I really missed blogging and I only left it for a day! But I'm in Oklahoma City and having an absolute blast!
On the way here, I told someone on the plane that I've always wanted to come to Oklahoma. She looked at me funny. Then I mentioned it to a local author here. She also looked at me funny. I guess I'm strange for having wanted to come here, but I really don't understand why! It's beautiful! And very laid-back for a big city. Plus, the first thing I saw when I got into town was this:
Guess what it's called? The CANADIAN River! I knew I was meant to be here. LOL. And then there's the cool accents and the culture. I mean, you would never see something like this in Vancouver:
The real reason I came to Oklahoma, though, was for this:
A panel at the Encyclomedia Oklahoma school librarians conference with my made-of-awesome Class of 2k9/2k10 mates (from left) Fran Cannon Slayton, Joy Preble, Bonnie Doerr, and Janet Fox. They are all far more experienced speakers than I, but they encouraged me and held my hand through the whole thing, and I think it really went pretty well. The room was full at probably close to 200 people (!) and I actually spoke, several times, without choking on my own spit.
After that, we had signing at Best of Books, which also went great. Many people from our session came to find us there and buy our books, and many of our books sold out!
After the panel and the signing, I was ready to stop my perma-grin for a few minutes and chill in the hotel room for a bit. I walked the skybridge to the hotel and waited for the elevator for what felt like forever. When it finally showed up, it was full of these grubby-looking guys and a mound of luggage. I was tired of waiting, so I asked if they thought there was room for me, just to be polite, because I was ready to make room for myself! One of the guys said in a cool British accent, "I suppose you could perch on one of our suitcases," which seemed like a yes to me, so I squeezed my way in.
Now usually I would expect an elevator full of guys to shift a little and make room for a lady. But they didn't budge. That's the first thing I thought was odd. The second was the dead silence as soon as the elevator doors closed. Being at a librarians conference, and still wearing my name badge, I said, "I'm guessing you guys aren't librarians," just to break the tension. They laughed, and then went on to tell me who they were.
Well! I had gotten myself sequestered in an elevator with the members of MUSE, an alternative rock band from the UK! I had never heard of them (though I didn't actually tell them that) which doesn't mean anything - I haven't heard of a lot of bands - but when I mentioned it on Twitter, apparently EVERYBODY else knows who they are.
So, yes, that was my rock star moment of the week! And for the rest of the trip, I joked with all my author-friends, waving at the tour buses and limos and yelling, "hi guys!" All in good fun. And here's the view from the glass elevator in the gorgeous hotel where the fateful meeting took place:
As you can probably tell, I've had an amazing time. The best part of all has been hanging out with other more experience authors and talking shop. Here's last night's dinner:
It's kinda blurry, but from left is Janet Fox, Bonnie Doerr, me, Fran Cannon Slayton, Cynthea Liu, Joy Preble, and Tammi Sauer. We talked and laughed our heads off at everything from bad author moments to dead pets (don't ask!) I want to thank them all for an awesome time and to Stacy Nyikos, who booked the whole event and then couldn't even be there.
It was a blast! And I'd do it again in a second - especially with this great group of ladies!