Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Not Quite ALA

As most of you know, this past weekend was the ALA Midwinter conference in San Diego. I was so excited to hear that ALA was going to be so close to me, and I immediately started planning when I was going to go, who I was going to meet up with, and which ARCs I was going to try to snag.
What I didn't pay attention to in my meticulous planning was the fact that ALA happened to fall on the same weekend as my trip to the east coast to visit my best friend.* Yeah, this is my life. What are the odds that a major publishing event would be going on in Southern California the same weekend I'm in NYC?! I swear.

So, sadly, I missed ALA. I tried not to combust with jealousy as I read people's updates on Twitter as I was freezing in ways I had never imagined. (I am SO not built for the cold/snow. Like...not at ALL.)

I did get to do some fun bookish things while I was on the east coast, though!

While in CT, home of my bff, I paid a visit to the Mark Twain house. I'm a huge Mark Twain fangirl**, so I was excited to visit his home and learn more about him. I love historical homes anyway, and just picturing Twain hanging out in the places I was walking through was a pretty cool experience.


In NYC I paid a visit to The Strand bookstore. I was in awe of this place. The YA section blew my mind...there, on the shevles, were so many books I have been wanting to get my hands on, but they never have at my local Borders/B&N! Every single YA book I had ever heard of, and many many I had never heard of. They also have a section where they sell ARCs***, so I picked up a couple and pretended I was at ALA, even though I was paying for them, and the books are actually already out now. Close enough, right?

Exploding with happiness in the YA section

I recently read Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn, so I had to pay a visit to the Salinger section. I didn't find a red moleskine waiting for me, but I did find a copy of Franny & Zooey. I already have that book, so I bought a copy of Raise High The Roofbeam, Carpenters instead.

I had to climb a ladder, that's why this angle is so weird

Another highlight of my NYC trip was meeting up with two members of my writing group, Shana Silver and Melissa Remshard. I met Shana for the first time a few months ago when she came out to CA for a wedding, so I was so excited to hang out with her again. And this was my first time meeting Melissa. We had a blast talking about everything writing...it was just like one of our weekly chats, but in real life, and with margaritas. I'm so happy to be surrounded with such smart, encouraging, and FUN ladies. I feel so lucky, I just wiish I could be surrounded with them IRL instead of just online. Hopefully we can meet up again soon!

(The pictures from this dinner are stuck on my phone and won't come off. It's probably for the best.)

I got home from the east coast late Sunday night, and I went back to work on Monday morning after a three week break. I was tired and disorganized, so Monday night wasn't exactly the ideal time to drive through traffic to LA for a book signing. However, there is a very short list of authors I will move heaven and earth to see if they are in town, and David Levithan is one of them. So even though I still had to unpack, I braved rush hour and made my way up to LA for his his The Lover's Dictionary signing at Book Soup, another amazing bookstore.

They set up his reading in the erotica section. I couldn't stop laughing because right behind his left shoulder is something called The Big Breasts Calendar. 

David Levithan was awesome, as usual, and I loved hanging out with my buddy Tameka and seeing the awesome Khy, who even more of a DL lover than I am. Not that I doubted that it would be, but the reading/signing was well worth the drive and the exhaustion. And I'm SO pumped to read The Lover's Dictionary

So now I'm home and settled, all cuddled on the couch with my little dog and my new books. I'm still seething with jealousy**** over all of the ALA updates I'm reading about on blogs, but I'm happy knowing I had my own fun little book weekend. 

*Does this ever happen to anyone else? You plan one thing for Saturday and another thing for the 5th and then you realize after plans have been made for both that Saturday and the 5th are the same darn day? Even my Google calendar can't outsmart my brain on those ones.

** Here is a drawing one of my former students made for me of me marrying Mark Twain. 

My husband and Nick Carraway from The Great Gatsby are crying in the corner, and there is a bird coming out of Twain's hair. This student always made the best drawings for me. You may recall the drawing of me getting sorted into Ravenclaw...same girl.

***hmm...how do they do this? Whatever.

**** I have some jealousy issues. I'm not proud of this. But when I have to miss out on fun things and other people get to do them, I seriously get a little testy. This is why I have a hard time signing off of Twitter. I'm convinced all types of awesome conversations are going to happen the second I X out of it, and it drives me batty.


  1. So cool you got to visit your BFF and meet some writing partners, that's awesome. Too bad you missed the ALA event, boo. This drawing is ridiculously great!
    Did you read that they're censoring the new copies of Huck Finn?

  2. Sounds like a wonderful weekend!
    I love that he set up the reading in the erotica section. Priceless!

  3. Your weekend sounded like a blast even though it didn't include ALA. I love the Strand!

  4. Awesome trip! So jealous you went to the Strand. I really want to go there and eat at Veselka's in honor of Rachel and David on my trip to NYC.

  5. Sucks that you missed ALA, but you got to meet up with me and Shana so I guess that's a pretty good consolation prize!

  6. Sounds like such a fun weekend! I have never been to The Strand, surprisingly enough, but I absolutely need to go! I had no idea they sold ARC's. Pretty cool!

  7. I am so jealz of your pic inside the Strand! I

  8. Sounds like you had an awesome time!