Thursday, June 22, 2006

San Jose Book Expo

I attended the Book Expo with a bunch of friends from the writers group. It was great! Highlights:

* Hearing M. Allen Cunningham describe his book The Green Age of Asher Witherow. The book is set in a 1800s mining operation that had no less than three thriving towns in Contra Costa County and is now only rolling hills (and tunnels!) I had just been to hike the Black Diamond Mines earlier this year (in fact, I think I blogged about it if you scroll down) and found the place incredibly evocative. I have to admit, the thought crossed my mind that it would be great to research the place and write a novel about it... thank God someone else did it! I asked the author if he had been inspired by a hike there, and indeed he had. I can't wait to read it; it's on my bedside table next in line when I finish The News from Paraguay, which is for my Book Club, which I am loving.
* I liked the panel about writing about grief, because I'm working on a grief novel now. There was a buoyant feeling to the panel, which made me again acknowledge that grief is part of the whole cycle. We laughed so hard the moderator said she thought the other sessions must be thinking terrible things of us, given our topic...
* The best laugh of the day came from this enormous 6' panel (pictured), displaying the sessions in Salon C for the weekend. Apparently, you get "Climb Every Single Woman of a Certain Age" when you combine "Climb Every Mountain," a session about travel writing, with "Single Women of a Certain Age," a session about women writers.

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