I just posted about my new favorite book, Except the Queen, by Jane Yolen and Midori Snyder. And I mentioned The Moon Ribbon, which was the first book by Jane Yolen that I ever read. My mom gave me the book when I was a kid, and I read it over and over again, eventually going on to read other books by Jane Yolen, including The Girl Who Cried Flowers (another book of stories). I have been careful with my copy of Moon Ribbon, keeping it with me all these years ..... and then, a few years ago, when I was in library school, ALA's (The American Library Association) convention came to Chicago --- and I noticed that among the authors listed to attend, Jane Yolen's name was on the list. I had already planned to buy myself a one-day pass (after all, ALA doesn't come to Chicago every year, and I was in library school, after all), but the fact that Jane Yolen, the author of one of my most treasured books was supposed to be there, meant that I HAD to go.
So, I got my pass, packed a few books, including Moon Ribbon, into my bag, and went downtown on the train. And, of course, it was overwhelming, books everywhere, free books everywhere..... but that's not the real story here. The real story is: I got to meet Jane Yolen. I saw her sitting, so I grabbed my book and asked if she could please sign it... and then got really choked up. I have no idea what happened, but I guess it was the fact that she was real, and had written this book that I loved so much ..... I don't know. I think I was able to blurt out that it was one of my favorite books since I was a child --- I have no idea. She was actually very nice, and mentioned she hadn't seen the book for a long time (it's been out of print for years) and she graciously signed my book. I just wish I had been able to say a little more, but I was tearing up as it was, so I just took the book back from her and stumbled away. Not very grown-up of me, admittedly. Once I had composed myself, I got on with the rest of my day (and actually got to meet another author I really like --- luckily, I didn't get choked up and make a fool out of myself). However, this was one of those really special times for me -- kinda the geek equivalent of meeting a rock star. :)
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