You know what? I don’t know. I can never remember why the annual Children’s Booksellers event is called the Otter Dinner or why the award they give is called the Otter award. But that’s where I was on Saturday, in San Francisco, rubbing elbows with northern California authors, illustrators, booksellers, librarians and an editor or two. Normally I have a hard time at these things. I’m a major introvert who has learned how to fake it but faking it doesn’t always work. I did my typical white knuckle drive into the city and actually found the hotel without too much trouble. I wanted to be there at 5 when the mingling officially started but alas, that didn’t happen and by the time I got there it was already wall-to-wall people. Hard to mingle when you can’t move. I headed over to the check-in table to get my name tag, turned around and glanced once at the woman next to me putting on her name tag. I did a double-take. She did a double-take and then hugged me. It was Nicole Geiger, the publisher of Tricycle Press, and my editor for Hugging the Rock. Suddenly I didn’t feel alone anymore. Laura Mancuso, the marketing/publicity manager at Tricycle was there too so we were able to have a mini pow wow over some business stuff. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to work with people who so obviously love and support my book. I also got the chance to finally meet Summer Laurie and Abigail Sarnoun (Tricycle editors).

There were so many writers in attendance but I really didn’t get the chance to visit with many more people than the few at my table. I did get a quick hug from lsparkreader who was stuck in the corner behind a potted plant. And I got to witness the euphoria of literaticat when she won her favorite piece of art in the raffle (without cheating even). Read her blog entry for the details.

The speeches were wonderful and there was something in each of them to make me cry. Partway through Nikki Grimes’ talk I had a flash of a MG novel that I had set aside and wondered how it would work as a verse novel. I carried that thought with me all the way home again though I am still committed to revising VZ first. I spent Sunday thinking about another verse novel as well but it could be that I am not really obsessed, just procrastinating about getting to work on VZ. We’ll see.