Volunteering Season Continues

I like to volunteer as much as I can handle this time of year. There are a number of volunteer opportunities in Portland in October. This weekend, I was supposed to volunteer at Wordstock, but got sick and decided to stay home and recuperate. I’m bummed because Maggie Stiefvater was there at 5:00.


Another favourite of mine, Bruce Hale, was introducing Clark the Shark to youngsters on one of the AM stages.



However, I am saving my energy for the next 3 days of volunteering. I spend about 12-14 hours per day at a book trade show in Portland. It falls on the same weekend as Wordstock and I’ve been doing this one for 4 years now, so it take priority.

I get to meet some great people year after year.


I was SUPER blonde back then. Not so much any more. This is one of the reps from  Scholastic, Kris. She is DIVINE!

A few of the authors I am looking forward to seeing are:

Ivan Doig


Jane Kirkpatrick


Brandon Sanderson


Jeffrey Deaver (of Lincoln Rhyme fame)


Marissa Meyer


Roland Smith


I know there will be some surprises for me regarding authors to see, but these are a few of the authors I want to connect with. Last year, I saw April Henry and (sigh – I forgot to get a photo) Sherman Alexi.

Additionally, I enjoy connecting with bookseller and book buyers each year from all over the Pacific Northwest. I see a lot of the same faces – and we razz each other each year. Good times.

Until later…


Mo Willems – LIVE

(all photos were taken with my iPhone – some are good. Some are not!)

Life is busy with volunteering, work, family, the gym, and writing. But I did manage to squeeze out a bit of time to see Mo Willems live!

The event started at 6:30. I arrived around 6, thinking that I had plenty of time. Boy, was I wrong:

The Barnes and Noble area was PACKED! When I arrived, a busload (FULL) was unloading parents, teachers, and children from one of the school districts 20 or so miles away. Barnes and Noble was smart in that they handed out bracelets with numbers on them. They were the numbers for our place in the autographing line. Here’s mine:

Yup. That’s 186! I was chatting with a few people and their numbers were in the 200 and 300 categories. Later, I was speaking with a teacher who left – she gave me her bracelet with 182 on it. I gave that to a woman with a bracelet in the 290s.

As for location, most of the time, I was stuck behind a pillar near the down escalator. Mo was somewhere beyond the sea of people. Can you see him? He has a beard. (Notice the people climbing over the bookshelves to see him? There were hundreds of people there.

He read his newest – and final – Knuffle Bunny book (Knuffle Bunny Free) and We Are in a Book, then he took questions and began signing. After the first 100 people went, I found a seat – and got to see Mo in person:

He asked us to respect the fact that he doesn’t like flash photography – and most people were great with it. A few may not have known or were confused, but that was very very rare. So, that’s why my photos are a little grainy.

I met a woman who had bracelet #157 – and she asked me to join her in line. I did. And I think she saved me an additional 30 minutes that night. Bless her heart.

So, after much ado, I finally got to see Mo – and get his autograph:

So, Mo signed my copy of Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed, which is my very first introduction to Mo Willems’ work. It’s fantastic. A naked mole rat who pooh-poohs society and wears clothes. BRILLIANT!

And my aunt’s books for 2 of the kiddos in her life:

(I have The Pigeon Wants a Puppy! also – and it’s wonderful!)

So, that was 2 ½ hours of my life last night. And well worth it! Thank you to Susie who saved me by asking me to join her in line.