Last night, the wife and I gathered with a slew of children's literary luminaries — authors, illustrators, librarians, educators and their spouses or significant others —at the home of Greg and Cynthia Leitich Smith. We celebrated the release of Cynthia's newest YA gothic fantasy novel, Tantalize. And we all took home a complimentary signed copy.
Cynthia and Greg are gems; they've enriched my career. I'm blessed to know them. Cynthia was dressed in fitting with the theme of her book. She wore a vampire-ishly black outfit, black netted shawl, blood red highlights in her hair. Greg crooned a serenade...in Italian, I think it was.
I have no idea how many people turned out, but I'd guess somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 to 50 people or possibly more. I was especially honored to meet Camille, aka Book Moot. I had no idea that Camille and Book Moot were one in the same. I was embarrassed though. Towards the end of the party, I had a touch of vertigo. No, it wasn't the wine. As I reached out to hug Camille, I lost my balance and almost fell on her. My wife said I played it off nice, faked it like I meant to trip and almost fall.
I also had an exciting conversation with a professor at UT. She's also the President-elect of ALA. She encouraged Mr. V and I to contact her about getting involved in ALAs speaker circuit. I've always wanted to do just that, but wasn't sure how to go about it or who to talk to. She assured me that as an illustrator of children's books, I'd be a star in this arena. I'm gonna follow up.
All in all, we had a fantastic time out (without the kid). Funny though, when it comes to socializing, mixing and mingling, I'm the nervous one. But I wasn't nervous at all. I was more excited. My wife was nervous. Normally, she lives for social gatherings. But she called me an hour before the party and whined in a panic: "Oh, Donny, I can't go; I have nothing to wear. I don't have anything Austin casual. I need a new outfit."
She wore an old outfit and looked just fine.