Can I just say? This weekend? Kidlitcon 2012? Was the first time I'd met any of these bloggers in real life. (And, obviously, the first time they all met me.)
I started Bookshelves of Doom in 2004, and have "known" some of these folks for almost as long. But, as I said, it wasn't until just a few days ago that I met them in person.
This weekend? For me, it was a Very Big Deal.
Probably not much.
So here are some of my highlights:
- Getting into town* and making my way—ALL BY MYSELF, THANK YOU**—to the NYPL, without taking A SINGLE WRONG TURN.
- Staying with the lovely Amanda, who I see far too infrequently... although now that I know how easy the trip is, that could very well change. (ONLY if she gives the nod, of course. I promise I won't just show up on her doorstep. Probably.)
- The periodic updates about the homestead from Josh. His weekend highlights were as follows: finding a dead snake in the living room (Lemon!), splitting many pieces of firewood, and watching lots of Breaking Bad. Oh, and lying in the mud in the pouring rain to try and lure Maggie out from under the woodshed so he could close the house up for the night. (We don't like to leave the cats out due to the coyotes. And the bobcat.) He finally gave up and came in, utterly drenched... which is, of course when she finally decided to grace him with her presence.
- Speaking of the beasts: while writing this, I discovered that someone decided to chew on a bar of soap... in the middle of the living room. Where it came from, I have no idea, because we don't own any green soap. As no one is exhibiting signs of distress, I'm going to pretend it didn't happen. Moving on...
- Meeting Pam and Liz and Kelly and Betsy, Greg and Monica and Maya and Jen and Marjorie and Laura, Sheila and Nova and Jess and the ladies behind Kidsmomo. If you're curious, a partial list of attendees is on this page.
- Speaking of Greg Pincus, if you ever get a chance to hear him speak, DO IT. I'd been feeling a bit of blogger ennui before the convention, and his energy and enthusiasm blasted my doldrums into smithereens. Thanks for that, Greg.
- And speaking of Betsy Bird, CAN THAT GIRL CAN PUT ON A CON, OR CAN THAT GIRL PUT ON A CON, AMIRITE?
- I have no pictures. There are some up at Stacked, though.
- The panel on critical book reviewing, as A) it's a topic close to my heart, and B) the folks sitting on the panel were a veritable who's who of smart cookies. Book Smugglers and Pink Me got some super-nice shout-outs, and Maureen Johnson looked rather horrified when she heard about authors contacting bloggers to complain about less-than-glowing reviews.
- Maureen Johnson and Robin Wasserman's joint keynote speech, which wasn't really a speech at all, but a conversation. And I got to meet them very, very briefly, which on one hand was sad, as I didn't get to blather on about how much I love their books, but on the other hand, was probably lucky, as I'm sure they've both gotten enough fangirling to last several lifetimes.
- Michael Northrop, however, didn't escape, as he was at Kidlit Drink Night, and we talked about all manner of things (mostly beer, actually) until I finally had a minor meltdown and told him just how wonderful I thought Gentlemen was. Is. Many apologies if I embarrassed you, MN.
- AND OH MY GOD, this is unrelated to the conference except that it happened while we were waiting for the library to open its doors: I ran into a good friend from college with whom I'd lost touch. He just happened to be there for a completely unrelated conference. It was awesome. ADAM, IF YOU'RE READING THIS, YOU'D BETTER EMAIL ME. I KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE NOW. WELL, SORT OF. ASSUMING THAT YOU LIVE SOMEWHERE IN NYC, I MEAN. Ahem. Moving on.
- A few more moments from a weekend full of 'em: Liz B. proving that if the Olympics offered contests in Laserbeam Eyes and/or Stalker Impersonating, she'd easily medal in both. Kelly J. and I displaying mad street-crossing skillz. Kelly and Liz as Ernie and Bert. Me saving Amanda from a runaway bicycle by shouting "BUS!" Pam generously giving Amanda the awesome book about the swimming orangutan. Bagelhead, dessert buffet, mysteriously expensive beer, ARC trading, family history sharing, note comparing, name calling, friend making.
- ETA: Oh, and that time that Quinn burped right in my face. Good times.
- ETA2: AND. I forgot to say. To everyone who said nice things to me about my blog: Thank you. I'm not all that great at receiving praise (because it makes me feel all weird and bashful!), so, if I was having an especially awkward moment when you spoke with me... thank you, and I'm sorry if I was a freak.
I'm so happy I went, and I'm already looking forward to next year, wherever it may be.
*Let's not talk about how late it was getting in. Suffice to say, I got to know my seatmate very well. She's currently reading (surprise, surprise) Fifty Shades of Grey.
**Yeah, that's right, Josh: I've got street smarts. (To those of you who know how ridiculously close Port Authority is to the NYPL, hush.)
***Who not only kindly put me up for three nights, but also patiently ushered me all over Manhattan.