Dinner party

Last-minute dinner parties are my favorite. Throw together some people and food and let the party happen. For a couple of months I've been wanting to meet Casey Scieszka, who moved here recently from Mali (and before that China), but having Kerry Madden in town put the fire under me and I jumped on my e-mail for some quick invites. Gathered up Lissa Rovetch, Julie Downing and her husband Scott Slotterback , Julie Romeis and Mary Colgan.

Here's Casey, Julie D., Julie R., and Scott.

We stood around in the kitchen eating hors d'oeuvres, finally moved to the table, ate and laughed and laughed some more. Of course, we authors begged Julie R and Mary, both editors at Chronicle Books, for stories about slush piles, and the funny things people sent in with their stories. Casey had a few good stories too, as she spent a summer internship cleaning out a slush pile, returning original art. Kiss of death? A cover letter insisting grandchildren/children/students/people on the street loved this story. Funny objects? glitter, chocolate, and our favorite, a six pack of beer.

The two Julie's, Scott, Lissa and my husband Tom.
Mary and Kerry.
Julie Downing brought a copy of her new book, No Hugs Till Saturday. Special book for me, as she borrowed/swiped my son Felix's name for her main character. (Our Felix showed up for the party, but I missed getting a shot of him! Says he doesn't look a thing like the dragon Felix.) Lissa Rovetch brought her new book, There Was a Man Who Loved a Rat: and Other Vile Little Poems. Hysterically funny poems written by her mother, with Lissa's wonderfully wacky illustrations. And Casey had just sold a book to Roaring Brook. Kerry dancing with joy after getting her biography on Harper Lee in to Viking. Plenty to celebrate all around!

A super smart, funny, lovely group of people. Both Julie R. and Lissa are starting regular gathering of children's writers and illustrators in the Bay Area. I'll keep you posted with the places and dates-- there are so many talented people here!

And last photo, late in the night -- guests gone home, dishes done. Shhh and good night.