TUCSON, AZ.–Not all that often does One submit an away-from-home blog, but that’s what One is doing today.

My sister Janet, her significant other, and I spent the day recovering from what I have christened the Book Slut Weekend (BSW). In normal parlance, this weekend is known as the Tucson Festival of Books. Janet and Patrick became snowbirds this year, and have been in Tucson since September 2013. Between hiking, exploring the area, and researching petroglyph sites, they are avid readers. They learned early on about BSW, and even before “The Difficult Sister” print version was released, I knew about the festival.

I applied in early December, and in January was invited to participate. My part was small–occupy half a table in the Central Author Pavilion on Sunday morning for a couple of hours and sell my wares. But it was so much more than that.

For me it was a case of “So many authors, so little time….” I found myself racing all over the University of Arizona campus trying to find where I was supposed to be, but with mostly good result. Forget trying to see Rebecca Eaton or the Opening salvos fired by J.A. Jance and two other notables. People stood in line for over an hour to attend some of these presentations. I found happiness attending a presentation on Unconventional Sleuths starring Bryan GruleyMike Lawson, and Susan Shea (http://www.susancshea.com). I’ve read Bryan Gruley and love his work; the other two were new to me, so much the better! And the session was hosted by William Kent Krueger, whose “Ordinary Grace” is a finalist for the Edgar Award.

There were sessions with Deborah Crombie, G.M. Malliet, and Jenn McKinlay talking about their novels set in England; Nina Burleigh who moved her family to Italy to sort out the Amanda Knox case and write a book about it (“The Fatal Gift of Beauty”); Betty Webb,  a former journalist who’s written 12 novels based on real events; Craig Johnson, Anne Perry, and Richard Russo, who discussed Charles Dickens’s influence on their writing. Add in a circus for kids, Native American flute and hoop dancing performances, a Young Adult Readers tent, and hands-on science exhibits for kids. More than 120,000 people cruised the festival over the weekend, many of them families.

And in the middle of it, little old me peddling books.

In its sixth year, the Tucson Festival of Books is a non-profit effort to fund literacy programs in the Tucson area–what with the state firing librarians and cutting school funds and like. It runs like a well-oiled machine. Janet and Pat are planning to volunteer next year. And I’m coming home fired up and hoping to attend BSW next year.

 

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2 Response Comments

  • Dale T. Schraufnagel  March 18, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    Sounds like you had a great time and learned a lot also.
    I was not aware of the Tucson Festival of Books. Seems like it is a real interesting group of people.
    All My Best to You and Janet.
    Dale
    P.S. Right now I’m still teaching a few English classes at the Univ. here in Costa Rica. I also started and teach an English program for Accountants who have clients in over 100 countries.

    • Judy Nedry  April 10, 2014 at 11:53 am

      Hi Dale,

      Thanks for checking in. I had a great time in Tucson. Janet and Patrick are doing so well. They’ll be back in early May, and live fairly close to me in Portland so we get to see a lot of each other.

      Glad you are still having fun teaching. I work part-time and am working on my third novel, plus a possible memoir. Guess we will have a big NHS reunion coming up in a couple of years. Any chance you’ll make a trip up this way any time soon?

      Best, Judy