Conferences bring out both the extrovert and introvert sides of my personality, sometimes in rapid succession. Here in Anaheim I’ve spent a lot of time ‘on’: the panel about teens in your branch library, the YA author ‘speed-dating’ event — both of which I was so pleased to be able to be part of — and in the meetings, meetings, meetings. (I’m pleased to be in them, too. Honest.) I’ve met great new people and reconnected with some of the friends I only see twice a year. I got to be part of a video (yikes).
On Monday night, my plan was to hear the Printz speeches and attend the reception afterwards. But I could feel it coming over me as soon as I went into the auditorium and sat, not with friends, but by myself near the back: the feeling that I’d need, soon, to retreat. I listened, and I thought, and as the applause for Geraldine McCaughrean was dying down, I walked quickly out of that room and back to my hotel to write. Not just this.
Later, after a little arm-twisting via text message, I went out again — more excellent time with friends — then back to the room, but still wound up. Turned on the television. “The History Boys” was just starting. Gorgeous. Very smart. Very clear that it was originally a play. Very glad that it happened to be on.
Then it was three-thirty, and really, really, really, time to sleep.