The ‘Net Went on Vacation and Why I Love the Tucson Festival of Books

My internet service decided it wanted to take a little time off last week. It didn’t even ask me if it was okay–just went right ahead and did it. The result was catastrophic. I was completely cut off from the rest of the world. Without resources. Alone. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration. The sun still rose in the east, set in the west and life went on, but living without the ‘net was friggin’ inconvenient.

It started on Wednesday. I sat down at my computer to blog about the Tucson Festival of Books and couldn’t get online. Later that day, I was able to get on for a few minutes and then it went out again. Then it came on long enough to get a couple of e-mails and then it shut down. This annoying little game continued until Sunday morning by which time my frustration level was out of control. I was missing e-mails and blogs, couldn’t tweet or go on Facebook, couldn’t look anything up, couldn’t do much of anything but try to finish my WIP which was a source of frustration within itself. There was one little bright spot in this maelstrom of frustration. Our land line goes through the internet and I didn’t receive a single computer generated sales call for 4 whole days. Awesome.

This week has started off pretty good. I’m able to get online without any problem, my emails are coming through, my WIP is being edited,  and we’ve had 2 pull-throughs in the parking lot at the gym. If you’re not familiar with pull-throughs, it happens when you can pull into the next parking space ahead of you so you won’t have to back out when you leave. In my Universe, finding a pull-through is equal to finding a four-leafed clover. You’ll have good luck all day.

The weather couldn't have been better during the festival, but Tucson has snow this week!

 Since the odds seem to be in my favor, I’m going to attempt what I tried to do last week and couldn’t–blog about the Tucson Festival of Books. It’s one of the best organized events Arizona has to offer. AND IT’S FREE! I know I’ve brought that up before, but I’ve been to writer’s conferences that cost major bucks and the Tucson Festival of Books is better than anything I’ve had to pay for.

The TFB is held on the University of Arizona Campus and there’s something for everyone. Over 400 authors, poets, editors, screenwriters and journalists took part in panels, workshops and various presentations over a 2 day period. Bonnie  Marson was the first author I listened to and the hour just whizzed by. She’s only written one book, Sleeping With Schubert, but it landed her on The New York Times best seller list and she managed to get a movie deal on top of that. Who said writing the great American novel was impossible in today’s market?

I also attended a workshop on dialogue and learned that my characters could no longer shout, bellow or whisper. Said is the only acceptable dialogue tag. I’ve heard that before but who makes up these rules anyway? Will my name go in a little black book if I don’t follow them?  I guess I’ll find out. The last class I took was on the currently controversial topic of traditional vs. indie publishing.  No fights broke out and no blood was shed. Several authors and an editor discussed the pro and cons and made me feel as if I was going in the right direction.

Culinary events, book sales and signings, and  kids activities were in abundance.  Science City offered everything from astronomy to the science of DNA to carbon dating the Dead Sea Scrolls. If you can go next year, do it! The planners and volunteers did an amazing job of coordinating everything and it was well worth the drive to Tucson to attend. (Thank you, Char, for driving. We likely would have ended up in Mexico, had I been behind the wheel)

The hotel we stayed at wasn’t so amazing. I suppose I shouldn’t complain. We picked the cheapest hotel we could find close to the campus. It was also close to a well-traveled rail-road track and when I’m not in my own bed, I tend to be a light sleeper. Next year, we’ll know better.

I think they licked all my make-up off.We saw so many great dogs. These two decided I needed my face washed. 

I ate tofu and I liked it!

My friends had fried chicken, waffles and cucumber margaritas. I don’t think you’re supposed to drink cucumbers.

With over 100,000 attending, the TFB is a huge undertaking. I want to thank the volunteers and everyone else who worked so hard to put it all together. I’m already looking forward to next year.

HAVE A GREAT WEEK!!!!

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About Diana Douglas

Diana Douglas, author. Coorganizer of the Arizona Novel Writers Workshop. Member Arizona Historical Novel Society, Member BooksGoSocial Authors, Transplanted Texan. http://www.meetup.com/Arizona-Writers-Workshop-com http://twitter.com/#!/themodernscribe
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5 Responses to The ‘Net Went on Vacation and Why I Love the Tucson Festival of Books

  1. Char Bishop says:

    Ditto on all the accolades for the organizers and volunteers of TBF. Awesome event! You did a great job recapping. Hey, I can’t credit my driving skills to us not winding up in Mexico–your GPS came to the rescue a couple times! Having most of our writing group there made it even better. It was good company and great fun all around. (Hey, didn’t you like the ancient electric stove by the hotel pool used for barbeque night?)

  2. I forgot about the stove. I think lack of sleep due to the constant noise of a train rumbling by has affected my memory.

  3. Except for the Internet needing a vacation, everything in your world sounds great. I loved the bit about the “pull-throughs.” Never heard of those before but have thanked my lucky stars when they’ve happened to me. Thanks for putting a name to another one of life’s little-big blessing! 🙂

  4. We’ve even trained our 7 year old granddaughter to look for pull-throughs. It’s become a family tradition.

  5. molly says:

    The TFB sounds terrific … nothing of that scale in Oz, sadly. Loved the free face wash courtesy hound-dawgs, beaut photo, you look joyfilled, Diana.
    By-the by cucumber juice (with green skin wiped down and juiced) is seriously healthy, chokkers minerals (nature’s mineral water), esp silicon for beautiful hair, and chlorophyll, oxygenates blood, great for skin, etc. cheers catchul8r molly

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