Let’s take care of those acronyms right away.

“TLA” is the Texas Library Association conference, which filled three terrific days for me in Houston last week.

“WIP” is short for work-in-progress, which for me is my young-adult nonfiction collection of profiles of impostors and other folks who pretended to be someone else.

And “SVT” has long been the secret code name for my upcoming second picture book, whose actual title I hereby unveil as…

[patter of palms on desk simulating a drumroll]

Shark Vs. Train.

One of my favorite parts of TLA was showing off a couple of Tom Lichtenheld‘s hilarious illustrations for Shark Vs. Train. (Boy, it feels good to say that: Shark Vs. Train, Shark Vs. Train, Shark Vs. Train!)

Another was getting to catch up with or meet for the first time many fine librarians, authors, illustrators, marketing folks, editors, and others — especially those who were so kind as to look at my daylight-fluorescent green T-shirts, ask, “So, who did invent that color?” and then oooh and ahhh over the copy of The Day-Glo Brothers that I just happened to have handy.

If I were to start listing names of those I hobnobbed with, I would miss someone that I’d hate to accidentally exclude, and I’d spend all evening just on the names that do come to mind.

It still sounds tempting, though. One thing I’ve discovered about me and children’s-literature-related conferences, workshops, retreats, and other gatherings is that once they’re finished, I’m rarely ready to be done with them. It’s fun to pretend that those gatherings are what real life is like, and to pretend that the stuff that fills the rest of the day or week or year is the aberration. It can also be a little tough to get back in the swing of that aberrant stuff.

Which is why I’m glad to have that YA nonfiction project to turn my attention to. I haven’t looked at my manuscript in more than three months, and it’s revision-time. More to the point, it’s time to transform that manuscript from its current condition into one worthy of the time and attention of the readers ultimately served by gatherings like the one we just had in Houston.

Almost time, anyway. First, I think I’ll take another quick look at the illustrations for Shark Vs. Train(!). And mark my calendar for TLA in San Antonio next spring.


One more thing, while you’re here. Or rather, while you’re not here, for those of you reading this post through your feed reader. The redesign of Bartography to match the rest of my site is complete, and in addition to the URL changes I mentioned previously —

New blog URL: http://www.chrisbarton.info/blog/index.php
New feed URL: http://feeds2.feedburner.com/Bartography

— I did want to point out the general spiffiness of things around here. Here’s a glimpse, with much thanks going to the knockout job done by Sarah Rehm and Edgar Dapremont: