Sunday, April 30, 2006

Back into the Blue

I do love TLA. The librarians I meet there are hardworking, engaged in the profession, and funny, and their capacity for multitasking can be awesome, as with the young librarian-in-progress who visited our booth, where she filled out a subscription form (both Magazine and Guide, thank you Lord), talked about her MLS program, and chatted with her fiance via cell phone all at the same time.

Anne Quirk is the mistress of booth-setup, so after speedily dispatching with that we got to spend the day at the Houston MFA, a beautiful pair of buildings, and languidly wandering around Rice University and its posh neighborhood. Anne tried--twice--to talk me into attending a baseball game but I each time affected an attack of the vapors.

In the exhibit hall, the floor talk often turned to the issue of labeling, whether it be by grade or age level, Lexile score, or Accelerated Reading points. Fortuitously, one of our very own blog commenters is working on an article re this for a future issue of the Magazine. One of my best libraryland pals (and HB reviewer) Betty Carter also came through with a good pitch (see, I can use the metaphors without enjoying the game) for a piece we hope to publish in September, and U.K. novelist K.M. Grant told me an amazing story about an ancestor of hers who was the last man in England to be drawn and quartered--she has the head. We'll be getting that story into our pages as well.


webshred said...

When you say "she has the head," what exactly does that mean? Is it mounted on the wall of their trophy room? Is it bronzed? Did they shrink it and attach it to one of the tiki torches on their patio? Morbid minds want to know!

Jane said...

Probably just the skull because in those days the head of someone h/d/q was always piked and left to the depredations of wind, rain, and ravens. (Or crows.)

Morbid minds also want to know what he was h/d/q for. Treason? Wrong religion? Sleeping with the wrong person(s)?


jjk said...


sorry i missed you at tla! at the publishers cocktail party, we were on opposite corners of the room, but by the time i made it to where you were, we were on opposite sides of the room all over again. oh well. glad you enjoyed the lone star state!

Roger Sutton said...

I believe the head is in a box. And I think he might have been a Jacobite/bin? It was stuck on the Temple Bar. Jane, help me out!

Jane said...

A Jacobite would have been Scottish, a follower ofn the Stewart kings in exile. (Bonnie Prince Charlie and his father and grandfather.)

The Jacobins were French and during the French Revolution were the ones chopping off heads. Not the ones whose heads were chopped.

Not sure if either of these help.


CTB said...

She told the story at our bookstore in Houston, and I believe the relative was a Jacobite. From what I recall, his head is now in the family crypt in Scotland.

Ms. Grant told the story with such wit and humor that any other details would not do the tale justice. I'll look forward to reading about it in a future issue or Horn Book!