Claudia Osmond ~ Reader, Writer, and Ruminator

Posts Tagged ‘ALA Boston’

The Great American ALA Tour Recap

In Uncategorized on January 17, 2010 at 11:49 pm

I’m not pooped anymore. So there will be many words.

Timeline and highlights, bullet-style:

Thursday, January 14, 2010

* leave home @ approx. 9am

* arrive, suffering from no traveling stress whatsoever, in Albany @ approx. 6ish pm (give or take an hour – can’t quite remember. does it really matter?)

* realize phone’s been roaming for last 5 hours – GASP!

* try to get wifi without roaming. No luck! Grrr…. Turn off phone.

* eat, drink, sleep

Friday, January 15, 2010

* leave Albany @ approx. 11am

* nerves kick in around noon – skip lunch

* get lost in Boston tunnel (twice) and confused re: u-turns (twice) @ approx. 1:30pm

* arrive, suffering from mondo traveling stress, at Boston hotel @ approx. 2pm

* connect to hotel internet service as soon as room door is opened due to withdrawal

* pull self away from computer to shower

* meet editor Kallie (for the first time, ever) in hotel lobby @ 4:30pm. Think she’s just as sweet as she sounds on the phone.

* catch shuttle to exhibition centre

* arrive @ exhibition centre @ approx. 5:15pm

* find boxes of books and set up signing table

* try to get conference centre wifi without roaming so I can tweet. No luck. Double grrr….. Turn off phone.

* sign sign sign sign sign sign sign sign sign sign sign sign sign sign sign sign sign sign (etc…) for next two hours

* smile smile smile smile smile smile smile smile smile smile smile smile smile smile smile (etc…) for same two hours

*got to talk to awesome people including Publishers Group West folk, librarians, authors

* catch shuttle back to hotel @ approx. 7:45pm

* enjoy an AMAZING sushi dinner with Kallie and David

* return to room @ approx. 11:30pm

* write quick blog post

* crash

Saturday, January 16, 2010.

* a 7:45am bleary-eyed meeting at Starbucks with Kallie to discuss “top-secret-business” 🙂

* catch 8:30am shuttle to exhibition centre

* crowds begin @ 9am

* sign sign sign sign sign sign sign sign sign sign sign sign sign sign sign sign sign sign sign (etc…) for the next hour and a half til all books are GONE

* smile smile smile smile smile smile smile smile smile smile smile smile smile smile smile (etc…) for the same hour and a half til all books are GONE

* wander exhibit hall and collect FREE books like they’re the last books that will ever be printed (so, so much awesome talent!)

* drag bags full of books onto shuttle and head back to hotel

* chill for a bit

* go for lunch

* shop a bit for the loved ones I left @ home so they won’t mind if I do this again another time

* freshen up and head back to exhibition hall so I can find my way to the ALA Tweetup!

* attend Tweetup – awesome, awesome, awesome!

* try again to get wifi without roaming to I can tweet the Tweetup. No luck. Triple grrrr…. Turn off phone. (See, part of the deal with the Tweetup was that you were to tweet about the people you meet AS YOU’RE MEETING THEM)

* meet amazing people

* talk to amazing people

* pick up a book at the book swap (I got 8TH GRADE SUPERZERO)

* say goodbye to amazing people

* make my way back to exhibition hall only to see that it’s empty, it’s dark, it’s closed. And for some strange reason, I’m all alone. Find security guard and he tells me all shuttles back to my hotel STOPPED AN HOUR AGO!!!

* ask a random guy with “transportation authority” on the back of his shirt why the heck there aren’t any shuttles and if he can please get me one since he’s got the authority of transportation. He says it’s a no-go but I can take the subway. “It’s easy,” he says. “Just hop on the silver line, then on the red line, then on the green line–” “Uh, I get lost in my own city,” I say. “Then you might want to get a cab,” he says. “Thanks a lot,” I say. I go outside where I see two cops. I ask them if there’s an easy way to get to Copley Square. They say, “Oh yeah, take the subway. It’s easy. Just hop on the silver line, then the red line, then the green–” I decide to just get a cab. I spot a group of people waiting for taxis at a hotel entrance across the street. I approach and boldly ask if anyone’s going to Copley Square who would want to share a taxi with me. Everyone within earshot either ignores me or says no. I go to the back of the line. One older gentleman leaves his place in line and comes to me and whispers, “I think those two ladies over there are going where you’re going. I overheard them talking before.” I go to the two ladies, ask, and yes they are going to Copley Square. And they’d be happy to share a taxi with me. Whew! I turn and mouth “thank you” to the kind old gentleman who left his place in line to help me.

* (that last one was a long bullet-style bullet, wasn’t it?) Obviously a highlight of my weekend.

* arrive safe and sound back at the hotel after a lovely taxi ride

* write quick blog post and tweet the names of the tweeps I met at the Tweetup – the names I had to write on PAPER with INK b/c I couldn’t get my blasted phone to pick up the wifi without roaming during the Tweetup.

* crash

Sunday, January 17, 2010

* sleep in (yeah!)

* have coffee and then leave hotel around 11:30am

* as mentioned in previous blog post: get lost coming OUT of Boston (although my navigational skills land me in wrong places all the time – with or without GPS – I must say that had I not had the GPS I may be in Key West right about now. Which, depending on how you look at it, may not be such a bad thing)

* once out of Boston, drive homeward bound

* make it to Syracuse to spend the night

* get lost in the city before using GPS to find a hotel outside of the city

* eat, drink, sleep

Monday, January 18, 2010

* leave hotel – drive a couple hours

* spot outlet mall from the highway – but too late. Take next exit and turn around

* shop a bit more

* get back on road for couple hours

* spot mall – shop a bit more

* finally cross border (THIS guy was decent)

* am once again able to use my phone!

* arrive home @ approx. 7pm where I’m greeted at the door with sloppy kisses (from the dogs) and warm hugs (from the rest of the mammals I live with)

So, there you have it. My Great American ALA Tour all wrapped up. What a great experience. Thanks Simply Read Books for the opportunity. And thanks to you for following along via blog.

Hey, anyone wanna do the road trip with me next time??

**if interested, see previous posts for a bit more detail and pics**

The Great American ALA Tour Part 4

In Uncategorized on January 17, 2010 at 9:45 pm

After getting lost coming OUT of Boston, thanks again to the blasted tunnel and GPS combo, I’m now sitting in a hotel room in Syracuse waiting to hook up with my daughter via Facebook chat.

I’m still turning the events of the last few days over in my head. So much done in such a short time. It feels like the whirlwind that picked me up on Thursday morning has just dropped me on the other side of the weekend. Whew.

I’ll do an ALA recap once I’m back home and thinking straight. Right now, someone very important is waiting for me over in Facebook land.


The Great American ALA Tour Part 3

In Uncategorized on January 16, 2010 at 10:03 pm

I’m pooped! So there will be few words.

About one eighth of the exhibition hall. Our booth was somewhere in the top left side of the pic. Actually, it was probably just left of the first “S” in Scholastic.

My editor Kallie, me, and my mommy.

Me and a new wonderful friend, Deborah Sloan. We met on Twitter a while back and finally met in real life tonight at the ALA Tweetup that she and Mitali Perkins organized. At the tweetup, there were about 200 people – all Twitter tweeps – who were chatting it up face to face. So cool to meet people who you only know by Twitter name and a small avatar photo. Very awesome.

The books I got for free. Yes, for free.

Me signing copy number 183 of 300. (no, actually I have no idea what number that one was.) It was quite a rush signing and talking to passersby. The time flew and I had a great time. I could have gone on for longer!
I’ll post a wrap-up when I can think straight. There’s so much to process.
Like I said, few words.
You’re welcome. 🙂

The Great American ALA Tour Part 2

In Uncategorized on January 16, 2010 at 12:36 am

I’m now back in my room at the Boston Marriott after having an amazing sushi dinner with my editor and a couple of wonderful people who work at Publisher’s Group West, the company that distributes my publisher’s books in the U.S. Wow. What a day.

It all started with a problem-free drive from Albany til Boston. Well, it was problem-free until I hit the city. If you know anything about my navigational skills, you’ll know that I have none. I’ve gotten lost coming home from Square One, a mall in my own city. My nav skills are so bad, I get lost following a GPS. And I did. Like three times. And it doesn’t help when there’s a tunnel in the middle of the city that you have to go through and you’ve missed hearing the GPS’s directions before you went in. And then even the second time, when you pay attention to the directions and get it right, you can’t get a satellite feed inside the tunnel and it’s not just a straight through tunnel. It’s like a maze. Well, to a first timer it’s like a maze. So you come out in the wrong spot yet again. And then your GPS has you do, like, three u-turns (all of which you miss doing because you’re not allowed to do u-turns in Canada and don’t realize this is what you’re being told to do)

Anyway, we somehow, miraculously, made it to the hotel in one piece and with a few nerves left intact. Luckily, the next 7.5 hours went from awesome to awesomer: I met my editor for the first time ever, we went to the exhibition hall where I signed and gave away about 150 books, and then – as I said at the beginning of this post – I had an amazing sushi dinner with three fabulous people. I also met a few fellow Twitterers in real life.

Tomorrow I hope to have some pics to add to Part 3 of the Great American ALA Tour. My camera battery died just as I got to the exhibition hall and was about to take my first picture of the Simply Read booth. Harumph!

So now it’s off to bed I go. It’s midnight and I’ve got a 7:45 am meeting with my editor. (who, by the way, is even more awesome in person. she’s an absolute doll) And then at 9 am it’s back to the exhibition hall to sign and give away more books! Yay! I’m loving it!

I’m one of the lucky people in Boston tonight.

Good night all.

The Great American ALA Tour

In Uncategorized on January 15, 2010 at 9:53 am

I’m sitting in a hotel room in Albany N.Y. about to leave for Boston when I got the idea of blogging about my little adventure. So that’s what I’m doing. 🙂

I left home yesterday morning, picked up my mom who’s being both my navigator and faithful companion, and headed out on the road. Now, you must understand, I really don’t enjoy driving. Ask my husband. Usually when we drive to Florida I’ll drive oh, say, for about 2 hours. If he’s lucky.

So, here I am in Albany. And I drove the whole way. And I’ll drive the rest of the way, too – in total it’ll be 800-and-something km and however many hours we’ve spent driving and taking pit stops. (And anyone who’s travelled with me knows I need to take a lot of pit stops)

Anyway, We made it safely into the U.S. (why are border officers always so nasty? I’ve never done anything to them) and there wasn’t any traffic the whole way to Albany. Awesome!

I love bridges so I took a few pics of a really great one we crossed. (But, um… I forget where it was. So let’s say… it’s the beautiful bridge at the border crossing that made up for the nasty man in the booth)

And then, of course, we got the munchies last night and decided to order a pizza. Yeah, well…
I put my phone beside it just to remember exactly how monstrous it was. And this was for TWO of us. Did we finish it? Um, let’s just say it was really, really good and we did some substantial damage to it.
Anyway, mom’s hungry again (??How is that possible??) and wants to go for breakfast. I’ll check back in tonight after I do my first signing at the ALA conference. Eeep! I’m both excited and nervous.