Saturday, October 27, 2007

Gail Leaves The Office, Part I

I would have said "Gail Leaves The Cellar," because that's where my office is but office sounds less creepy.

So I made it to the Rabbit Hill Festival of Literature even though my GPS tried to get me to leave the highway 10 exits early. I was too wily for it.

An over all impression: The last time I went to the Rabbit Hill Festival was probably five years ago. At that time, the audience was made up primarily of women of a certain age. This time I saw younger women, men, younger men, and kids. According to one of the speakers for the event, they had entire families sign up to attend.

I was impressed.

The lack of graphics for this post: I wussed out and didn't take pictures. I mean, photographs of well-known authors standing at a podium wouldn't be anything you hadn't seen before, and candids of them drinking coffee (I almost took one of Jeanne DuPrau doing that) fall into that creepy sphere I'm trying so hard to avoid. So use your imagination.

Speaking of Jeanne DuPrau: I actually went up and spoke to her during the break because I had something fannish to say that made a good excuse to bother her. I told her about a family member who was a big fan of The City of Ember on CD because he's a civil engineer and loved the breakdown of the underground infrastructure. I was trying to think of a way to tell her that he'd really like her to do a book about how the city was built, when she told me that she gets a lot of e-mails and letters asking her to do a book about how the city got there. She appears to have a techie fan following.

Then she looked at my nametag and said, "Do I know you?" I thought, Uh-oh. She found out I wasn't crazy for The Prophet of Yonwood. So I'm standing there going, "Aaaaaah...." Then she said, "Are you on the child_lit listserv?" "Yes! Yes! That's it!"

Andrea Davis Pinkney: Andrea Davis Pinkney started her talk with an exercise she says she uses before she starts writing. You have to place your feet on the floor, straighten your back, close your eyes, and search for the light that is within each person. (Search for your own, not someone else's.) Then after you find the light, let it transport you to your imagined world (meaning the imagined world you're writing about.)

I am sure many of you are thinking, Oh, Gail's going to have a zinger for this. Not at all. I can get into exercises like this, and I got into this one. My light took me directly to the house in Vermont where I left the Durand cousins yesterday while they were dealing with the red-haired man. Here's the thing, though--it was a big, white explosive kind of light that hit me full in the body and blew me to the house. Very out of control. Not at all conducive to watching a scene.

Whoops. There I go. Getting into the creepy sphere again.

I will try this exercise again on Monday. Oh, who am I kidding. I'll have forgotten about it by then.

Neal Shusterman: Shusterman's morning presentation was a lesson in why it pays to be witty and charming and present yourself well. I, personally, had mixed feelings about his book The Schwa Was Here and haven't read anything of his since. But after being charmed by his witty presentation, I almost certainly will.

I will have to give the rest of the details of my day tomorrow. I had to be nice for many, many hours today. It was a whole lot like work, and I'm exhausted. Plus, I really want to wring a couple of posts out of this event.


Miriam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gail Gauthier said...

That is a definite reason to give the guy's work another chance. If anyone has a chance to see Shuterman in person, he really is very engaging.

Miriam said...

Gail, Shusterman's Dread Locks (Dreadlocks?) was a fun read. And my teens eat up The Dark Side of Nowhere. I love to booktalk that one. I still haven't read Full Tilt, but the kids really like that one, too. It didn't win the Nutmeg Award, but it did very well in the voting.

(Edited to delete something I probably shouldn't have said.)

Gail Gauthier said...

Darn. I can't remember what it was.