Are You There God? It’s Me, Sock.

The sock had a fabulous time at ALA 2009 in Chicago. As I mentioned before, my boyfriend brought my sock-in-progress with him and asked various people to hold the sock for photos. Because I am insane, and he is indulgent and unflappable. We learned that some of my favourite young adult authors are a) oddly agreeable about posing with partially-knit socks and b) much more photogenic than I am. Seriously, these are the most awesome sock-holding photos I have ever seen. Sure, other people’s Barack Obama and Gord Downie sock photos are cool, but this is more my style. (Sorry, Mr. President. Sorry, Gord.)

Judy Blume wearing my sock on her hand

Judy Blume is wearing my sock on her hand. JUDY BLUME IS WEARING MY SOCK ON HER HAND. Excuse me while I go breathe into a paper bag for a while.

signed copy of Superfudge

Apparently she enjoyed the concept of the travelling, poseable, bloggable sock, because she DREW ME A KITTY FACE. Judy Blume. Doodled a KITTY FACE. For ME.

I am not even jealous that my boyfriend was there and I wasn’t, because if I had been there, I would have been fangirlish about everyone and humiliated myself. When I was nine, I kept a diary in my Judy Blume Memory Book, beginning each entry with the words, “Dear Judy.” So if I ever actually met Judy Blume, I would babble something like, “Wow, I can’t believe this, like, seriously, when I was a kid my family had a myna bird named Uncle Feather because my little brother was totally obsessed with Superfudge, which makes sense, ’cause he was always so much like Fudge, and thanks for teaching me that everyone feels like they don’t fit in and it’s okay that I’m not normal ’cause nobody is normal, oh, and please write Alison’s story someday, because you’ve written Stephanie‘s and Rachel‘s, and you know it’s got to be a trilogy. Although I’m looking forward to the YA historical fiction you’re working on now, too.”

How would I have humiliated myself in front of Laurie Halse Anderson, this year’s Margaret A. Edwards Award winner, author of the modern YA classic Speak, Twisted, and Wintergirls, and other great books? Well, I’d probably say something like, “Sometimes, when it gets really bad, I sleep with a copy of Speak under my pillow, because I know that at least Melinda understands me even if nobody else does.” Then I would promptly burst into tears, which would at least prevent me from saying anything else embarrassing. Oh, and I know for sure that would happen because I burst into tears just writing that.

Laurie Halse Anderson holding my sock

The line for Neil Gaiman was too long, so my boyfriend kinneared him.

the sock in the vicinity of Neil Gaiman

Well, kinda sorta kinneared him. I’m pretty sure it was not all that surreptitious, since he took seven photos, but he did manage to get Neil and the sock in the same picture without, you know, asking if he could.

a stocking is stalking Neil Gaiman

I believe I am safe in assuming that I do not have to explain who Neil Gaiman is. He is magical and he can do everything. In addition to his general awesomness, he won the Newbery Medal this year for The Graveyard Book. (By the way, have you seen the Coraline Sweater pattern?)

Here is John Green wearing a Nerdfighters shirt. He is the author of Printz Award winner Looking for Alaska, Printz Honor Book An Abundance of Katherines, and Paper Towns. The other day, I said, almost completely seriously, “I want to be John Green when I grow up.” The fly in the ointment is that he’s only three years older than I am. Clearly, if I want to be John Green when I grow up, I should hurry up and finish the second draft of my angsty teen novel (and somehow magically make it not suck anymore).

John Green holding my sock

I may not have literally humiliated myself in front of Holly Black, but back in February, she ran a contest on her LiveJournal, and I did win an autographed ARC of Geektastic: Stories From the Nerd Herd, the fabulous short story collection that she and Cecil Castellucci edited, and I never thanked her for it. The woman who wrote Tithe, Valiant (which was the best book that I read in the year 2006), Ironside, and The Spiderwick Chronicles deserves better than that. I’m sorry, Holly! My parents brought me up better than that! It’s not their fault! I just suck! Thank you for the book, and for your toleration of the sock!

Holly Black with my sock

My boyfriend told me that Melina Marchetta seemed intrigued by the travelling sock dealio. Maybe he’s correct, or maybe she’s just incredibly good at Acting Normal and Friendly in Front of the Crazy Sock Man, but either way, it’s cool. The especially cool thing about a Melina Marchetta/Sock photo is that, apart from Judy Blume, she was the only author there whose YA or kids’ books I actually read when I was within the target age range for them. Well, “book” in the singular, in this case, since I first read Looking for Alibrandi when I was thirteen or so, but Saving Francesca wasn’t published until I was twenty-four. (No, I haven’t read Jellicoe Road yet. Yes, I know it won the Printz. Yes, I know I should be beaten for this dereliction of duty. I’ll read it soon, I swear.)

Melina Marchetta holding my sock

Look, this blog entry is getting hella long, and I am running out of steam. So here is E. Lockhart! She writes books! They are good! One of them is The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, which was a Printz Honor Book this year, and which I did read, despite not having gotten around to Jellicoe Road yet.

E. Lockhart and the sock

Brother/sister team Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm write (Jenni) and draw (Matthew) the kids’ graphic novel series Babymouse. They both do other things, too (two of Jenni’s novels are Newbery Honor Books), but it is Babymouse that I am obsessed with. Babymouse likes books, the colour pink, and eating cupcakes. A girl after my own heart.

Jennifer L. Holm, Matthew Holm, and sock

Also? My own brother? Would totally never go out in public wearing that outfit. Pity.

I would like to point out that I really do read books for grown-ups sometimes, and I was a Sherman Alexie fan long before the publication of his YA novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Although I’m not sure that saying “I read books for adults written by a man who is holding a sock over his nose” is the best evidence of my maturity. He is a much better sport than I am, since I don’t know if I’d do that with a stranger’s sock.

Sherman Alexie with the sock on his nose

These are the guys behind the comic Unshelved. Unless you work in a library or are in library school, you probably don’t read it. But you totally should.

the Unshelved guys with my sock

Not everybody who held the sock was human, or even technically alive.

Cat in the Hat, not Fox in Socks

The sock even hung out with the LibraryThing rhino. No, I do not know why LibraryThing has a rhino. It is beyond my ken. Well, except for the fact that everybody would be happier if they had an inflatable rhino. That, I understand.

sock on rhino horn

DID I MENTION THAT JUDY BLUME WORE MY SOCK ON HER HAND? I am totally naming that sock pattern “Margaret.”

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12 Responses to Are You There God? It’s Me, Sock.

  1. Mare says:

    JUDY BLOOM PUT HER FACE ON YOUR SOCK. Must. Treasure. Forever.

    Her hair is so curly…

  2. Mare says:


  3. Mare says:

    Aw, geez, sorry for the double (now triple) post. It’s 4 am, I’m freshly off from work, and this Captcha thing is confusing me.

  4. I LOVE it! My boss was at ALA, but we couldn’t afford to send little part-time me. I’m in love with all of these photos. Your sock may be one of the most photographed ever … except for Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s, of course.

    Heather, aka Yolande’s friend in Texas

  5. KJ McLean says:

    OMG! That was Judy Blume! With your SOCK! Did you notice that?!

    Way cool. 🙂

  6. canknitian says:

    Wow. And awww. The part about Speak breaks and heals my heart.

    Love (1000)

  7. starlett2010 says:

    Judy Blume is awesome!!!! I”m so jealous!!!!

  8. Kylie says:

    So jealous Mary!

  9. Heather says:

    Whoa…I’m away from your blog for a few weeks and you go get all my-sock-hangs-with-the rich-and-famous on me!!
    Great post. Great authors. Great boyfriend.

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