I have to blog right away about this weekend before I forget all of the details of why it was awesome.
First, I want to begin by including this video of Wil Wheaton talking about embracing your own nerdiness.
Well, writing, reading, authors, literacy, and the written word. Those things make my inner nerd squee.
This weekend was the National Book Festival that was put on by the Library of Congress. The festival used to only be one day, but now it is a two-day affair, which means, I spent two days on the Washington Mall listening to authors speak, collecting free books, bookmarks, and other paraphernalia pertaining to writing, reading, libraries, and the written word. As an aspiring writer myself, I was in total nerdvana.
The book festival is an amazing, and free, event.
I went to Poetry Outloud and listened to young high school students recite poetry, out loud of course. Then I saw Margaret Atwood, Taylor Branch, the editor of the Washington Post’s food section, Bonnie Benwick. And that was just yesterday.
Today my friend Lisa and I arrived early and decided we would camp out in the Fiction tent all day. She wanted to see Khaled Hosseini, (author of The Kite Runner), who was speaking at the end of the day. We wanted to get there early so that we could get good seats and just camp our butts there all day, which we did. The strategy paid off too, because we were in the first row.
As a result, I got to see Terry McMillan (author of How Stella Got Her Groove Back and Waiting To Exhale), Christopher Buckley, Adam Johnson, Roxana Robinson, Mark Halperin, and of course, Khaled Hosseini.
I took some fantastic pictures on my iPhone. As an aside, I have to say, I’m not overly impressed with the iPhone 5′s battery, which died on me both days. I tried to be conservative about how much I used it. I only tweeted one picture of each of the authors today and tried to keep my phone off as much as possible, but it still drained very quickly. Inconvenient to say the least.
From a writer’s perspective, I was in total nerd heaven. I was able to listen to several prominent authors talk about their creative process in how they develop their stories and decide what is important. This is like, Inside The Actor’s Studio for writers. They just share all of this with us for free. (OK, seriously, they are there to peddle their latest wares, also, but so what! It’s still amazing!)
From a former fat-girl’s perspective…I do not even know where to begin!
I went to the book fest about three years ago I think. I went with my brother and his wife. I was so sick. Between my asthma, inability to walk, severe back pain, this event was just a nightmare. I had such a hard time getting around, and standing around was equally as impossible.
This weekend, I walked miles and miles. My friend Lisa drove us into the city and parked at her office, which is about a mile from the Mall. Then, we walked all over the festival and then back to her car. We did that both days. Also, today, we met up with friends from our writer’s group and walked to Starbucks after and then back to her car. It was not very far out of the way, but just a year ago, I could not have done any of this.
I also met up with a former co-worker of mine who I have not seen in more than two years. Reggie is just the sweetest guy, and although we keep in touch on Facebook, etc, it’s just not the same as seeing and speaking with him in person. He has followed my weight loss journey via Facebook and this blog, but he still could not get over how different I looked from the last time he saw me. It was so nice to see the joy on his face and have him tell me how great I looked. I love that my journey has made the people I care about as happy as it has made me. I know they want me to be happy and healthy, they are thrilled to see me doing well. I love to see that reflected in their eyes.
I hope you all find a way to satisfy your inner nerds. In the meantime, enjoy these pictures from the bookfest!