Monday, September 26, 2016

A Bookish Weekend

Friday night I managed to locate a banned book hidden in the city.  (If by hidden we understand we mean placed face out on a bookshelf in the Reading Room at the Petworth Citizen.) So I felt that was a good omen for the bookish weekend ahead.  
Saturday was the National Book Festival.  Kwame Alexander brought musical accompaniment that he used while talking abut wanted to write a story about a kid who didn't like words until he met a cool librarian. 
Meg Medina talked about her memories of growing up during the Son of Sam summer, and how she realized that pervasive worry would be applicable to today's kids who deal with shooter drills.  Shannon Hale talked about her inspiration for the Princess in Black series, the idea of an unlikely superhero.  She also brought kids on stage to create their own unlikely superheroes.  And kids, I would read the tales of Ultimate Fishie.  Call me.  
Gene Luen Yang spoke with NPR Books' Petra Mayer about getting the call about the genius grant (in his car, about to go to Panera) and that with the New Superman series, he wanted to mimic early Clark Kent's journey from being a bully who misused his superstrength, to the stand up guy we think of today.  
Representative John Lewis talked about raising chickens, and how he felt a little bad now about swapping out the eggs the hens were sitting on.  He may also have commented on chickens being better listeners and more productive than some Congress people. Andrew Aydin talked about going from having Hill staffers make fun of his love of comics, to being a co-author of a graphic novel with Lewis.  He also said his mother had always advised him to stay clean shaven, but given the growing anti-Muslim sentiment, he had grown a beard to try and make use of his position of privilege as a known safe person. 
The Books to Movies panel had the Washington Post's Monica Hesse interviewing Patrick Ness, Katherine Paterson, and David L. Paterson.  Ness wrote A Monster Calls on spec (ie, with no other funding and such in place).  He and David talked about the process of encapsulating a book into a movie, that the script is going to be much shorter, so you have to figure out where to cut, and where you can have the visuals do a lot of the work.  we saw clips of each, and rumors that I teared up are just that, rumors. 
Then I went to the Poetry Slam.  They had brought six teens from across the country to compete and we weren't given their team affiliations until the end, but those Indiana teens brought it. They were asked to use a books or reading theme. Some went very specific, some went very personal, and the crowd was great too.  They covered things street harassment, teacher expectations, parents who didn't understand their educational drive, LGBTQ rights, heartbreak, and we had been advised that snapping while a poet was on was a method we could use that shouldn't break their flow, and my snapping fingers were sore at the end.  
Sunday, I went to the final day of the Baltimore Book Festival.  
I hung out primarily at the Maryland Romance Writers tent and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers tent.  I confess my ability to track names and such had deteriorated a bit, but I caught some discussions about historical romance, paranormal romance, sci-fi heroines, and romance tropes. The Baltimore Book Fest is right along the Harbor and there's a variety of food, so it was a great end to the weekend.