Some Things That Happened At ALA… And Some Things That Didn’t

Yes, I know… everyone else is totally over ALA and this post is so five minutes ago. Well, it was my first ALA and I’m not over it yet. Plus, I had a crapload of fun putting this post together so just bear with me and scroll down.

The Class of 2k13 had the first ever “Class of” panel at ALA Chicago, and I really do think it was a success. We have Polly Holyoke (THE NEPTUNE PROJECT) to thank for conceiving of the idea that a group of authors could be forward enough to send ourselves to ALA (typically publishers send their authors, and choose who goes), and then for pushing the project through to its fruitful endgame.

And what a game it was…

We wanted to offer something a little different for all the librarians who might be tired of talking about databases and Common Core Standards. So we thought – hey, librarians know stuff, and they like knowing stuff. Let’s give them a chance to show off!

Our concept – each author hosted a table, decorated to fit the theme of their book. When people were seated with the author of their choice, we let them know we were not only table partners, but a team. After a quick Q&A with the entire panel we jumped into a quiz bowl, where the winning team won Super Swag Bags which contained ARCs, among other things. But, just to be sure that no one was bummed out, we made sure every attendee got a swag bag, with our bookmarks and general swag, but no ARCs. Hey, we had to make the Super Swag Bags special, right?

Oh, and we thought having Veronica Roth (DIVERGENT) host the whole thing might help draw in some people. You know, just maybe.

So I decided to share some awesome pics of my fellow Class of 2k13 members and our panel, which was a rocking good time indeed. But… as all pictures go, some of them weren’t very good. In fact, some of them were downright funny (mostly those are my shots, you’ll see). And, because I can’t help but put a story together, I ended up making myself giggle.

And I like making other people giggle too. So, here are some things that happened at ALA… and some things that didn’t.


This was our swanky room at the Chicago Hilton

Kelly Barson’s table for 45 POUNDS (MORE OR LESS) – with M&M’s!
Lydia Kang’s table for CONTROL. It’s all precise and stuff ’cause she’s a doctor.
Cristin Terril’s table for ALL OUR YESTERDAYS
Geoffrey Girard’s table for PROJECT CAIN. That’s a genetically manipulated
serial killer baby cooking up in a test tube, in case you were wondering.

Tamera Will Wissinger’s table for GONE FISHING.
Demetria Lunetta’s table for IN THE AFTER – with Twinkies!
Caela Carter’s beautiful table for ME, HIM, THEM, AND IT, with birth announcements.
My table for NOT A DROP TO DRINK, with water bottles. It’s not M&M’s or Twinkies though…
Also when you have that many water bottles sometimes you forget which one
you were actually drinking from.
A line begins to form outside our room… we were totally excited about that, by the way.
Demetria signs copies of IN THE AFTER to give away at her table. It was also
her release week, so she had more stress than the President of the Universe.
Our terrific group president, Liesl Shurtliff, signs copies of her RUMP. And no,
that joke never stops being funny to me. Hopefully she thinks so too.
Debra Driza puts together her table for MILA 2.0
Jennifer McGowan and her table for MAID OF SECRETS

Stephanie Kuehn and her table for CHARM & STRANGE.

Nicole McInnes and her table for BRIANNA ON THE BRINK.

Liesl Shurtliff stuffing swag bags for all attendees.

The line lengthens…
When we saw the amount of people outside we all got a little stressed and
started hugging each other for support. Kate Karyus Quinn and Demetria Lunetta
represent Team Black Hair, Worn Down. I am team Black Hair, Worn Up, Non-Hugging.
Liesl Shurtliff and Caela Carter for Team Nearly Blonde.
Lydia Kang and Debra Driza for Team Awesome Hair Regardless of Color.
Polly Holyoke and Tamera Will Wissinger for Team We Make Short Hair Look Good.
Geoff for Team Only Dude In The Room.
They enter…

Kelly Barson explains the upcoming trivia game to her table.
They’re happy already because they have M&Ms

Demetria explains the game to her table… they’re happy because they have Twinkies.

Kate talks up her table. They’re happy because she’s so charming.
Everyone at Lydia’s table is happy because they were presented with a
geometrically pleasing pattern.
Caela’s table is happy because she’s frickin’ adorable.

I realize my table might get antsy because all I have to offer is water and I’m not nearly
 as adorable as Caela.  So I try to impress them by showing them my karate chop move.

… And Geoff realizes he’ll probably have to explain the baby thing many, many times.

Dear God, it’s Veronica Roth. I may have jumped up and down and flapped
my arms like a chicken when I saw her. 

A brief Q&A with the panel. Standing: Geoffrey Girard, KA Barson, Liesl Shurtliff.
Seated: Caela Carter, Debra Driza, Polly Holyoke, Lydia Kang, Stephanie Kuehn & Demetria Lunetta.
The right side of the table. Standing: Nicole McInnes & Tamera Will Wissinger.
Seated: Mindy McGinnis, Jennifer McGowan, Kate Karyus Quinn,
Tara Sullivan & Cristin Terrill.
The panel is over, and the quiz game is afoot…
Stephanie Kuehn’s table knows everything. No one checked their IQ
level at the door and this table was stacked.

I don’t know many of the answers, so I just try to cock my head like a puppy and look cute.
Seriously I had no idea what was going on. I couldn’t even remember
the answers to the questions I had supplied.
Deb came up with the idea of flailing with her score sheet, which was more than I had.
When the panel was over and it was time to clean up, Caela regretted the glitter.
But it looked awesome, dude. Totally awesome.
And the Class of 2k13!
Back row: Geoffrey Girard, Tara Sullivan, Kate Karyus Quinn, KA Barson, Stephanie Kuehn,
Cristin Terrill, Caela Carter, Tamera Will Wissinger and Nicole McInnes.
Front Row: Jennifer McGowan, Liesl Shurtliff, Demetria Lunetta, Polly Holyoke, Mindy McGinnis,
Debra Driza and Lydia Kang. Yes, I am wearing flip flops.


26 thoughts on “Some Things That Happened At ALA… And Some Things That Didn’t

  1. I was about to comment asking you if you had ever seen the video on YouTube about “Bitchy Resting Face.” And THEN the blurbs about your face started showing up. Too funny. If you really are divorced, you have the best sense of humor about it. like ever.


  2. Rachel – they were all librarians… I think they had a good time 🙂

    Daphne – I went and watched “Bitchy Resting Face” when I saw your comment — ha!!

    And Yes! I am divorced, I play it for all the laughs it can get. Gotta get the mileage out of it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s