OH YAY! OH YAY! It is ALMOST here, my favorite literary weekend of the year. Inadvertent rhyme! I fear, that this is becoming a poem. Oh dear.
GAH! STOPPIT! You will see later at the end of this entry why I had to stop.
Okay so, here is where you can find me at the DBF and surrounding events this weekend:
Friday I am teaching part of a workshop at SCAD, deets are http://www.scad.edu/experience/events/index.cfm?eventID=15271.
Then on Saturday I am downtown, and a link to my schedule is HERE. Or just let your eyes travel down a line.
The Christ-Haunted South, Saturday, 10:00 at The Old Courthouse
A Grown up Kind of Pretty , Saturday, 4:15 at Decatur Presbyterian Sanctuary Stage
I also will ABSOLUTELY be at A Different Kind of Love Story, Saturday, 1:45 at City Hall Stage, both to hear the amazing Lydia Netzer and to familiarize myself with the work of an author I have heard really GREAT stuff about, Lisa Zeidner:
In Honor of all this Bookfesty goodness, I am posting the 10Q I did with the South Dakota Fest (I am going there NEXT month, yay!) I am putting the 10Q here because I can’t link to it on their Facebook page because FACEBOOK is crazy and SO SO dumb sometimes.
Book featured at this year’s Festival:
1. Have you ever presented at the South Dakota Festival of Books before? If so, tell us your favorite memory. If not, tell us what you are expecting and why you signed on.
Nope. The Silly Reason: I want to hit all fifty states before I die. Growing up military, quite a few got checked off my list, and book tours have helped. But I’ve never been to or even through either Dakota. I’m excited.
The Serious Reason: To meet readers. I love hanging out with people who have read my books. Picture me as Big Bird, flying to South Dakota (on a plane, obviously, those yellow wings are useless) because some folks there have hung out with Mr. Snuffleupagus, and talked with him, and formed their own opinions of him. It’s a crazy juxtaposition, both humbling and thrilling.
2. What is the earliest memory you have of books and/or reading?
My mother’s voice. She read aloud to me all the time. We moved a lot, as I said, and she is the kind of woman who would find our new city’s library before she found a Piggley-Wiggley.
3. Who is currently your favorite novelist (besides yourself! ) and why?
It is hard to say ONE. Hrm. Lydia Netzer. Shine Shine Shine is the freshest, most original book I’ve read in a decade.
4. If you have to give one piece of succinct advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
Read everything you can get your hands on, then answer back.
5. Tell us one fact about yourself that nobody knows.
6. What was the greatest moment of your literary career?
The moments when the writing is working. Writing, when it goes well, is crazy-pleasurable. Alas, most of the time, it doesn’t go well. I have to foam and flop and weep and yell and stomp around a lot of times. I grind away, hoping to find that place where I am cackling and hopeful, deep inside my own imaginary landscape, somehow transferring it down onto a page.
7. Describe the feeling you had when you first held a finished, published copy of a book you had written.
I wanted to literally eat it. I wanted to put the physical manifestation of the inside that had somehow gotten outside back in the box. At the same time, I wanted everyone on all the earth to read it.
8. What is the best movie adaptation of a book you have ever seen? The worst?
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is a very good adaptation. SLAUGHTERHOUSE 5 is good, too. What was done to HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS is repulsive.
9. Write a haiku that describes you as a writer.
Oh Lord, you must absolve me! I am not introspective, and worse, I am a terrible poet. I actually get a grant from the state of Georgia to NOT write poetry.
In my current novel, one of the characters is a poet. He began talking in my head when I heard the poet Robin Behn read aloud. I bought the rights to the poem that caused Walcott to start talking in my head, and in the novel, it is presented as his work; I couldn’t write his poems.
Behn is of course fully credited. The whole of the poem will be in the Reading Group Guide with an essay about how the character grew as a response to Behn’s work. This is exactly the kind of thing I do as a writer, to describe myself un-haiku-ically. I have invented characters and written whole books in response to art quilts, in response to paintings, in response to other stories. So if I could write a Haiku, it would have the word “conversation” in it, even though conversation takes up 4/5ths of line 1..
Actually attempting to write a haiku would take me several nerve-wracked, failure-soaked hours. Should I manage it, which is doubtful, it would be flippant or pretentious or worse, both, and a purely terrible poem on top of that.
10. What is the strangest question you have ever been asked related to your career as an author or your writings?
“Will you sign my boob?”
My ONE-Q for you is this — can you SUM UP YOUR LIFE in a haiku without being flip or pretentious? If yes, I DARE YOU TO DO IT. If no, then go ahead and do it anyway, being FLIP or PRETENTIOUS with mad abandon. If enough of you do it, I will stop being such a stick-in-butt-uptight object and perpetrate a haiku WITH you. Somehow it’s easier to make a flip or pretentious ass of oneself if one’s best beloveds do it WITH one.