NCTE fun

You know the best way to travel to the National Council of Teachers of English conference? Drive 7.5 hours to Pittsburgh with your best girlfriend in the car. BGF (aka Beth the College Professor) and I have not had the chance to talk our fool heads off in way too long, so that’s what we did the whole drive. It seemed like we were only in the car for an hour or so.

When we arrived, our room wasn’t ready so we changed out of our scuzzy traveling clothes in a hotel bathroom and did our make-up in the mirror while chatting with two girls who go to a local high school whose English teacher is Ms. Dana Getz. There are a million English teachers in Pittsburgh right now, so consider this your shout-out, Ms. Getz, in case I don’t run into you.

I spoke on a panel about bullying that was organized by C. J. Bott, author of The Bully in the Book and in the Classroom. Also on the panel were Graham Salisbury, and one of my favorite writers:

Image hosted by TinyPic.comJames Howe.

And there was a book signing. And then not enough sleep. And after breakfast this morning, another book signing. And another book signing. And another book signing. And then I signed stock for Anderson’s Bookshop (no relation). All in all I signed books for almost five hours today.

Image hosted by TinyPic.comHere are the teachers who lined up early at the Simon & Schuster booth. People often ask if I get bored at book signings, or if my hand gets tired. I love them. Honestly. Especially at a conference like this where I meet teachers from all over the country and they tell me how they use my books in their school, and what their students like, and the kinds of books their students are hungry for. It is a real privilege to shake the hands of so many hardworking teachers. And no, my hand does not get tired. All the hours spent typing on this keyboard keep my fingers in good shape.

Image hosted by TinyPic.com During one of the signings I sat next to a hero of mine: Lois Lowery!!! I was a total drooling fangirl and she was gentle and gracious.

Tonight I’ll be at a dinner hosted by Penguin and then a party by Simon & Schuster. Tomorrow will be much calmer…. not sure if I’ll sleep, visit workshops, write, or all of the above.

57 Replies to “NCTE fun”

  1. sleeping while out of town

    you had best get some rest, lest you be too tired for a test, for BH might jest about your next lack of rest

  2. sleeping while out of town

    you had best get some rest, lest you be too tired for a test, for BH might jest about your next lack of rest

  3. sleeping while out of town

    you had best get some rest, lest you be too tired for a test, for BH might jest about your next lack of rest

  4. Yay, you look very healthy in that pic. In Rochester you looked kinda worn out, but then I think you said you had a cold and had been traveling.

    That’s great that you met Lois! Meeting someone you really look up to is just amazing. Which reminds me, Rochester was great! And yes, I’m almost always that nervous.

    I love Pittsburgh; I stopped there on a roadtrip last spring. The Cathedral of Learning rocked my socks off.

  5. Yay, you look very healthy in that pic. In Rochester you looked kinda worn out, but then I think you said you had a cold and had been traveling.

    That’s great that you met Lois! Meeting someone you really look up to is just amazing. Which reminds me, Rochester was great! And yes, I’m almost always that nervous.

    I love Pittsburgh; I stopped there on a roadtrip last spring. The Cathedral of Learning rocked my socks off.

  6. Yay, you look very healthy in that pic. In Rochester you looked kinda worn out, but then I think you said you had a cold and had been traveling.

    That’s great that you met Lois! Meeting someone you really look up to is just amazing. Which reminds me, Rochester was great! And yes, I’m almost always that nervous.

    I love Pittsburgh; I stopped there on a roadtrip last spring. The Cathedral of Learning rocked my socks off.

  7. Hi! I don’t know you, but this showed up on my “friends of friends” page, and I absolutely have to comment because I lurve Lois Lowry and would also be a drooling fangirl if I met her. Only today at work I saw an Italian greyhound with a pink spot on his head; apparently it started out being a heart, on Halloween, and now it’s a roundish blob. I remarked to a coworker, “That totally reminds me of Anastasia Krupnik’s gerbils when she color-coded the tops of their heads with Magic Markers to keep track of them. Ohmigosh, you guys never read Anastasia books? How is that possible?”

    (That’s the longest comment I think I’ve ever posted…and for someone I totally don’t know. I love LiveJournal.)

  8. Hi! I don’t know you, but this showed up on my “friends of friends” page, and I absolutely have to comment because I lurve Lois Lowry and would also be a drooling fangirl if I met her. Only today at work I saw an Italian greyhound with a pink spot on his head; apparently it started out being a heart, on Halloween, and now it’s a roundish blob. I remarked to a coworker, “That totally reminds me of Anastasia Krupnik’s gerbils when she color-coded the tops of their heads with Magic Markers to keep track of them. Ohmigosh, you guys never read Anastasia books? How is that possible?”

    (That’s the longest comment I think I’ve ever posted…and for someone I totally don’t know. I love LiveJournal.)

  9. Hi! I don’t know you, but this showed up on my “friends of friends” page, and I absolutely have to comment because I lurve Lois Lowry and would also be a drooling fangirl if I met her. Only today at work I saw an Italian greyhound with a pink spot on his head; apparently it started out being a heart, on Halloween, and now it’s a roundish blob. I remarked to a coworker, “That totally reminds me of Anastasia Krupnik’s gerbils when she color-coded the tops of their heads with Magic Markers to keep track of them. Ohmigosh, you guys never read Anastasia books? How is that possible?”

    (That’s the longest comment I think I’ve ever posted…and for someone I totally don’t know. I love LiveJournal.)

  10. oh, the beautiful irony.

    i just reread speak for probably the 7th or 8th time three days ago after coming across it on my bookshelf and remembering how much i loved it. i was just thinking about the book tonight, and remembered your website address as posted in the back of the book, and decided to check it out. and then to find that you have a livejournal! it’s inspiring – you wouldn’t think that someone so profoundly talented would keep a livejournal just like us, the whining mess of common teenagers.

    anyway. my point is, thank you for giving us such a beautiful piece of writing. it affects so many of us in so many ways. speak was the reason that i decided to hone my skills and attempt to become a writer someday, and for that i am eternally grateful.

  11. oh, the beautiful irony.

    i just reread speak for probably the 7th or 8th time three days ago after coming across it on my bookshelf and remembering how much i loved it. i was just thinking about the book tonight, and remembered your website address as posted in the back of the book, and decided to check it out. and then to find that you have a livejournal! it’s inspiring – you wouldn’t think that someone so profoundly talented would keep a livejournal just like us, the whining mess of common teenagers.

    anyway. my point is, thank you for giving us such a beautiful piece of writing. it affects so many of us in so many ways. speak was the reason that i decided to hone my skills and attempt to become a writer someday, and for that i am eternally grateful.

    1. Thank you very much for this gracious note. Most authors are whining messes…. maybe that’s why we feel comfortable hanging out with teenagers. Good luck!

  12. oh, the beautiful irony.

    i just reread speak for probably the 7th or 8th time three days ago after coming across it on my bookshelf and remembering how much i loved it. i was just thinking about the book tonight, and remembered your website address as posted in the back of the book, and decided to check it out. and then to find that you have a livejournal! it’s inspiring – you wouldn’t think that someone so profoundly talented would keep a livejournal just like us, the whining mess of common teenagers.

    anyway. my point is, thank you for giving us such a beautiful piece of writing. it affects so many of us in so many ways. speak was the reason that i decided to hone my skills and attempt to become a writer someday, and for that i am eternally grateful.

  13. It was a pleasure being one of those people

    It was a joy getting a chance to be in the long train of people foisting coal onto your writing fire. Thank you for coming to Pittsburgh, and thank you for signing the book for my dear teen friend Meredith. Perhaps you will get a chance to make that drive again some time in the future, and we can show you around the very appreciative Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh system for a joyful and inspiring evening for everyone. Take care, and thank you again for your efforts.

    Best wishes,
    Joseph Wilk

    Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh — Teens
    http://www.carnegielibrary.org/teens

  14. It was a pleasure being one of those people

    It was a joy getting a chance to be in the long train of people foisting coal onto your writing fire. Thank you for coming to Pittsburgh, and thank you for signing the book for my dear teen friend Meredith. Perhaps you will get a chance to make that drive again some time in the future, and we can show you around the very appreciative Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh system for a joyful and inspiring evening for everyone. Take care, and thank you again for your efforts.

    Best wishes,
    Joseph Wilk

    Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh — Teens
    http://www.carnegielibrary.org/teens

    1. Re: It was a pleasure being one of those people

      “… foisting coal…” that is a great line!

      I’m sure I’ll be coming back to P’burgh. Thanks so much for your work with teens, and taking the time to say hello.

  15. It was a pleasure being one of those people

    It was a joy getting a chance to be in the long train of people foisting coal onto your writing fire. Thank you for coming to Pittsburgh, and thank you for signing the book for my dear teen friend Meredith. Perhaps you will get a chance to make that drive again some time in the future, and we can show you around the very appreciative Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh system for a joyful and inspiring evening for everyone. Take care, and thank you again for your efforts.

    Best wishes,
    Joseph Wilk

    Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh — Teens
    http://www.carnegielibrary.org/teens

  16. Thats awesome you met Lois…i would be a fangirl too!

    I have to write a paper on a contreversial issue. and I thought banned book would be a good topic, although i dont have much info on it. OK, none at all. I was hoping, if you had any info about some banned books, you could share it with me? I think i remember you posting an article about banned books once, but I couldn’t find it. Was speak supposed to be banned or something, by some crazy PTA mothers?

    Also, if I wrote to authors who have banned books, do you think I could cite their replies in a paper? Or authors comments about books being banned, the impact they feel it would put upon the public? Anyway, if you could send me any articles or anything that would be wonderful!!!!!……

    or anyone who reads this!

  17. Thats awesome you met Lois…i would be a fangirl too!

    I have to write a paper on a contreversial issue. and I thought banned book would be a good topic, although i dont have much info on it. OK, none at all. I was hoping, if you had any info about some banned books, you could share it with me? I think i remember you posting an article about banned books once, but I couldn’t find it. Was speak supposed to be banned or something, by some crazy PTA mothers?

    Also, if I wrote to authors who have banned books, do you think I could cite their replies in a paper? Or authors comments about books being banned, the impact they feel it would put upon the public? Anyway, if you could send me any articles or anything that would be wonderful!!!!!……

    or anyone who reads this!

    1. (I was going to e-mail this response privately, but you don’t seem to have an e-mail in your userinfo.)

      I think banned books is a great topic to explore, but I might not advise writing to authors to get their view. Very often, if they have anything to say on a subject, you’ll find it in interviews and articles already published. One popular author with a high traffic blog gets a little testy about people writing to him to ask questions for homework and papers. He says he “won’t do people’s homework for them.” But then if you really want to try, it couldn’t hurt. I guess the worst they could say is, “I won’t do your homework for you,” right? Oh, and Google is your friend.

      Probably any writer would have some pretty strong opinions on book banning and censorship, and if you know a journalist/novelist/whatever well enough that you could request an interview, that might be cool. Good luck!

  18. Thats awesome you met Lois…i would be a fangirl too!

    I have to write a paper on a contreversial issue. and I thought banned book would be a good topic, although i dont have much info on it. OK, none at all. I was hoping, if you had any info about some banned books, you could share it with me? I think i remember you posting an article about banned books once, but I couldn’t find it. Was speak supposed to be banned or something, by some crazy PTA mothers?

    Also, if I wrote to authors who have banned books, do you think I could cite their replies in a paper? Or authors comments about books being banned, the impact they feel it would put upon the public? Anyway, if you could send me any articles or anything that would be wonderful!!!!!……

    or anyone who reads this!

  19. (I was going to e-mail this response privately, but you don’t seem to have an e-mail in your userinfo.)

    I think banned books is a great topic to explore, but I might not advise writing to authors to get their view. Very often, if they have anything to say on a subject, you’ll find it in interviews and articles already published. One popular author with a high traffic blog gets a little testy about people writing to him to ask questions for homework and papers. He says he “won’t do people’s homework for them.” But then if you really want to try, it couldn’t hurt. I guess the worst they could say is, “I won’t do your homework for you,” right? Oh, and Google is your friend.

    Probably any writer would have some pretty strong opinions on book banning and censorship, and if you know a journalist/novelist/whatever well enough that you could request an interview, that might be cool. Good luck!

  20. (I was going to e-mail this response privately, but you don’t seem to have an e-mail in your userinfo.)

    I think banned books is a great topic to explore, but I might not advise writing to authors to get their view. Very often, if they have anything to say on a subject, you’ll find it in interviews and articles already published. One popular author with a high traffic blog gets a little testy about people writing to him to ask questions for homework and papers. He says he “won’t do people’s homework for them.” But then if you really want to try, it couldn’t hurt. I guess the worst they could say is, “I won’t do your homework for you,” right? Oh, and Google is your friend.

    Probably any writer would have some pretty strong opinions on book banning and censorship, and if you know a journalist/novelist/whatever well enough that you could request an interview, that might be cool. Good luck!

  21. Re: It was a pleasure being one of those people

    “… foisting coal…” that is a great line!

    I’m sure I’ll be coming back to P’burgh. Thanks so much for your work with teens, and taking the time to say hello.

  22. Re: It was a pleasure being one of those people

    “… foisting coal…” that is a great line!

    I’m sure I’ll be coming back to P’burgh. Thanks so much for your work with teens, and taking the time to say hello.

  23. Thank you very much for this gracious note. Most authors are whining messes…. maybe that’s why we feel comfortable hanging out with teenagers. Good luck!

  24. Thank you very much for this gracious note. Most authors are whining messes…. maybe that’s why we feel comfortable hanging out with teenagers. Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *