So I'm listing my favorite moments, in two parts:
1. Hanging with Kate Walton all weekend. We may have been separated at birth. We're the same age, have critiqued each other's work, talked each other off the ledge during the querying phase, and got our agents in the same week. But then she blew right past me and got her AWESOME novel published (Spring 2012, by Simon Pulse). I heart you Kate!
2. Meeting other writers at KIDLIT night like Frankie and Donna, as well as super sweet D4EO agent/writer Weronika!
(Weronika, Donna, Frankie and me)!
3. The night in the hotel lounge I got this crazy idea that Kate and I needed to jump in a cab (without any coats, at ten o'clock at night), so she could take a picture in front of the Simon and Schuster building!
C'mon, how could she NOT (who's with me)? It was so much fun--we were laughing and freezing and shouting about her book being published (in our defense, our coats were up on the 24th floor)! Yeah, the pictures are mostly crappy, but we'll always have that memory! :D
4. Tearing up during Lois Lowry's speech. I mean, it was Lois flippin' Lowry! She talked about her life and amazing books. The story that struck me most, was how she developed her idea for THE GIVER.
She was visiting her father, who suffered from Alzheimer's. Looking through a family photo album, they came upon a picture of her sister, who had died very young.
When Lois' father asked what happened to her, she had the sorrowful task of explaining her death. And then she had to do it all over again because he spotted her picture on another page. Lois said he relived the pain again and again, and it tore her heart out.
To paraphrase, driving home she wondered if it wouldn't be more humane if someone could be in charge of safekeeping all of the pain and suffering of humans. Thus, THE GIVER idea was born. HOW AMAZING IS THAT?
5. Fan-girling over Mo Willems from afar, as I left his panel to meet my agent.
Part TWO tomorrow!