Tucson Festival of Books (cont.)

After a night’s rest (amaizingly, for only $50/night, the room was surprizingly clean), we were back for the second day of the Tucson Festival of Books. As with yesterday, there were only 5 tracks, or session times, but tens of dozens of talks and panels to choose from. This is probably the hardest part: choosing which 5 to sit in on.

We started out today listening to Cynthia Leitch Smith and S. D. Nelson discuss the challenges of writing and illustrating Native American children’s literature. At the end of the session, S. D. Nelson held a drawing to give away two prints of one of his works — I won one!! I’m not sure which one it is yet — he had already packed them in shipping tubes, and I’m afraid to take it out to look at it until we’re ready to frame it.

For session two, we attended Cynthia Leitsh Smith’s talk on monsters and magic: writing Gothic fantasy novels for teenagers. She provided insights on how she works; the process of creating and breathing life into her characters and stories.

From there, it was off to listen to Temple Grandon discuss how animals make us human.

For the fourth session, we sat in on Janni Lee Simner, Laurie Brooks, and Charles de Lint discuss the challenge of writing fantasy for teens. During this session, Az-Ang kept jumping between this talk and Larry Dane Brimner’s workshop going on across the hall.

There are about 30 minutes between each session that we’ve been using to get books signed, visit with writerly (and illustratively?) friends, and to catch other friends performing short talks and activities to/for teens, such as making Haiku Holders with Marge Pellegrino.

Ironically, after all the head scratching to decide which talks to attend, the last session doesn’t seem to have any talks or discussions we are dying to see, so we’ll probably visit a variety of tents where friends are scheduled to participating in various teen’s and children’s activities.

We skipped lunch today. I suspect we’ll grab an early dinner be for heading back up to Phoenix.

The festival began winding down just before 5pm. We chatted with a number of friends, and had a wonderful dinner with Janni Lee Simner and Larry Hammer before heading back to Phoenix. For much of the way home, Son#2 talked about all the fun he had and the notes he took durring various sessions.

I think it’s safe to say that we all thoroughly enjoyed the first annual Tucson Festival of Books!

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