So, I got to co to Children’s Institute this past week in Orlando. It was a spectacularly fun time. (I think I still like KidlitCon better, but I think that’s because I’ve been going for a very long time and I know everyone there.)
- The keynote speakers: They were fantastic. Kate DiCamillo was delightful, Dave Barry hilarious, and Julia Alvarez amazing.
- The panels: Mostly, they were good. I sat on one about summer reading camps, and there was one about non-author parties where I got ideas for our midnight release party at the store. And the data analytics were fascinating as well. There were some duds, and I was exhausted by the end of the day on Thursday, but mostly, I learned.
- The authors: I “met” (well, interacted with) Mo Willems (and got some dirt on him), and had dinner with Trenton Lee Stewart (delightful) and Wade Albert White (hilarious and fun) and the Hachette team (who are some of the bestest people) and chatted with Laurie Halse Anderson, Jay Asher, and Justine Larbalestier (which means I also stopped and chatted with Scott Westerfeld!), as well as a handful of other authors. I didn’t fangirl too badly, and I don’t think I made too much of a fool of myself. At least I hope I made a positive impression on people. It’s hard to tell.
- The company: I went with another co-worker, and she and I had a good time. We visited Clifford
and were silly in the photo booth at the Backlist Swap party
and as a bonus, I ran into a really old blogging friend, Susan at Wizards Wireless
- And then, because I was within spitting distance, I took a day afterward and I went to the beach! I picked New Smyrna because I didn’t want something TOO touristy (well, it was; I don’t think you can get away from it). I was hoping for something more quaint, which it was. And swimming in the ocean was heavenly. I did feel a bit weird, being there by myself, but I don’t think I cared too much. It was heavenly and glorious.
And now, back to real life!