Procrastination Meme
ALA 2nd day

ALA rundown so far

I am at ALA! Yesterday, I caught the second half of the Sins of YA Literature pre-conference extravaganza. Librarians in costumes! Writers dressed as sins! A fascinating panel on censorship and another on the economics of publishing -- but I missed Cecily von Zegeisar on the sin of popularity, which I would have loved to hear.

Elizabeth Partridge, though she wonderfully enjoined librarians to be "secret condom fairies" -- meaning have a bowl of condoms in the library bathroom -- gave her speech on Lust about the ways in which books can help teenagers avoid the negative consequences of lust. So it was about teaching kids to avoid sexual harassment, unwanted pregnancy and assault. She also spent a good amount of time on Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak, which to my eye is about rape and its aftermath, which is rather a different thing than lust.

Anyway, with all respect to Partridge, I felt there was a lot unsaid about the way books for teenagers explore lust, and the wide range of ways in which it is portrayed. At one point, she said she didn't want to get into discussing "chick lit", and I wished she had. Because there is such an interesting and wide-ranging portrayal of lust in "chick lit" for teenagers --- from Georgia Nicolson's "red-bottomosity" to Sam's nervous interest in Ready or Not to the betrayals in Shrimp and Cupcake to the pursuit of an encounter that leads to regret in Traveling Pants.

Anyway, I do always love a talk that makes me feel lilke I need to write a long meandering blog entry, so I was very glad I saw Partridge speak, even though I disagreed with her in may ways.

Then there was partying! With many really interesting and charming librarians. Also authors.
(Name-dropping ahead. Avert your eyes if you will.)
Chris Crutcher!
John Green!
David Levithan!
Jack Gantos!

(hm. why am I only meeting the male authors? Wonder if am an incorrigible flirt or possibly devastatingly attractive. Or possibly just male-oriented and need to get in touch with my female core? Or possibly was luck of draw and cocktail party situation. Not sure)

Oh! Ellen Wittlinger, the wonderful, gave me a shout-out in her speech and I was so tremendously flattered.
I met Virginia Euwer Wolfe and she had read Dramarama!
So now I am feeling important, which is good because I have only had 5 and a half hours sleep and I am generally a 9 hour girl.

Today, signings at noon at Random House and at 4 at Hyperion.
Head spinning.