I left my CPA husband to deal with April 15 all by himself and instead of being grumpy at me, he made sure there were flowers and champagne in our funny little hotel room at the Roger Smith! What a guy.
Flowers and champagne!
Those flowers were just the morale booster I needed after schlepping myself and my suitcase on the train from Newark, to Penn Station, on the subway to 51st and Lex. I made a few missteps which meant lugging the bag up and down several sets of stairs unnecessarily, but all in all, I was proud of myself.
Mary’s flight got in after mine so Tyler and I grabbed a quick dinner after my arrival on the 14th. Of course, Mary and I talked way too late into the night so we weren’t prepared for the “gift” left for us by the room’s previous occupant: a 4:30 alarm. Yikes. I couldn’t figure out what was going on for a few seconds. We managed to get a few more winks but then it was up and at’em for a full day for both of us. I met with my wonderful Delacorte editor, Michelle Poploff. We are still trying to figure out a title for the newly finished book; nothing jumped out at us during the meeting. I did learn that the amazing Vikki Sheatsley is designing the cover (she did the cover for Hattie Big Sky) so I know the book will look fabulous. . .even without a title.
I hopped on the subway after that to chat over a cup of coffee with Marcia Leonard, a lovely freelance editor for Clarion that I’d met at Linda Zuckerman’s summer conference a few years ago. We got caught up and then I was off again for lunch with my agent. Mary and her agent joined us for after-lunch cappucinos and tea for the first ever meeting of the four of us. It was a warm and easy conversation, reminding me once again how lucky I am to have these wonderful women on my team.
Tyler arrived, all decked out in his tux, to escort us to the Christopher Awards, which were right around the corner from the hotel.
On the way, we passed the Waldorf Astoria, the perfect place to drop a copy of Hattie Big Sky for the Readergirlz Operation TBD.
Tyler says I’d never make it as a spy
I’ll post photos from the ceremony as soon as I get them, but let me say that it was lovely. It was held on the 35th floor of the Mutual of America building — smashing view. And Mary and I were greeted so warmly and felt so celebrated that I’m sure we were forgiven for the teary eyes when our names were called and we stepped forward to accept the bronze medal. I know I’ve said it a hundred times, but I can’t tell you how blessed I feel to be able to tell stories of hope and love, like Nubs, with someone I cherish so much.
A friendly hotel employee gave us the skinny on the Starlight Roof and his description put us right back there, in the 30s, swirling around the ballroom under the stars. Evidently, the retractable roof mechanics were faulty so the “open air” dancing only lasted a few years. But the room is stunning; a tribute to that earlier philosophy of building beautifully, and to last.
Friday was another day of meetings; I started my day feeling like I’d stepped off Lexington Avenue and into Paris as I breakfasted with my Scholastic editor, Lisa Sandell, at Mon Petit Cafe. Tyler treated me to lunch at the HBO cafe (great carrot ginger soup!) and in the mid-afternoon, Mary and I met up in SoHo to do some shopping. By then, we were so beat that we didn’t do much more than window shop, but we vowed our next trip, we’d sign up for one of those shopping tours. Then we’d really know where to go!
Mary left bright and early Saturday morning — I hate saying goodbye! But I took comfort in the fact that we’ll be together again in October, when we jointly keynote the Washington Library Media Association Conference, and do a week’s worth of school visits.
Mid-morning, I took the 5 train to Brooklyn to see Tyler’s new apartment. We brunched at a cozy Mexican restaurant and then spent several hours in the Brooklyn museum. I know I should be grateful for all the time I got to spend with Tyler, but it was still hard to say good-bye.
For the return to Newark, I took a cab to Penn Station to catch the train — I’d done enough wrestling bags up and down stairs! Alaska Air got us into Seattle a whole hour early ahead of schedule but it was still late Saturday night/early Sunday morning before I could tumble into my comfy bed . . .with a huge smile on my face at having had a terrific time in the Big Apple.