Sunday and Monday I attended the International Reading Association conference in Chicago, IL. The weather was yukky, but when you're so busy with workshops and signings and meeting cool people and eating fabulous food, who needs nice weather anyway?
Sunday was the all-day institute put on by eight incredible authors and me - Carolee Dean, Carolyn Meyer, Caroline Rose Starr, Kersten Hamilton, Kimberly Little Griffiths, Uma Krishnaswani, Esther Hershenhorn and April Wayland. We talked about using the story strategies of professional authors to inspire a love of reading and writing.
Here we are, looking all professional and authorly.
We went out to dinner the night before, where much fun was had, as you can see:
Simon and Schuster took its authors out to dinner Sunday night. I sat near the incredibly talented and kind author/illustrator Peter Reynolds and his brother, Paul. Here is a picture I took, so I'm not in the picture, but you can see Peter and Paul to the right, and that's Carolee on the left. And Carolyn Meyer who turned around just as I was snapping the picture.
Peter drew me this little gem that I plan to frame and place on my desk:
I didn't take many pictures at the convention center on Monday. I signed books for an hour in the S&S booth and met lots of fabulous teachers. I did find Kate Messner, who was there signing a bunch of her books, including her latest release, EYE OF THE STORM:
Of course you can't visit Chicago and not have deep dish pizza, so Carolee, Caroline and I went to Giordano's downtown Monday night and had our selves a fabulous dinner.
Tuesday I went to Blackhawk Middle School where I did three presentations for each of the grades and signed lots of books. It was a great day and the teachers and librarians there are obviously very passionate about reading.
Check out the wall of poems that kids wrote, inspired by one of my books that they read:
There were a whole bunch of sweet thank you notes, too!
And here's the stage lined with welcome posters:
Now, I'm back home, with some work on a manuscript I need to get to. When I'm finished with that, I plan on taking a much-needed break for a few weeks. I'm a very tired author about now...