Each year when the Decatur Book Festival rolls around I study the schedule and carefully plot out a full weekend of bookish fun. The ironclad schedule falls apart within moments of arrival as I’m pulled in unexpected directions. I always forget to allow adequate time for booth visiting and Brick Store Pub happenings. That said, here’s this year’s pie-in-the-sky game plan:
9:30 Madeline Parade – This one is non-negotiable. My four year old daughter has firm plans to meet up with pals to celebrate the first Madeline book in 50 years.
10:00 – The author events begin with a toss up. I’d love to see the New Stories from The South panel just to see ZZ Packer (one of Granta’s Top Young American Novelists). However, a few stages away Douglas Blackmon will be reading from Slavery by Another Name, which has a shot at a Pulitzer (says me). Also: John Bemelmans Marciano will be reading from the new Madeline at the kids stage. A game time decision will be made.
11:15 – This one is easy. I’ll be introducing the Sleep is for the Week: Best of the Mommybloggers panel at the Decatur Presbyterian stage, which features Kristen Chase and Mir Kamin. I pretty much need to be there.
12:00 – Laughing Pizza in concert at the Kids Stage. I mentioned the four year old, right?
12:30 – Another toss up. I hope to see either Rick Bragg reading from The Prince of Frogtown OR Doug Crandell’s Of Hissy Fits and Hairdos panel. I just saw Crandell at Wordsmiths a few weeks ago, so I’m leaning towards Bragg.
Then it’s lunch and wandering around the booths. I’ll catch what I can in the afternoon. Hopefully that will include the Tretheweys.
Saturday night there is a Writer’s Conference Happy Hour at Twain’s, “which will feature live music, a wet flannel shirt contest, and a kissing booth with wax lips, womaned by Hollis Gillespie.” Aye carumba.
1:00 We’re hitting the Kids’ Stage for Doreen Cronin, author of at least four children’s books that are currently in my home.
5:00 The Cook’s Warehouse Stage features John T. Edge, editor of the Southern food writing compilation, Cornbread Nation 4. I have a firend who has a piece in CN 4, so I’ll be checking this one out.
7:30 The fest closes with Drive By Trucker Paterson Hood performing solo on the square. Aw yeah.
Speaking of music, each day there is live music (and cool air-conditioning) at Eddie’s Attic. There is also a full slate of poetry at the Java Monkey Stage both days, too. I always forget to spend enough time at those spots. And there is always the Brick Store for plotting the next move.