(Pardon the crumbs, but I am inhaling a sandwich as I type this.)
From the glorious (and rather flat) state of Indiana, I flew into Washington, DC. Got in so early that my hotel room wasn’t ready, which was fine with me because I needed a belt and (gasp!) stockings. Our hotel was at 23rd and M, which meant that Georgetown was a short walk away, so off I went.
(Nostalgia interlude: I graduated from Georgetown University, so the area was very familiar…but not. They have turned M Street into an upscale mall complete with Pottery Barn and overpriced EVERYTHING. Ack. I could only find one old stomping ground (i.e. bar): Mr. Smith’s. Oh, Georgetown, what hath they done to thee? End of interlude.)
I finally stumbled into Urban Outfitters and then had to start muttering “belt, belt, belt, you can only buy a belt” under my breath because I wanted to buy much, much more. Bracelets, in particular, were calling my name. In fact, several of them had leapt onto my wrist when I looked up and saw Sarah Dessen, aka writergrl. That was a blast. We caught up with each other (hadn’t seen each other since TLA in Austin the year before), and coordinated our dinner outfits.
OK – “coordinated our dinner outfits” is a phrase I never, ever thought I would type, unless someone was holding a gun to my head. This is the Power of Sarah – she makes females like me (i.e. rowdy tom-boy types) coordinate. And, heaven help me, I liked it. Amazing. (Here is Sarah’s BEA entry).
I did buy a belt. I also bought a pair of kick-butt studded leather bracelets which sdn said reminded her of Wonder Woman. This thrilled me because I had a life-size poster of Wonder Woman on my closet door when I was a kid. Which completely explains why I adore Xena so.
Then I had to buy stockings, because I had to go to an auction and a dinner and I had to wear (sigh) a dress.
The silent auction was a fundraiser for the Association of Booksellers for Children, one the coolest groups on the planet. It was wicked, wicked crowded and LOUD, but I ran into all kinds of friends and made some new ones. (See photos.) ABC sponsored the dinners, too, where I was fortunate to be seated between two of my favorite booksellers in the country, Jewel Stoddard and Elizabeth Bluemle (who is also an author!). Jerry Pinckney and Eoin Colfer both spoke, but the highlight of the night for me was being present for the awards given to Anne Irish and Katherine Paterson (she won the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award).
But it got better.
Elizabeth was gracious enough to introduce me to Katherine Paterson. Katerine Paterson touched my hand. She smiled at me. She was the definition of graciousness. She had never heard of me, of course, but it didn’t matter. IT WAS KATHERINE PATERSON. SQWEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!
Honest, I did not make that noise in front of her. But I was making it in my head. I GOT TO TOUCH HER HAND!!!
::composes self:: Enough fangrlling.
Let’s see the photos