I met with Brett and Michael of Heinemann to record a podcast. Brett chatted while Michael took video. I was nervous about this, but overall, it went well. Brett told me about upcoming possibilities for Back and Forth. Back and Forth comes out on September 14. I ended up enjoying the podcast recording. I fumbled a few times, but mostly the conversation felt natural, imho. Thank you Brett and Michael!
I had dinner with marvelous Michelle Flynn from Heinemann and 3 great educators: Meredith Ogden, Lindsey Moses, and Stephanie Affinito. We all worked with excellent editor Holly Kim Price. Holly got held up on a tarmac so she didn't make it. It was fun talking about where our books are and their different journeys. These are fun, smart people and the night could not have been more fun. I went to their sessions during the conference on Saturday and Sunday. Amazing stuff.
On Saturday, I went over to the Heinemann booth to look around and to imagine what it will be like when Back and Forth is there soon. Heinemann people came up to me to say hi. They would say stuff like, "Lee, we were on the video call together," or "Hi Lee, I'm working on the catalog right now so I recognize you from your photo. The book looks great." So friendly! Happy times indeed.
After Stephanie's session, Holly and I zipped out for a quick lunch. I was glad to get a chance to talk with her. She gave me ideas for getting involved with the promotion of the book. So stay tuned for more info on that. I also talked to her about some vague ideas for future books and she was encouraging. Who knows?
Saturday night was the Heinemann author reception. I was sad to be without Judith because my mix and mingle skills aren't all that great. Plus it was hot and I kept sweating and my glasses kept fogging up. But I just decided to ignore that stuff and make the most of my time with the Heinemann people. I talked to Michael the videographer for awhile. He's hilarious. Then I let him move on to others and I saw 2 women talking nearby. I walked up to them and said, "I'm going to talk with you now." They seemed fine with it. They even gave me their card and said they review books on their blog and that I should reach out when it appears. I saw Lindsey and Meredith and chatted with them and got introduced to Nell Duke. SWOON! Then incredible Elizabeth from Heinemann came over and said, "Who do you want to meet?" I had a list, so we talked with Ralph Fletcher for awhile, and then chatted for a time with Barry Lane. He's the dearest, funnest man, and I hope he can come to our school for a talk. Then I met Katie Wood Ray and I asked her to present with me next year at NCTE since she is both a writer and an editor. She said, "I'll do that, but you have to write the proposal." I'm still kind of amazed that I did that. I told her, "I can't really believe I just asked you to do that." But she was friendly, supportive, awesome. I can't even think about presenting with her because I get too pumped up and it's a long way off, if it even would happen. But who knows?? The reception ended with a friendly and funny chat with Cornelius Minor, who is an amazing teacher and author and person. He's also working with Holly on his book, so we're kind of related. His latest podcasts for Heinemann are top notch. I can't wait for his book.
So after some great sessions on Sunday, I went back to the hotel and brought my book poolside. I swam and read and wrote in my notebook. Now I'm at the airport. Heading to Georgia for a few days to visit Ann and Dan. Still on a buzzy upbeat high from a weekend full of learning new stuff and talking to cool people. We all need to go to more conferences. Even if we're not presenting, let's just go.