Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Much To-Do About Litquake

My love for Litquake, San Francisco's literary festival (the largest indie lit fest in the west!) began the first year I lived in San Francisco when I first learned about it, and realized I had just missed it.  The next year, and every year after, it has been one of the great highlights of my year.   I volunteered during the festival for four years in a row before joining the planning committee this year.  And the committee has been a really interesting highlight throughout the year (I overuse the word "interesting," and as some have pointed out over the years, it sounds like I'm slyly saying something negative--as in, isn't that interesting? in response to pickled puffin breast--but here I really mean interesting, as in it captivated my interest, engaged my brain, and was composed of fascinating people).  Being able to work with a bunch of people coming together through a shared love of reading who are super smart in a wide variety of ways has made me feel really lucky.


This year, even more than in the past, we've had events throughout the year.  But the big shebang that it's all been building toward is about to start!  Opening night is this Friday, October 5th, and the fun/insanity/inspiration/booky goodness runs through Saturday, October 13th when everything culminates in the Lit Crawl.   Three and a half hours, 80+ venues, hundreds upon hundreds of authors, in San Francisco's Mission District.  It's just stupid awesome.

To get the most out of the festival, I highly recommend studying the schedule (and start now, because GOOD GRIEF, there's way too many great things to go to!).  There's a huge diversity of types of events, and a lot of them happen simultaneously across the city (and even some in the East Bay), so you have to plot your festival strategy in advance to ensure you don't miss an author you always wanted to hear, see a panel discussing something relevant to your interests, or, you know (warning: shameless self-promotion in 3-2-1) come to my writing event at Public Bikes.

There are foodie events, poet laureates, events for aspiring writers, noir, comedy, politics, cannabis, and even a tribute to my favorite author of all time, Madeliene L'Engle.  And way more.  It's pretty remarkable to be in a room/alley/barber shop full of lit-lovers and realize how not alone you are.  That there are others out there who get just as excited about this stuff as you do.   And to get to do that for an entire week.

Word nerds unite: the fabulous begins on Friday.

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