I’ve heard of Southern charm and hospitality before, but I never quite knew what that meant. In Baton Rouge last week, I experienced it first hand. It was nice to be in a place where people were decent and offered to help. We even had a driver pick us up at the airport, which was unexpected. To see a guy in a suit walking around with a piece of paper with my name made me feel so important!
The festival itself went well. I spoke in the basement of the capital (if you have never seen the capital, then check out the picture below…it’s quite a sight; it certainly beats out the California capital in looks) in one of the chamber rooms; I sort of felt like I should introduce a bill or something.
Apparently, someone speaking at the same time as me had absolutely no one show up for their reading—I’m obviously happy this did not happen to me. I didn’t want to do the typical reading, so I mixed it up a bit with facts about the history of public libraries, I had Diana read some of the footnotes, and I ended with a reading of the acknowledgement page (why does no one ever read from this page at readings?)
The second session, a panel with fellow blogger Alex Cook, went equally well. Despite the fact that the computer was a bit spotty, we were able to find things to talk about for 40 minutes. It was nice meeting Alex after spending part of the plane ride reading his book, Darkness Racket and Twang. Alex said it makes a good bathroom read, and I agree—its chapters are short (just two or three pages each). He had some quite insightful things to say about the music world.