Sunday, September 28, 2008

Kidlitosphere Conference '08 -- Part III

After all the learning and note-taking of the day, it was time to mingle around and look at books and art, so from around 4 until the bell rang for happy hour (just kidding, there was no bell, just lots of internal happy hour clocks), we had an informal show 'n' tell. This purple-haired kindred spirit is Deb Lund, Washington-based writer; she gave me a copy of her new picture book, Monsters on Machines, which got a *starred review* from Publisher's Weekly and is a great book for little boys who like. . . monsters and bulldozers and dump trucks. It's so cute!

("Flinging dirt like tornadoes, they holler and hoot. Monsters love getting grimy from hard hat to boot. They transformed by the tractor, the crawler, the paver. But Bulldozers bringer out true monster behavior.")

I also fell in love with the illustrations of Portland artist Carolyn Conahan, who it turns out lives only blocks away from us!!! Here she is on the right:
Look at these adorable books:
This one is so right up my alley: weird nature facts, so much the better if they involve fish farts!
And this cartoon she did, I just swiped from her blog. Note that, awesomely, one cat is a zombie and the other is sporting the lastest in conference apparel: a genuine zombie sock puppet (Jaime, look what you've done!):
Thanks, Carolyn! I love this drawing!

It's so cool to meet creative and booky people, and how cool is it to meet them when they live in your neighborhood and you actually get to see them again? (Unlike a certain blue-haired librarian who has the gall to live in North Carolina.) One of the best things about this conference for me was meeting so many local writers and illustrators and bloggers; I put together a list and we now have plan for our own Kidlit Drinks Night to put the New York and Los Angeles version to shame. We have way better brewpubs here, anyway! (Email me if you want to be on this list; it doesn't always have to be "drinks" either; we might get coffee some time.) One of the other practically-neighbors we have just met is Matt Holm of Baby Mouse fame (he illustrates; his sister writes). Here he is signing a book for Portland YA author LK Madigan:

And here is Baby Mouse! This is the 9th in this series of graphic novels for young children, and it only just now occurs to me that I got two monster books last night. Matt was taking donations for this, which he was then going to donate to a charity that sends books to African children. Cool! I also scored a book -- Empress of the world -- from local novelist and youth services librarian Sara Ryan, which I am really excited to read.
Here are Readergirlz Holly Cupala, Dia Calhoun, and Lorie Ann Grover. Don't they look elegant? I mentioned Readergirlz and Dia and Lorie Ann in the last post; well, Holly just sold her first novel (and next) to HarperCollins and is awaiting her first editorial letter. Yay, Holly! The book is called A Light That Never Goes Out. Can't wait to read it!
And here is illustrator, fellow cupcake enthusiast, part-time SCBWI Sasquatch, and pioneer of the zombie sock puppet Jaime Temairik, with Holly Cupala and me. And here again is Jaime, with Kim Baker and Jolie Stekly:
This is sort of the first opportunity I've had in these posts to say how much I love these Western Washington SCBWI girls, as Jim and I call them. We first met them a few years ago when we attended their awesome Seattle conference, and in the way of SCBWI, get to see them a few times a year and we lurve them. They are up there on our favorite-people-in-the-world list and I am so glad they came down for our conference! We were missing Sara Easterly, who very recently gave birth to her first child, Violet. (Love that name.)

So, we moved from the book show 'n' tell out into the lounge area. Note the shift from coffee cups to other kinds of cups:
That's Newbery-Honor-winner Kirby Larson (also a Washington gal and part of our most-favorite-people list) with Pam Coughlan and Deb Lund in the foreground, and again:
(Kirby's beautiful new picture book, held up beside Deb's Monsters on Machines:
Two Bobbies, a wonderful true story about dog and cat best friends who stuck together through the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Sniff, sniff. It's illustrated by Jean Cassels and is just beautiful.)

Apparently the guys were told they had to sit together:
With Mark Blevis and Greg Pincus, that's Philip Lee, co-founder of Lee & Low Books, who is now marketing consultant at Feiwel & Friends. We were excited to have someone from the publishing world attend, and Philip was very gracious with book donations and shwag (including Obama "YES WE CAN" buttons!) It looks like Mark took the opportunity to interview him:

Dinner was good, and I didn't take many pictures, but here is one of "the lucky table" -- our table must have bought a lot more raffle tickets than the others, because we won a lot of prizes (except for Suzanne, the unluckiest of the lucky).
Matt Holm and his wife Cyndi, particularly (that's her with the cool platinum hair; she's a wine-maker and they moved to Oregon from New York for the pinot noir!); proceeds of the raffle are being donated to Doernbecher Children's Hospital here in Portland, and the prizes were all contributions -- thanks to all who gave. Jim and I came away with a small stack of bookies, including, unexpectedly, a rerelease copy of Meet the Austins by Madeleine L'Engle, which I probably read ten times as an early teen, and am so excited to read again. I think it will unleash a whole Madeleine L'Engle reread!

Thank you, Pam and Jackie, for the gift baskets of treats you presented to Jone and me; much appreciated and very sweet of you, and thanks to Sarah Stevenson for drawing the little portraits on our cards. They're so good! How you can get a likeness like that, drawing in ink no less?

It was after dinner that. . .

the zombie sock puppets made their entrance.
The quote of the night came when Jaime was discussing the fabrication of these scene-stealers, and how she found the rubber teeth at Michael's: "They're the perfect size teeth for socks." Probably hadn't been said anywhere else in the world that day. The zombies made the rounds, and those who weren't so fortunate as to get their hands in one (Cyndi, Matt, and Suzanne) played make-believe:
Alice Pope played along (looks a little like she saying, "Grr," huh?

I happened to look up from the zombie attack and notice that Jen Robinson and Mheir seemed to have come to the end of their day's allotment of energy:
Which was understandable. We kept Jen pretty busy yesterday -- thanks so much for all your participation, Jen!

That pretty much wraps things up. I want to say one last specific thank you to the publisher Flux for sending catalogs along with free book coupons to all participants. Their list of YA titles is so tantalizing I can't quite decide which one to pick for my free book!

For more posts about the conference, go HERE.


S R Wood said...

Thank you for the wrapup and so many pictures -- I wish I could have made it, it sounds fascinating! Did I hear that the East Coast is a possibility for next year? Innnteresting....

Matt Holm said...

Great pix! Now I don't have to feel bad about not taking photos myself.

By the way--what's the scoop with Doernbecher Children's Hospital? Is Jone handling all that? I'd like to throw in a case of hardcover Babymouse: Skater Girl I have here.

Laini Taylor said...

Hi Matt! Yes, Jone is handling that and I'm sure she'd be thrilled to get your books! I'll email her about it.


Anonymous said...

You are so sweet. It's all mutual. It was great to come down and hang out with you guys! We'd come down for a tupperware party, but a kid lit conference?!? You guys are awesome!

You and Jim just need to move to Seattle. :)

Anonymous said...

Dinner and post-game activities look like a blast. I ran off to go see one of my fave bands -- Calexico -- play. They were great, but I seem to have missed some serious fun.

Next year I shall stick around.

Anonymous said...


You and Jone did such a wonderful job. Thank you, thank you. I learned sooo much -- can't wait for the next one in '09!

I have major Portland envy and think we should all move down to your neck of the woods. Or else I would like to build a pneumatic tubing system from my house to your house.

Looking forward to your sure-to-be-inspiring talk at our SCBWI WWA evening meeting on December 10th.


Suzanne Young said...

I'm in Oregon and I like Kidlit...and drinking...


Although I hope there won't be a raffle. lol.

Anonymous said...

the sock puppets are so cute! sounds like a great time. :)

Cuppa Jolie said...

Ah, you are too sweet. You know we lurve you too! And to make a favorite people list to boot! Wow.

I can't tell you how glad I am that I made it down. The conference was great. The people the greatest!

Carolyn said...

Hee hee hee!
Nice to see you again and meet you as neighbors. Hope to see you around soon. Thanks, and thanks again.

holly cupala said...

The pneumatic tube idea is a gem - I'd support that! Laini, thank you so much for the wonderful conference. You are all the brilliance and charm of kidlit wrapped in a beautiful hot pink package.

Jen Robinson said...

It was my pleasure, Laini. Thanks for that photo of me and Mheir - it really does capture how I was feeling at that point in the conference. But overall, it was a great experience!! Thanks so much to you and Jone for everything that you did to organize.

Saints and Spinners said...

I think you get the prize for the most comprehensive coverage. By the by, I rather like the photo of you with your pink hair and Deb with her purple wig.

Anonymous said...

Laini when I signed up for the conference I had no idea what to expect. I'm new to the Kid Lit blogging world but sure do enjoy what I've sampled so far. So glad you helped bring it to Portland.Thanks for posting all the great photos.

Deb Lund said...

This was the most fun I've had in a long time! What a treat! And to feel so welcomed, even with horns and purple hair. You made my day. Congratulations on -- and Thank You for -- a great event. I'm hooked.

Anonymous said...

Wowza, what a great post Laini! Thank you so much for helping to make this such a super great conference. Those sock puppets are the greatest.

And...yes yes yes, wonderful idea to have a Portland kidlit drink night! Yay!

Stephanie Perkins said...

I'd say something clever, but I'm too sad :(

We are long overdue for coffee & cupcakes!

(But I KNOW there's a conference in our future...preferably soon.)

Stephanie Perkins said...

Oh, and Babymouse rules! She has many, many fans in my library!

Anonymous said...

What a great convention - Sock zombies - what fun! There's a blogger who sells those on Etsy, and I've always admired them.
Love the pink and purple kindred spirits photo.

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