The Friday Five!

1. Okay, so yet again I appear to be cheating and starting this Five on Thursday. Whoops. But I’m in the airport, about to head to Chicago, and I have time….so there you go. Plus I KNOW tomorrow I will be super busy at the ALA 2013 conference, where I am participating in two panels tomorrow, one of which is actually about blogging. So this is research! See? It works. Speaking of ALA, if you are also attending, here’s where you can find me: (as I am posting this actually on Friday, I’ll cut what has already happened. I know, I know. This is so freaking confusing. Sorry.)

Saturday, June 29th, 10am: : Signing at Penguin Young Readers Group, Booth #2320

1pm:    Signing at Follett

3pm: Signing at Perma-Bound Booth, #1905

I always love going to ALA and seeing so many cool educators, writers and librarians, but I’m especially excited this year because I’ve met SO many amazing readers in the last month or two while out on tour and doing bookstore events.  I know I’ve said this before but if you only read the media you could mistakenly think that teens are only into their phones and not much else. But they are out there READING: I’ve seen it with my own eyes. And what is better than an entire weekend full of people who ALSO love reading? Not much.

2. After ALA, I return home to be with my daughter and husband, put my fancy clothes in the back of the closet and resume my regular schedule of Whole Foods, the park, and wrangling my chickens. BEFORE that, though, on Sunday at 6pm GMT (which I believe is 1pm Eastern Time?) I’m doing a Twitter chat with my UK publisher and the fab author Cathy Cassidy. You can follow us under the hashtag #PenguinChats. Come say hello! Ask a question! I am really hoping to be able to start doing more for my UK fans, and have this big dream that SOMETIME in the next I will get across the pond to hit a couple of bookstores and do events. But first I have to stay home long enough for my daughter to get over her sudden, strong bout of separation anxiety. I don’t even want to think about how long that might be. Yikes.

3. It is so surreal, really, to be back at the airport. I am in the American Airlines lounge, I have my turkey wrap and my hummus and my super big water and my Vanity Fair. I also have a few episodes of The Real Housewives that I am allowing myself to watch on the plane even though I am NOT going to be exercising while doing so (my usual rule is that I must be burning calories while watching, a kind of penance). This is the toll that all this travel is taking on me: I am breaking my own rules all over the place. Although there is also the penance involved of watching The Housewives on the plane while your seatmate looks on, disapprovingly. So there’s that. Does SHAME burn calories? God, if it did I’d never have to get on the treadmill again. I mean, I WOULD. But it would all be gravy.

4. Okay, so now it IS actually Friday and I’m in my hotel room, getting ready to head out to the YALSA pre-conference. Last night, when I got here, I headed out to buy some water (because I can NEVER drink the pricey in-room botted water, I only hear my dad in my head saying “FIVE DOLLARS? FOR WATER?”). I was standing waiting to cross the street when I had a total moment that I was SURE that the place I was at that moment was in a movie I’d seen. I think was the elevated train (The El?) but I was SURE I was, like, inches from the apartment where Jake and Elwood Blues crashed on Jake’s first night out of prison in The Blues Brothers, a movie I have seen about a hundred times. (My husband adores it: we used to have a Great Dane named Elwood Blues. I still miss him! But I digress.) That’s the weird thing, for me anyway, about traveling to new places. I only know some of the world from TV and movies, and even then I don’t know EXACTLY where I’ve seen them. I do, however, love the idea of being thisclose to The Blues Brothers, even if I AM imagining it. Thanks, Chicago!

5. Okay, now it’s Friday afternoon. This is why trying to pre-write this Five is always so dicey: it’s like time traveling, but in the past tense. Does that sound crazy? It probably does. I was at the YALSA pre-conference all day today, talking about The Teens Top Ten list AND blogging, with a quick dart out to Nordstrom in between. It’s was so funny to be on a panel about blogging when I feel like, lately, I am the Worst Blogger Ever. I mean, I DO try to show up here every Friday (or Thursday, pretending it’s Friday, and then adding more later, only to confuse myself and everyone else) and be somewhat interesting. But I used to blog SO MUCH, seven days a week, then five, then three. Now it’s like pulling teeth to get this ONE entry done. So why AM I here? Well, I just can’t give it up entirely. With Twitter, there’s a length limit. With Tumblr, things get buried. And Pinterest is a black hole I can disappear down, never to return. But here, at least, I can say whatever I want, however I want to say it, and know people will find it if they come looking. Plus, the nice thing is I can THEN link to everything else all over social media, like this Pinterest board (warning: black hole danger!) that I put together this week of all the pictures readers have tweeted me lately of themselves reading THE MOON AND MORE in summer settings.The bottom line, I guess, is that this blog is a lot like me. Strong some weeks, scattered others. A bit behind the times, but hopefully not in TOO dorky of a sense. And, after all these years—almost thirteen, I think?—still here. Thanks for reading.

Have a great weekend, everyone!