Good night, Austin

Wow.

This has been a whale of a day. It started with tourists.

Image hosted by TinyPic.com This is one of the fun ways you can get around Austin. This is actually a tour group, cruising the city on those bizarre Segway things. It looked like so much fun, I was tempted to ditch the conference.

But the people here are too nice. I spent most of the day at the Texas Library Association Conference. I had a booksigning, bought jewelry (yes!), and gave a speech to LOTS of librarians. LOTS. I freak out a little bit when the back row is too far away to see. The folks in the back row of my speech were in a different time zone.

After the conference I met up with Sarah Dessan (who is sweet and fun and is someone I wish I could hang out with more) and we went to the best bookstore in Austin, Book People.

Image hosted by TinyPic.com They keep a bulletin board for people looking to start new book groups. How smart is that?

Image hosted by TinyPic.com Got to love a bookstore that has poultry displays.

Image hosted by TinyPic.com Sarah aka writergrl

Image hosted by TinyPic.com We had a magnificent crowd, including my friends Sean and Tekla. It was a fun night.

I have a school visit in the morning, then a mad dash to the airport, to head to Philly via Chicago. I’m bummed I didn’t get to see some of my other Texas friends, but there wasn’t enough time. Shucks. I guess that means I have to come back to Austin to play, ride Segways, eat barbeque, listen to great music and buy a hat.

Sounds like a plan.

81 Replies to “Good night, Austin”

  1. hooray! you’re coming home!

    news of the day.. I got a $209 paycheck(251 before the govt).. I’m writting the most liberal essay ever, you’ll love it.. I only have practice till 3 on Saturday.. I have a B in English!.. it’s raining again.. Scott and I are going to the park on Saturday!.. you come home really soon!!

    love.

  2. hooray! you’re coming home!

    news of the day.. I got a $209 paycheck(251 before the govt).. I’m writting the most liberal essay ever, you’ll love it.. I only have practice till 3 on Saturday.. I have a B in English!.. it’s raining again.. Scott and I are going to the park on Saturday!.. you come home really soon!!

    love.

  3. hooray! you’re coming home!

    news of the day.. I got a $209 paycheck(251 before the govt).. I’m writting the most liberal essay ever, you’ll love it.. I only have practice till 3 on Saturday.. I have a B in English!.. it’s raining again.. Scott and I are going to the park on Saturday!.. you come home really soon!!

    love.

  4. Grammar

    Ms. Anderson,
    I enjoy your stories, but as an English teacher, there are a few points I would like to bring to your attention in your novel Catalyst. On page 126 your sentence reads, “I wish there were someone big enough to hold me in their lap so I could nap.” The sentence should read, “I wish there were someone big enough to hold me in his or her lap so I could nap.” Someone is a singular indefinite pronoun. The pronoun that follows the indefinite pronoun must be singular as well. I realize that their is becoming more acceptable, but it is not correct. There are two instances in chapters preceding chapter six where the word that is used instead of who with a person. I am sorry I can’t be more specific. I am writing because as I try to teach young people how to compose essays, it becomes increasingly more difficult when professional writers students enjoy have grammatical errors in their published works.
    Thank you for listening to my complaint. I appreciate your attention.

  5. Grammar

    Ms. Anderson,
    I enjoy your stories, but as an English teacher, there are a few points I would like to bring to your attention in your novel Catalyst. On page 126 your sentence reads, “I wish there were someone big enough to hold me in their lap so I could nap.” The sentence should read, “I wish there were someone big enough to hold me in his or her lap so I could nap.” Someone is a singular indefinite pronoun. The pronoun that follows the indefinite pronoun must be singular as well. I realize that their is becoming more acceptable, but it is not correct. There are two instances in chapters preceding chapter six where the word that is used instead of who with a person. I am sorry I can’t be more specific. I am writing because as I try to teach young people how to compose essays, it becomes increasingly more difficult when professional writers students enjoy have grammatical errors in their published works.
    Thank you for listening to my complaint. I appreciate your attention.

    1. Re: Grammar

      Thanks for your comment about this, but I am going to respectfully disagree with you. Your point is technically correct, of course. If I had written an essay, I’d advise my editor to make the suggested changes in the next edition of the book.

      But CATALYST is a novel, a first person point-of-view novel, and the narrator is a high school senior. While there might be high school seniors who would phrase the sentance in question the way you suggest, I don’t think Kate Malone is one of them.

      I love having this debate. When I was studying linguistics it came up a lot. I fall into the category of authors and linguists who embrace the flexible nature of language. I love the way English is changed by every generation. I agree with you that there is less room for change in formal writing pieces such as essays. But I feel strongly that realistic novels can and should reflect the language of the real world. A book told from the first person POV can be both grammatically incorrect and suitable for publication.

      I guess we’re going to agree to disagree on this one. Thank you for taking the time to point this out to me, and for caring so much about your students.

      1. Re: Grammar

        What a nice polite response, Laurie, to a rather snarky comment (anonymous yet). I got my hackles up and was about to respond snarkily, but I see you took the high road. You are my hero!

        I’m in TOTAL agreement with you, Laurie. I have a grammatically incorrect sentence in DON’T LOSE ME, but both my agent and I did this purposefully – it’s being written by the 8th grade protagonist. It’s how she’d say it/write it. We’ll see if an editor agrees (if this one ever sells).

        You are truly a wonderful person and a fan-freakin’-tastic author! you ROCK!

      2. Re: Grammar

        ROCK ON SISTER! That was an awesome comeback to the “grammatically correct no named poster” You have a back bone from hell and I love it!! It’s women like you that 17 year old girls like myself learn from and look up to.

        Billie

    2. Re: Grammar

      I taught middle school English for nine years and discovered that anomalies are the true gems of the writing craft. Language must be fluid in order to create voice; if authors were forced to adhere to the stringent rules of grammar, there would be no opportunity for them to pinch authenticity and eye of newt into the cauldron to create authentic voice. Just think of all the literature that would be stuck in a vault if writers couldn’t break the rules. (Really, think about it.)

      What better way to teach grammar than to look at the dissonance between the “rules” and the “rules that are broken”? Take the opportunity to discuss this with your students. Ask them why an author would break the rules. What is he or she trying to accomplish in doing so? Why not allow the students to break the rules, too? Discuss a rule and have the kids break it; they will learn the rule through the process of breaking it. And, I guarantee they will have fun. Bring in song lyrics and ask the students to “correct” what is grammatically “incorrect.” For goodness’ sake, bring in quotes from our very own President; now there’s an opportunity to teach grammar. As we teachers know, if the kids are having fun while they learn, the learning is going to be memorable and genuine.

      Even more important, discuss audience. An essay written for an English teacher is going to look a lot different than a letter to a friend. Or a story. And isn’t that the magic of language? We get to taffy pull it in a myriad of directions.

      Sure, a formal essay should be written in language that is both clear and grammatically correct. It adds credibility, formality. If we deny kids the opportunity to play with language, we are doing more harm than good. I don’t know about you, but I wanted my kids to fall in love with language, to act on the impulse of writing an idea in raw form, to rant about injustice, to create gritty, realistic characters. This doesn’t always involve being grammatically correct. Self-expression is purdy darned important at this age. If we expect perfection in every genre of their writing world, they will cower at the fear of the impending red pen. They will be silenced.

      Kids are smart enough to code switch if they know what we expect from them.

  6. Grammar

    Ms. Anderson,
    I enjoy your stories, but as an English teacher, there are a few points I would like to bring to your attention in your novel Catalyst. On page 126 your sentence reads, “I wish there were someone big enough to hold me in their lap so I could nap.” The sentence should read, “I wish there were someone big enough to hold me in his or her lap so I could nap.” Someone is a singular indefinite pronoun. The pronoun that follows the indefinite pronoun must be singular as well. I realize that their is becoming more acceptable, but it is not correct. There are two instances in chapters preceding chapter six where the word that is used instead of who with a person. I am sorry I can’t be more specific. I am writing because as I try to teach young people how to compose essays, it becomes increasingly more difficult when professional writers students enjoy have grammatical errors in their published works.
    Thank you for listening to my complaint. I appreciate your attention.

  7. Small World

    You met Tekla??? No fair! 🙂 Sean and I are pals (Cyn introduced us via e-mail, and we met last fall at the Rutgers conference) – I remember him saying he knew you! Sounds like you’re having such a great time! I want to visit Austin someday!

  8. Small World

    You met Tekla??? No fair! 🙂 Sean and I are pals (Cyn introduced us via e-mail, and we met last fall at the Rutgers conference) – I remember him saying he knew you! Sounds like you’re having such a great time! I want to visit Austin someday!

    1. Re: Small World

      She’s adorable. You have to come down here. In fact, I suggest a mass exodus of us northern writers down to Austin next March when we are really sick of the snow.

  9. Small World

    You met Tekla??? No fair! 🙂 Sean and I are pals (Cyn introduced us via e-mail, and we met last fall at the Rutgers conference) – I remember him saying he knew you! Sounds like you’re having such a great time! I want to visit Austin someday!

  10. Re: Grammar

    Thanks for your comment about this, but I am going to respectfully disagree with you. Your point is technically correct, of course. If I had written an essay, I’d advise my editor to make the suggested changes in the next edition of the book.

    But CATALYST is a novel, a first person point-of-view novel, and the narrator is a high school senior. While there might be high school seniors who would phrase the sentance in question the way you suggest, I don’t think Kate Malone is one of them.

    I love having this debate. When I was studying linguistics it came up a lot. I fall into the category of authors and linguists who embrace the flexible nature of language. I love the way English is changed by every generation. I agree with you that there is less room for change in formal writing pieces such as essays. But I feel strongly that realistic novels can and should reflect the language of the real world. A book told from the first person POV can be both grammatically incorrect and suitable for publication.

    I guess we’re going to agree to disagree on this one. Thank you for taking the time to point this out to me, and for caring so much about your students.

  11. Re: Grammar

    Thanks for your comment about this, but I am going to respectfully disagree with you. Your point is technically correct, of course. If I had written an essay, I’d advise my editor to make the suggested changes in the next edition of the book.

    But CATALYST is a novel, a first person point-of-view novel, and the narrator is a high school senior. While there might be high school seniors who would phrase the sentance in question the way you suggest, I don’t think Kate Malone is one of them.

    I love having this debate. When I was studying linguistics it came up a lot. I fall into the category of authors and linguists who embrace the flexible nature of language. I love the way English is changed by every generation. I agree with you that there is less room for change in formal writing pieces such as essays. But I feel strongly that realistic novels can and should reflect the language of the real world. A book told from the first person POV can be both grammatically incorrect and suitable for publication.

    I guess we’re going to agree to disagree on this one. Thank you for taking the time to point this out to me, and for caring so much about your students.

  12. Re: Small World

    She’s adorable. You have to come down here. In fact, I suggest a mass exodus of us northern writers down to Austin next March when we are really sick of the snow.

  13. Re: Small World

    She’s adorable. You have to come down here. In fact, I suggest a mass exodus of us northern writers down to Austin next March when we are really sick of the snow.

  14. Re: Grammar

    What a nice polite response, Laurie, to a rather snarky comment (anonymous yet). I got my hackles up and was about to respond snarkily, but I see you took the high road. You are my hero!

    I’m in TOTAL agreement with you, Laurie. I have a grammatically incorrect sentence in DON’T LOSE ME, but both my agent and I did this purposefully – it’s being written by the 8th grade protagonist. It’s how she’d say it/write it. We’ll see if an editor agrees (if this one ever sells).

    You are truly a wonderful person and a fan-freakin’-tastic author! you ROCK!

  15. Re: Grammar

    What a nice polite response, Laurie, to a rather snarky comment (anonymous yet). I got my hackles up and was about to respond snarkily, but I see you took the high road. You are my hero!

    I’m in TOTAL agreement with you, Laurie. I have a grammatically incorrect sentence in DON’T LOSE ME, but both my agent and I did this purposefully – it’s being written by the 8th grade protagonist. It’s how she’d say it/write it. We’ll see if an editor agrees (if this one ever sells).

    You are truly a wonderful person and a fan-freakin’-tastic author! you ROCK!

  16. I love the Segway caravan…only in Austin.

    Am jealous you got to hang out with Sarah. I’ve known her via phone and online for years, but we’ve never met in person. Someday!

  17. I love the Segway caravan…only in Austin.

    Am jealous you got to hang out with Sarah. I’ve known her via phone and online for years, but we’ve never met in person. Someday!

  18. I love the Segway caravan…only in Austin.

    Am jealous you got to hang out with Sarah. I’ve known her via phone and online for years, but we’ve never met in person. Someday!

  19. Oh how I wish I could have gone to Austin! I would have loved to meet you and Sarah(two of my favorite writers) Sarah seems like a lot of fun and just down to earth. Its weird because I consider both of you as “celebrities” and I would feel like a total fangirl if I met either of you. I love reading books, especially ones that leave me with the feeling of not wanting to put it down and afterwards going “WOW, that was an amazing book!” anyways, Im rambling on, glad you had fun! Let me know when you come back to TX, hopefully Houston 😉

  20. Oh how I wish I could have gone to Austin! I would have loved to meet you and Sarah(two of my favorite writers) Sarah seems like a lot of fun and just down to earth. Its weird because I consider both of you as “celebrities” and I would feel like a total fangirl if I met either of you. I love reading books, especially ones that leave me with the feeling of not wanting to put it down and afterwards going “WOW, that was an amazing book!” anyways, Im rambling on, glad you had fun! Let me know when you come back to TX, hopefully Houston 😉

    1. ^Totally agree to mostly everything except the Houston thing.

      Because I would love for you to come to New Jersey (where I live) or at least NY.

      I love both yours and Sarah Dessen’s works and idolize you two immensely.

      If I liked writing as much as I loved reading, maybe I would follow in your footsteps.

      But alas, writing is not my forte.

  21. Oh how I wish I could have gone to Austin! I would have loved to meet you and Sarah(two of my favorite writers) Sarah seems like a lot of fun and just down to earth. Its weird because I consider both of you as “celebrities” and I would feel like a total fangirl if I met either of you. I love reading books, especially ones that leave me with the feeling of not wanting to put it down and afterwards going “WOW, that was an amazing book!” anyways, Im rambling on, glad you had fun! Let me know when you come back to TX, hopefully Houston 😉

  22. Re: Grammar

    I taught middle school English for nine years and discovered that anomalies are the true gems of the writing craft. Language must be fluid in order to create voice; if authors were forced to adhere to the stringent rules of grammar, there would be no opportunity for them to pinch authenticity and eye of newt into the cauldron to create authentic voice. Just think of all the literature that would be stuck in a vault if writers couldn’t break the rules. (Really, think about it.)

    What better way to teach grammar than to look at the dissonance between the “rules” and the “rules that are broken”? Take the opportunity to discuss this with your students. Ask them why an author would break the rules. What is he or she trying to accomplish in doing so? Why not allow the students to break the rules, too? Discuss a rule and have the kids break it; they will learn the rule through the process of breaking it. And, I guarantee they will have fun. Bring in song lyrics and ask the students to “correct” what is grammatically “incorrect.” For goodness’ sake, bring in quotes from our very own President; now there’s an opportunity to teach grammar. As we teachers know, if the kids are having fun while they learn, the learning is going to be memorable and genuine.

    Even more important, discuss audience. An essay written for an English teacher is going to look a lot different than a letter to a friend. Or a story. And isn’t that the magic of language? We get to taffy pull it in a myriad of directions.

    Sure, a formal essay should be written in language that is both clear and grammatically correct. It adds credibility, formality. If we deny kids the opportunity to play with language, we are doing more harm than good. I don’t know about you, but I wanted my kids to fall in love with language, to act on the impulse of writing an idea in raw form, to rant about injustice, to create gritty, realistic characters. This doesn’t always involve being grammatically correct. Self-expression is purdy darned important at this age. If we expect perfection in every genre of their writing world, they will cower at the fear of the impending red pen. They will be silenced.

    Kids are smart enough to code switch if they know what we expect from them.

  23. Re: Grammar

    I taught middle school English for nine years and discovered that anomalies are the true gems of the writing craft. Language must be fluid in order to create voice; if authors were forced to adhere to the stringent rules of grammar, there would be no opportunity for them to pinch authenticity and eye of newt into the cauldron to create authentic voice. Just think of all the literature that would be stuck in a vault if writers couldn’t break the rules. (Really, think about it.)

    What better way to teach grammar than to look at the dissonance between the “rules” and the “rules that are broken”? Take the opportunity to discuss this with your students. Ask them why an author would break the rules. What is he or she trying to accomplish in doing so? Why not allow the students to break the rules, too? Discuss a rule and have the kids break it; they will learn the rule through the process of breaking it. And, I guarantee they will have fun. Bring in song lyrics and ask the students to “correct” what is grammatically “incorrect.” For goodness’ sake, bring in quotes from our very own President; now there’s an opportunity to teach grammar. As we teachers know, if the kids are having fun while they learn, the learning is going to be memorable and genuine.

    Even more important, discuss audience. An essay written for an English teacher is going to look a lot different than a letter to a friend. Or a story. And isn’t that the magic of language? We get to taffy pull it in a myriad of directions.

    Sure, a formal essay should be written in language that is both clear and grammatically correct. It adds credibility, formality. If we deny kids the opportunity to play with language, we are doing more harm than good. I don’t know about you, but I wanted my kids to fall in love with language, to act on the impulse of writing an idea in raw form, to rant about injustice, to create gritty, realistic characters. This doesn’t always involve being grammatically correct. Self-expression is purdy darned important at this age. If we expect perfection in every genre of their writing world, they will cower at the fear of the impending red pen. They will be silenced.

    Kids are smart enough to code switch if they know what we expect from them.

  24. ^Totally agree to mostly everything except the Houston thing.

    Because I would love for you to come to New Jersey (where I live) or at least NY.

    I love both yours and Sarah Dessen’s works and idolize you two immensely.

    If I liked writing as much as I loved reading, maybe I would follow in your footsteps.

    But alas, writing is not my forte.

  25. ^Totally agree to mostly everything except the Houston thing.

    Because I would love for you to come to New Jersey (where I live) or at least NY.

    I love both yours and Sarah Dessen’s works and idolize you two immensely.

    If I liked writing as much as I loved reading, maybe I would follow in your footsteps.

    But alas, writing is not my forte.

  26. Fun Night!

    Hey Laurie, this is April from Clint Small Middle School. That was a fun night and today was really cool when you came to talk to the students at my school. We really appreciate it!
    *_-April-_*

  27. Fun Night!

    Hey Laurie, this is April from Clint Small Middle School. That was a fun night and today was really cool when you came to talk to the students at my school. We really appreciate it!
    *_-April-_*

  28. Fun Night!

    Hey Laurie, this is April from Clint Small Middle School. That was a fun night and today was really cool when you came to talk to the students at my school. We really appreciate it!
    *_-April-_*

  29. thx!!

    hey Laurie, thanks for coming to Clint Small, we all really appreciated it and I can’t wait to read some more of your novels! Hope you liked visiting Austin!

  30. thx!!

    hey Laurie, thanks for coming to Clint Small, we all really appreciated it and I can’t wait to read some more of your novels! Hope you liked visiting Austin!

  31. thx!!

    hey Laurie, thanks for coming to Clint Small, we all really appreciated it and I can’t wait to read some more of your novels! Hope you liked visiting Austin!

  32. TLA Earring friends

    Hello Laurie!
    This is the other Laurie, earring shopper, from TLA.
    Which by the way I love, love, love the earrings I ended up with.
    I gave my daughter your books and she was in awe! She should be writing you soon. We both are looking forward to reading your new book.
    Sounds like you enjoyed your TEXAS visit, hope you plan on coming back!
    Your website is FANTASTIC! All the “earthy” elements really touch base with me. I create and maitain our campus website, and that of the local community theater, so I know the work that has gone into yours, kudos to the creator!
    Keep up the great writing!
    Laurie Gordon
    Texas

  33. TLA Earring friends

    Hello Laurie!
    This is the other Laurie, earring shopper, from TLA.
    Which by the way I love, love, love the earrings I ended up with.
    I gave my daughter your books and she was in awe! She should be writing you soon. We both are looking forward to reading your new book.
    Sounds like you enjoyed your TEXAS visit, hope you plan on coming back!
    Your website is FANTASTIC! All the “earthy” elements really touch base with me. I create and maitain our campus website, and that of the local community theater, so I know the work that has gone into yours, kudos to the creator!
    Keep up the great writing!
    Laurie Gordon
    Texas

    1. Re: TLA Earring friends

      Hi Other Laurie –

      It was so much fun meeting you. Let’s meet up at another jewelry booth soon. Glad you liked the website.

  34. TLA Earring friends

    Hello Laurie!
    This is the other Laurie, earring shopper, from TLA.
    Which by the way I love, love, love the earrings I ended up with.
    I gave my daughter your books and she was in awe! She should be writing you soon. We both are looking forward to reading your new book.
    Sounds like you enjoyed your TEXAS visit, hope you plan on coming back!
    Your website is FANTASTIC! All the “earthy” elements really touch base with me. I create and maitain our campus website, and that of the local community theater, so I know the work that has gone into yours, kudos to the creator!
    Keep up the great writing!
    Laurie Gordon
    Texas

  35. Wow

    Wow, I just got you’re book “Prom.” I’m really amazed. It is better than all your other books! Keep up the great work!

    Mari

  36. Wow

    Wow, I just got you’re book “Prom.” I’m really amazed. It is better than all your other books! Keep up the great work!

    Mari

  37. Wow

    Wow, I just got you’re book “Prom.” I’m really amazed. It is better than all your other books! Keep up the great work!

    Mari

  38. Oh my gosh!

    You met Sarah Dessen??? That’s so awesome! I loved “Someone Like You” to bits! I’d love to meet her someday!
    Btw did you know you were in the paper here? No biggy I know, but yeah you were and for some reason they put the photo of Michael and I on the front. The best part was the caption said, “Laurie Halse Anderson signs Michael’s hand per his request, as Caitlin LOOKS ON!!!!” Ahahahaha I almost died from laughing, it was so great! I’m sorry but I just love blind jokes like that. Except that wasn’t really an intentional joke. But anyway. Twas very amusing. I really can’t express how nifty it was to meet you.
    Oh and Michael’s class just finished Speak and we had a little book talk about it which was fun. None of my other friends have read it…Yet…I’m working on it.
    Take care.
    XOXOOXX,
    Caitlin

  39. Oh my gosh!

    You met Sarah Dessen??? That’s so awesome! I loved “Someone Like You” to bits! I’d love to meet her someday!
    Btw did you know you were in the paper here? No biggy I know, but yeah you were and for some reason they put the photo of Michael and I on the front. The best part was the caption said, “Laurie Halse Anderson signs Michael’s hand per his request, as Caitlin LOOKS ON!!!!” Ahahahaha I almost died from laughing, it was so great! I’m sorry but I just love blind jokes like that. Except that wasn’t really an intentional joke. But anyway. Twas very amusing. I really can’t express how nifty it was to meet you.
    Oh and Michael’s class just finished Speak and we had a little book talk about it which was fun. None of my other friends have read it…Yet…I’m working on it.
    Take care.
    XOXOOXX,
    Caitlin

  40. Oh my gosh!

    You met Sarah Dessen??? That’s so awesome! I loved “Someone Like You” to bits! I’d love to meet her someday!
    Btw did you know you were in the paper here? No biggy I know, but yeah you were and for some reason they put the photo of Michael and I on the front. The best part was the caption said, “Laurie Halse Anderson signs Michael’s hand per his request, as Caitlin LOOKS ON!!!!” Ahahahaha I almost died from laughing, it was so great! I’m sorry but I just love blind jokes like that. Except that wasn’t really an intentional joke. But anyway. Twas very amusing. I really can’t express how nifty it was to meet you.
    Oh and Michael’s class just finished Speak and we had a little book talk about it which was fun. None of my other friends have read it…Yet…I’m working on it.
    Take care.
    XOXOOXX,
    Caitlin

  41. Re: TLA Earring friends

    Hi Other Laurie –

    It was so much fun meeting you. Let’s meet up at another jewelry booth soon. Glad you liked the website.

  42. Re: TLA Earring friends

    Hi Other Laurie –

    It was so much fun meeting you. Let’s meet up at another jewelry booth soon. Glad you liked the website.

  43. Re: Grammar

    ROCK ON SISTER! That was an awesome comeback to the “grammatically correct no named poster” You have a back bone from hell and I love it!! It’s women like you that 17 year old girls like myself learn from and look up to.

    Billie

  44. Re: Grammar

    ROCK ON SISTER! That was an awesome comeback to the “grammatically correct no named poster” You have a back bone from hell and I love it!! It’s women like you that 17 year old girls like myself learn from and look up to.

    Billie

Comments are closed.