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 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.
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.
The line for Neil Gaiman was too long, so my boyfriend kinneared him.
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.
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).
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!
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Not everybody who held the sock was human, or even technically alive.
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.
DID I MENTION THAT JUDY BLUME WORE MY SOCK ON HER HAND? I am totally naming that sock pattern “Margaret.”