Monday, March 18, 2013

Lit Festival 2013

This year's Literature Festival followed in the footsteps of last year's, as well as the previous year's, with a rainy day and fascinating people. This time around we heard from five different authors and I thought I'd share a few notes on each. . .

Claudia Mills
bubbly : loves candy and named her cat Snickers : has been coming to the festival for 15 to 20 years : dedicated her book Trading Places to the festival : says that every story needs a problem : writes from memories and stories her boys brought home from school : researched at what temperature a pickle explodes for her book Fractions = Trouble : is a philosophy professor at the University of Colorado : drinks Swiss Miss hot chocolate while writing about 1 page a day : has published about 50 books in 30 years

David L. Harrison
has come to the festival since 1978 : comes to see old friends and meet the kids reading his books : is 76 years old and has been writing since age 22 : appreciates that writing is a life skill: lives in Springfield, Missouri : says rhymes "trip off the tongue" : had mother who typed letters to friends in couplets : took as much science as he could in college, then took a creative writing class in which his teacher encouraged him to become a writer : tried for 6 years to become a writer : was accepted on 87th try : was also professional trombone player : wrote book Connecting Dots full of poetry about his childhood

Darlene Bailey Beard
3rd year to come to the festival : fell in love with writing in the 5th grade : was inspired by her teacher who made her write a story with her 20 spelling words each Monday : collected bandaids to wear so kids would talk to her about how she got "injured" : didn't feel shy while telling stories : dedicated book The Pumpkin Man to her 5th grad teacher : keeps an idea file with names and newspaper clippings : her book Annie Glover is NOT a Tree Lover was inspired by a newspaper clipping of a 67 year old lady chained to a tree, as well as a picture of three skydivers dressed as Elvis : calls the 5 senses a writer's toolbox : says to read your work backwards to edit it- last paragraph to first paragraph

Kelly Milner Halls
self-proclaimedly "weird" : was told by her 3rd grade teacher she would be a good writer, but didn't decide to be one until working on her high school newspaper : was given a doll every birthday when she was little, but always enjoyed catching critters better : has a pug, great dane, and rock lizard : rock lizard is named Gigantor, is 4 feet long, and has a cage that replaced the dining room table : has written 1, 600 articles : has gone on ghost hunts, collected the evidence, and written about it : said "research is like a treasure hunt- you never know what you will find"

Roderick Townley
noticeably tall : greeted the group by saying "Wow, I'm really happy to see you, all your amazing faces" : has written seven children's novels, all about quests : says we all have quests, and his is to save his stories by writing them : lives in Kansas City with his wife, who is also a writer : his book The Great Good Thing started as a bedtime story for his wife : daydreamer who writes down ideas and listens to his characters

Hoping that books by these authors make their way to my nightstand. . .

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