I knew this, in theory, but I'd already had a large chocolate mocha and a bagel with cream cheese and a banana from Starbucks with my coffee buddy--see above--that morning. But when the egg came in the little dish, I felt silly, like a kid at a birthday party whose mom told the hostess not to give her child any cake. Luckily, Tricia saved the day by sharing a delicious potato pancake with me.)
And apparently, there was kidlit action going on at home, as well. When my plane (Susan of Wizards Wireless was also on it) landed at National Airport, right on time, the pilot informed us that we would have to wait indefinitely on the tarmac until a gate opened up. (What? A plane landing is a COMPLETE SURPRISE?) So my husband had to spend an hour in the cell phone parking lot. I apologized when I finally got into the car, and he smiled and said: "No problem. I finished this great book." It was Cecil Castellucci's YA novel, Boy Proof. The one she'd signed in L.A., but I hadn't even read yet. As soon as I do, we're going to gossip about it.
Gossip: Cause that's what happens when I don't take notes.
***Thanks to Mark and Andrea of Just One More Book for the awesome photos!
***Next year's conference will be in Portland, under the leadership of Jone (MsMac.) Make your plans now!