Totally Excellent Weekend & My IRA Schedule

So. My trip to New York City last Thursday?

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Yep! I was invited to the offices of The New York Times. The very nice people there are running a review of WINTERGIRLS on May 10th, and wanted me to come in to record a podcast for their website. As soon as it’s up, we’ll post the link.

And yes, my little heart was going pitter-pat, pitter-pat, pitter-pat the whole time because growing up in my house the Times was revered as the top of the mountain in terms of both journalism and culture. Being invited there to speak about my work was an incredible honor.

I came very close to swooning as I was leaving because the next author recording a podcast was Colson Whitehead. But I managed not to.

The weekend was one giant celebration because

Image and video hosting by TinyPic our Officemouse graduated from college!!! Not only did she graduate, but she graduated summa cum JOB: two jobs actually; a substitute teaching job that starts next week and goes to the end of the school year, and a full-year job as an 8th grade science teacher starting in September.

The entire clan turned out to celebrate.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Here is Officemouse with her village of parents: stepmom Sue, her dad, Officemouse (aka Meredith Anderson), me and BH. We are incredibly proud of her!!!!

And now I am in Minneapolis for the International Reading Association conference. Today I’ll be signing at the Scholastic Bookfair booth and the Anderson’s Bookshop booth (both in the exhibit hall), then speaking on a panel this afternoon with John Green, David Yoo, Alex Sanchez, and Sean Beaudoin. Tonight, I’ll be speaking outside the convention. I’m not sure if it is open to the public or not. Here are the details:


Location: The Loft Literary Center
1011 Washington Ave S, Ste 200
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Phone: (612) 215-2571

I’ll try to take lots of pics today, I promise!

carolyn mackler’s visit & a holiday in the forest

BH and I scurried down from the tundra to Syracuse last night to listen to Carolyn Mackler talk about her writing and her experiences with having her books challenged and banned.

That’s my friend and fellow author Ellen Yeomans on the left, Carolyn, and me with the goofy face.

Carolyn gave a terrific speech that including reading some letters from readers that moved me to tears. She’s had to deal with terribly nasty challenges, but she’s handled them with grace.

It was also very nice to finally meet my LJ friend freakfest! An unexpected delight was the presence of a group of students from Chittenango High School. Several of them remembered me from my school visit four years ago. It was really nice hanging out with them. I would love to see more area high schools sending interested groups of students to this library’s annual Banned Books lecture. It is a whopping teachable moment.

While Speak is at position #65 on the ALA’s Banned Book List for 2006-2007, Carolyn’s book, The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things sits a few spots above it, and has made it to the Top Ten a few times. No author ever wants to have their book challenged or banned, but it provides us all with a tremendous opportunity to revisit the principals of the First Amendment and continue to fight for our guaranteed rights as Americans.

Which is more important now than ever.

And speaking of attacks on the Constitution…. I still think the bail-out bill gives too much authority to the Treasury Secretary, and not enough accountability.

But I am not going off on a political rant today. (Shocking, I know.) Today is the birthday of my youngest daughter, Meredith, aka The OfficeMouse, aka Daughter #3.

A rare photo of Mer sitting still.

Happy 21st Birthday, darling girl!