Monday, September 14, 2009

Sunny weekend of books and cupcakes and robots and more!

Wow, we had a very full weekend, which was marvelous, because it was beautifully sunny and possibly our last truly summery weekend of the year. We got outside a bit and did some touristy things, since a lovely friend was here from New York, a friend who became a friend on our recent trip to New York and also happens to be the Scholastic publicist in charge of bringing Lips Touch to the attention of the world.

[Hi Sheila Marie!]
Sheila Marie took care of us when we went out to Book Expo, and she's just fabulous, so we were thrilled to learn she was coming to Portland for PNBA -- that is, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association conference. Mouthful, that is. So, this weekend was my first regional publishing trade show, and it happened to be held just minutes from our house, which was convenient, since Jim and I were scheduled to sign Lips Touch on Friday, and Silksinger on Saturday. (by the way, Silksinger comes out this Thursday!!!!!)

The regional trade shows are basically the place where the publishers' regional reps (for example, Scholastic has 7 reps that cover the entire country; I don't know if that's standard or if other publishers have more or less) show new books to independent booksellers. (There are in-house people who sells directly to the chains). So regional shows are a great way to meet the fabulous indie booksellers in your part of the country. And of course, the fabulous reps! I mean, the rep's enthusiasm for a particular book is hugely important -- they're representing a lot of titles, after all; an author hopes a rep likes their book and talks it up :-)

These were Clementine's first book signings, and we had a *plan* for her to snooze through them and just look peaceful and adorable in her sling all the while. Plans, ha! She snoozed, all right, up to the very second we were sitting down at the signing table! Like a little baby dinosaur hatching from an egg, she came awake with all her cute little growls and cries, and we had to shuck her from her peanut shell and jiggle her about, and Jim ended up holding her in one arm the whole time, while I signed and then held open books for him to sign. It was pretty cute :-) And afterward we went to dinner with Sheila Marie, who by the way was at PNBA not for the show itself so much as because Scholastic had an author/illustrator who was a guest of honor: the wonderful Mark Teague, whose picture books I've long loved. Do you know these books?
Written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Mark Teague, there are a slew of them, and Mark has many more books besides, and his latest is his first novel, The Doom Machine. Oh, and the Scholastic store in Soho has a giant replica of one of Mark's dinosaurs:
How awesome is that?

So we went to dinner with Sheila Marie and Mark and the Scholastic rep, Chris, who was also lovely. (What is it about book people that they're all so great?)
See how Clementine is asleep in that picture?


That is not representative of the evening. Whoa. Let's say that this dinner was our first unsuccessful outing with the baby dinosaur :-( She was asleep in her peanut shell, but unlike all other meals out we've had so far, this did not last. She woke up . . . unhappy. The dining room where we were was up a long flight of stairs, and I got my exercise taking her in and out, and exercising my child-bouncing muscles! I even had to sit, for lack of a better place, indian-style on the lawn of the house next-door to the restaurant and nurse her there. (It was a gorgeous evening, so that was kind of fun!) When it was Jim's turn to take her out so I could choke down some food, he said later she screamed so much on the street he thought people would think he was stealing her. Ha ha! Anyway, whew. She did fall asleep, and we managed to have some time where we both got to sit at the table and enjoy the company.

The rest of the weekend was really nice and full. After our Silksinger signing we took Sheila Marie over to the west side of town for a picnic in the Rose Garden -- one of Portland's most famous spots. They're the test gardens for the International Rose Society, and they look down over the city. Fantastic spot, amazing flowers.
Again: perfect weather, and I was so happy for a last chance to dress Clementine in her summery clothes before it cools off:
And of course the picnic involved cupcakes. Can't have a picnic without cupcakes!

We also plundered around the Pearl District, including Powell's, where we happened to run into Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi -- they were in town on a Spiderwick tour, but were just shopping, incognito :-) Jim and Clementine and I did go to see them speak the next morning at our neighborhood children's bookstore, A Children's Place, and they were fabulous.
Tony draws like a maniac, and not only did he do big drawings to give away to kids who could answer Spiderwick trivia, but he draws a character in every single book he signs, and so fast! Amazing. In our book he drew Thimbletack :-)

And yes, Clementine did snooze peacefully through the whole event, as she did through dinner and even post-dinner gelato.
It was really a splendid weekend of sunshine and books and signings and coffee and robots . . .
. . . (Thank you Heather--different Heather than the skull sweater!--for the knitted robot; that makes three plush robots which constitutes a formal "collection") . . . and cupcakes and gelato and pizza and strolling and buying art supplies and on and on, and now we're back to normal: overcast skies and the need to WORK. Whew. So now I need to stop blogging away my work window of Clementine sleeping and get some "writing" done. Cheers!


Unknown said...

I am a fan of Holly's YA Modern Faerie Tale series, never read Spiderwick (is it weird that I want to at 21?), very jealous that you got to hang with her!

If you ever answer questions in your blog...I'm curious about your hair! I've had pink hair myself, but I had to dye it once a month for it to really stay vibrant. It looks like you used a different brand than me, but I'm curious how often you re-dye to keep the color so vibrant (in all your pictures, it looks perfect!).

Carrie Harris said...

Isn't it funny how they scream incessantly until you try to take a representative picture, and then they suddenly revert back into little angels?

Myrna said...

I'm very excited for Amazon to ship my "Silksinger."

What a fun weekend! And nobody is going to think Jim stole Clementine. She looks way too much like him for that. But I know the feeling. Ick. Thanks for sharing.

Laini Taylor said...

hee hee, Carrie. We do have a few good red-faced screaming pictures :-)

And Silly Little Girl (love that name!), the dye my hair stylist uses is called Elumen by Goldwell. It's super -- barely fades at all. I go in around every 6 weeks, but every other time we do only the roots. As you can see from the roots in this post, I'm overdue for my appt (had to cancel for PNBA, actually), so even though it's been more than 6 weeks, my hair is still that bright. It's great stuff :-)

Laini Taylor said...

And hi Myrna! I know -- she does look like Jim :-) We think she has my nose though!

carolyn said...

Dang!I meant to go see Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi, but Mark went out of town on a skateboarding trip (with a crew of old pros to some a beautiful mountain-top in Montana, to visit another skateboarder who also happens to be a rock star musician guy.) Sadly, I got distracted by my little list of chores. (And working out back with only the sound of birds all around, which was super-nice.)

Babies crying... yes, they do. Even the most adorable and adored. Then they go to sleep and awwwwww...

storyqueen said...

Aw, your post brings back so many baby memories........unpredictable little beasts, but we wouldn't have them any other way!

Congratulations on your books!


Charlotte said...

I used to imagine that I had three Go to Sleep Now charms, and distracted myself each time I really wanted to use one by wondering if this particular inopportune shrieking not sleeping fit was really the one I wanted to use it on. Not that mine were especially screamy babies, but there are times...

She is so sweet!

Amber said...

Ha ha! I was thinking C looks so much like Jim, no one would think he was a swiper. ;)

You both look SO GLOWING HAPPY. Beautiful.

All this book stuff sounds soooo fun!


Loukia said...

Your baby girl is beautiful!

turquoise cro said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! on everything but especially on having that SWEET CLEMENTINE PIE!!!!!

Goddess Leonie said...

oh my goddess... it's been a little while since i've bounced into luscious laini world! congratulations on your gorgeous daughter, hon... she looks utterly magical, and you look like such a natural, blossoming mama... it is SO beautiful and inspiring to see!

thank you for being you hon!