8.03.2010

California, Delaware, Disneyland

Tinkering with the Vignette Droid app in the airport. The filter that highlights my hair is called "Paris." Cool!


(August? How on EARTH did it get to be AUGUST?)

I just arrived home from a wonderful week in California. Before I say anything else, I want to thank the person who made my trip possible: Kiersten White. Without her, I wouldn't have been able to attend the summer conference for SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators). Thank you, Kiersten, for being one of the most charming, hilarious, kind, trustworthy, beautiful, generous people in my life.

Also, it was insanely good timing on my behalf to be there when this happened:


Her first HARDCOVER copy of Paranormacly!


How thrilling it was to knock on it and hear its heavy, thick book-y sound! The sound that announces:

I am real.

I'm looking forward to blogging about the conference, but I'll wait until more attendees have uploaded their pictures. My own camera is being repaired, so I was stuck with my camera phone! It takes great pictures with the above Vignette app, but it's a pain when it comes to regular pictures.

There are only two things I'll say about the conference for now:

(1) I met so many fantastic authors, illustrators, and bloggers! I say it frequently, but it's always incredible when internet friends become real-life friends. Thank you to everyone who introduced yourself to me. I'm grateful to be in CHILDREN'S WRITING, a career packed with such sweet, funny, supportive people.

(2) M.T. Anderson. Hello, you. Please allow me to bathe your feet in liquid gold and feed you grapes plumped by Italian sunshine.


Mr. Anderson. I did not take this picture, nor did I attend this party. Unfortunately.


Okay, fine. I'll explain that last one.

For the unfamiliar, Anderson is a two-time Printz Honor and National Book Award-winning author of The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Volume 1: The Pox Party (best title ever) as well as Feed (often cited for its memorable first sentence: "We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck") and several more YA novels, middle grade novels, and picture books (including one not often discussed, though it should be: Me, All Alone, at the End of the World).

His work is sophisticated—sometimes challenging (Octavian), sometimes laugh-out-loud hilarious (The Game of Sunken Places)—and always interesting.

I'd been looking forward to his keynote, because I knew it would be good. I didn't realize it would be GREAT. It was on the use of geography in literature, with examples from a wide variety of writers and sources, including his own Jasper Dash and the Flame-Pits of Delaware. In it, Anderson reimagines Delaware as a mystical land (Amazon description): "Long cut off from civilization by exorbitant toll-road charges, it is a dangerous region of lofty mountains, impenetrable jungles, and exotic cities, ruled by a crazed military dictator."

I know, right? Brilliant.

He had us, his entire audience, wrapped around his finger as new perspectives and ideas exploded throughout our minds, but then—as if he hadn't done enough—he burst into his own Delaware state anthem:





(Not my recording. So if you're interested, watch him sing it now before it's snatched away!)

For the rest of the conference, he was surrounded by throngs of single women. Ha ha! I was bummed to miss his workshop two days later, which I heard was "better and harder than any college lecture," but a friend was kind enough to take notes for me, because I had somewhere else to be . . .

DISNEYLAND.

Oh, yeah. I ditched work for Disney.

In a weird coincidence, my husband just-so-happened to be in Los Angeles! So I spent Sunday with Jarrod and our friends Alex (The Remus Lupins, for you wizard rockers) and Sarah. They made awesome companions, because they're from the area and know the park's secrets! We hardly waited in line all day.

The following pictures are courtesy of Sarah, who also has red hair with blue stripes:


And beautiful eyes. She has really, really beautiful eyes.


Alex, Sarah, Jarrod, Moi. And a riverboat.


HAM (Hot American Man), HAD (Hot American Dude), or HAG (Hot American Guy). Sorry I can't find a sexy acronym, honey. But you are!


EAT THE CHURROS.


Jarrod was taking this picture for Twitter.


The lady behind us does NOT want in our picture!


"Ooo."


"AHH!"


I'm pretty proud of how dorky we are.


Alex's hat celebrates our ninth anniversary.


Toontown phone. I'm concerned. About . . . something.


Official and stuff.


Thanks to Jarrod, Alex, and Sarah for a perfect Sunday! And before I go, something from my blog comments. Mary Clare said:

"Me thinks you should do BEDA with Maureen Johnson. She's doing it in August, if you don't recall. :) I know you're busy and I understand if you cannot, but that would be AWESOME! You are one of my favorite bloggers and it is nice to here from you again."

Props for saying "me thinks." I'm a fan.

And thank you! It takes a loooooong time to write each post (even the short ones), so blog compliments always make me happy. I would love to do Maureen's BEDA (Blog Every Day April/August) but I'm wrestling with a VERY PRESSING DEADLINE this week, so perhaps I can try BEDITSHOA?

That, of course, stands for: Blog Every Day in the Second Half of August.

Maybe? Perchance? No promises—because I've broken more promises this year than I care to admit—but I'd love to do this. Thank you for asking!

Happy August, everyone.

(SERIOUSLY. HOW IS IT ALREADY AUGUST?)

29 comments:

  1. You went to Disneyland too?! *sobs into vegetarian lasagna*

    Do you know what I did last week while you were gallivanting around with cool author people and dancing around the happiest place on earth (I just assumed there was gallivanting and dancing)? Well, I decided that my novel sucks and started re-writing the start.

    Then I cried a little.

    Then I re-wrote a little more.

    Despite my sour grapes, I'm glad you had an awesome time and I look forward to hearing more about your trip.

    Good luck with the pressing deadline/authory type things.

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  2. Late night or early morning? I haven't gone to bed yet.

    I *love* HAG as an acronym for Hot American Guy! :o)

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  3. Those pictures are adorable, you look like you had so much fun!!

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  4. Wow. That looks like one amazing, amazing trip!! Great pictures, too!

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  5. We have a whole collection of dorky Space Mountain Pictures!!

    What a great trip.

    And cupcakes would have been great....sigh.....

    Shelley

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  6. This basically confirms that I really was missing out, but I'm super glad you had fun!

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  7. Anonymous9:47 AM GMT-5

    All this sounds really fantastic! And great pictures. :)

    Also, yes, how is it already August?! This year has sped by.

    I agree that your blog has a great voice, and you're very funny. If you can manage to do half of blog every day in August, that would cool. If not, well, deadlines come first.

    --Shveta

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  8. AWESOME! By the way - LOVE that first picture. I want to die my hair blue! Damn these corporate ways and their definitions of professional attire! I would work better if I had blue hair. I know it.

    Glad you had fun! Yeah!

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  9. Aw man, so much fun. Sigh. Wish I had been there! I almost choked when I thought you'd been playing Twister with MT Anderson, ha ha! Disneyland looks like a blast -- and I love the pic where Jarrod's hair is blue too! Your hair is looking FANTASTICALLY BLUE! Yay!

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  10. Pretty picture! I might have to use this Paris feature. :) Cool effects.

    It's great that you had such a great time at the Conference! :D
    I can't wait until I'm a writer and can meet other professionals in person who share the
    same passion as me.

    Disneyland/World is amazing. Wow, your friend Sarah's eyes are soooo pretty! I love those
    eyes that have like a million colors in them. Very pretty. :3

    Churros---MMMM!!! I want some! D:

    Cute pictures!

    ~TRA

    http://xtheredangelx.blogspot.com

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  11. It was such a joy to reconnect with you! I'll always think of you with the fondness of red shoes. Someday . . . when I get my barn built you'll have to come out for my Writers That Stare at Goats writing fest!

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  12. It was really great to meet you this weekend! :-D And don't worry, that's my video of M.T. Anderson (yes, I fully share in that author crush...how could you NOT?!), so it won't be snatched away any time soon. I just wish my camera took better quality video.

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  13. Everytime I see a picture of you, I want to call you Coraline.

    I've been to the place NEXT TO DisneyLand and DisneyWorld, but never DL itself. =( So glad y'all had fun and HAPPY BELATED ANNIVERSARY to you and Jarrod!!! =)

    SHAG = Smokin' Hot American Guy?

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  14. MASSIVE JEALOUSY.

    (of your blue hair. Still.)

    (but also of your 'ventures in Disney Land.)

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  15. Yay Disneyland! Thanks for another massively entertaining post; it's always fun to stop by your blog :)

    I finally read Octavian Nothing, and like you said, it's worth it. Too bad you weren't invited to the Twister party.

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  16. Yay, Disneyland! I haven't been in so long. I should remedy that one of these days.

    It was lovely to meet you!

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  17. Anonymous3:37 PM GMT-5

    I had such a good time with you! Great post and I loved the captions on the Disney pictures :)

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  18. Brilliant photos. I'm love the roller coster shot and your husbands t-shirt is excellent. I used to have one saying Angel.

    I'm wildly jealous of the conference.

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  19. I love that first picture. So artsy, like something I want to hang on my wall. But I won't because then I'd be crazy-stalker-fan-girl. MT Anderson sounds like a blast. I need to read him. So what exactly are the secrets to not waiting in line at Disneyland? Cutting? Being the author of Anna?

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  20. Happy anniversary! I'm so dying to go to SCWBI- can't wait to read your post! I'm probably with you- I'll be able to to BEDITSHOA! Maybe!

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  21. Your husband is very cute! I actually really like Mireyah's acronym of SHAG. That one's pretty damn awesome.

    Loved all the pics- sounds like you had a wonderful time! :) Can't wait to hear more about the conference. Also, very jealous you got to be with Kiersten. I've been trying to get her to come to the East Coast (specifically our area of VA/NC) so that I can meet her, but so far, no luck.

    But I'm way excited to meet you whenever you have your book launch or any signing in NC (I'm assuming it will be there, but perhaps I'm wrong?) because you are awesome and I love your blog too. I really need to read my ARC of Anna soon. Then I can add that onto my Why Stephanie Perkins Rocks list. :)

    OK, I will stop rambling. I'm sure I sound like a psycho.

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  22. I miss you. At least I have the comfort of, "I know, right?" slipping out of my mouth every two minutes to remind me of you.

    And that picture of M. T. to look at.

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  23. Wow! It looks like you had so much FUN! AND you gotta hang out with Kiersten! Lucky you!!

    Frankie

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  24. Thanks for reading my comment and your welcome for the compliments! You definitely deserve it. :) I'm not nearly as busy as you are, but I'm always forgetting to reply to things on Twitter and Facebook and emails. I would be very happy with BEDITSHOA. Sounds good to me. Everyone is so busy with writing/editing books, so if they don't blog, that's ok! It means I instead get to read your published works (I sound very selfish - that's because I am). xD

    P.S. I found out that MJ will not be doing BEDA this month, either! She is editing The Last Little Blue Envelope and has deadlines to make. I guess I was wrong. *hangs head*

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  25. Stephanie,

    It was great to meet you at the SCBWI Conference! Super fun. Plus people with teal blue hair rock!

    I'm looking forward to your book!

    Ingrid (that other girl from the teal blue hair planet).

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  26. I love you for posting the video of M.T. Anderson's song. Describing it to people simply is not the same. I laughed so hard my stomach hurt. And then had to keep from gushing like a dork while eating with him at the Heart & Soul ball. (Fortunately, wasn't within touching distance or I might really have embarassed myself! :))

    Martina

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  27. Ah...you and your ridiculously wonderful blue steaks and necklace made even more fantastic with your app. I'm so so so happy we were able to meet again (when I wasn't busy being a neurotic conference planner).

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  28. We are loving that app on Jeff's droid as well. So fun. Your trip looks fantastic. I still covet your blue deer necklace. I love that it matches your hair. Looks like you had a great trip!

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  29. I was there just yesterday!
    And the fifth picture down? I posed there too!
    Love, Hannah

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