Tameka and I showed up nice and early on Saturday for John Green's panel. He was being interviewed by Lev Grossman and the two talked about The Fault in our Stars, Nerdfighteria, and writing in general. It was an awesome hour, of course.
Lev and John
This is my third time seeing John Green in person. I'm a HUGE fan of his writing, his videos, and what I know of him as a human being. (He could kick puppies for all I know, but at least he keeps it a secret, and for that I thank him.) Every time I have my minute or two of face time with John Green I always try to figure out that special thing to say to him that will make him realize we should be best friends, but I always end up just muttering something silly and flailing around.
Look at me flailing
I folded the signed article up and stowed it away in my copy of The Fault in our Stars. I feel like that's a pretty cool thing to have hidden in there.
Once we were done with the John Green signing we headed over to the YA stage where this awesome panel was going on:
Blake Nelson, Siobhan Vivian, and Jessi Kirby
We were able to find a shady spot under a tree to listen to the panel, and I was super excited to spot two of my awesome students in the audience!
After that signing we snarfed down some food, unfortunately missing the panel with Corey Whaley and Patrick Ness. But we were able to hightail it across campus in time for their signing, so I was able to get my copy of Where Things Come Back signed and snap this picture.
Corey Whaley is SO nice
There was more hightailing as we took off back across campus to get to the Judy Blume panel that was already in session.
I had the pleasure of meeting Judy Blume and hearing her speak this past summer at the SCBWI LA conference, but since she is a living legend I wasn't going to pass up a chance to see her again. Plus this time I could get a book signed!
Her talk was amazing. She talked about her books and why she wrote them. She talked about her writing process and her life, and I just loved every second of it. Like many women my age, I absolutely grew up on her words.
My favorite was Just As Long As We're Together. I read that book over and over and over again. I wished more than anything that I had my childhood copy for her to sign, but I know it's in a box in my parents' garage, so I made a special trip to B&N prior to the Festival to get a copy. It doesn't have the great 80s-tastic cover, though.
The line for Judy Blume's signing was long, but it's Judy Freaking Blume, so we all waited happily. Tameka and I chatted with the awesome gals behind us, so that made the time fly by. (Well, maybe not FLY, but, you know, not crawl.)
Judy Freaking Blume
I don't think I need to tell you that Judy Blume was awesome. And meeting her on Saturday was just as cool as it was the first time. I guess getting face time with your heroes just never gets old.
For the first time since I started attending the festival, I went to both days. On Sunday I met Claire at our local train station and took the Metrolink into Union Station in LA where the festival had a shuttle bus that took us over to the USC campus. I always like taking public transportation when I can, even though it isn't always an easy thing to do in LA.
Claire and I were wandering down a little aisle between tents when we heard a golf cart right behind us. It was hot on our heels in a "I wish these girls would hurry up already" kind of way. As we reached the end of the aisle all of these photographers jumped out at us. We smiled and posed and were excited to be such a big deal, but then we turned around and saw that it was actually Florence Henderson getting out of that golf cart, making her way to the stage for her appearance.
Florence Henderson is so adorable!
We eventually met up with Tameka and made our way into the panel I showed up for...Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myracle, Maggie Stiefvater, and Jacqueline Woodson.
Moderator Susan Carpenter, Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myracle (excited about all of the amazing women on the stage), Maggie Stiefvater, and Jacqueline Woodson
This ended up being one of the best author panels I have ever had the pleasure of attending. These women are all so intelligent and funny and they are all doing such bold things with their writing and their stories. They talked about sex, race, gender, and writing in general while making everyone laugh and think. I loved getting a chance to listen to them for an hour; I learned a lot, I laughed a lot, and I was inspired as a writer.
After the panel we walked over to the signing area where I met up with Liz and her husband and I got to say hello to the authors and get some books signed.
We didn't have much of a plan after than, so Claire, Tameka, and I just wandered around the festival a bit before we left. Our legs were getting a little tired, so we hopped on a pedi cab and let him pedal us over to our shuttle stop while we snapped a photo or two.
We are smiling because we are finally sitting
This year's LA Times Festival of Books was the best one yet! I saw so many amazing authors, bloggers, friends, and people, and I had so much fun surrounded by books. I can't wait to see if next year can top it.