I’ve lived my whole life within thirty miles of Austin, Texas. My French teacher in high school used to mourn that I’d become one of those insular hick housewives, popping out a half-dozen kids before I turned thirty in a trailer park on the outskirts of town. I’d like to think she wouldn’t be dismayed at the direction my life took ( although she’d probably smack me for turning down that acceptance to UT Law school. Hey, I never wanted to make any money to begin with) but you never know what success means to different people.
Anyway, I love living in Austin, even more since I threw myself into the writing scene. Where else can you casually meet these kinds of authors at a local high school? (I’m totes taking my 15 y.o. niece, who thinks I am some sort of superhero for securing her face time with her idols.) Of course, I won’t bother taking her to the Big Mama of all Festivals, The Texas Book Festival. That’s where I get my fangirl on, with hundreds of the most spectacular authors in the Universe showing up to do small-group panels, talks, signings, etc. If you hang out in the Congressional cafeteria long enough, you can even Watch Famous Authors Order Cheeseburgers.
The coolest part about these festivals? They are FREE. All you have to do is clear your weekend out, and it’s like going to one of the best writing workshops in the country, except this one takes place in a city with good weather, excellent Mexican food, and only a very few trailer parks on the outskirts.
And, no, I do not live in one of those… yet. So, Writer Friends. If any of you can wing your way down here to Austin, and need a non-trailerish launch pad for your Festival Fun… send me a quick note! The guest bedroom is as cheap as it gets. 😉
Sad News: My 12 y.o. terrier Sugar died unexpectedly on Friday. She was a grumpy little dog, fiercely protective of the kids (she guarded their cribs when they were babies) and prone to express her displeasure with well-placed carpet stains. We all loved her so.