I spent the last couple of days in Houston for TLA (Texas Library Assoc annual conference). I love Texans and love librarians, so obviously this is an excellent conference. (and they gave us cowboy hats and fake mustaches!) I kept meeting people there who said, "I met you last time you were here two years ago." And I thought, I was here two years ago?
And then I did the math--I would have been preggo. With twins. Nauseated to my eyeballs. And I have no memory of attending TLA. Nothing. I couldn't drag up a single image. Someone said there was a dinner I was supposed to attend but didn't go (probably vomiting in the hotel) where I would have shared a table with those librarians and Suzanne Collins.
Yesterday I was on a panel about graphic novels with an excellent group of lads: Gareth Hinds (The Odyssey, King Lear...), Ben Hatke (Zita the Space Girl), Orson Scott Card (Ender's Game, Laddertop...). Near the end, we were asked a question about something, Gareth answered, it was my turn, and I started to pontificate on how important GNs are for kids and especially certain kinds of readers, and how difficult it would be to find or even publish GNs for young readers without the awesome support of libraries. And I started to cry. Blubber, really, getting embarrassingly emotional, because as much as I yearn to be in total control of my face at all moments, I do that. Mom thing? Me thing?
When I was done, I think there was an awkward silence, and the moderator went to the next person down the line, OSC, repeating what had apparently been the question: "What are you working on now?"
Yep. That had been the question. Not, "Can you sum up why GNs matter, who is to thank for their existence, and why you want to mouth kiss every librarian you meet, and toss in some tears while you're at it?" Nope, I was just supposed to talk about my current project.
OSC said gamely, "I'm not following that."
Afterward, it all started to feel awfully familiar. I looked back on my blog and found my post after last TLA. You guys, I did it there too! The very same speech probably, oozing very similar and equally damp emotions!
I wonder if I'm getting a reputation. If when I show up to conferences, my fellow panelists look at each other and think, oh great, we got the blubberer.
Awkward tears aside, let me just say again, THANK YOU, LIBRARIANS. Thank you.