My book may not be officially out until September 4th, but this past weekend I was privileged enough to attend (and present!) at The American Library Association’s annual conference in Anaheim, California.
I was SO nervous….obviously!
I baked two hundred chocolate cookies at home on Friday to serve during my presentation.
Guys, I completely botched the first batch and had to go to the store to buy all new ingredients….I was that nervous! Seriously. I make this chocolate chip cookie recipe all the time and somehow managed to completely kill it the first time around. (insert cookie dough covered hand slapping forehead). Jenna, what is WRONG with you?!
I finally got it right by the second batch, so the third and fourth went rather seamlessly, thank goodness.
But wouldn’t ya know that ALL those cookies got smashed on the flight over? (insert another hand slapping forehead)
At this point, I literally felt sick. Crumbled cookies plus awkward speech? Heaven help us all.
The morning of the event, I woke up at 5:30 and had a really great quiet morning to prepare. I drank some coffee in my hotel room, listened to my favorite Pandora station and applied way too much blush to ease my nerves.
Then, all too quickly 10am rolled around and before I knew it, everyone was clapping and I was walking up on stage in my too-tall wedges. Yes, wedges! The memory of the nude pump faceplant is still too fresh in my mind to attempt any sort of high heel comeback.
I had a little speech prepared, but what ended up coming out of my mouth was definitely not written on my notecards. I ended up just telling my story about the first day of culinary school, being labeled as “the enemy” for wanting to be a food writer rather than a chef, and stealing my ex-boyfriend’s chair before moving to California. I don’t where that chair bit of the speech came from, but I just ran with it!
Aaaaaand, it went well! I think I held my breath the entire time.
After my little talk I signed books and met some truly amazing people. I LOVE librarians! You guys are absolutely amazing.
Thank you for making me laugh, being excited to read White Jacket Required and for not judging me on my cookie crumbles….
Thank you for showing up big time, laughing at my awkward jokes, and grabbing books for your daughters, mothers, fathers, sons and best friends. My heart is so full.
Some of them even started reading the book right there and then!!!! I wanted to cry. I think I did cry a little bit, actually.
Then, just like that it was all over—we ran out of books! Wow.
I am completely humbled by this past weekend and feel so much gratefulness inside that it feels like my heart is just going to burst. This book is so personal and special to me, and seeing other people get excited about it and even start reading it (!!) was just totally surreal. I really can’t believe that a couple hundred books are now out in the world, tucked into people’s bags, on hotel nightstands and in airport seat pockets.
So THANK YOU, LIBRARIANS!!!! What a wonderful way to kick off this new season in my life.