I would have posted earlier, but this weekend was a little hectic. It was Rachel O's birthday on Saturday, and Sunday we went to the Los Angeles Times' Festival of Books. It's considered to be the country's largest celebration of the written word—last year over 140,000 people passed through the UCLA campus. Not bad for a city most consider to be a literary wasteland. (There was a book club called 'No One Reads in LA.' Seriously.)
Rachel and I were given a ride to the campus by David, a very kind guy and fellow member of the Mid-Wilshire Writer's group, where Rachel went to attend a panel on Horror and Sci Fi. David and I went to an on-campus coffee/cafeteria place, where we ran into Allene, a mentor who attends group meetings.
After parting ways with David, Rachel and I met up with our friend Liz so we could attend the magic realism panel. If you've ever wondered "what could an in person writing group possibly do for me?" The answer is, at the bare minimum, it helps foster social contact outside of your crazy writer brain. Sometimes it's nice to talk to "real" people, too. *g*
The magic realism panel was interesting. The panel members were engaging and thoughtful, and they didn't take themselves too seriously, which is always the mark of a good panel.
Liz and I attended a contemporary fiction YA panel afterwards, and it was the highlight of the day for me. Jay Asher has sold me completely on THIRTEEN REASONS WHY without me ever having read the book. It was an amazing treat to get to hear him and Robin Benway read from his debut novel. (I completely understand why Melissa Marr keeps blogging about the book.)
We also went to a 'graphic novel' panel...which was a bit of a dud. Perhaps the heat had something to do with it, but we left early and headed home.