Wednesday, June 29, 2011

ALA 2011 or how I ran out of marbles: Part 1

My last public event for this school year was the ALA convention. I was excited because I was finishing with a blast-in New Orleans, the Geisel Honor Award--I knew it was going to be a lot of fun. However even with such prospects of delight, I have to admit, even before getting on the plane, I was tired.

A while ago, I wrote about how an introverted person like me can only last so long. As I said then:

...my most natural state is introverted--there are only so many visits I can do in a year without stammering incoherently. I'm kind of like a jar of marbles--every visit I do I am less one marble until I am empty.
So, after the last couple of months being full of events and visits (which were all lovely!), my marble jar was pretty low when I got to New Orleans:

Which is perhaps why I had a bit of envy at the LB Middle Grade Breakfast when the other amazing authors Kelly Barnhill and Andrea Pinkney gave such mesmerizing and spirited readings (Andrea sang! Not fair!).


However, the librarians were still very kind to me and many came to my signings (I had two):

But it was only at the LB one that I signed advanced reading copies of Dumpling Days!!
Eeks, eeks, eeks! I can't believe people will be reading it soon!

Then it was a blur of convention exhibits:
pleased to see my friend Anna Alter's Disappearing Desmond and Thanking the Moon!

plus a screening of the movie The Library of the Early Mind (which I am in for about 10 seconds):
and a panel discussion afterwards with the hilarious and highly energetic Jack Gantos and Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket):
I can't believe I'm rubbing elbows with these two!

Trying to keep up with the fast wittiness of those two was no small feat, let me tell you. Luckily, earlier in the day I was able to sneak off to the famous Cafe Du Monde to ingest copious amounts of caffeine and sugar:

frozen coffee and beignets!

and my friend Libby Koponen and I had our tarot cards read!
I was hoping they would tell me I would get through the conference without collapsing.

What do you think?
(I actually don't really remember much of what she said, except something about how I like having lots of projects and thoughts going on in my head...I guess all those projects distracted me...)

4 comments:

storyqueen said...

Grace, I just love your analogy of the marble jar! I feel the same way.

What a wonderful adventure. I am looking forward to Dumpling Days!

Shelley

Grace Lin said...

Thanks! The marble jar is really how I feel, though I suppose the jar could be filled with jellybeans or something more interesting...

Hope you get a chance to read Dumpling Days!

Joyce said...

Grace--guess we totally missed each other at ALA, boo. Regarding the marbles, take a look at a book called The Highly Sensitive Person, by Elaine Aron. A friend gave it to me, and even though it's a bit diatribe-y, the basic premise is so TRUE for many of us. And I love your marble metaphor!

Grace Lin said...

Joyce! I didn't even know you were at ALA. I'm so sorry I missed you!