I’m not going to lie. November 2016 has been a tough month, and I’m not sorry that it’s over. On the upside, I was able to attend YALLFest in Charleston for the first time (also my first visit to the area– must go back!) AND I wore my amazing bookish costume. Sadly, all the other stuff has kind of crowded my time this month, so I haven’t really been as attentive to the blog and as quick about reading as I hoped to be. I still managed to review eight books, which is fewer than usual, but feels like a lot considering all the other hoopla that’s happened.
Thoughts on YALLFest
If you’re thinking about going next year, DO IT. I loved it, though there are, of course, things I’d do differently in the future. I keep meaning to be sneaky and write a YALLFest Tips post while it’s still relatively fresh in my mind and queue it up for a few weeks ahead of the festival next year.
The best part of the whole event, to me, was the way everyone seemed to pull together. For a lot of people, election week was pretty rough. Many people feel afraid about the future. Instead of dwelling on those things, YALLFest became a time when people rallied together and reminded each other about what freedom means and how powerful our voices can be. Who better to remind us of those things besides the writers whose stories change our lives? Just too cool.
Initially, I planned to go nuts and try to get a ton of books signed. I dragged a bunch to the festival but quickly abandoned that scheme. I loved the author panels. After the opening keynote, I was hooked. I felt like, I could stand in line for an hour (or more!) waiting for an autograph or I could go listen to what the authors had to say about a host of topics. I don’t regret that choice one bit.
Three kind of cool moments for me: When Sabaa Tahir talked about one of her favorite childhood books: Seven Daughters and Seven Sons, also one of my favorite childhood books. Yay! And when Jenny Han described her writing process and how she’s never talked to another writer who crafts a manuscript the way she does. From what she said, it sounds like she writes each scene as it comes to her, not in chronological order. Then at the end she stitches things all together how they go. Which sounds like a LOT of work and definitely sort of stressful. It’s like designing a puzzle one piece at a time and then assembling it afterward, right?
Funny story… that’s exactly how I’ve been writing my current manuscript. So that was a huge encouragement to me, because I’ve been thinking, like, is this even a reasonable way to attack this thing? But knowing someone else has done it successfully is a huge relief. I feel like it gave me permission to use the process and consider it a legit way of writing, which I didn’t realize I needed, but apparently I did.
Also, this happened– yay!
Moving on to review recaps…
What about you?
Did you read anything this month that totally knocked your socks off? Any books at the top of your holiday wish list?