Monday, April 28, 2008

2008 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at UCLA

Thanks to everyone who's been asking about the mac. I can happily say that Apple was exceptional in their service and replaced the misbehaving mac with a new unit. A unit that could connect to our network properly on the first go and has been running super smoothly.

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.

So... photos!

My last trip to the UCLA campus was probably ten years ago, and all I saw was the bookstore. It's a massive campus, with truly beautiful brick buildings and lots of leafy green. (This is good, it makes the bricks look redder and the leaves look greener.) Established in 1912—oh, sorry, didn't mean to go off on a building squee. The white tents are booths. It was very hot out. (Yes, I did wear sunscreen. SPF 45. Still have a flip-flop tan line.)

Here's where we all sat to have some lunch. I took this to give you an idea of the sheer mass of people that were there.

Those two photos were taken about 30 seconds apart.... and mostly as a reaction to "OMG, snow cones?!" The direction signs are temporary for the Festival—normally there's no directional signs. (I guess this helps develop life skills somehow.)


Rachel said...

Boy was it hot. And thanks for reminding me. I need to send David a thank you.

Karen Mahoney said...

Great post, Chandra. I just wish your photos actually included one or two of *you* occasionally. ;P

BookInTheOven said...

Sounds like an awesome event! Great photos.