Monday, July 13, 2009

ALA Chicago 2009

Today was the day my library sent me to The ALA Annual 2009 Conference. Can I say ZOMG? because ... ZOMG!

As anyone who has ever met me will attest, I have a crazy crush on Neil Gaiman. I want to go to lunch with him on occasion, eat sushi, drink tea, and discuss deep and important things. Whatever - I'm a crazy fan girl. I'm ok with it. ANYWAY - Neil Gaiman was going to be at ALA today signing books at 9 am. I live an hour away from the conference, so I figured if I left at 7 am, I would definitely be there before the line is cut off (Neil Gaiman is uber popular and I knew the line would be long). I got lost twice on the way to the conference (even using my GPS) and then ended up parking in the wrong parking lot and didn't get there until 8:55. I was one of the last people in line before they completely cut it off! And then I didn't get to the front of the line until almost noon! Good thing a good friend of mine from library school (who tragically moved to LA to be a kick-bootay YA librarian over there) was standing in line with me to keep me company! I got to detail her my plan for meeting my literary hero which consisted basically of me saying hi, and then us suddenly being best friends.

ANYWAY - I finally got to the front of the line and I handed Neil Gaiman my copy of Blueberry Girl (I would have brought Absolute Sandman, but I did not relish the thought of carrying it around all day! I love Blueberry Girl especially, though, because NG wrote it for his pregnant friend years ago and it was recently illustrated and released as a picture book. It came out while I was pregnant with Pippa, and I brought it to the hospital when I gave birth. Blueberry Girl was the first book I read to her. Nowadays, Kaylee loves it too and has bits of it memorized (but she's not as good at it as she is with "Green Room" - her name for Goodnight Moon). Sometimes when Pippa is chillin' on the couch, Kaylee will climb up there with her and "read" Goodnight Moon or Blueberry Girl to Pippa.

I told this story to my new BFF, and he said, "That may possibly be the cutest thing ever." I completely agree and the proud mama in me wanted to whip out the pictures right there and then, but by that time he'd been singing books nonstop for almost 3 hours and was looking rather haggard. Besties know when not to push it.

So after wandering around the Exhibits for awhile, I went to a panel on Censorship and Graphic Novels. The panel was moderated by a lovely man (who's name escapes me at the moment) from The CBLDF and consisted of Neil Gaiman, Terry Moore, and Craig Thompson. It was fascinating and someday I'm going to try and type up Mr. Thompson's hysterical description of being offended.

Then back to the conference floor where I met E. Lockhart (more on that later, but I'm beyond tired and want to finish this up) and got TONS AND TONS of ARCs. See my haul below? (Note, two of those are not ARCs, and one is an ARC but of a book that is already out? One of my favorites, though, so no complaints here!) The only real tragedy is that people like Abby and Jen snapped up all the Catching Fire before I could get there! SO rude of them, don't you think? (;

And when I got home, my husband had made his amazing chicken mole which always makes my night. Now I'm going to go see if I can con him into a backrub (free books are heavy, yo!) and then fall into bed early.


*just* said...

I love love your blog!

Andrea said...

Sounds like an awesome time. I meet Neil Gaiman once at ALA but I didn't know what to say to him, but it was cool being in the presence of greatness. ALA is so fun!

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy you got to see your BFF Neil!!!