Thursday, January 18, 2007

can't wait, can't wait, can't wait...

The Northern Arizona Book Festival is coming up. I'm so glad they've changed it to April. For the first several years it was held in January, which is an irksome time to be walking from event to event in downtown Flagstaff because the streets are sometimes a windy, snowy, slippery outdoor skating rink at this time of year.

Let's year I went to the festival hugely pregnant and met up with my former office mate from NAU grad school days. Tammy's first excellent novel, Breathing Water, had just been published, and it wasn't pregnancy nausea making me green. That was also the festival at which I met a well-respected agent who requested that I send her the manuscript I'd recently finished polishing. Even though she ultimately rejected it (can totally understand why when I re-read the thing now), it felt like an important step at the time. Then there was the year when Anne Lamott came to read (to a packed house at the old Orpheum theater), and I was so happy to see a fellow Marinite in Flagstaff that, afterward (I hesitate to even admit this), I went up and gave her this HUGE groupie hug. (My enthusiasm was dampened somewhat when, as we chatted, I mentioned that I was born and raised in Marin but had lived in Flag for several years. She looked sort of disgusted and, in the most stereotypically elitist tone possible, said simply, "Why?") Two years ago, when I last attended the Bookfest, Annie Proulx was the big featured speaker. It was right around the time Brokeback Mountain was released in theaters, so you'd think she'd be all rarin' to go, but she looked pretty worn out and unhappy when I saw her.

Is it the altitude? C'mon, people, Flagstaff rocks! Fortunately, most Bookfest authors seem to realize this and are super enthusiasic. This year I hope to apply some of my own regional enthusiam to volunteering, so we'll see if they can utilize my talents despite my funky hours of availability. Having been a school board secretary for a few years, I am ALL OVER the whole collating/stapling/mailing thing.


  1. I am so excited for you! I see that Lemony Snicket will be there, too. He(?) would interest me. If you need any kind of help, like the kids, then let me know. I hope they are smart enough to let you do lots there. Someday you will be featured there and then I will be VERY interested in going!!

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  3. See what kinds of friends I have? Your confidence in me is heartening, April. Let's hope the big boy publishers in NYC pick up on it, too. :-)

    Lemony Snicket came to Book Passage in Corte Madera a couple of months ago when we were still in Marin. We didn't go, though, since the boy hasn't yet read any of his books. He's too into Captain Underpants and the Pirates of the Caribbean movie novel at the moment. Hey, anything remotely related to Orlando Bloom = fine with me. (When the boy is watching one of the LOTRs he doesn't even have to ask who my favorite character is anymore: "It's Legolas, isn't it, Mom.") But I digress.