Monday – books, life & teachers edition

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.)

10 Replies to “Monday – books, life & teachers edition”

  1. Um… So in that blur you met my mother who mentioned my blog, and you remembered? Very Impressive. (she is pretty awesome)

    Mom loved your talk, by the way.

    Thanks for stopping by, I meant every word. And then some.

    Jackie (aka interactivereader)

  2. If you dont mind my asking, what hotel did you stay in?
    I am from the wonderful state of Michigan and happened to be on the West side of the state this weekend.


  3. The Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. They had an amazing staff – whoever hires and trains the people there should be put in charge of staffing for the entire planet. Seriously.

    But they should also put the coffeemakers back in the room.

  4. I’ve stayed in that hotel once before…but I dont remember the staff at all…

    This weekend I stayed at the Radisson Hotel in Kalamazoo. It was very nice. And the staff was awesome (especially considering we had 500 students swarm the place).
    And…they had coffeepots in the rooms! 🙂

  5. Mmm. Tapas. Sorry about the smoky suite! Hopefully the toiletries were nice. Sadly, good toiletries are a thrill for me at hotels.

  6. Look alike?

    Laurie Beth Halse…you look just like Linda Jo’s daughter (Amanda) in that picture! I tried to get a picture into this post and cannot figure it out…Bleah…

    Long live Holcomb genes!

  7. Hey Laurie,

    Just realized that you’re practically going to be down the street from me on March 25th. I can’t wait to come and meet you! 🙂

  8. Lucky to meet you!

    Laurie it was such a thrill to meet you at the breakfast, and then to see you throughout the MRA weekend. Glad you made it home okay! I am planning on seeing you at the Nicola’s book signing, and bringing my daughter, too. She snagged Catalyst from my singing pile, and finished it in two days, which is huge for her, as she’s more of a “read ten books at a time over a month” kind of reader. Very frustrating for her “one at a time” mom. I loved Prom, which didn’t surprise me. Cannot wait to get Twisted at the book signing. You rock, by the way. I was so relieved that you were as “real” as I imagined you would be in person. Good luck with the washing machine! Kristine from Michigan

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