Thursday, September 29, 2011

More on the Washington DC trip and the National Book Festival

Photo courtesy Paul Crichton of Simon and Schuster
I'm still in a slight daze after the magical experience of the National Book Festival.
  • the reception at the Library of Congress the evening before.
  • the tents on the Mall
  • the crowds
  • the fabulous line-up of speakers
  • running into Toni Morrison for two seconds in the Media tent
  • running into Jim Lehrer for thirty seconds in the hospitality tent
  • chatting with Lourdes Catalano, my generous escort who kept me from getting lost and made sure I got to things on time
  • rushing to catch the tail end of Rita Williams-Garcia's talk
  • the kids who came to my talk and then accosted me later in the day for photos, signatures in books, and conversation
  • kids who had been at my Friends Community School event the week before, who spread the love by bringing their families to the National Book Festival
  • friends from years ago who reconnected with me at the event
  • a teacher who had come all the way from my little corner of the desert, Aztec, New Mexico, and who happened by pure coincidence to be in DC for the 50th anniversary Peace Corps celebration. 
  • squeezing in time to videotape the moon gates in the Enid Haupt Garden outside the Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. A little research there for Dini and Dolly Book 2 (in edits now--keeping my eyes crossed and saying no more on that for the moment).
  • and of course I would be most remiss not to mention the Ritz of all port-a-loos!
In all, the 11th National Book Festival  was  one for the memory archive.

My DC days after the Festival continued to be filled with kids and books. Tuesday morning at Politics and Prose (September 27) brought 80-something kids from two schools, along with the high energy that comes from gathering so many 4th and 5th graders together in a single room. Great questions, great response to The Grand Plan to Fix Everything. We ran out of time. We ran out of books!

Many, many thanks to Gussie Lewis, Children's Events Coordinator at Politics and Prose, to everyone at the store, to Lydia Finn, publicist at Simon and Schuster, to parents who ordered books, and to the teachers who brought students in for this event.

And more thanks still to Politics and Prose for organizing book sales the night before the store event at the Takoma Park Library. Tami Lewis Brown, my fellow panelist along with Katie Kelly, has blogged about this lovely event over at From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle Grade Authors. Thanks to Karen MacPherson for coordinating our middle grade panel and making this event possible.

Still more to come from my week in Washington DC. 

Stay tuned for a visit with Barbara Brooks Wallace, author of Peppermints in the Parlor, The Twin in the Tavern, Ghosts in the Gallery, and other wonderful middle grade mysteries set on the east coast of the United States in a time of lanterns and carriages, forbidding mansions and children set adrift in a Dickensian world.

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