Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

ALA Day 1

On Saturday, I woke up REALLY early and had a bad start to the day (what happened is better left unsaid), took the metro to ALA (the metro station is right at the conference center- how awesome is that?!), registered, and then waited for Monica, Susan, Harmony and Meaghan. Susan texted me with a mission- to get her a copy of Pegasus.

While I waited for Meaghan, PJ Hoover and Jessica Lee Anderson came over to say hi to me and we took a picture. It was so great seeing PJ again, but I wasn't worried about not seeing her. We always seem to run into each other- we did it at BEA and we did a LOT here at ALA. After a few more minutes and texting, Meaghan came, we stopped by Penguin, and I grabbed a copy of Pegasus. Meaghan got distracted by something else if I recall correctly (it was a cool program, but it was funny that I just kinda lost her for a bit) so I waited around until she was ready to go.

After that, we wandered over to Random House where we grabbed some ARCs- Torment for Susan, which she appointed Meaghan to do, lol and that was where I got my copy of Real Live Boyfriends (the last copy they had!!) and 7 Souls (which I had known nothing about until Meaghan said "Read the back! It sounds amazing!!" She did this several times throughout the conference and so I ended up with more books than I had originally planned). Meaghan and I went to Malinda Lo's signing and I chatted with Malinda for a few minutes. I got a picture with Malinda and I think this happened before I worked up the courage to ask for a picture, but Meaghan and I were standing off to the side and just chatting across the aisle from Malinda's table. At some point, we looked up and saw Melissa Marr at Malinda's table. I whispered to Meaghan "Hey, look, it's Melissa Marr!" in a quiet but very admiring tone. Meaghan, being the subtle person she is, pointed right at Melissa's back and pretty much shouted "OMG IT'S MELISSA MARR!!!!" Which then prompted Melissa to turn around and be like "What the hell?" (she didn't actually say anything, but I imagine she was thinking it) then turned back to Malinda. This has now became a running joke with us. It was seriously one of the most hilarious moments ever. Maybe you had to be there.

While I was talking with Malinda after getting the picture with her, Harmony came up and found me. She glomped on and she went with me to all my signings and ARC pickups. We first stopped by LK Madigan's signing where we saw Holly Cupala and Amy Brecount White. LK was so sweet and hugged me when I came up to her table and we got a picture together. We chatted for a few minutes then I went to go chat with Holly, Amy, and this amazing librarian friend of Harmony's named Tiffany. We told them about the dinner happening that night and they said that they would see if they could make it.

After that, went to Kami and Margie's signing and guess who we met in line?! None other than debut author Karen Kincy, who wrote Other (which looks so good!). She was carrying around her book and holding it cover out in front of her and telling everyone who would listen that this was her book and that she had a signing later that day. This makes her sound pushy, but she really wasn't; she was a joy to hang out with and a very funny lady. Not only that, but I also got to meet Danielle Joseph, author of Shrinking Violet and Indigo Blues, and Christina Gonzalez, author of The Red Umbrella, who stopped by to chat with us while we waited in the long line. I was asked to take a picture of Christina and Harmony with someone's phone but it turned out blurry. Just for future reference, if your camera is not an actual camera, I will not be able to work it, so please don't ask me to use your camera phone. They eventually just took a "Myspace photo" where Harmony was holding the camera and took a self-pic.

Then, it was off to Ellen Hopkins and Laurie Halse Anderson signings at the Simon and Schuster booth. I got a picture with Ellen, and she recognized me!! She also introduced me to Justin, who I later found out was the publisher (like, the Head Honcho guy), as a "one of the big book bloggers" and said (I think) that I'd been so sweet to her and her books. Justin was a REALLY sweet guy and I saw him a few times during ALA at the booth. In Sunday's recap, you'll see just how sweet he was! :)

Once we were done with Ellen's signing, we got into Laurie's line where they were handing out ARCs of Forge if you bought a book of hers. Harmony did this, but I didn't. Even though it was from a different publisher (I had Penguin's Wintergirls) Laurie signed my copy of it. Laurie was very sweet and remembered Harmony from a signing she had done a while back. After that, we wandered over and chatted with Melissa Marr, Kami and Margie, and I found out some fun Melissa Marr info (which is now public, lol). :) Then Harmony and I went to lunch where we spent $10 each on a crappy sub. Well, ok, it wasn't crappy, it was actually quite good, just not anywhere in the vicinity of $10 good.

After that, wandered around some more, got in line for Melissa Marr and I chatted with her for a bit and grabbed a fun Radiant Shadows bookmark. While I was in line for Melissa, I saw that Jessica Anya Blau was signing her debut book, so I got in line and said hi to Jessica who's a wonderful author and I got Skyanne a signed copy of her debut (which was given to me by a hot publicist or bookseller- not sure which- who was most likely gay). Then we went to Cheryl Rainfield's signing and she was so sweet and perky and I'm way excited to read her book, Scars! We sat down for a while, then went to Karen Kincy's signing.

I attempted to go to Politics & Prose for a group signing there but got lost (mainly because I had no address and was just wandering around really), so bought some batteries at CVS then went back to the convention center. I read for a bit, then headed over for dinner. I was a tad lost and while trying to figure out the map of DC, a drunk probably homeless person helped me figure out where I was going, then asked me for money, of which I had none. I never carry cash on me, so I said no, but he asked me two more times and my answer didn't change. I thanked him and walked off, found the place, and we waited for Stephanie Kuehnert and Jeri Smith Ready to come, which they did. We all had a wondrous time eating, chatting and laughing with everyone there (or at least, the people down near me). Eventually, Holly Cupala and Amy Brecount White joined us, and there was even more laughter and chatting. It was a wonderful time. I took the metro back, did some internet stuff in bed, went to sleep.

Next saturday, I'll be posting my second day of ALA. Yay!


  1. So... maybe the reason we got lost trying to find The Strand was really all your fault? You didn't have Kristi, Susan or I to get you lost this time and yet you still managed. ;) haha Curse The Strand!! *shakes fist*

    Fun recap! I can't wait to read more next week.

  2. Wow! that was a seriously funny recap!!
    Looks like lots of fun. Wish they had events like that in my country..

    Can't wait for the second part!! :D

  3. It was SO GREAT to meet you, James!!!!!



  4. http://melissa-writing.livejournal.com/

    Check it out!

    Melissa Marr's Assistant

  5. Cat- Yeah, I just assumed that if I knew the right metro stop that Politics and Prose would just be right there when I exited with a neon sign pointing to the store. Unfortunately, that's not how it works. Oh and you know what was even worse? No one showed up to that signing!!! How sad is that?

    AnimeGirl- Aww you're too sweet. I didn't think it was that funny.

    Lisa- It was great to meet you too!

    Donna- I have Melissa's blog in my LJ feed!! I love reading it. :) Thanks for commenting. I'm still wondering though what Melissa thought of me and Meaghan. Or, since she knows me, what I was doing with a crazy girl, lol.

  6. It's always so great to see you! I'm already having BEA/ALA thoughts for next year!