Sunday, September 30, 2007

NBF, part III

Friday night was the reception at the Botanic Garden. Most of the guests there were from various states' Centers for the Book. I got the chance to speak with John Cole, greeter and Master of Ceremonies (and director of the Center for the Book); and various folks from the Wisconsin Center for the Book, the Kansas Center for the Book; the Texas Center for the Book; and the Michigan Center for the Book.

The setting was gorgeous - if you've never been there, make time to go on your next trip to Washington. (They did turn the sprinklers/misters on us at the beginning of the evening, but it was kind of refreshing. And they turned them off before it got too tropical. :-)). A very fun evening that was over too quickly.

Afterwards (and after Cyn returned from the gala), we had a late night snack and drink at the Bistro with Holly Black, M.T. Anderson, and Jennifer Holm. (Jenifer and Holly, below)

Next morning we were up early for breakfast and opening ceremonies at the White House. The breakfast buffet in the State Dining Room included yogurt-fruit parfaits, mini-muffins, eggs benedict, mini-pancakes, and an assortment of breakfast pastries.

Opening ceremonies were in the East Room and featured speeches by Laura Bush, Michael Beschloss and Patricia MacLachlan (as well as Ruth Riley from the WNBA and Al Harrington from the NBA).

From there, we shuttled to the Author tent at the Mall, where we met Cynthia's escort, a charming gentleman who has been with the Library of Congress for over twenty years. We didn't get to hear a lot of the speakers, but we did go to Gail Carson Levine and M.T. Anderson's presentations.

Cyn's speech was a great success and we ended up arriving about thirty minutes early to her signing -- there were already about twenty people lined the (by then) hot, dusty afternoon.

One of the highlights of the signing was seeing Amy Lin, my former editor and her husband and new baby. Thanks for coming!

Thanks to Laura Bush and the Library of Congress, including John Cole and the Librarian of Congress, James Billington, for a great event!

More pictures, thoughts, tomorrow. (Maybe).

Friday, September 28, 2007

NBF, part II

Well, yesterday the International Spy Museum was a blast: you go in through this great stainless-steel elevator with glowing "security lights" and have to pick a persona, which you're grilled on a couple times before you leave. (I, apparently, am a suspicious personage). Exhibits include bugs, gadgets, weapons, and spies in film. The World War II and Cold War exhibits are particularly good.

Afterwards, we had lunch in the Zola Restaurant inside the museum. The tuna tartare and chopped salad were excellent - definitely not run of the mill museum food.

This morning, while Cyn worked on her speech, I went for a run down the Mall (from the hotel to the Capitol and then down to the WWII Memorial). Very picturesque - but it's sort of hard to get a good run in when you're rubbernecking. :-).

They're putting finishing touches on the book festival pavilions. This time, it's between the Castle and the Natural History Museum, instead of right up on the Capitol grounds like it was in 2002 (the last time Cyn spoke).

Tonight, Cyn is off to the gala at the Library of Congress, while I'll be at the alternate event at the Botanical Garden.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Washington, D.C.

We arrived in D.C. yesterday for the National Book Festival. The Festival itself is not 'til Saturday, but we decided to come early and take in some sights.

We're staying at the Hotel George, this very modern and fun hotel a few minutes away from Capitol Hill. We flew into Dulles and were met by the driver Cyn's publisher provided (very convenient! Thanks, guys.). First view of D.C. was the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.

Our room wasn't ready, so we had lunch at Bistro Bis, the hotel restaurant. Very good artichoke soup and salad nicoise. Afterwards, we headed over to the National Museum of Natural History.
Very impressive elephant in the rotunda and the new mammal exhibit is amazing - very bright, multimedia, and the animals are in natural poses. The dinosaur exhibit was also impressive. They have a diplodocus, a T.rex, a triceratops, an albertosaur, and a stegosaur.

The hotel concierge recommended Acadiana for dinner. (Sort of high-end cajun - very rich and very good.). After eating our fill of the turtle soup, deviled eggs, and redfish, we walked back to the hotel and crashed.

Today, the plan is to check out the International Spy Museum. We'll let you know if we see any mice.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Busy summer...

Okay, so I haven't blogged at all this summer. Things have been busy...and speaking season is now upon us.

Various random news:

Cyn is now at the Wrangling with Writing conference in Tucson (which is why the lads are huddled together on the guest bed).

My former editor at Little Brown, Amy Hsu (now Lin) is operating a manuscript critique service. Check out her web site at Editomato.

At the end of the month, we'll be in Washington, D.C. for the National Book Festival, where Cyn will be presenting Tantalize. One of the highlights is the breakfast/opening ceremonies at the White House. (Incidentally, the return address on the invitation is simply "The White House, Washington, D.C. 20501").

In October, Cyn and I will both be speaking at the Kansas Book Festival. Also in October, we'll be at the Star Lit Festival in Dallas.

In November Cyn will be presenting at the Texas Book Festival and we'll both be speaking at the Sam Houston State University Children's Book Festival and Young Adult Conference in Huntsville. Other speakers include Joan Bauer and Mo Willems.

And tomorrow (Saturday, Sept. 15), Brian Yansky will be signing his newest book, Wonders of the World, at the Round Rock B&N from 2 PM to 4 PM. WW is a WriteFest novel and so Cyn and I had the pleasure of reading it in manuscript form. If the finished novel is half as good as the manuscript, it's definitely a must-read.
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