Monday, October 25, 2010

Boston Book Festival and National Novel Writing Month

It took me a week, but at last there is time to share my experience attending the very worthwhile, and fun, 2nd annual (free and open to the public) Boston Book Festival. Choosing which BBF event to attend was difficult, there were so many that were tempting.  I picked three: True Story: The Art of Non-Fiction; My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me; and It Books: YA Authors Discuss What's Hot.  I was rewarded with entertaining, and enlightening, windows into the writing process, and the quirkiness of authors; their worries and success. Here (in no particular order) are a few highlights and ideas from the events I attended:
It is an essential exercise for any writer to be able to say what his/her book is about, while generating interest in reading the book, on nothing larger than a 2 inch square paper (or in a 140 character tweet), even if the novel is about the history of the sun or Being WrongKristin Cashore writes all her books using a pen (and sometimes pencil because then she doesn't have to press as hard) and notebooks (which she numbers), and then she uses word recognition software to put them in electronic format (oh, and she hides from the mailman);  do we really only want perfect (seeming) (and consequently bland) people serving us in the world of politics and law? or do we need, and can we tolerate flawed risk takers?;  fairy tales are mini-myths;  Kathryn Lasky is writing a new series about wolves that takes place in the same world as the Guardians of Ga'Hoole;  Francisco Stork (a personal favorite) goes to bookstores in June to see what is on the summer reading table, and he hopes to one day find one of his books among the chosen;  Noni Carter, a 19 year old at Harvard, just published her first book, Good Fortune.

Which brings me to the second part of this post: National Novel Writing Month (nanowrimo) starts November 1.  The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel by midnight November 30.  Teens are welcome to participate in all of the nanowrimo write-in sessions scheduled on Saturdays here at the Library.  Come when you can, leave when you like, snack, socialize, and boost your word count.  You can sign up in the Young Writer's Program of the National Novel Writing website, and set your own word count goal.  Sarah Lauderdale, our Reference Librarian, is organizing and running the nanowrimo write-ins here.  Stop by the Reference desk or call her at 978-468-5577 x19, if you want more information.

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