Which is probably why I was not very nervous about my speech. Over the years, I've gotten fairly comfortable with public speaking. I've done so many school visits and speeches that I am now able to speak in complete sentences in front of people (well, most of the time). However, most of my presentations are in venues like libraries and with groups like this:
So I was in for a little bit of a shock when at TLA, the audience looked like THIS:
Yikes! That threw me for a little bit of a loop. But that lovely Southern hospitality that people talk about also applies to Texans because the audience was so warm I felt as if I were speaking to a roomful of friends. Also, Laura and Sylvia were pros, their part of the program was stellar so I felt pretty confident that the audience would at least felt they got their money's worth from them.
And after my speech, the conference was, like our program title, just plain fun. I met wonderful librarians, including Heather Jankowski the librarian who brought Robert's Snow into her Houston School last year (what she did was really amazing, please take a look). I also signed books, (mainly The Year of the Dog as it was on the Bluebonnet List! Yippee!) and got to see some great upcoming titles (my new favorites include Yuyi Morale's Little Night, Piano Piano by David Cali and Hiromi's Hands by Lynne Barasch).
I also got to meet some fellow bloggers! It is strange, yet wonderful, to meet people who read my blog and whose blogs I read. It's kind of like you already know each other, even though you've just met. Some blogger and listserve people I ran into briefly include Cynthia Leitich Smith of THE Cynsations(perhaps the first blog I ever read), her handsome husband Greg Leitich Smith, Leda Schubert and Patricia McMahon. I also chatted for a while with Camille before realizing that she was BookMoot!:
And I met Chris Barton of Bartography. Recently, his blog was driving me crazy with curiosity as he has decided to keep his mysterious "SVT" book classified from the blogging world. Lucky for me, I have connections and threatened his editor with revealing her life-long secrets unless she gave me the goods. I was glad that I could tell him in person that it was only under extreme duress and torture that she gave it up.
And I'll keep it secret too...or will I? Hey, I might have just lost out on a prime opportunity, think of the damage I could've done...blackmail...secret auction...Hmm, too bad the conference is now over and I am back home, far away from Texas.