Final ALAN pics, thoughts & NYC observations

I would like to say for the record that I am not a workaholic. Even though I am posting this on Thanksgiving morning, I am not crazy. We celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday so that various offspring could climb over to other branches on the family tree today. BH and I and the kids were going to get up early to run in a Turkey Trot 5K, but it is sleeting and snowing and the fire is warm. We’ll run later, when it isn’t life-threatening.

So I am bloated on pie and mashed potatoes made with an alarming amount of butter and the only thing I am capable of is blogging.

A couple observations about Manhattan:
1. Some of the new signs indicating the bike path through Central Park have a helmet painted on the head of the stick figure. They made me giggle.

2. Every third person in Manhattan now owns a dog that is the size of a loaf of bread.

3. There are halal food vendors on the street. (God, I love this country.)

4. Pigeons make a great sound with that first swoooosh of their wings.

5. I had one celebrity sighting: Camille Paglia on 58th Street. At least, I am pretty sure it was Camille Paglia. When I was running in Central Park, I saw a woman who was Gilda Radner’s doppelganger. Obviously, it wasn’t Gilda, unless she has taken to haunting Central Park.

A number of other authors and teachers blogged about the festivities: Jen Robinson, Susane Colasanti, She Who Knows Most Everything Teri Lesesne (who has posted Powerpoint presentations with terrific book recommendations), Jo Knowles, David Lubar, Linda Sue Park, Cecil Castellucci, and Sara Ryan. (Did I miss anyone?)

Highlights of the trip for me:
1. Meeting hundreds of friendly, kind, generous teachers who took the time to tell me about their experiences sharing my books with their students. And seeing the many teachers and professors who have become my friends. I am so very thankful for all of them.

2. Listening to the performances of the incredibly talented poets from Urban Word NYC.

3. Learning to identify Garret Freymann-Weyr, Ann Angel, and Jo Knowles. I am really bummed that I didn’t get a chance to have coffee or wine or pastries with them. Maybe we should get together and have coffee and wine and pastries. I apologize for messing up their names in my earlier post.

4. Getting up to the podium to speak and not being wretchedly anxious for the first time ever.

5. Signing 90 quizzes about SPEAK for a new teacher named Dena from Long Island.

6. Savoring the outstanding coffee in my hotel.

7. Seeing the first sketches for the CHAINS cover.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Christopher Paul Curtis, Jaclyn Moriarty, and Dana Reinhardt.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic This is kind of hard to see, but it is a shot of the teachers in the audience closing their eyes at the request of my co-presenter L.M. Elliott so they could better imagine a scene.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic After the historical fiction panel: Moi, Professor Denise Ousley, and L.M. Elliott.

Now it’s time to turn on the parade and eat the leftover stuffing before the kids wake up.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I am grateful for all of you and for the delicious, delirious, compassionate World of Books that brings us together.

10 Replies to “Final ALAN pics, thoughts & NYC observations”

  1. you rock!

    Thanks for all the postings. It was terrific to have the chance to work with you and to see you in NYC. I love ALAN. And YA authors who graciously come and share their lives and stories with us. And publishers who support you all (y’all, that is). What I think I love the most is seeing the mutual admiration society: authors who sit and listen to other authors and blog about them, etc…

    No stuffing yet. That will happen soon, I hope. But the cranberries are done!

  2. If it’s possible, I’m more amazed by you than before. Your endurance for five days of speeches, dinners, signings, receptions, and panels was a wonder to behold (I think it’s that odd running behavior of yours that allows it). But the most amazing thing was you knitting with 47 different small, wooden needles with yard the diameter of floss. Watching you do that while untangling a skein of tangled yarn on the other end, I thought of how you create fiction.

  3. thank you

    Words are inadequate when it comes to thanking you for the kind note you sent my student when I told you her story at NCTE.
    Her face spoke so many words that early Monday morning as I called her to my door to hand her the note. Her eyes filled with tears and she began to blush. The only words she could say were, “a big author did this for me?” “Yes,” came my reply.
    By the end of the day she had shared the note with our librarian and the counselor she had shared her problems. At the end of the day she entered my room and gave me a hug. Then she asked if she could borrow a copy of Speak to take home for her mom to read. Needless to say I have purchased her a copy for Christmas.
    Her mother called school on Tuesday in tears. She wanted me to know that she had told her daughter often that people cared about her but she knew her daughter never believed those words until now.
    Thank you does not even begin to convey my gratitude for making my student feel better about herself. No wonder I love your books so much. Thank you for making a difference for my student, you made her feel loved.

    1. Re: thank you

      I just read your post to the family members still here at the house. We all wound up crying; happy tears.

      Thank you for being such a compassionate teacher and for being the bridge between student and book. Thanks also for taking the time to write about this. Please give her a big, big hug from me.

      I think I will go cry some more now.

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