I hope to be back in the saddle here (though my hay allergies make it hard to actually saddle up). In fact, I’d wanted to catch up, but felt overwhelmed by what I haven’t posted. Where to start? Do I move forward or look back? Today I look back. Tomorrow it might be different. Thanks for bearing with me.
Not so long ago, just after Thanksgiving, I hopped a plane for Tucson and the Arizona Library Association conference. For those of us who live through true winter climates, yeah, not a tough place to go in late November.
The warm weather (even warm by seasonal Tucson standards) couldn’t beat the energy from two great events.
At least for me – and I hope for the audience – the time speaking with three other authors during the Authors Panel flew way too quickly. And we’d just met. Just met -- a surprising statement given the fact that Jen Ward lives a 30-minute drive (as opposed to a 3-hour flight) from me. It was great finally seeing her in person. And just as great being with Amanda Noll (who’s lovely to have dinner with), and Jillian Kantor (who I would have loved to be able to chat with longer). I’d show you pictures of us all, but I conveniently left my camera upstairs in my hotel room.
However, in the awards luncheon just before, the wonderful Shirley Berow shot this picture.
I’m with my presenter, Hannah, who is as bright as she looks. Just so you know, she loves mashed potatoes. As far as why she and her co-presenter were chosen. “Because we’re awesome!” Somehow she pulled off that line without a stitch of arrogance. If only my characters could.
And yes, I am holding my Grand Canyon Readers Award upside down. Now, I need to erase that picture from my memory banks to stop envisioning all the residents and visitors in Arizona falling from floor to ceiling like figures in an inverted dollhouse.
Another highlight was meeting Lynne Avril, the current illustrator of the Amelia Bedelia books. It was fun talking Greenwillow business with her.
Reminder to self: For future reference, plan on spending the extra ten bucks to take the Westin La Paloma limo (fabulous hotel ... must return) back to the airport especially if you have a 6am flight. I guarantee they will not be 45 minutes late, getting you to the airport just as your plane is boarding. (Disclaimer: The shuttle issue was no fault of any Arizona organizer. I booked it myself.)
Finally, a big thanks to Jennifer Whitt and Cheryl McCurry for their fabulous organizational skills, their hospitality, and their warmth.