Tuesday, July 2, 2013

My Hair Held Up Better Than My Tire

I had a great time at the American Library Association Conference.

You expected anything else?

There were no thunderstorms in either direction on Thursday and the flight was smooth and easy and on time. I took a shuttle bus to the hotel, where my room was waiting for me. I ate the world's most expensive room service hamburger for supper and made phone calls and read and relaxed.

Friday I ate an equally expensive breakfast, then took a shuttle bus with one of the many helpful and really nice Houghton Mifflin Harcourt people. We got to my panel discussion early enough that I could say hello to the librarian son of one of my best friends.

Then I got on the panel. Here we are:


Cory Doctorow, Susan Beth Pfeffer, Marie Lu, Laurie Halse Anderson, Sarah Dressen


 

After we finished paneling, I convinced Mr. Doctorow and Ms. Lu that they were willing to have lunch with me. We scurried over to the Hyatt Hotel restaurant (nothing like eating local). Mr. Doctorow and Ms. Lu discussed working for Disney, gaming, and fighter piloting. I waited my turn, then regaled them with the story of Mrs. Fitzherbert and George IV, and the exact circumstances of Queen Victoria's conception. Oddly enough, Mr. Doctorow and Ms. Lu left almost immediately thereafter.

I then found a cab and asked the driver to take me to the Art Institute Of Chicago. He refused. It seems that having a parade with over 2 million people in attendance affects which streets can be driven on in Chicago and which cannot. So he left me about a half mile away from the Art Institute and told me to keep walking straight. The Art Institute would be on the right, and there'd be statues of two lions to let me know I'd gotten to the right place.
 
I hadn't expected the lions to be hockey players, but in Chicago that day, everyone was a hockey player or a librarian. Those were your only options.
 
The Art Institute is a phenomenal museum, which I would have enjoyed even more if my feet hadn't hurt from having to walk a half mile to get there. But the weather was beautiful and the walk was fun and I saw paperweights and miniature rooms and pictures of naked people and famous Impressionist paintings, and the Art Institute is the kind of museum where you can't possibly see everything and everything you do see is well worth the seeing.
 
Saturday was my big autographing day. First I went to the conference and walked around looking for free stuff. I mostly limited my free stuff to carrying bags to put the free stuff which I didn't take in. I don't know why I was so carrying bag obsessed, but I brought home about a half dozen of them, none of which I've put away, since I don't exactly know where to put them.
 
But then came the autographing, which is one of my all time favorite things to do, and which was even more fun than ever before because I got to meet Ing and Nora Durbin and Mr. Cavin. Ing had already begun reading The Shade Of The Moon, so I tested her on where she was in the book, while Mr. Cavin put his hands over his ears so he wouldn't hear any spoilers.
 
You have no idea how exciting it was for me to meet people who read my blog. You guys are legends to me, and it turns out  at least three of you are actually real.
 
I autographed for a tad longer than I was supposed to, because I'm prone to chatting with people who tell me they like my books. Also it takes a while to write Accept The Impossible and Susan Beth Pfeffer and June 29, 2013 in books.
But eventually the fabulous people of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt pushed me out of there, and I promptly got a cab that took me to the airport. My flight left a little late, but got to Newark on time, there being no thunderstorms to deal with. I carried my suitcase and all the empty bags to my car, and within fifteen minutes of arrival, got a flat tire.
 
If you ever have a choice between spending three wonderful days in Chicago, meeting authors and librarians and people who read your blog and going to a museum and eating expensive room service meals or sitting in your car at twilight on the side of a highway where everyone is whizzing past you at 70 miles per hour while you wait to be rescued, choose the former. Trust me on that.
 
But eventually I did get rescued and I drove home safely, where Scooter greeted me by telling me repeatedly how glad he was that I was there.
 
He wasn't alone. My time in Chicago was wonderful, but I was just as glad to be home as he was to see me!
 

14 comments:

Fear Death By Water said...

I may not comment on every posting, but I read each one. Glad you had a great time and that your new book is doing so well.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Fear Death By Water-

Not only are you a legend to me, but I read a suspense novel recently that had the "Fear death by water" quotation on the page before the story began, and I was very excited to see it.

Don't ask me which novel it was, because I've been reading a lot of them lately and they've all kind of mooshed into one.

Also don't ask me what that page before the story begins is called, because if I ever knew, I no longer do.

As my age increases, my memory decreases!

Fear Death By Water said...

Was it Swan Song by Robert R. McCammon? That's where I lifted my name. If it was my estimation of you just went up a couple notches.

If it wasn't though ... you should. It's a decent enough read.

Mr. Cavin said...

It was fantastic to finally meet you. You are just as funny in person! Thanks for letting Sunshine and I hang out and watch much of the action on Saturday. Being an autographer sure is a tough day's work!

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hello again to Fear Death By Water and hello tonight to Mr. Cavin.

No, it wasn't Swan Song, which I just looked up at Amazon and sounds pretty good. I just went through my book list, to see if one of the titles jumped out at me, but none did, so I'll probably never know which book began that way. Le sigh of ignorance.

On a jollier note, it was wonderful to meet you and Sunshine, Mr. Cavin. I'm sure Sunshine hears this all the time, but what a perfect name for her. She positively glowed. And now I can picture what you look like when you leave a comment.

What a great trip it was (except for the flat tire). And thanks to it, albeit indirectly, I have the name of a 900 page world comes to an end novel to read!

librarina said...

Sounds like you had a splendid time. Thanks again for grabbing some ARCs of The Shade of the Moon... Can't wait to get mine!

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Happy Eve Of July 4th librarina-

Yes, I was able to grab 4 Shade Of The Moon ARCs as I scurried away.

I did a Bolivian hat pull yesterday and sent all four ARCs off this morning.

If my publisher sends me any leftovers, the Bolivian hat will make another return (and I'll return to Staples, since I used the last of my mailing envelopes today!).

Fear Death By Water said...

Susan ... now is the time. http://sciencefiction.com/2013/07/02/2-more-movie-deals-prove-young-adults-love-the-post-apocalypse/

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hallo Fear Death By Water-

I'm in favor. It's Hollywood that doesn't seem interested.

Meanwhile, I'm still trying to figure out what book I read "Fear death by water" in. I thought maybe it was The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton, but I just looked at its first few pages over at Amazon and they didn't seem to quote anybody.

You certainly have given my life some mystery!

Anonymous said...

Without hearing about the museum gift shop and what you purchased, it's just a same-old, same-old, famousauthorgoestoChicago/hobnobs/eatsexpensiveroomservice/autographs/hasgreathair/getsflattire story. So? Whadja buy.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Happy July 4th Anonymous-

I bought some refrigerator magnets. Lots of nice stuff in the shop, but I didn't feel like buying anything else.

Nora Durbin said...

It was so great to meet you too! It really was the highlight of the conference for me. I am about half way through the ARC right now and oh my goodness! Thanks again for writing such awesome books. I can't wait to talk about it with the teens at my library.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Nora Durbin-

It was a joy to meet you and to learn at last your real name!

Anthony said...

SUSAN!!!!! I'm such a big and huge fan of yours. I'm 17 and I read the second and third book in only 2 days!!!! I was thinking about the books that I've read back in 8th grade & that was Life As We Knew It. It was amazing and I had an A in my report. :). I absolutely LOVED Julie and Brianna & was sad to see them go (cried so hard)I never really cry reading books but this captivated me & I'm suffering from book hangover right now. I'm a brother of both girls that's the same exact age as them coincidentally.I hugged them both and told them I loved them and would never hurt and make them mad ever. THANK YOU! Is there going to be a 5th book? I hope so :) I wanna find out about Sarah and Jon (Yes, I read Shade of the Moon).