Thanks to all the Michiganers who made my quick trip to the Mitten State fun and interesting. The conference was HUGE – more than 5000 attenders who had hundreds of workshops to choose from, and I was honored that so many folks came out to hear me mutter and rant.
I spent most of Saturday on planes or in airports. Here is the free Wifi score:
Syracuse airport – three stars – free wifi, plenty of seating
Chicago O’Hare – no stars – wifi connectivity cost $10/day. Boo-hiss. Get with the program, Chicago.
Grand Rapids airport – three stars – free wifi, very nice lady running coffee shop near gate B1
However, O’Hare gets a star for having my favorite airport bathroom.
Saturday night I enjoyed a fabulous tapas dinner with some teacher and librarian friends. After dinner I was interviewed by YA-lit guru and teen-reader advocate Ed Spicer for his teen book group. Ed had a large handful of reader reviews for TWISTED. They liked the book. They really liked it. Yep, I glowed.
The good news about my hotel room was that I was upgraded to a suite because the hotel was overbooked. The bad news was that it was a suite where smoking had been allowed. (Ack. Puke. Ick.) BH wisely suggested I brew a pot of coffee to help with the stench. Great idea, but the management had removed the coffeemakers from all of the rooms in an effort to get guests to spend more money in the coffee shop.
Sunday was a blur of meeting teachers, signing books, talking about books, signing more, and then schlepping back to the airport. I got a chance to hang with Betsy Partridge, which was nice, and to see Marissa Moss again and to meet Wendy Mass. And I ate a lot of bananas, and a sandwich that contained mysterious meat which I probably should have not consumed, given that I could not identify it, but it was on sunflower seed bread which was so good I inhaled it. And I didn’t get sick. So sunflower seeds balance out strange meat products.
The day started with a very nice breakfast (it had real food and everything!) where I met Kristen, Jill, and all the other ladies.
I told everyone at the conference that I will be back in Michigan on book tour: Monday, March 26th, at the Southfield Public Library in Southfield (evening) and Tuesday, March 27th at Nicola’s Books in Ann Arbor (also in the evening). I hope everyone in the entire state turns out and they have to call the fire marshal. That would be a good signing.
Be sure to read this wonderful article about teens buying and reading books. (Thanks Shelflife and Bookshelves of Doom for the link.)