Home Again, Home Again…

No jiggities. I don’t even know how to spell that.
This trip was amazing on all kinds of levels. First off, I got upgraded to first class ticket, and since I had four flights to make, I loved it! Really, who wouldn’t? There is a big problem with going first class though. You get very spoiled. Steerage is going to look even more grim next time.
So, last time I was here was just prior to my impending visit to Walter’s school. It was fabulous. It was the first time doing any kind of event with the intended audience of my book (6th and 7th graders). I’m used to my readers being raucous and noisy when they’re enthralled. But that’s the younger set. Twelve and thirteen-year-olds sit dead silent, leaving me to paranoid thoughts that they were bored out of their skulls.
“No!” Walter insisted. “They LOVED it! They all came running to me telling me how great you were.” I didn’t say it, see? Walter said it. So I’m not being conceited, but I am thrilled. I read the first chapter and really wondered through their stillness if they were digging the story. Apparently they were, so it’s allll good. Phew.
Friday I flew down to LA, where it took me 90 minutes to drive from the airport to my friend’s house up on Mulholland Drive. That is what should be a 40 minute drive. Since I lived there, the traffic has gotten exponentially horrific. When I got to my girlfriend’s house, she told me that we were going to a party that night after I got back from my BEA cocktail party. Hmmm…the second party was starting at 11pm (and we didn’t get home till 5am?) Hmmm…which gibungo celebrity’s house was it held at?
First let me tell you about the ABC-hosted Not-A-Dinner-and-(Almost)-Silent-Auction. Not sure if I put all those dashes in the right spots but in any case, it was fabulous. It was so great that they did it cocktail party style, rather than a sit down dinner as in years past (my fave appetizer was the mashed potatoes in martini glasses with toppings).
I bumped into lots of people I love and admire (some of whom I can actually claim as friends): Jane Yolen (How Do Dinosaurs series), Elise Broach (who gave an eloquent and interesting speech when she was awarded the EB White Read Aloud for When Dinosaurs Came With Everything), Kerry Madden (I admit it-I got an instant girl crush on Kerry, author of Gentle’s Holler), Lisa Yee (Milicent Min Girl Genius), Adam Rex (The True Meaning of Smekday), Laurie Keller (The Scrambled States of America), Sherman Alexie (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian),
And then there were all the fabulous booksellers I met, including Dave from Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, Georgia. I told him how much I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Georgia because the education department bought 80,000 copies of my book, Kindergarten Rocks! to give free to every incoming kindergartner. He told me about the Decatur Book Festival over Labor Day, so of course, I in turn told the Harcourt people, who I HOPE will arrange an appearance there!

Tomorrow I will write about the great party that followed the great party. I’ll give you a hint…the house was well over 20,000 square feet (I kid you not), and the mystery celeb has a book coming out. Thank God it’s not a children’s book.
See you tomorrow!

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