I recently returned from back-to-back appearances at the Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of English and Language Arts annual conference, and the Algona, IA Public Library. Both events were very successful and smoothly run, and I was glad to be invited, but now I’m home and I am beat. I get a week at home before it’s time to go off on another east-coast series of author visits in CT and MA. Oh, and I have a cold, and I was hoping to attend an aikido seminar this weekend. Yikes! I’m sure it will all work out.
PCTELA is a great organization, and I’d like to thank everyone involved, especially Glenda Daulerio, who made it her mission to get me there, Allison Irwin, who chaired the conference with Glenda and organized a great author breakfast, and Bob Dandoy, Executive Director of PCTELA. I was also pleased to meet local authors Phillip Beard, David Ihde, and Daniel Burns, as well as Shari Maurer, and award-winning, HILARIOUS, and often-banned author Chris Crutcher.
I’d also like to thank all the great teachers who talked to me, bought all the books I brought, and said lovely things about my books and my presentation. The conference was in Pittsburgh, which is quite a nice town, of which I got to see almost nothing (from ground level, though I got a great fly-over on the way in). Here’s a picture of me at the “author’s table”, courtesy of Dave Ihde.
Left to right: David Long, Daniel Burns, Chris Crutcher, David Ihde, Glenda Daulerio, me, Allison Irwin, Philip Beard.
On Monday I turned around and flew to Algona, IA. Where, you may ask, is Algona? Well, it’s sort of in the middle of nowhere, or rather it’s in the middle of a lot of corn fields. A town of less than 6,000, forty-five minutes from the one-room Fort Dodge airport, it definitely qualifies as one of my most remote author visit destinations. But it has charm! The people were super-friendly, the kids were enthusiastic, well-behaved and full of questions, and I thought the visit was quite a success, despite the small turnout for my grown-up presentation in the evening. That was fine, because I talked to almost 300 kids during the day, in the course of four different presentations & workshops. I’m told there will be an article about me in the local paper to share at some point. I’d like to thank Librarian Sonyah Harsha for setting the whole thing up, and Library Director Kyle Neugebauer for going along with it and playing chauffeur at all sorts of ungodly hours. Sonyah’s daughters Carrie, Hannah and Jennifer also helped out with room reconfiguration before and between presentations. I’ll also thank the schools who came to see me — Seton MS, Garrigan HS, Algona MS and HS. Some of the students from Seton (hi, Caitlin!) came back to hand-deliver a very artistic “thank you” note, too. So thanks, everyone, for making me welcome.
I have more to post this week, but I’m trying to balance it with catching up on my schedule, which is in bad shape with all the travel I’ve been doing. Good thing I love my job!