Tuesday, January 28, 2014

All about Midwinter

I'm writing this in a hotel room at the Philadelphia airport...the insane weather conditions in the southeast thwarted my trip home, but didn't put a damper on my mood. After bracing myself for a rough ride, I had such a great time hanging out with some of my favorite librarians and dearest friends in Philadelphia. I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

I checked everything, so I don't have pajamas, a change of clothes or even toiletries beyond the toothbrush and toothpaste I caged from the Sheraton desk clerk, but I DO have a digital projector with me. I hauled it to and  around Philadelphia because I freaked out about not being sure there would be one for the USBBY program on Friday. I needn't have worried, the room on the top of the Loew's Hotel was well-equipped and had an amazing view, much like the Council suite on the same floor, which I finally availed myself of on Sunday evening. The USBBY event went off without a hitch, with more than eighty people there, and Maryann MacDonald was such a pro, and Bloomsbury had a nice reception after, too. I'm really looking forward to the next USBBY event at Annual now. And every Batchelder winner was on the Outstanding International Books list the committee announced Friday night, so that was a little thrill.

Council? The wheels grind slow but exceedingly fine. It's interesting to see work started at one conference adopted (as in the case of the "no prayers, only moments of silence" policy at meetings) or not (as in the Code of Conduct). Well, the COC (with clarification about peaceful protesting added by SRRT) has been adopted by the organization, but it is not policy per se. I was actually having a pang of regret about not running in the election again. It took five meetings for me to feel like I know what's up, and now my term is almost over, with just Annual to go.

The Youth Media Awards? I sat with my friend the incredible Angie Manfredi, just behind the Carnegie committee, and it was a real party. I sort-of couldn't believe how many winners and honors books I'd read this go-round...and I am thrilled about Midwinterblood snagging the Printz. Marcus Sedgewick is amazing in both range and craft. And I can't wait for the Odyssey work! Can Daniel Kraus come up with something quick so we can give it another medal?

I might not see much of school this week -- weather day tomorrow, delay Thursday, then Friday is an ALLA PD day in Birmingham. But, with all the apocalyptic weather craziness, I just can't worry about much. I'm running at about half speed. But I feel like I have a better sense of proportion. And for everyone who was kind and supportive, know that was very healing for me. I love this work.

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