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Monday, June 29, 2015

What It's Really Like: #ALAAC15

I got home yesterday from the American Library Association Conference in San Francisco yesterday, although the festivities are still going strong. For those of you that don't know, this conference hosts the celebrations for the winners of the ALA Youth Media Awards, (the Newbery, the Caldecott, the Wilder, the Printz, the Geisel, etc) so it is a veritable who's who in children's literature. The last time I went was three years ago, right before THE SEVEN TALES OF TRINKET came out. This year, I was there to celebrate the release (July 7th!!) of SECRETS OF SELKIE BAY.

Let me be honest here. It is an overwhelming event.

What happens is that there are so many people that you "know" either from their books or their online presence--like SO MANY PEOPLE. You kind of feel like you might be friends with them--the trouble is that you have never really talked to them in REAL LIFE so it is...weird. This is how it went for me:

Me:  Is that who I think it is?  Yes...it is!  Now wait...maybe not...no, yes, it is!

IDENTIFICATION ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED

Me:  Okay, so that person is totally talking to someone else. I won't interrupt. I'll just...hang out over here...close enough to say something...in a minute, of course...not yet...L'll look over at the desserts so I don't look too creepy like I am eavesdropping or something...even though it is impossible to eavesdrop because it is SO LOUD IN HERE.  Hmm..that looks like salted caramel frosting on the cupcake...oh..darn..

SUBJECT HAS CHANGED LOCATION. CONVERSATION DENIED.

Me:  So there's another person that I know...Hey!  It's my editor!  Yes!  Okay, I'll talk for a bit, try not to be too clingy or anything.  

CONVERSATION ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED

Me:  Rats. Editor has to move on--I guess he edits more than just my books. Figures. Okay, back to spotting people I know. OMIGOD!!!  I cannot believe it!  It's really her!  I finally get to meet an author idol...I just...okay...well, what am I going to say?  "Hi, you don't know me but I know you from your twitter and your books, which I LOVE and it's not creepy, or anything, that I favorite everything you say...is it?  Because I am just a fan, but I write books, too, not anything you've heard of or anything....blah, blah, blah, blah, blah..."  NO!  I AM NOT GOING TO SAY THAT.

Me: Stares blankly. Examines tops of shoes.

COWARD ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED

So, yeah, It is weird. There were so many people there that I knew in the virtual world, but only a handful I was brave enough to talk to. Don't get me wrong, it was lovely and all. I actually talked to more people that I "knew" than I thought I would.

This was the set up right at the beginning of the Macmillan Dessert Party. Look how friendly my book is to Caldecott Honor Book FRIDA by Yuyi Morales. They are having a conversation. Unfortunately, I never did get to have a conversation with Yuyi Morales and tell her how much my students loved her book and how, with her multi-media art, she is inspiring an new generation of artists. Alas
Before the dessert party, I didn't want to eat too much so I settled for bread and water. (NOT REALLY!) I ate a few grilled oysters that were awesome, but they didn't last for pictures.

Breakfast meetings would be incomplete without oatmeal at The Grove.

Obligatory Golden Gate Bridge Picture. I am pretty sure that there is an alien craft in the upper left part of the picture. 

At Dean and Deluca in Napa. So true
Stayed a night at Harris Ranch on the way home. Someday ask me why I needed to stay at Harris Ranch on the way home and I will tell you--it is far too long a tale for this blog, filled with events so quirky and unbelievable it defies reason. But yeah, there were cows there.
The takeway?  Actually, I don't know what the takeaway is. The ALA conference is awesome. I got lots of arcs and swag and had a great time looking at colleges with my daughter and her friend afterwards. I got to live in the world of children's publishing for a day and it's a lovely place to be. So many dedicated people.

But now I must venture back to the land of writing. It is a little less crowded, which is good for me. Just me, actually, and a desk, and my Darth Vader flash drive.

And Darth Vader doesn't seem to mind much if I don't make eye-contact or talk. He's probably sleeping inside of that mask anyway.

xo-

Shelley

PS. If you saw me there and I didn't talk to you, it's probably because I was cowardly. Sorry.

2 comments:

Kelly H-Y said...

Oh my goodness, this made me chuckle! And, congrats on your upcoming release!

Nancy Villalobos said...

Hilarious, as usual. I'm so glad you went and got to hobnob (which doesn't always include conversing) with so many people you (sort of) know and admire. Write on!