Saturday, May 1, 2010

Catching Up

In case I haven't been kicked out of blogdom for failing to post daily, here is an update.

A week ago Sunday, I was at Shangri-Lar, building a raised bed frame for our little veggie garden.
Our garden, complete with crab trellis

Mind you, this was the first "home improvement" project my husband and I have ever done together that happened without yelling. I wish I'd taken photos as the bed went together but oh well.

We finished shoveling dirt mid-afternoon and hit the road south. At home, I finished packing and went to bed early because of my oh-dark-thirty pick-up for a flight to Chicago and IRA. Everything went smooth as beach glass and I was soon walking the kinks out on the Miracle Mile and then hustling back to my hotel to get spiffy for the Bloomsbury/Walker dinner. I got the only cabbie in Chicago that didn't know where the Italian Village was but eventually arrived (before Chris Kurtz, I might add). This photo doesn't do justice to the lively conversation and delicious food.
The Walker-Bloomsbury bunch

Tuesday found me wandering the exhibition hall floor, generally causing trouble.
(far left) Me and Emily Easton, our Bobbies editor; (right) a favorite author, Frances O'Roark Dowell and me. I got her new book! Yay!

Friend Cindy from Wisconsin and her "small" book bag

That night, I duded up for the Random House dinner.

Back row: Christine Young, Lisa Nadel, Lisa Morris-Wilkey, Ellen Finnegan, Becci Curry; Front row: Joan Kindig, Lenore Look and Candy Fleming

Henry Neff and his harem: back row, Marianne Saccardi, Kate Klimo, Marianne Malone, Amy McClure; front row, Mallory Loehr, Henry Neff, Melanie Koss

Laura Mancuso, Lois Buckman, Jen Bryant, Aimee Rogers , Wendelin Van Draanen
, Christine Sherman
In back: Marjie Podzielinksi and Stephanie Elliiot; front row: Laura Resau, Michelle Houts (whose book The Beef Princess of Practical County won an IRA Children's award!), Pam Cole and probably the only bad picture Emily Waters has ever taken in her adorable life!

Wendy Lamb, me, Terry Young, THE Rebecca Stead, Lettie Albright, Nancy Roser (thank you Jessica Shoffel for taking this photo!)

Poor (?) Henry Neff was the sole male author that evening. I think he survived. I had a great time chatting with the amazing Wendy Lamb and the darling Rebecca Stead, both of whom did their utmost to help me come up with a title for the next Delacorte book. Also at the table was the charming and wonderful Terry Young, prof at WSU and all-round good guy AND Professor Nancy Roser. I am seriously thinking of hiring her to come live at my house and give me daily pep talks. Seriously. This woman is some kind of steamroller of author love.

Wednesday morning (no photos; sorry) I participated in a panel with profs Donna Werderich, Pamela Farris and Linda Wedwick, as well as author Alice McGinty. Can you say superstars? I took copious notes during the session. What an amazing group of presenters -- too bad they got stuck with a deadbeat like me.
A surprise sighting: my dear friend, Dr. Nancy Johnson, soon on her way to Singapore where she'll teach 8th grade for 2 years

After shipping home all the books/ARCs I'd collected, I headed back to the hotel where I hung out for several hours until my car was due to come. I wish the car had come about 90 minutes earlier because with traffic and the crazy check-in system at O'Hare (seriously: ONE TSA agent to check ID? Whose idea was that?), I got to my gate just in time to board. Too close for my comfort, that's for sure. And no time to buy the latest copy of People.

Home again, safe and sound.

Stay tuned.


  1. I LOVE your crab trellis!

    And I am waaay impressed that you got everyone's names in those photos!! Looks like fun.

  2. The names are courtesty uber-marketing person, Lisa Nadel. I can barely remember my own name most days.