Monday, October 18, 2010

Texas Book Festival weekend, 2010

I had a fantastic weekend at the Texas Book Festival. On Friday evening, I attended the coolest party with the coolest people -- authors and illustrators from all over the country. The party was hosted at the home of literary director Clay Smith. I hung out mostly with local austin writers, but I also rubbed elbows with the likes of Peter Brown, David Weisner, Tony DiTerlizzi. I also got to meet Duncan Tonatiuh, a relative new-comer to the children's literature scene, but a shooting star none the less.

On Saturday morning, I had the honor of introducing author Phillip Hoose, National Book Award winner for CLAUDETTE COVIN: TWICE TOWARDS JUSTICE. Phil's presentation was informative, and his passion for the subject lit the dark senate chambers like a light tower. Towards the end of the session, when a photo of an elderly Claudette was displayed, I even felt a bit choked up. This woman played a major part in desegregating the Montgomery, Alabama bus system -- and therefore elevating civil rights for Blacks in this country as a whole. Heck, she started it all, refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger months before Rosa Parks. But Claudette was shunned by history -- likely because she didn't have the right hair, the right background, the right look. And because she got pregnant as a teen. I'm happy this woman is finally getting her story told and taking her due place in history.

Saturday evening, my wife and I attended a cocktail party for Texas Book Festival authors and moderators. It was on the 32nd floor of the Four Seasons hotel. Very classy. Very posh. Somehow all that ritz made us forget how poor we really are -- we were literally lulled into thinking we could dine at a thirty-seven dollar a bowl gumbo restaurant. But the realization of how empty our bank accounts really were sent us fleeing from the restaurant before the waiter could take our water order.

On Sunday, I hung out with a few of my SCBWI writing friends. We gathered together to watch Chris Barton read his book SHARK VS. TRAIN. I also took in Duncan Tonatiuh (DEAR PRIMO: A LETTER TO MY COUSIN), and Cynthia Leitich Smith (HOLLER LOUDLY).

In the afternoon, I attended a very interesting and scholarly discussion with author-historian Neil Foley. He discussed his book, QUEST FOR EQUALITY, which deals with civil rights and race relations between whites, Blacks and Mexicans in Texas and California. Very enlightening.

I ended the day with sessions given by Tony DiTerlizzi and M.T Anderson. I’m jazzed now, but I’m also a bit behind. Time to catch up on my own literary projects.

More pics on my Facebook album.

Photos taken by my wife, and authors Jo Whittemore and Jeanette Larson.

1 comment:

Friar Tuck said...

Watched book tv and saw the texas book festival. Always a lot of really interesting writers out there!