Never Sign Near Mo And Other Conference Survival Tips

Ah, me. On the whole, the TLA convention was a blast, don't get me wrong, but watching (from my lonely author signing booth RIGHT NEXT DOOR) a long line of librarians waiting for Mo Willems was not so much fun. A score of sopranos squealed ecstatically when young Mr. Willems eventually appeared. Another one of Betsy Bird's Hot Men of Children's Literature, John Green, elicited a question during a YA author panel from a middle-aged woman who gushed embarrassingly about his cuteness. As E. Lockhart (Dramarama) commented when we commiserated over the young-guy-author-groupie-magnet factor, we are cute, too. Okay, she is cute, especially with that intricate Olde English tattoo fully encircling one buff upper arm.

I also got to chat with Kirby Larson of Hattie Big Sky fame (one of the three kind people in my author signing line), Cynthia Leitich Smith who wrote Tantalize (as generous with her Texas hug as she is with links and news on her famous blog), Esme Raji Codell (stylish, sweet, and smart in person and in print), and Copper Sun author Sharon Draper (who, on a hotel shuttle bus, passed on good advice about school visits and a lovely two-handed blessing she'd received years ago from Virginia Hamilton). The list goes on ... many other luminaries and celebrities were present, proving once again that Texas occupies a big, big place both in the country and in the world of children's literature.

Now I'm off to the 116th annual gathering of librarians in Connecticut, where author Joseph Bruchac is scheduled to provide the swoon factor.