I am so worn out.
I've spoken at a lot of schools and conferences over the past two years, but never at a conference for school librarians. The attendees at the Florida Association for Media in Education (FAME) conference are like a swarm of Energizer Bunnies. They just keep going and going and going... And it's wonderful! They understand the importance of their jobs and jump at every opportunity to make reading more exciting and enticing for their students. So the authors at this conference are constantly being asked to pose for photos to show the students back home. I've never smiled so much in my life!
After yesterday's panel with Roland Smith, Neal Shusterman, Margaret Peterson Haddix, and Ridley Pearson, I had my first of two book signings. I've wanted to meet Wendy Mass for years, and was lucky enough to find myself signing right beside her.
I think I acted a little fanboy around her, but I couldn't help it.
Then I sat down for a filmed interview, which is always interesting. Do I look at the camera? No, look at the reporter. Damn! I looked at the camera.
At night they had a dinner, followed by dancing. But people were having so much fun talking, the dance floor remained bare. JoanMarie, a dancing fool, was with me and kept asking, "This song? What about this song?" So I finally gave in and showed off my four swing dance moves.
And then I skedaddled off the dance floor. So JoanMarie began pulling everyone onto the dance floor and soon the place was hoppin'.
The President of Fame even told me I'd better bring JoanMarie back next year, whether I'm nominated for anything or not.
This morning, I rushed downstairs to hear Margaret Peterson Haddix give a speech during the Author Breakfast. But a hotel worker ushered me into the wrong breakfast and I missed most of Margaret's speech because I was too busy hanging out with the folks from some conference with Cardiovascular and Renal in the title.
Definitely not my crowd...though I did eat their food.
Then I accepted my Florida Teens Read Award, which was a huge honor. And now I have to somehow fit a couple of heavy personalized glass bookends into my carry-on luggage.
That was followed by a tear-inducing keynote speech by Jodee Blanco. I am absolutely buying her book, Please Stop Laughing at Me...One Woman's Inspirational Story. Unfortunately, I'll have to wait to get it signed because the bookstore sold out of her book.
Finally, I gave my presentation.
It was a very fun event for a couple of reasons. The audience was made up of people who've definitely contributed to the success of my book, so I felt like I was talking to friends. And JoanMarie was there. She's only seen me give this presentation one other time, back when I was brand new to this public speaking thing. And I'll admit, I was showing off a bit for her!
And now it's time to hit the pool.