I have quite a bit of blog catch up to do. I have a bit of time to do that today, not a lot but a little. On a side vent, iTunes Genius is one of the most inconvenient convenient things ever. It takes for-bloody-ever and it does so little. I just saw today that you can stop it. My computer is happier for that.
There is a pretty good schedule of blogs coming up! Have the comic review tomorrow, another one later this week, the wrap up from the Festival of Books…
Oh wait, that’s today!
The LA Times Festival of Books is a great two day event. Up until Ron Morrisette told me about the job I had never heard of it. Apparently I have had my head in the sand for fourteen years! Taking place on the UCLA campus it is a celebration of the written word in all of it’s forms. It’s like the ComiCon of the literary world – pretty overwhelming when you don’t know what you’re in for. I can’t speak on a lot of the event because I had to stage near the Etc. Stage, but I got to wander a bit and, I swear, that whole campus was covered in booths with people seeling all kinds of books and every author under the sun signing their books. There were panels, reading, and plenty of celebrities shilling their new tales – and I heard about how much ghost writing goes on behind the scenes. I learned a lot.
On the Etc. Stage specifically we put on a really good show. We were in direct line with all the traffic coming and going so just about everybody had to pass by us at least once a day. There were a lot of acts:
– We started Saturday with an interveiw of Ingrid Law, author of “Savvy.”
– Then the dancing started with The Susie Hansen Latin Band!
– Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul & Mary was next. He was there to perform a few children’s songs and sign copies of his children’s books. This is worth a bit of time to tell a story. I met Mr. Yarrow by the sound booth as Susie was finishing her set. He asked me to deliver a very specific intro, which was no problem. The way the day worked we had 10-15 minutes between each act to set-up and do sound checks. We got to his set-up time and I was waiting for the “all clear” signal to do his introduction, when he suddenly decided to just start. No sound check, no intro, just BANG! Then he went over by almost 15 minutes! Folk singers, they are nothing but hell raisers! It was funny, but he was also THE most popular act we had on that stage for both days. Very kind, he made sure that he signed everyone’s books and was very nice to everyone. That was nice to see.
– The Andrew Bently Band was next with some solid retro alt rock.
– Then there was a reading from “Land of a Thousand Dances” by Tom Waldman & David Reyes with a performance by Lysa Flores.
– WriteGirl, a mentoring program designed to help girls develop their creative writing, was after that.
– And we finished up the day with a panel by BOOM! Studios. They make comic books. Mark Waid was on the panel. I totally geeked out on him. It was slightly embarrassing.
– Lady Danville opened us up and they were AMAZING! Great guys, great music. I ended helping them sell merch, cuz they didn’t have anyone to do it, and they sold out. It was awesome.
– Then Culture Clash, yes the same one’s from the TV show, did a reading from some of their new plays. Funny and insightful.
– Courtenay Green was next with her band – which included a glockenspiel and a tuba! Most of my pictures in this blog are from that performance because Rene was there for that and had her camera.
– 826LA, a writing program for kids, did a reading next.
– Dime Stories, stories three minutes in length read by their original authors, was next. This caused a bit of controversy because we were a VERY public stage and some of the stories – all of which were quite good – contained less than child safe language. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard a middle-aged woman shout “FUCK!” into a microphone that broadcasts to a whole campus. We got some compalints. Still, the stories were really good and two of my favorites were, wait there were really three that I’d like to mention, one where a dad was “laying off” his youngest daughter because of the economy, one where a guy woke-up in the middle of the night to find out that all the dogs in his neighborhood used his back yard for cocktail parties where they drank cocktails, danced, and discussed important issues in dog language. I really liked that story. The other story I wanted to mention was written as a letter to her sister and explained that their grandmother hadn’t disappeared all those years ago, but that she had stumbled onto a fountain of youth. It was touching and clever.
– Then the day ended with UCLA’s own Awaken A Capella. Go to Spring Sign next time and check them out.
I really feel like my Twitters and mobile blog kind of covered a lot of what I wanted to talk about so I think I’m going to cut it short here. I hope I get the opportunity to do this again next year. I almost felt bad getting paid to have as much fun as I did!
See you tomorrow!