I probably have about one-eighth as much time as I’d like to have to say all the things I’d like to say about my Thursday visit to the TLA exhibition hall. So, I’ll make it quick, with no guarantee that I’ll actually be finished when I stop.

My publishers’ booths were among my first stops. I was still a civilian at this year’s show — no signings to do, as I’ve got nothing to sign yet — but the #1 thing I wanted to do at TLA was get to know the publicity and marketing folks who’ll help bring my books out into the world.

I really admire the folks working the booths, especially those whose companies sent a small crew. As tiring as it can be walking the show floor (especially when one wears, for purely stylistic purposes, cowboy boots), I can’t imagine staying put as much as they have to. Nor would I do well having to be on as much as they are.

I met Camille from Book Moot. She had kindly posted a photo of the shoes she’d be wearing, and just as I was starting to feel the slightest bit self-conscious about walking around glancing at all those feet, there were the pink swooshes I was looking for. We had a delightful conversation and a place to sit, though we did have to work a little for the latter.

For the nonfiction reviews I post here, I stuffed my bag with ARCs and F&Gs (and stuffed my badgeholder with business cards from publicity and marketing folks) but brought home not a single catalog. Too many times over the years, I’ve had an imposing, towering stack of catalogs that ultimately get recycled en masse and unread.

I didn’t bring home just nonfiction titles. The favorite so far of 3-year-old F is That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown, by Cressida Cowell and illustrated by Neal Layton. I’ve been completely charmed by my friend Ruth McNally Barshaw‘s Ellie McDoodle: Have Pen, Will Travel and Eileen Spinelli‘s Where I Live, illustrated by Matt Phelan.

There weren’t as many editors at this conference as there were at ALA Midwinter last year, but I sure did enjoy visiting with those from Front Street, Atheneum, Charlesbridge and Little, Brown.

And there was Grace Lin, and the publisher of Horn Book, and dinner with a tableful of Austin talent, and… I’m out of time.