I actually started writing this post on Wednesday night, and did not have a chance to finish it. So after tweeking, I’m posting a few days later. This post is a detraction from my normal format, and regulars have probably realized this by now. But I feel like I have to capture this moment and share it with all of you, my *cough*four*cough* loyal readers. For once, show my personality. What has caused this SUPER excitement?

I am going to AT my very first American Library Association Annual Conference. 🙂

Have others been before me? Yes. Do I hope that this is one of many occurrances? Absolutely! Does that mean that I’m less likely to be freaking out right now? NOPE!

What has got me so excited? Two words: Coffe Klatch. Well, to be more precise, it’s YALSA’s YA Author Coffee Klatch. For $19, librarians and other attendees meet authors featured on YALSA’s lists and awards in what can only be compared to speed dating. Authors rotate amongst tables for 3-4 minutes of conversations and questions. People I’m most excited to meet:
Jessica Day George, Rebecca Stead, John Green, Laurie Halse Anderson, Kekla Magoon, Rick Yancey, Simone Elkeles*, and Lyn Miller-Lachmann. Not that I’m against meeting some of the other authors, but these are the people I’d just go ga-ga over meeting. (ok, full disclosure, I haven’t actually read Simone Elkeles, but I have some Goodreads.com group members who would be extremely jealous) For a full list, check out YALSA’s wiki.

But is that a complete list of authors who are going to be there? HECK NO! Who’s going to be at the preconference that I’m attending on Friday? Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl, Malinda Lo, John Green and David Levithan. Who’s doing Readers Theatre on Saturday June 26th as part of the Deepening Young Patrons’ Literary Experiences: A Readers Theatre Performance in Five Acts program? Katherine Paterson, Christopher Paul Curtis, Jacqueline Woodson, and Ifeoma Onyefulu! 1:30 -3:30 pm.

And oh, yeah, I get to play dress up and attend the Newbery/Caldecott Banquet on Sunday, June 27th. I’m still trying to figure out where exactly I’m sitting, which worries me just a little, but even if I do end up in the back half of the room, I’m attending, which is the important thing, right? RIGHT! (At least, that’s what I’m telling myself.)

Plus, I’ll hopfully get to meet some fellow bloggers and librarians, trade programming ideas, pick up some Advance Copies (*insert big smiley grin here* please!?), MAYBE make some contacts with publishers, and finally (if there’s time) see Washington D.C. for the first time in ten years.

My trip to D.C. started well, with no plane or flight delays. There were several librarians on the plane, which made for a very quiet trip as everyone was reading (or so it appeared to me). After riding the Metro, I finally made it to my hotel, Hamilton Crowne Plaza, which is a few block north of the White House. The pictures below are the ceiling of the lobby (you’ll adventually realize I apparently have a thing for ceilings this trip), and my room, which looks out to … more windows. I’m not too concerned though, since I’ll be using the room for sleeping only.

I took a very hot, very long walk to the World War II Memorial, which had not been built when I last visited TEN year ago. It’s a beautiful memorial. You just have to be patient when taking pictures, because a school group there kept getting in the way. I also took picture of Washington Memorial, but was disappointed to learn that you could no longer walk up the stairs to the top. The last time I was here, you could still do that, but it was under rennovations so they weren’t letting anyone inside.

I caught the Orange Line out to Arlington, where I met up with Susan Kusel and her husband Ken. They, along with their two kids, played host to about 20 authors, bloggers, and children’s literature fans, serving up hamburgers, hot dogs, and potatoes. Very gracious hosts, and I got to meet some very informative authors, including Jacqueline Jules (whose husband is her tech guy, so I talked with him about book trailers and websites), Amy Brecount White (author of Forget Her Nots), and Amy Thomas (who was nice enough to give me a ride back to the Metro station).

More information to come after today’s events. Right now I have to fly off to the YALSA preconference.