La-la-la Lovely Times at the L.A. Times Festival of Books (But, Oh My Aching Back!)

Today was a full day!

I spent a tremendous amount of time enjoying the annual L.A. Times Festival of Books, where authors, writers (veteran and novice), and their readers collide. My tired legs and back hurt from walking through each section (gleefully, I must add) and carrying new additions to my large home library. I surveyed many booths and I wished I could buy from everyone. But, my budget was tight (I gave myself a small amount to avoid overspending.); so, I had to pace myself. I purchased two books for myself ($8 each – great deals for quality paperbacks!) and two for my sons. In addition, I received free books and magazines!!!  Furthermore, I won a t-shirt (Mozart’s The Magic Flute) from another booth that was running a contest for free L.A. opera tickets. I met great deals all around.

The festival,  not only had shopping opportunities, but it had great conversation panels to choose. I picked two panels. The first regarded “finding truth in fiction”. The panelists were Janet Flitch (White Oleander), Mark Jonathan Harris (Oscar-winning documentarian), Dana Johnson (Elsewhere, CA – a new addition on my reading list), and Leo Beundy (author). They all shared their truths and their approaches to doing so in their writing. I envisioned myself as an included panelist, laughing and sharing astute knowledge. One day I promise! Whereas, the other focused on music, community, and politics. The panelists included Shana Hammond, Ron McCurdy, and Josh Kun. (There was one more panelist and I hate that I forgot his name.) They shared their musical backgrounds and how it crafted their writings. All the panelists from both groups are USC professors. How can I get that gig? Even if it is basic writing composition, I’ll teach it.

Overall, I had a great time, learning and taking in the entire vibe of the festival, which was awesome (I refuse to say amazing. It’s a festival, not a child’s birth.). I have plenty to read and remember from this year. The only downfall was the enormous lines at the food trucks. Invite more of them or USC eeds them to work faster. There were two trucks that interested me – a grilled cheese sandwich one and a crêpe one.  Unfortunately, the long lines (Picture old-school college registration before telephone or online registration) deterred me, and I settled for french fries, which I enjoyed. Compare them to a great grilled cheese sandwich or crêpe, and it comes third. 

The festival continues tomorrow. Alas, I don’t have the funds nor the time to schlep on down for another day. Thus, I must wait another year. Patience is a virtue. (If you’re ever in Los Angeles in mid-April, give it a try! Just make sure you bring a backpack/tote bags and water bottles.)

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