I have returned from the land of chicken fried steak

I’m back from Austin and the YA Literature Symposium and had a great time! I wish that I had more time to explore the city and I know I missed out on some food truck awesomeness.

It was so nice to hang out with fellow YA lit enthusiasts and learn about new titles. I also really appreciated the impetus and opportunity to think critically about YA literature and it’s impact. It’s something I do on my own a lot, but don’t always have the chance to do with other people. There were so many great discussions throughout the weekend; I won’t be able to recount them all. I wrote a bit about the last panel, “Keeping it REALLY Weird,” for the Hub. Here’s some other things that I tweeted about:

birds-primary-headerstorify

Some highlights/notable experiences:

-I rode in the elevator with Andrew Smith (and thankfully a few other people!) and just giggled nervously most of the time. He’s one of my favorites and I felt like such a fool. I promised myself to be cool about it later on in the weekend and tell him calmly how much his books have affected me. But I lied; I was still weird at the book signing. Classic me.

-I got a list of new comics to read from @cat2mck like Copperhead, Ex Machina, and another one I forget… Yay comics!

-I had lunch with R. L. Stine – who is a delightful, curmudgeonly man – because Valerie aka Greatest Mentor of All Time  snagged me a seat! Whoooo!

-In the “Where are the heroes of color in SciFi?” session someone asked the panelists a question along the lines of “Why don’t these stories get published/why doesn’t the publishing industry realize that minorities are important and becoming the majority?” Before the panelists had time to answer someone else in the crowd muttered, “Republicans,” and it just made me so mad! Not because I am some kind of Republican apologist – I’m a liberal, feminist, LGBTQ-rights-supporting Democrat who thinks socialism has some pretty good ideas – but because that’s not the problem. You think some of those liberal, feminist, LGBTQ-rights-supporting Democrats, some of us librarians, can’t be racist or bigoted? Yeah, we can and we’ve all seen it. It’s not just Republicans, it’s Democrats, and the in betweens, and feminists, and those douchey MRAs and a lot of people. Lots of people who you agree with and don’t agree with can also still be racist and bigoted. I wanted to go over to here and shout, “Have you not heard of institutional and systemic racism? It’s a thing. Google it!” I refrained but I’m still simmering over it.

-Saturday night the Hub bloggers in attendance went out to eat together and had a great time! It was so nice to put faces to names I see all the time reading the Hub! I wish we could get together more because we were a pretty hilarious bunch of ladies. (Gretchen, I will learn a state song for you….) I felt like I should try the chicken fried steak because Threadgills seemed known for it. In hindsight, I should have ordered the “chicken fried chicken” also known as “fried chicken.” The chicken fried steak wasn’t bad, just weird. Cheesy grits, though? Heaven on a plate.

I’m sure I will think of more things I want to write about the Symposium. Keep on the lookout for those.

 

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