The Late ALA Wrap Up!

I’m a whirlwind of activity lately — last weekend was Chicago ALA (my first time in the Windy City) and this past weekend landed me in Boston for a family wedding. True, Chicago was kind of a “working weekend” but it was so much fun that it felt like I wasn’t working at all. But also love my job (both of them) so this librarian / writer was pretty much in heaven anyway.

And who knew that four grown women could share a hotel room and have a blast doing it? Myself, Deb Driza (MILA 2.0), Stephanie Kuehn (CHARM & STRANGE) and Kate Karyus Quinn (ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE) all got to know each other just a little better over the course of a few days – and we actually like each other in real life — which was great news because I’m pretty sure the hotel was full anyway.

By the way – there’s a sport called hockey and Chicago has a team called the Blackhawks that plays it. It appears that they won the equivalent of the Newberry while I was in town. Steph and I managed to lose Kate and Deb in about four square feet of solid human mass. Then we used the El to cross the street. Yes, it was all very interesting for me, being as I have five acres all to myself at home.

I’m not accustomed to having so many people around me, near me… practically on me.

But it was cool. I dealt.

The Class of 2k13 held our own panel, hosted by Veronica Roth at the Hilton Chicago. It was a rousing good time, and I’ll have a most detailed post of our panel (with pics!) coming up soon. But I’m actually still traveling home and the iPad doesn’t want to cooperate. We’re having this existential back and forth where I’m insisting it should operate as a laptop because it has a keyboard connected to it, and it’s trying to tell me that at its core, it’s still just an iPad.

The floor at ALA was ridiculous, and I mean that in an awesome kind of way. The first few times I walked into a booth and simply picked up books, I was very dubious about the fact that I could simply walk away without anyone exclaiming THIEF! and tackling me. That didn’t happen, and I soon acclimated. I happend to be near the Random House booth when they sat out a ton of ARCs, and the ensuing mess was very much akin the last scene of Season Three of Game of Thrones, with an entire horde of natives trying to touch Daenrys at the same time. I think I actually started giggling at one point, which did clear a path. Madness is catching, you know.

I was also *recognized* for the first time in my life. Someone touched my arm and asked if I was Mindy McGinnis while I perused the offerings on the floor. For some odd reason my first thought was that they must be from the kennel in Ohio and were here to tell me that my dogs had spontaneously and simultaneously ingested one another, but no- she actually knew my face and wanted me to sign her ARC of NOT A DROP TO DRINK, which I gladly did. In fact, I dropped everything I was holding and promptly signed, using the top of a nearby trash can as a table. Because I’m classy that way.

I’m totally flattered that she even cared I was there, for many reasons. There were a lot of people much cooler than me hanging out. I spotted Marcus Sedgwick and Holly Black for starters, but I also stopped and chatted with fellow Lucky 13er Cal Armistead about her debut BEING HENRY DAVID – a book my English teacher sister is totally into.

I looked up from my little corner of the Harper booth to spot fellow Ohioans Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon signing ARCs of their debut DOON, so I ran across the way to say hi, pretty much running directly into the path of MORE OHIOANS – Jennifer McGowan (MAID OF SECRETS) and Geoffrey Girard (PROJECT CAIN). You’ve gotta watch out for us Ohioans. We’re sneaky and creative.

Easy-to-spot-anywhere Alison Cherry (RED) was present and accounted for. I used her siren-red locks  to orient  myself once or twice, hopefully she doesn’t mind. Also I met fellow Friday the Thirteener Shannon Messenger, and then continued to celebrate by attacking long time friend A.G. Howard (SPLINTERED) . Thank God for nametags or else she might have wondered who the delirious brunette was. I’m sure her editor did!

4 thoughts on “The Late ALA Wrap Up!

  1. Sounds like an awesome time. I would have loved to go and meet you, Lydia Kang, and Shannon Messenger and all the other authors. Chicago is a cool city. Hope you got to see some if it.

  2. Natalie – barely. I pretty much didn't make it out of the Loop, although we did pop down to a bookstore on the El that the Class of 2k13 was doing a huge group reading / signing at, so that was cool. We were in a neat little neighborhood there that I liked a lot. In general though, I'm still a country girl at heart and always will be 🙂

  3. Awesome! I was actually in Chicago as well during the Blackhawks parade! It was CRAZY. Red shirts everywhere, trains packed; awesome but crazy. I'm so glad you liked the Windy City 😀

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