September 10, 2009

Kidlitosphere Conference Meme

Jen tagged me for this meme, which originates from the fabulous, Kidlitosphere-conference-organizing MotherReader. How could I resist? Participating will help me feel a little like I'm not missing all the fun this year at the Third Annual Conference, although I can't exactly complain about being on vacation for a month. (And yes, I promise to post pictures!)

Read on to find out why--from my perspective, anyway--the conference was so awesome.

Why did you decide to attend the KidLitosphere Conference?

I'd been so bummed that I couldn't make the first annual conference, so I was practically jumping up and down to find out that the second one would be held so close to my neck to the woods that I had no excuse not to go. It had been such a cool experience to meet fellow bloggers Little Willow, Kelly Herold, Sara Lewis Holmes, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Kelly Fineman and Greg Pincus (among others--sorry if I forgot anyone!) at the Los Angeles SCBWI conference the year before--and Farida and Jackie during a random trip to visit friends in Seattle--that I was really eager to meet some of my other friends from the virtual world. It's been such a pleasure to put names to faces.

Who was most like their blog? Who was least like their blog? This is a tough one to give particulars on! What really struck me, though, was how much I felt like I knew people already--more about that in question 4, but I don't know that anybody seemed particularly unlike their blog. Having said that, Greg, Pam, and Jen seemed to be a lot like their blogs. Based on her blog, I expected to be a lot more intimidated by Colleen, but it felt like we'd known each other forever.

What surprised you at the conference? It was surprising how easy it was to fall into an in-person rapport with people, even bloggers with whom I wasn't familiar. It was enough to know and enjoy the same blogs or books, to be able to talk children's and YA lit and have a set of interests already in common. The quality of the panels and our general high level of organization as a group, even spontaneous organization, was impressive. And the extent to which we were all sort of equalized as bloggers, whether we were unpublished or published authors, illustrators, teachers, librarians, parents, or some combination of those things.

What will you always remember about the last conference? So memorable were the lunchtime, dinner, and other casual conversations with some lovely groups and individuals. There was the "lunch meeting" to talk about the Cybils and other group activities, with Jen, Pam, Colleen, Anastasia, Jackie, and Philip Lee. (I may have missed someone; if so, sorry!) Somehow I kept ending up at breakfast with Greg, and then soon we'd be joined in ones and twos by others filtering into the lounge area; that's how I got to talking to Mark Blevis and Lee Wind. During the evening Readergirlz reception in the lounge, I had some lovely conversations with Lorie Ann Grover, Holly Cupala, fellow Mills alum Dia Calhoun, Bridget Zinn, Laini Taylor and her husband Jim DeBartolo, Johanna Wright, April Henry, Betsy Bird and her zombie sock puppets...I talked late into the night (sort of) with Jen and her husband, with Farida and with Adrienne, who was another person who felt like a kindred soul. I'll also never forget how I was the only person at my dinner table who didn't win anything in the raffle, and so Farida gave me her copy of Long Live the Queen, which she'd read and I hadn't. I honestly just met so many lovely folks that I cannot list them all. I felt like I'd found my people!

Did you blog about the conference? Yes, I did, complete with photos and doodles: Part I, Part II, and Part III include some fun details and highlights that I haven't touched on here.

I'm truly at a loss to figure out who to tag who hasn't probably already been let's just say that if you're reading this, and you haven't done this meme yet, you're it! I hope to reunite with many of you at the 2010 conference, if I can go.


Jen Robinson said...

Thanks for doing the meme, Sarah. Especially generous of you, since you won't be able to attend the conference this year.

I loved that lunch meeting, too! But it was all fun. We'll miss you this year.

MotherReader said...

I'll miss you too. We had such a great time in Portland!

Anonymous said...

I did have such a good time at last year's conference. I will have to do the meme, too--later today, I hope. First, I have a big ol' pile of ARCs to get through.

Saints and Spinners said...

I really enjoyed hanging out with you at the Portland conference, Sarah! By the way, did you end up reading the prequels to Long Live the Queen? I really like the covers on the reissued books.

Sarah Stevenson said...

Yes, I did read the prequels--I think the third and fourth books were the best, though. Maybe that's because I read the last one first, but I think they increased in tension over the course of the series, too.