Celebrating spring, writerly style

It took a while, but I finished a draft of a novel! Woot! While it rests–and I gather courage to show it to readers–I am taking advantage of book and literary festivals happening here in New Orleans. Because all writing and no reading makes for a dull me!

Festival poster by Alex Beard

I recently enjoyed the New Orleans Book Festival at Tulane, where I attended panels on Imagineering at Disney (with Oscar-nominated documentarian and author Leslie Iwerks), Humor in the South (with Roy Blount Jr., Jill Conner Browne of Sweet Potato Queens fame, and Mike Strecker), and new books about cocktails, including “zero-proof” cocktails that are just as fancy as their boozy counterparts. I also visited the Family Tent, where I got to say hello to Marti Dumas after she read to a rapt group of kids.

I picked up some fun swag (a tote full of free books from Scholastic!) and a couple books I’m excited to read: A Thousand Pieces of You, a sci-fi romance by Claudia Gray, and The Yellow House, a National Book Award-winning memoir/history of a part of New Orleans by Sarah M. Broom. Both authors presented at the fest, but I wasn’t able to attend their panels. Too much good stuff going on!

This coming weekend is the Tennessee Williams & New Orleans Literary Festival AND the Saints + Sinners Literary Festival with even more panels, workshops, literary tours, music and theater.

I won’t be able to catch everything, but I’ve got my eye on the New Orleans Writing Marathon, where writers scribble in cafes and pubs and galleries; craft sessions with Maurice Carlos Ruffin and Tom Piazza; a Historic Storyville Walking Tour; and so much more. It’ll be hard to limit myself, especially if I get a Literary Discussion day pass… we’ll see what ends up happening! No matter what, I look forward to an inspiring weekend before I begin my next project.