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I am just back from Orlando where I attended the National Council of Teachers of English Conference at one of the Disney properties. The endless refrain there was “Have a magical day!” said with such cheeriness that I felt I was trapped in some sugar-coated dream. I loathe manufactured fun, thus when I called the other night asking about a lap pool on the property, I was cringing when they told me there was none, but there was a pool with a large slide located near the themed dig site. Lucky for me, I have zip sense of direction, and thus I found a different pool that did not have these over-the-top amenities; rather I was happy with lines for laps on the bottom, which I always thought of as one of the prerequisites for “a lap pool.

I am writing from the window seat of my hotel room in Miami, where I have a fabulous view of the Biscayne Bay. If one is going to be tethered to her laptop, this is not a bad spot to be held captive. As always, when I am at the Miami Book Fair, it’s nonstop action. I flew in Wednesday, and on the way to my hotel I stopped by a wonderful yarn shop that Barbara, one of our readers, had told me about --- The Knitting Garden in Coral Gables. I still am in intel-gathering mode for a yarn store/bookstore project that I want to do. The store was just as fabulous as she said it would be. The owners, Anne and Virginia, were so warm and welcoming. When they heard I was in town for the Fair, they mentioned that one of their customers had been a hostess at the Nora Ephron event on Monday night, and then they gave me a full lowdown on it --- sounds like it was a really fun evening. Dave Barry was on stage with Nora, so you can imagine how much laughter there was in THAT room. Oh, and the hostess they were referencing was our reader Barbara, thus taking this entire store visit full circle.

This has to be my “get organized” weekend. I am flying to Miami on Wednesday for the Miami Book Fair, and from there I am headed to the National Council of Teachers of English conference in Orlando. I arrive back late the Tuesday night before Thanksgiving. What’s amusing is that I never want to fly anywhere for Thanksgiving since I hate crowds at the airport. However, in my psyche I am not flying “anywhere,” I am flying “home.” Like there is a difference! Oh, and I am hosting Thanksgiving at the house. So we have a trifecta going on here --- crowds, Mickey-themed travels and chopping for the holiday.

I am so looking forward to having an extra hour this weekend. I have a stack of books that I have been longing to read, and of course I have the absurdly misguided assumption that given the extra hour I will be able to work my way through them. I am delusional, I know; it’s more like I will spend the extra hour sorting and re-sorting what I want to read next. Do you do that, too? I always am reading books for work with various missions --- whether it be for something we are planning to feature or something we are featuring now or something people are telling me I HAVE to read NOW. I make piles, rearrange and prioritize them. This is not to say that reading is a chore, but I usually have some kind of a motive when I am reading, and sometimes there are titles that I eagerly anticipate that just must wait their turn.