Tuesday, July 02, 2013


So I've been away from the blog (nothing new, I realize), but this time my reason is legit! I had a baby! His name is Dean! He was a few weeks early, and he's doing great. Romy is a fantastic big sister, and I am trying to be everything to everyone, as a mom does, and feeling like I'm failing miserably half of the time.

We made a day out for ALA on Saturday, since it was in Chicago. Matt had a signing and a million meetings, and I, well, I walked around and ate stuff and got books. It's weird to step back and think about how ALA used to be for me: When I was a librarian I went to Annual for the first time as a recipient of the Baker and Taylor Award (one school and one public librarian win the award that takes them to the conference). After that I won another ALA award (Excellence in Library Services to Young Adults, I think it was called. Man, I'm foggy.), and after that I went on to be a member of the Selected Audiobooks for Young Adults committee for two years. That was back when I knew Librarian was my calling. Toward the end of my committee work my first novel was published, so ALA turned into a combination librarian/author thing. That's when the confusion began: which hat do I wear, and what does that hat look like (a jaunty one for the author, I'm thinking, and a very comfortable and practical one for the librarian, naturally)? The confidence and comfort I felt as a librarian melded into the awkwardness of being an "author" (and believe you me, there is awkwardness in a job that mostly involves me being in a room by myself). And then I had a kid. ALA turned into Finding Authors to Autograph Books for My Child time (while still being a librarian AND an author). Soon after, I left my middle school librarian job to be home with my daughter, so ALA turned into Mommy/Author time. Equally awkward and more and more complicated to maneuver. I felt like a fraud of a librarian (not having a job and all), mostly a mom with just a sprinkle of author tossed in when I had a dinner or signing to attend.

That brings us to this year. With a two week old baby on my chest and a four and a half year-old in a stroller, I roamed the floor, gathering books and trying to keep my energy up. The ARCs for my next novel, The F-It List (out November of this year) were available at the Macmillan Kids booth, and the book's cover appeared on the booth banner. Yet, that was pretty much the extent of my authorly-ness. No signings, no meetings, no meals. Not knowing when the baby would be born, I couldn't schedule in any author things to do. And having him born early, my brain couldn't have handled much anyway.

So what does this mean for ALAs in the future? Will I ever be an actual librarian again? Will I ever feel like a real author? Will I ever attend without my kids again? Only time will tell. I noticed next year's annual is in Las Vegas. That could be interesting. As I recall, there's a massive M&M store. And, you know, some shows and gambling and stuff. I wonder if the kids will be down with that.

And now for some pictures! I handed Romy the camera at the Mac Kids booth, and here's what she came up with:

Me! Can't you tell?
Gordy! Romy's teddy bear.

I have to say, Romy is a great photographer. I asked her to get me (and my chins) and the book cover on the banner, and there we are!

Romy wanted me to include this picture of books.