I think it might be me, friends.
Let me explain. This weekend was the Texas Book Festival, the most wonderful, free, fabulous event ever in Austin. I did it right this year.
I sat in on panels with authors I know and love like Elaine Scott, Varian Johnson, Jeanette Larson, Chris Barton, and Jennifer Ziegler — and authors I don’t know as well, but still love, like Rosemary Clement-Moore, Jill Alexander, and Joe Schreiber. I had lunch with the amazing Mary Johnson and other writer friends at Z’Tejas on Saturday, then took the Texas State Cemetery tour after dark.
At the cemetery, I shook Louis Sachar’s hand (then couldn’t wash it until I got home and rubbed the talent germs on both my sons, not kidding, I KNOW), then hung out with Cynthia Leitich-Smith, Jessica Lee Anserson, Shelli Cornelison, Jen Bigheart, Emily Kristin Anderson, oh and let’s not forget freaking Libba Bray and Sarah Dessen and… I can’t remember them all.
On Sunday, I listened to Rebecca Stead and Kate DiCamillo talk about their writing processes and what it’s like to win a Newbery (frightening and wonderful and dangerous if you believe it means you are the bomb because of it, according to these two). They were hilarious. I skulked around their signing tent with my husband and son until we were able to snap these pics.
Kate DiCamillo talks about books to my kid. Seriously. *flails*
I love how D. can't stop looking at Kate. I'm wondering whether Newbery Germs are contagious. Hoping so.
Afterward, I went to MORE panels, bought books, visited with magazine editors – ones I’d worked with before who I’d never met (which was so cool) and ones I may work with in the future (yay!) — librarians, booksellers and even some official Penguin people. Squee!
That night, after dinner, I was exhausted, but so happy.
Then I heard that Johnny Depp was playing an unscheduled gig (who knew he played guitar?) at the Nutty Brown Cafe, a hot hill country music venue at the end of my street. (I knew he really was in town, since a bunch of my friends had their pics of him from the night before up on Facebook.) We were driving past the Cafe, the music was going, and Dave said – “wanna go?” It wasn’t even that crowded.
I thought about it.
I mean, this guy?
But then I thought – no big. I’d already been in the presence of my rock stars all weekend- the authors who write so well, feel so passionately, and are so incredibly generous with their time and energy. Johnny Depp has nothing on Kate D. or Louis S.
And it was a school night, after all. And… I *did* have a new book I’d gotten at the Festival to read…
So we drove on.
And that, my friends is how I know I am the Biggest Book Nerd Ever.
Now, I’m off to write another thousand words on my Shiny New Manuscript. I might stare at a few Johnny Depp pictures later. You know. Just for inspiration.