IRA in pictures

I’m taking a break from tilling the garden with a potato fork (it actually works pretty well on a small plot and you don’t have to use a gas tiller, though on anything like the 1/2 acre garden we had when I was growing up that would be torture–thank heavens my dad used a tractor, then a tiller, for that one!) and waiting on the cable guy to show up for the second time in two days (the guy yesterday hooked up our internet but completely unhooked the cable in two bedrooms) to bring you this entry about last week’s International Reading Associat
ion conference. We had a brand new booth this year (if you’ve seen it in previous years, it looks very similar, with some tweaks like carved dragon heads on the bookshelves) and we really looked forward to meeting all the teachers who come to this conference. Normally, they say, attendance is in the 20,000 to 30,000 range. I’m not sure of this year’s exact number, but I think I met every single one of those 20-30,000 teachers over the course of the three days I worked the booth! 

I got to do the window displays in the booth this year–it was so much fun making it all pretty. The end result is a booth that looks very cozy, much like a cross between a Victorian bookshop and, as one teacher pointed out, a pub.

When I checked into the hotel in Atlanta, I was surprised to find a pretty fancy room–a balcony with a view of the pool (for which I’d forgotten my swimsuit, and it was great swimming weather), an iPod alarm clock (I need to get me one of these–I love that I can wake up to a playlist or play my iPod any time–right now I just use my computer for that), and weirdest of all, my bathroom towels decoratively folded. A flower for the washcloth under the soap dish, and a little shirt for the bath mat. I checked with my coworkers, and I seem to be the only one who had something quite that fancy. Apparently my housekeeper was on the creative side–but only for that first day, so I’m glad I got a shot of it before I used the bath mat! That was balanced out by how housekeeping kept moving my things around–even putting my toothbrush, which I’d left out to dry, into its travel case, and lining up all my allergy meds in a neat row. There’s service, and then there’s invasiveness. That was plain odd.

Please excuse the dark exposure. I’m a little too lazy today to do any Photoshopping.

soap dish

Bath mat

ipod alarm clock

The view

me, taking in the view

This year authors Candice Ransom and D.L. Garfinkle were on site signing their books–the Time Spies series for Candice and the new Supernatural Rubber Chicken for

  . We had some rubber chickens on hand to promote the debut of the Ed, the Supernatural Rubber Chicken, so they played a few antics on us, trying to take over the booth. 

I also got to meet Lisa Yee (

 ), a blog friend for a while but the first time we met in person–and of course, Peepy.

Lisa is the author of several hilarious books. Check out her Millicent Min, Girl Genius, Stanford Wong Flunks Big Time, and So Totally Emily Ebers.
And had ice cream with blog friend and fellow editor Alvina and her coworker Joe.


More pictures later. That’s enough for one entry!