Thursday, April 3, 2008

Lucky Me

I'm back. All went well. (Sigh of relief)

I did, indeed, have the correct laptop cord. My slides showed up beautifully. I had an interested audience, signed a few books, and I didn't spill coffee on myself. (I took an extra pair of pants, just in case. Is that paranoid or what? Maybe not, because I was wearing white, and driving with a steaming mug o' joe and chocolate milk.)

The best part was that I got to stay for the whole conference, and happened to luck into lunch with the keynote speaker, Deborah Taylor.

Deborah is Coordinator of School and Student Services for the Enoch Pratt Free Library. She (I'm pulling this right from the conference program) "has served on the 2004 Michael Printz Award Committee, the 2006 Printz Committee, the 2006 Best Books for Young Adults Committee, the 2002 Newbery Award Committee and was Chair of the 2000 Coretta Scott King Award Jury. She has also served on the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Committee and has reviewed for Horn Book."

In short, if I had to balance my plate of salad on my lap for half an hour in a lobby chair, instead of going upstairs to where the tables were laid out, it was a very small price to pay for that 30 minutes of intense conversation. Deborah loves books with a passion, and we discussed Looking for Alaska, and Black Juice (winner and honor the last time she served on the Printz) and feed and Octavian Nothing and M.T. Anderson's brilliance, and how he and Katherine Paterson offered dueling philosophies on hope in children's books at Children's Literature New England. We talked of Kadir Nelson, and Christopher Paul Curtis, and on and on.

And then, Ms. Taylor got up and gave a fantastic speech about Memory, Reason and Imagination, and filled her presentation with so many more mentions of great books that my to-be-read pile just doubled, I believe.

A lovely day. Oh, and I won a bag of books! How great is that?


  1. Ooh, squealing with delight, but very jealous. So happy you had a marvelous time. Extra bowl of soup for Deborah!

  2. Sounds like it was a great time! I'm glad it all went well!


  3. I just love meeting other passionate book-lovers. I mean, seriously. I don't mean to sound all negative, but when I worked as a school librarian, more of them than not did NOT read very often. (Poor wording, but I hope you get what I mean). I never understood that.

    How great that you had lunch with someone who can talk about Octavian and Paterson and Kadir and so on with you. That's my kind of lunch.

  4. Sounds fantastic. If I were there, I would have totally butted in on your conversation - no matter how much you tried to hide from me. ;^)

  5. I want me some of that balanced salad! Sounds great.

  6. SO AWESOME! That would be a dream lunch for me too. The Pratt libraries were instrumental in my life, and the "librarians of the Enoch Pratt Free Library" actually get a bigass nod in my acknowledgements for Scratchy Mountains. Lucky duck!


  7. Yay and congrats on the bag of books! Sounds like an uncommonly positive experience all around. Glad everything went well.


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