People have been asking me about ALA and what I liked best. It being my first annual conference, I had a lot of ups and downs. I felt particularly angry/bummed when the HarperCollins book buzz ended and I found that the line for the Children’s/YA book buzz was already snaking out of the room. I was particularly upset to see someone with an armload of books leave the room and not stay for the presentation, because I got no books. But, after I left the room I got a tweet from Chelle and that helped to cheer me up!
My next big disappointment was waiting in line to have a book signed by Toni Morrison. Ms. Morrison is one of my favorite authors and they sold out of books 2 people ahead of me. I was going to bring my own book, but I didn’t – lesson learned. I also had to remind myself that I saw Toni Morrison and she was wonderful. I cried when I saw her. It’s not all about the signed books after all.
When I was leaving the hall all disgruntled, I reminded myself about the experience I had that morning, which will be more memorable and meaningful in the long run.
I went to the Penguin booth to have a copy of new book by Jane Yolen and David Small, Elsie’s Bird, signed by the illustrator. I brought along a copy of The Gardener illustrated by David Small and written by his wife Sarah Stewart. I asked if he would sign it, which he did and then handed it off to his wife who was sitting right next to him. I had a nice conversation with them about the book. They are so nice and they obviously love each other very much. I’m not sure if you can see it in the picture but Sarah Stewart put “and my sweetheart” between her name and her husbands. awh.. Ms. Stewart was telling me that she’ll probably have a new book coming out next year. I’m looking forward to it. Before I left, she gave me a picture of her garden with tips for aspiring writers on the back. That’s the thing that I brought back from ALA that is the most dearest to my heart. And, of course, it is the one thing that I lost in the shuffle on my way home! But, I found it and it made me happy all over again.