Monday, January 25, 2010

A Texas Sweethearts ALA Midwinter Wrapup

ALA Mid-Winter was fabulous, if for the socializing and bonding opportunities alone.
Four of us were representing Austin: Varian Johnson, Bethany Hegedus, Jessica and Jo. The girls took the evening flight to Boston on Thursday in a plane filled with dozens of fantastic crying babies. Thanks goodness for audio books!

[Left to Right: Jo Whittemore, Jessica Lee Anderson, Bethany Hegedus]

Friday during the day Jessica and Jo toured Boston, visiting Faneuil Hall, the Holocaust Memorial, Chinatown, Newbury Street and the Boston Public Library. If you’re ever in Boston, stop by the library, if only to marvel at the stone monoliths inside. It was exciting to see that we were in the Boston Public Library’s catalog system.

[Jessica and Jo inside the Boston Public Library]

Friday night, we met up with Bethany at the convention center and walked the floor for about an hour, checking out our publisher’s booths. Then we met Varian and Kekla Magoon for dinner at McCormick & Schmick’s and talked industry talk. We love getting together with other writers! And we love food! Afterwards, we headed over to Cheers where, oddly, nobody knew our names.

[Left to Right: Varian Johnson, Jo Whittemore, Jessica Lee Anderson, Bethany Hegedus]

[Left to Right: Varian Johnson, Bethany Hegedus, Kekla Magoon]

Saturday morning, Jessica signed at the Milkweed booth, and had the wonderful opportunity to visit with her writing professor, Lisa Rowe Fraustino, from Hollins who has a book coming out with Milkweed Editions fall 2010.

[Lisa Rowe Fraustino and Jessica Lee Anderson]

T hen at 1:00, we joined a crowd of other LiveJournal authors (Jo Knowles, Cynthia Lord, Shana Silver, Valerie Giogas, etc) for a brief “OMG! It’s so nice to meet you in person!”

After lunch, we headed to Bethany’s signing at WestSide books and walked the showroom in our Texas Sweethearts gear. It was fun running chatting with several librarians and running into friends, including Kate Messner.

[Jessica and Bethany]

[Jo and Kate Messner]

At 4:00 that afternoon, the Austin posse headed to the Westin across the street and schmoozed it up with editors, agents, educators, librarians and writers at the ALA Midwinter Tweet-up. WOW, that was a HUGE crowd. We had a lovely conversation with a mixture of people, including Alvina Ling, Barry Goldblatt, and Dawn Metcalf.

[Jo, Jessica, Dawn Metcalf]

And, because, we love food, afterwards we joined up with Bethany, as well as VCF alum friends Kekla Magoon and Rebecca Kinney for dinner at scrumptious Marliave.

[Clockwise: Kekla Magoon, Jo Whittemore, Rebecca Kinney, Jessica Lee Anderson, Bethany Hegedus]

The next morning, Jo flew home, while Jessica traveled to New Hampshire to visit with extended family. The highlight was a snow storm that brought in over 6 inches in a matter of hours.

The ride to the airport on Monday was exciting as was the delayed, icy plane, but nothing was exciting as hearing the news about the ALA award winners and honorees!!!


  1. Okay, it just looks like you guys are having too much fun together! I want to go to ALA some day...

  2. I want to go, too, Sherrie! Jo and Jessica had a blast!