When I climbed out of the Big House Boxing Ring (see previous entry) at the recent ALA Midwinter Conference in Seattle, I managed to walk in a woozy line to the nearest anonymous table. There, I sat at a table with three unobtrusive women enjoying lunch.
I must have looked a sight, staring off at distant walls, face flushed hot, chin low to my collarbone. I’m just thankful they didn’t alert security!
After a few minutes, I pulled out my laptop, and re-crafted a sentence from my latest project and reflected on the reasons why I would spend four hours on an Amtrak train that morning to attend the conference. The reason: words make me happy, even if I sometimes come off like a blithering idiot. I may just be a krill in the Sea of Children’s Literature, but I love my habitat. I teach, read, and write in this genre and there’s no other place I’d rather swim.
Cheered, I introduced myself to the librarians at my table. “I just got knocked out by a Big House Editor,” I admitted, explaining my odd behaviour.
To which one replied, (God bless her!) “Who punched you? I’m going to go talk to them!”
We laughed together and they gave me a cheat sheet to maximizing the rest of my afternoon, encouraging me to “get back on the horse even if it kicks you off.” I came away from the day enjoying the conversation and contacts of several fantastic Canadian houses and received 22.8 kilograms of free books to browse in many genres, including signed copies for my kids, galley proofs and new upcoming books to share with the students at my school.