Friday, August 04, 2006

news from the left coast

Greetings from LA! I'm on my lunch break right now, so thought I'd give a quick update. The conference officialy kicked off this morning, but I had fun at the Faculty dinner last night hanging out with Justina Chen Headley (author of NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH [AND A FEW WHITE LIES]), and then drinks later with an assortment of agents, authors, and illustrators including Mo Willems, who I had never met. We had fun trying to think of what one word we would say at the Faculty introductions the next morning--apparently it's tradition for each faculty member to say their name and then one word--either an inspirational word or a funny word, or really whatever you want. We thought of some greatly innapropriate words (vagina, anus, Eskimo, corn nuts...), but in the end none of them were used, of course. I loved the variety of words actually spoken. Some inspirational, "joy," "shine," "passion," some funny: "Kegger!" and the 4'11'' (and a half) Jodi Reamer standing next to 6'5'' David LaRochelle: David's word: "short story", Jodi's word,"tall tale", some random: "treadmill" and "chocolate," and some fitting: "the end" from Lisa Yee, finishing us off.

The two keynote speakers were both magnificent in their own way, although both started off by somewhat insulting LA, which I thought an odd way to start off a speech in front of a room full of mostly locals, but it seemed to work. Jacqueline Woodson was lyrical, engaging, and awe-inspiring, and Mo Willems sardonic and self-deprecating, funny, and eye-opening. A great start to what I hope will be a wildly successful conference! And now I must go prepare for my first workshop: How I work and what I publish at Little, Brown. I just found out I'm speaking in the huge main conference room--I wasn't expecting that, but all will go well, I hope--since I'm just talking about me me me, I think I'll pull it off.

Oh, and my word, of course, was "bloomabilities." At first I was not going to translate it, but after a test run beforehand with people asking, "what's that?" I went ahead and translated it as "possiblities." I think that's why people attend these conferences, for all the possibilities they hold.

9 comments:

gloria estefan said...

good luck with your workshop, Alvina! Kick some... I don't know, is this blog rated G? PG? PG13? Do still have to behave since I'm a kiddy author? Well, go kick some butt. Yeah. that.

Mitali Perkins said...

Alvina, I'm sure you had them spellbound as usual. During my first visit to L.A. years ago, I was grocery shopping and saw a woman in nothing but a thong bikini. I'm glad those seem to be out now. Too much information about a stranger in the produce department. BTW, I'm so glad you've gone bloggy!

Mitali Perkins said...

oops ... bad grammar ... she was wearing the bikini, not me ... I'm way too south-asian-shy ...

alvina said...

So it's done, and I just got back from drinks in the bar and have been up seen 6 am. We'll see if I make it to Jarrett's 8:30 am keynote. I wasn't as prepared as I would have liked to have been (only ended up talking for 30 minutes and then did Q&A for 30 minutes), but I got through it.I love talking about books, at least, and I got to share some of my favorite publishing stories. Oh, and I advertised this blog at my talk,so those of you who were there, please feel free to comment,and thanks for coming to my talk!

Annie said...

Alvina, your Friday's workshop was entertaining and inspiring. I guess you already knew that -- writers made a long queue to speak to you and wouldn't want to let you leave!

draws and paints said...

More...more...more...

ZenGrrl said...

Alvina came off great. We worried when she started by saying she didn't expect to be in this large ballroom but then she proceeded to talk to us as if it were an intimate setting. It worked well and she even knew to repeat the question without being asked! Rarely does a speaker know to do this.

Mitali, I saw that same woman today paying for her parking in front of the Century Plaza Hotel. Okay, she had a flimsy, sheer, short tunic over her thong but still...

Thank you, Alvina, for being one of our highlights.

Donna Nakao Kuyper

cynthea said...

Hi Alvina, I wanted to say "Amen" to many of the comments you made at the conference about multicultural books and publishing those books you wished you had as a child. You're definitely putting them out there. And thanks to you and Grace for YEAR OF THE DOG. I found A LOT I could identify with as a child (I starred as a Chinese Cowgirl in my school play--Yes, Chinese Cowgirl).

No doubt, younger readers love this book, too! So YAY!

alvina said...

Thanks for the kind words about my talk. I wasn't phishing for compliments...although hmmmm, maybe I was. I have a bad habit of doing that. Good thing Mo Willems was there to put me in my place--after saying several times that I didn't know what little ol' editor me was doing on an editor panel with four other editorial directors or higher, Mo simply said, "Just think that everyone else said No." Ouch. But I deserved that. :)