Saturday, June 24, 2006

Dear ALA Diary,

YALSA meeting 4pm—Volunteer for YALSA blah blah blah WWE Wrestlers are cool to work with blah blah blah Volunteer for the crummy committees so you can upgrade to cooler committees later blah blah blah NEIL GAIMEN blah blah blah Raffle off books, books on cd, mugs (didn’t win) blah blah.. NEIL GAIMEN HOMGWTF!

Yeah, so I might meet him over the weekend.

5:30 pm I go to dinner at Mulottes, which features Cajun music and spicy gumbos.. I had the Crawfish Etaufee, which was delicious because I like crawdads., and shared a plate of breaded Catfish bites. I hope I go back some time soon, because I want to stay long enough to go dancing. But instead I went to the Booklist program presenting for youth authors talking about humor.. more on that later,

7 pm—I am at the Hilton Riverside in the bathroom. I meet someone in a cool hat.. I chat her up and we go upstairs with her friend—all youth/teen librarians.. I find out fifteen minutes later that I have been speaking with the chair of the Newberry Award Committee. I rock.

8 pm—I am sitting with famous people listening to Mo Willems, Lisa Yee, David Lubar and Jack Gantos talk about Humor: Mo does standup comedy with a sketch pad and pen(he taught us, like he has taught many small children, how to draw his famous pidgeon, while telling us about his insane family). Lisa tells tales of embarrassing herself and her children in the pursuit of a true-to-life humor(told by another librarian that it was a good idea to ask for your book at bookstores and mis-pronounce the name, Lisa did this at her local bookstore.. and the woman looked at her levelly and said, “And that author would be YOU.” I think I would have died). David Lubar gives a gusty rant regarding the low status (for awards committees) of humorous youth fiction. His perhaps is the weakest because he stoops to conquer with some off color puns on popular youth titles.

Jack Gantos talks about the origins of humor in Homer: Homer apparently felt that humor in stories came from having characters who are so stupid the reader/listener feels smart. He made us all feel smart, by telling us about how stupid his family was when he was a kid, how is Mother had some relations, twins in fact, who “preserved” their own mother.. What a crazy pair! But then he twisted it up.. He placed a kernel of tragedy into this stupid story of his childhood, and turned the comedy sharp and tangy, because he suddenly made the entire audience feel just a little bit stupid (not saying more, you’ll just have to read Gantos’ next book.

The evening started with some slapstick and ended with a slap. Some of the librarians weren’t laughing by the end, but I thought they all did a bang up job.

11pm—In bed at Doubletree typing.. too tired to watch tv.. a first!

2 am—My roommate arrives.. my throat hurts.

6 am—I give up on sleeping, get a shower and prepare to attempt to get into the publisher’s breakfast.

7:15 am—HarperCollins breakfast. Grits, bacon, cheesy eggs, fruit, danishes. I’m full. I get some tea for my throat. I meet an author and embarrass myself. Margo Lanagan has a Printz Honor book.. she is nice.. I am feel dumb because I a)haven’t read her book and b)didn’t know who she was c)asked why she was at the HarperCollins breakfast. Oops. I pick up about 15 galleys (free books not yet published) Gail Carson Levine.. Terry Pratchett.. Chris Lynch.. Meg Cabot.. Wheee!

8:00 am—I sneak into the Penguin breakfast and get treated to lots of cool books (Looking Glass Wars) and a new t-shirt and .. Make new friends with publishing people. I think it helps when I say I’m buying the new collection at my library.. hee hee..

Friday, June 23, 2006

American Library Association Conference in New Orleans

So I am in New Orleans now, in the Convention center.. BLOGGING. ooooh.. Maybe I should blog the American Library Association meeting. First though, the flight and travel.

4:50 am-- URG.. No Shower. forced to eat something.. Not awake. Forced to use alternate deoderant because i already packed mine. I have a bad sore throat.. coughing.. meh.

6-7 am-- Detroit Airport.. blah.

9:20 am-- Atlanta. The junk food machines have Mr. Pibbs and Pork Rinds. I opt for a low calorie bad tasting smoothie.

11 am--Starving in New Orleans.. during the final decent, the plane is silent as everyone cranes their necks over to see if you can tell half the city is destroyed.. My middle seat doesn't afford much of a view, but the girl next to me is a Folklore major studying for test on Proverbs.. I read over her shoulder the whole flight.. yeah I'm annoying like that.

I meet SI staffer on plane.. she lost her luggage but she pays for my cab to Doubletree and promises to go to Mulottes(sp?) with me tonight. Score!

HOLY CRAP ITS HOT AND HUMID. Glad I brought lots of cotton and linen.

12 pm--Doubletree. Its kinda crummier than I thought it would be, (black hair in the sink!) but they gave me a warm cookie at check-in, so I will survive. Unpack my three dresses, three skirts, seven shirts.. for three and a half days. But I have a BIG Carry-on, so it was fine. My roommate will arrive at the hotel probably around 2 am. yay.

3:52 pm--I am now at the convention center, having registered. At 4pm I will go to a YALSA event. I am sitting in the CC lobby peeking into the exhibit hall where a GIANT Google sign is winking at me through a proped door. The CC is UGLY UGLY UGLY and HUGE.. even though half of it is still being renovated. My arm hurts from carrying my laptop and mega-purse.. think I will get a shuttle back to the hotel when this is over.

A few minutes ago I plopped onto the floor next to a girl in pink, mentally identifying her as a youth librarian (I was right). She identified me as the same. I guess we are obvious in our colorful outfits and sensible sneakers. She's in school in Missouri. We had a nice chat, despite my death-rattle cough.

That's all for now... with advil and cough drops I am doing okay!