Usually, I go to writer’s conferences and walk halfway around a room to avoid the tables with all the books.
I sit on my hands, leave my wallet at home, eschew adult beverages–well, there are all kinds of tricks I use to keep from buying more books. But Cathy-on-a-Stick has a mind of her own. It’s not much a mind, and rather flat, but still. She would keep heading to the book table at Springmingle, the SCBWI Southern Breeze conference this past weekend. Every time a speaker finished, I felt this…this tug. And before I knew it, I had a stack of books.
Agent and author Ammi-Joan Pacquette had all these books about ghosts and they were picture books and middle grade (which come on, ghosts AND PB’s and Middle Grade? I was doomed from the start). Plus Joan was so darn sincere and engaging in her talk. She called to me–so I bought one of her books.
And then Vicky Alvear Shecter went on and on about Anubis, the Egyptian god of the dead. She sucked me in with her humor and expertise and Anubis tidbits. Who knew the Land of the Dead could be so darn entertaining? So before I knew it, Cathy-on-a-Stick was in the line for an autograph.
Elizabeth Dulemba was nearby, explaining that her muse had grabbed her in North Georgia and wouldn’t let go till she told the story in A Bird on Water Street. You cannot argue with the muse. And apparently, you cannot argue with Cathy-on-a-Stick either. There she was again, stick-deep in Elizabeth’s book.
I was just about to make a dash for it when, out of the corner of my eye, I spied Ruth Sanderson’s books! A whole pile of books with the most gorgeous covers ever, of woods and castles and princesses and–oh. My. Word. Fairy tales. And stained glass windows of saints. Stick a fork in me, I was done (for).
Wait, I take that back. I was not quite done. Janice Hardy’s book, Planning Your Novel: Ideas and Structure, was calling my name. I tried to resist, I really did. But Cathy-on-a-Stick whispered in my ear, “Really? You think you can afford to pass on this gem of writing craft?”
And as I glanced over at Cheryl Klein (Executive Editor at Arthur A. Levine Books, a Scholastic imprint), I thought how much her book, Second Sight, An Editor’s Talks on Writing, Revising, and Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults, had helped me on my writing journey. I’d won her book three years ago, so at least I didn’t have to buy that book at the writer’s conference, too.
But I’m pretty sure she and Cathy-on-a-Stick were up to something. I’m kinda afraid to check my credit card bill.
I just have one thing to say. That Cathy on a stick gets around. It’s about time for her to marry and settle down.
Wish I had been there, but I suppose my bank account was thankful that I wasn’t there.
Come on, Sally. Ain’t nobody gonna put up with that stick. 🙂
P.S. We missed you!!
Hey, your book pile looks a lot like mine…and there is no flat-brained person on a stick for me to blame. Mike was rather dismayed to note that I brought home nearly as many books as I sold. He tells me this is not the way this whole thing is supposed to work. I nodded and tried to look penitent while reading Rules for Ghosting.
Hahahhaa! That’s the ticket, Trisha. The old penitent look. 🙂
Cathy-on-a-Stick always gets to sit at the cool kids’ table. She looks like she was having a blast at the conference. Do you ever envy her obvious people skills? 🙂
Well, she gets a wee bit pushy sometimes, Lisa. But since she’s only a stick, she gets away with it. 🙂
Cathy–You didn’t buy those books. COAS bought those books, so you should call your credit card company and report that theft.
And you’re so fortunate. You’re able to describe her. Skinny as a stick. A little “stiff”…last seen diving into a book.
Hahahahaa! Your observations skills are aMAZing, Sioux!
How cute! Love the voice of this post. I hope you’re enjoying all your books!
I’ve seen how that COAS operates. She’s one clever, canny piece of wood. At least she has good taste – all those lovely author faces in the pix with hers are cream of the crop! (I’m glad she let you tag along at the conference – it was great seeing you, and thanks for losing your mind and taking on more S Breeze volunteering, too!)
Cathy-on-a-stick is famous! And the books from the authors sound fabulous!