1. You didn’t think I’d actually be able to WAIT to show this picture, do you? Or that I was cool enough to NOT ask for a picture from her at BEA? Please. I know I have a million other things to tell you about as well—this week has been, really, insane—but my speech at the Children’s Breakfast on Tuesday morning was the biggest thing I’ve done in a while. Or, um, ever. The room was HUGE, packed with people, and I was sitting with Brian Selznick on one side and Kevin Henkes on the other, and on THEIR sides were Katherine Patterson (!) and Julianne Moore (!!!!). If you require proof (and I know, it sounds far-fetched) I have this, courtesy of Shelf Awareness:
So, yes, it really DID happen. Apparently. It was all such a blur, but of the best kind. Also, I was so nervous about this speech for such an esteemed crowd in seriously impressive company that I didn’t sleep for, like, 36 hours. I couldn’t. The night before was one of those where I kept looking at the clock, desperate to drift off, saying things to myself like, “If I fall asleep now, I’ll still get five hours. Four hours….three hours….oh, well, time to wake up, here we go!” Thank goodness for adrenaline, is all I can say. In the end, though, it went really well. Which is to say, I did not trip, pass out, or get booed off stage, all things I’d had nightmares about happening. I was up, my heart was racing, I looked out into the crowd and saw my agent and friends from Penguin, and I just….did it. Whew! I think by the time I sat down I’d lost about five pounds of pure anxiety. But it was totally, totally, worth it.
2. Then, after the breakfast, I did a great signing, where I met 200 people in rapid-fire fashion. It was, in a word, awesome. When that was done, I headed outside to the SweeteryNYC truck, which was parked RIGHT outside the Javits Center, to hand out Whoopie Pies. Check it out:
As much as I enjoyed my speech (once I stopped having palpitations) I was much more at ease handing out food. Because that, at least, I have done before. It was so much fun they basically had to drag me away when my time was up. And seriously: I had never had a whoopie pie, but OH my goodness. It’s like Moon Pie, but with the best cookie on either side instead of an oatmeal thing. YUM! A friend sent me a cookbook solely dedicated to whoopie pies, so I can already tell what I’ll be doing once all this touring stuff is done. Stuffing my face. I.cannot.wait.
3. Speaking of the tour, I’m almost over with phase one, and it’s just been so much fun. I can’t even tell you. I had a great crowd and so much fun in Dallas at the Museum of Art (and, um, the flagship Neiman Marcus: my credit card is still smoking whenever I open my wallet). And I LOVED my event at the Barnes and Noble in Carle Place, on Long Island in New York. The girls were all so sweet! I loved these two, who made up shirts entirely covered with sayings from my books:
Also, to the VERY kind girl who brought me both Sharpies AND Hershey’s Dark Chocolate and Almond nuggets? Who said it was a thank you gift for coming to her state? Your card got all tangled up with a bunch of others, so I’m freaking that I can’t thank you by name. But know this: the next day, when I was a mess of nerves, I was SO GRATEFUL to have that bag of chocolates. You got me off the ledge. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
4. After the longest/best day ever on Tuesday, I headed out of New York on Wednesday super early to come home to the family. When I walked in my dogs were waiting, as well as this:
I almost burst into tears right there, I’m not going to lie. A few minutes later my daughter arrived home, and we sat and ate gummi bears together. I was so, so happy to be back with her. I can’t stop touching her, kissing her, smoothing her hair. She is swatting me away like an annoying mosquito, but I won’t stop. My dogs, however, are still playing hard to get, the way they always do once they realize I am home for good for awhile. I have a box of Alpo treats, though, and it shouldn’t be too hard to win them back over. I hope.
5. Finally, just yet another HUGE thank you to all of you reading this for everything from helping me pick my shoes for the tour to reassuring me when I was freaking out and all else in between. Thank you for reading my books, and your kind words, and for making me feel, especially when far from home, that I was never really totally alone. You guys are the best. Tonight, Thursday, I’m doing my last appearance for awhile, at the Chatham County Public Library with McIntyre’s Books, at 7pm, after which point I promise to crawl under a rock for a little while. And meanwhile…it’s almost officially summer! Memorial Day this weekend, and today was my daughter’s last day of preschool. Sob! Parents were allowed to stay or come early, so I showed up just in time to get to read the class a couple of picture books. I know, right? All this craziness, touring, appearances, and then there I am, in front of ten squirming preschoolers, reading Corduroy Goes to the Beach and The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark. I kept asking the other parents, “Anyone else want to have a turn at this? Really?” But no one did. I love my readers, but can I just say, this was one of my best gigs ever. Mostly because my favorite face was there in the crowd, right in front of me.
6. Yes, I know this is a five. I think a six is unprecedented. BUT I know there are some of you who may be wondering what I wore to BEA, since I was obsessing about it for, um, months. But for those of you who could care less, you can skip this part. Enquiring minds, though: this one is for you. And yes, my Vanna White pose is supposed to be a joke. God forbid I ever take myself that seriously. But if I did, you of all folks would let me know: