How to survive an independent book festival

independent book festival

The above linked article tells about what to expect at an independent book festival.  I have gone to the Bay Area Book Festival a few times in the last few years, and I have loved it!

The tips are great, but each festival is a little different.  For the Bay Area one, take a look at the schedule ahead of time, and buy reserved tickets to the author talks that you just can’t miss.  The lines can get long sometimes.

The Bay Area Book Festival is scheduled for the first weekend in May.  I can’t wait to go again this year!

Why Daily Writing is Important

(daily writing)

I write daily. I don’t finish writing daily, so I don’t always post daily. The article linked above is talking about journaling more than what I do.  I write as a way to process what is going through my head.  Sometimes it’s worth sharing, sometimes it’s not.  Sometimes I share what’s not worth sharing.  But, I am still processing what I am up to.

I saw Tayari Jones speak at Bay Area Book Festival, day 2.   Part of her advice to writers is to not write daily, because if you aren’t out there living your adventures, you will become a boring writer.  I thought this was wonderful advice.

I make more time for living than for writing.  Some days, I write and share a lot.  Some days I write a little.  Some days, I don’t write at all, just edit.  I post older thoughts on those days.  It’s all therapeutic for me.  I don’t stress out if I miss a day, though.  I’ll get the thought out eventually.

American Prison, by Shane Bauer

American Prison: A Reporter’s Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment by Shane Bauer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I heard the author talk at the Bay Area Book Festival, and I became interested in the book. I was a little disappointed because the author, in his talk at the festival, spoke of being incarcerated before going undercover as a prison guard. He kept bringing up that the people who hired him as a guard didn’t do a good background check. Well, he was imprisoned in Iran, not in the USA, and for getting too close to the border. I guess that the fact that he had been a prisoner was true, but it was in a different country and for questionable reasons. In hearing the story, I understand that he could see both the inmates and the guards sides, but, being in a different country, it just didn’t feel the same.

The book was interesting, but mostly from a historical point of view. The things that were said and done when he was undercover was more his story from this particular prison. Even in the story, it was mentioned that other places do things differently. It was good information, and thought provoking, but I had to take it with a grain of salt.

View all my reviews

 

American Prison: A Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment

Bay Area Book Festival, day 2

(Bay Area Book Festival) article about the festival

When I heard the lineup for the festival, I thought of my mom when I saw that Cathy Guisewite was speaking. So, I got her a ticket and planned to bring her for the Sunday portion.

We headed off on the train early in the morning, with plans to stop at Starbucks at the mall when we changed trains. We forgot that today is Sunday, and the mall opens a little later.

Tayari Jones and Esi Edugyan spoke about their work. They are similar enough to talk together, but different enough to be interesting. I truly enjoyed their talk. I found it funny that Tayari Jones spoke about not writing every day, because if you do, then you aren’t living your life as fully as you can. I touched on this earlier this week when I wrote about (Getting an assistant). I totally agree. Doing your own stuff keeps it interesting. It allows you to write about your adventures. I felt validated.

Half price books was our stop after lunch. I only allowed myself to purchase one book. And it was smaller than the book I handed off to my cousin, so, I am feeling like I am allowed to add to my book stack. Give one, get one? I looked at the Bronte books, but didn’t touch.

This is the portable train set from the kid area. I found it interesting.

Cathy Guisewite was the last writer we heard from. She was interviewed by Leah Garchik, who is an amazing writer on her own. I enjoyed it, but I had to move into the sun.

We started to head home. Mom had to stop for kettle corn. We got on Bart and made all of our train connections. We transferred at the mall, and stopped at the restroom where a “gentleman” decided that I needed to be told exactly what he’d like to do to me, which was not repeatable. He was Klassy. With a capital K. My response. “Thanks! Have you met my mom?” He was rather confused, but undeterred. It entertained me. Mom was a tad confused, but she should be used to me by now. We got into the train station, figuring he wouldn’t follow us because of security. He didn’t.

We got home safely. Without our Klassy friend.

I have books to add to my to be read (tbr) list. I’ll get to them one of these days.

Bay Area Book Festival 2019, day one

My cousin and I went to the book festival two or three years ago. I don’t remember why I didn’t make it last year, but I suspect that it had to do with my foot surgery.

My cousin and I decided to discuss the plan for the weekend ahead of time. It was too much to discuss by text, so we decided to go with the old fashioned phone call. So, the scheduling auction began. Can’t call before 3, since we’re working. Can’t call on Wednesday since there’s dress rehearsal after 6 pm and she’s busy earlier. Friday is the show, so that left Thursday at 4, but until 5:45 was ok. Great! Schedule it!

We had a loose plan. Sometimes we will be together, sometimes going to different talks and meeting up afterward. We decided to meet at the Bart station.

This morning, I was about to leave to catch the train when my daughter came downstairs and announced her intention to leave for the day. I asked her to drop me off at the station that was close to where she was going, to cut some time off my journey. She agreed, and I remembered the tickets at the last minute, and found my phone in my pocket after looking for it for ten minutes.

I got onto the train and didn’t realize that I was on the wrong line. I realized it two stops past where I was supposed to transfer. I got off the train and started to try to figure out where I’m headed. I am assuming I looked as confused as I was, since someone pointed to the stairs for me. I thanked him and told him where I was supposed to be. He told me which train I needed, which was a great help.

Train delays. Great. Only fifteen minutes late. We arrived at the festival in time to get our wristbands and we made it to the first planned talk. Unfortunately, my camera decided to not to take the photo of the author and interviewer. Kwame Onwuachi talked about his book and the struggles he’s faced as a young black chef. The book sounds interesting.

After the talk we decided to walk around and grabbed lunch before the next talk.

The second talk we heard was from an author who posed under cover as a prison guard in Louisiana. Shane Bauer talked about his experience and his book. I need to read American Prison. It’s on my library list now.

The third talk was Adam Hochschild. I hadn’t read any of his books, but my cousin was interested. We got there just as they ran out of seats. We got to hear him speak and I added his books to my library list.

We headed back early, since it was an exhausting day already. I found (this article) on the founding of the festival.

It was an uneventful ride home, other than I made progress on Daisy Jones and the Six. I got into pjs as soon as I got home. Another big day tomorrow.

Bay area book festival

On May 4 & 5, there is a book festival going on near me. I bought my tickets already. I am so excited. I went with my cousin a couple of years ago and loved it.  I will be looking over the schedule soon, to see which authors I would like to hear speak.  I was lucky enough to find some authors whose books I had read in the past.  I hope to be star struck again this year.