1. Opryland. Been there, done that, regretted it both times. The photos of the place don’t do it justice. Think: Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy Build a Hotel. “Hey, let’s add on the to ho-tel and slap a roof on it and how about we run us a creek through and stock it with some fish and ducks. Now, that’s some good hunting right there, boy. Aiiight?”
2. Chris Crutcher is the consummate pro. Not only did he floor his audience, he ended *exactly* on time after getting the old one minute note. The man must have a clock in his head.
3. Pat Hughes is hilarious.
4. The ALAN Workshop needs a bigger room.
5. Naomi Shihab Nye’s wisdom and humor can make you forget even the most bizarre breakfast menu imaginable (cream-filled toast, under-cooked link sausages, peppers, and red potatoes).
6. Matt de la Pena is too damn handsome to be this good of a writer.
7. Cynthia and Greg Leititch Smith are the dynamic duo of writerdom. They kept their wits and humor over five days of signings, speeches, suppers, and schmoozes. Next time, maybe they’ll bring their capes.
8. Diane Tuccillo pulled off the super-human feat of planning and directing the ALAN Workshop, which was made even more difficult by the constant foul-ups and flubs by Opryland staff.
9. Teri Lesesne really is the Goddess of YA, except at one point, I thought she was doing the Neo Matrix thing due to her Friday outfit.
10. The ALAN Workshop is still the best YA show on earth.
11. Editors, writers, and teachers get younger every year. Thank God, I never change.
12. The ALAN Board, officers, consultants, and panel leaders did yeoman’s work handing the signing lines, last minute changes, dead batteries in the mics, no-show lunches, no-show people, introductions, questions, answers, and impossiblities that become possible– Wendy Glenn, Patty Campbell, Marge Ford, Christie Jo “C.J.” Bott, Connie Zitlow, Kay Smith, Jessica Mize, Bonnie Kunzel, Sheryl Rinkol, Pamela Sissi Carroll, Melanie Koss, Pam Spencer Holley, April Brannon, Anjanette Darrington, Kathryn Kelly, Joan Kaywell, Jim Blasingame, Lori Goodson, Scot Smith, Mary Arnold, Diane Monnier, Chris Crowe, Sunya Osborn, Alan Teasley, Ebony Thomas, Gary Salvner, Edna Weeks, Lisa Arter, and Diane Tuccillo (if I left a name off, let me know, and I’ll gladly add it.)
13. Planning for ALAN 2008 began today.