Wordstock is the largest literary festival in the Pacific Northwest. It’s a big convention with authors reading their work, panel discussions, workshops, and tons of booths—booksellers, publishers, magazines, and all things related to books and writing.
There was a photographer wandering around with a Nikon with a huge, honking lens that was about a foot and a half long—it looked super badass. He and his equipment fascinated me because one of the characters I’m writing about is a photographer.
A couple of festival highlights:
Storm Large was reading from her new memoir, Crazy Enough, about having a mother who was in and out of mental hospitals the whole time she was growing up. Crazy Enough is sad, but it’s also one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. The mom loved to ratchet up the drama and would grab one of her breasts “like an actress in an old black and white film who would clutch at her chest to emphasize her passionate sincerity.” (Page 51.) Storm was reading about her mom and acting it all out, and there in the center aisle was the photographer. She let him have it.
“You took a picture of me holding my boob? I can’t believe this! What’s with you?”
And he kept shooting. He moved up close for some more shots. Geez…
Next, Duff Brenna read from Murdering the Mom, a memoir about his own insane upbringing. I’m not sure he got any pictures taken of him.
Erin Morgenstern and Stephanie Snyder talked about Morgenstern’s book, The Night Circus. Snyder is the director of the Douglas F Cooley Memorial Art Gallery at Reed College. Morgenstern liked the “steampunk-looking microphones.” The writing in The Night Circus is gorgeous. I love circuses and this particular one is the strangest I have ever read about or seen in my imagination!
I listened to a lot of authors I’d never heard of as well. I’m making a list so I can read some of their books. It was a wonderful two days. I wish it wasn’t over.