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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.

I pretend I only know all the words to CALL ME, MAYBE because I have a ten year old daughter, but secretly, I like it.

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.

27 comments to DEE! BEE! EFF!

  • Proving to myself
    That after raising four boys
    Life begins anew

    Woohoo! I did it! Pretentious wins.

  • I would only write a haiku for you, so I went to Wiki to get specific instruction, and then read there was controversy over ons versus syllables so I gave up. What I will tell you, secretly, is that I like that song too. I horrify my kids.

  • ::raises hand:: another jepsen fan here, too.

    Mine is easy:
    Life is a string of
    tiny and adorable
    what the f*ck moments.

    And one for you:
    Writing books leads to
    high mental illness numbers.
    Where are my pink socks?

    (My secret would be that I love writing poetry even though I am SO BAD AT IT.)

  • I’ve done a six word story memoir! (Gad, that does sound pretentious…).Nonetheless I shall fling my pink socks into the ring for YOU, Joss!
    Older. (Forty threatens.) Wiser? Don’t know.

  • I don’t even know
    How to spell ‘pretensous’ right
    Guess I fail at this

  • jeanette in peculiar

    Childhood living hell
    Married and divorced dumb ass
    Finally found peace.

    And another to expand on the last line above…..

    My mailman was hot!
    Flirted shamelessly for months,
    Now we are married!

  • JMixx

    I hope this doesn’t come across as flip or pretentious. *deep breath*
    Here goes:

    A past sufferer
    May understand your burden
    Lighter borne by two.

  • I thought I knew me
    My journey took me elsewhere
    Now I am at peace

  • Here goes:

    Life with these children
    Is very, truly insane
    Where is my Xanax?

  • cakeburnette

    Chinese with a drawl
    I love being a Southerner
    And reading your books.

    So this is not really a haiku about my entire life, but it hits some high points and fits the syllabic scheme. And it’s horrible because poetry is not my thing.

  • Punk rock wannabe
    Turned mom of special-needs kid
    I need therapy

  • Wow, a haiku to sum up my life? I’ll bite!

    Work work work work work
    Work work eat work work work work
    Work work work work… sleep?

    Oh wait, was that flip? Huh. It’s very, very much my reality this week!

    Guess I ought to go pretentious next so I can say I’ve hit them both:

    Aiming to meet this
    Hard world with steadfast kindness,
    Sometimes she managed.

  • Jill W.

    Law sucks at my life
    Wish I could be creative
    …wait, Joss likes a song???

  • Growing up southern
    The same lessons taught daily
    Be sweet. Nice matters.

  • Jessica (the celt)

    I never end up
    Where I truly wish to be;
    Even now I wait.

  • FLIP:
    Three Fs: fat, female
    Forty – What does it all mean?
    Incontinence sucks

    Fourteen year old girl
    Said I was fat and I bit
    Kept biting, now am

    Cat piss on my bed
    Damn it I just cleaned the box
    Lucky you’re so cute

    Guess I have dual themes of weight and urine, with an overarching theme of Too Much Information.

  • Kati

    I’m using haikus this year with my honors chemistry students as a way to get them to succinctly summarize their lab results. It’s working surprisingly well.

    I have no idea if my personal haiku is pretentious, but it’s certainly true:

    Teach, kids, hubs, grade, food,
    Sports, laundry, clean, crisis!, hug.
    Sleep’s not on the list.

  • Andria

    You want a bad haiku? You have sung the song of my people!
    (or at least me, which is close enough)

    Geeky, silly girl
    Southern by the Grace of God
    I flail through my life

  • DebR

    I can write a haiku (I WON your haiku contest for Between, Georgia – yay!).
    I cannot write a haiku about myself without being flip, pretentious, or both.
    But anyway, here’s a stab at how my life feels at the moment….

    Answer phones all day.
    Avoid stupid phone at night.
    Cat butler, always.

  • I am somehow NOT SURPRISED that Joss’s readers are super funny with these. I found myself laughing at all of these!

  • Jennifer Kepesh

    I think your haiku for them should have been:

    No, no, no, no, no
    No, no, no, no, no, no, no
    No, no, no, no, no

    (Which I stole from a pinterest-posted card about waking up.)

  • i like the one that’s
    about the mailman and her
    finding love at last.

  • Many mistakes but
    I have it pretty good now.
    Dance keeps crazy gone

  • sausage factory
    unhygienic, not free range
    yet oh so tasty

  • there’s no referee
    in the game called it’s-my-life
    seasons come and go

  • I am at the beach
    today it’s real, tomorrow
    it’s all in my head

  • I love these! I can’t believe I almost missed this one …

    I am at the beach
    today it’s real, tomorrow
    it’s all in my head