Book Festivals and zombie chickens!

One of the highlights of my year is happening this weekend: it’s time again for the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at UCLA, and not even a Zombie Chicken attack can stop it!

(Celebrating the 40th anniversary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar)

My trip to the Festival is going to be a bit different this year. I first attended in 2006, accompanied by my then-fiancé Tall Paul. The highlights that year were the giant audience-participation crossword puzzles, the discovery of the Pennyworth Books booth (where all of the books were $5, and many of them were pretty recent), and the performance of the Rock Bottom Remainders, featuring founding members Dave Barry and Amy Tan among the group redefining the idea of “singer-writer.” (Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be much remaining of the Remainders – the website hasn’t been updated since their last performance, in June 2007.)

This year, I’m going on my own…sort of. I plan to spend the whole day on Saturday, and for the first time I’ll be attending a few of the panel discussions. I’ll need to arrive in time to make the 10:30 AM panel on “Social Networking & New Media” (because how could I consider myself a book blogger and NOT go to that one?), but since I’m usually an early bird anyway, I don’t think that will be a problem. There are a couple of intriguing fiction panels in the afternoon, “Window on the World” at 1:30 and “Intimate Strangers” at 3 PM. There will be literally hundreds of authors present during the weekend, speaking at sessions, signing their books, and possibly just wandering around with the book-obsessed hordes. There’s always a large area dedicated to children’s books, featuring activities and shows for kids and parents. But despite the fact that I plan to partake of more of the Festival programming this year, I’ll still be sure to reserve time for my favorite activity – browsing the exhibitor booths! There are always so many booksellers, publishers, and book-related merchandise booths to check out, and I’ve been saving up some “mad money” for this very special occasion.

I always look forward to the Festival, and this year there’s one more reason – it’s going to be a social event too, which is where the Zombie Chickens come in. The Festival will be the site of a Book Blogger Meet-up – plans have been brewing for a couple of months, and this week has been the time of last-minute coordination of plans and exchanging of contact information. Most of the group comes from the general region, but we have a couple of bloggers coming from Central and Northern California, and one’s even joining us from Utah. I’m eagerly looking forward to meeting them all in person – I know all of them online, some for longer than others – and hoping not to make a complete idiot of myself in the process!

As I mentioned previously, this blog was recently granted a very special award:
The Zombie Chicken Award, from Becky of Becky’s Book Reviews ~

The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken – excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all…

The Zombie Chickens have decreed that this award be shared with the book bloggers whom I’ll be meeting at the Festival, and they’ve granted a special dispensation to those who may have been awarded it before – if you’ve passed it on once already, you don’t have to do it again. The Chickens go out to:

Musings of a Bookish Kitty (Wendy)
Books on the Brain (Lisa)
Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin’? (Trish)
My Friend Amy (Amy, of course)
Fizzy Thoughts (Jill)
Book Chatter and Other Stuff (Ti)
A Novel Menagerie (Sheri)
Shelf Life (Gentle Reader/Tracy)
Maw Books Blog (Natasha, flying out to LA to join us for the weekend!)

If you’re an LA-area book blogger who’s planning to be at the Festival and I missed your link, please let me know in the comments, and consider yourself awarded a Zombie Chicken!

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  1. Chris – It usually is fun, and I don’t think this year will be any different.

    The Zombie Chicken is the only award I’ve ever campaigned for – it’s just the coolest :-)!

    Sheri – I couldn’t remember if you had one yet or not. See you this weekend!

    Kathy (Bermudaonion) – Thanks on both counts!

    Ti – You’re welcome 🙂 – be seeing you!

  2. Boo-hoo, I’m out of town this weekend. Make sure you get a poster at Dave Kellett’s booth. He’s the guy that does the web comic Sheldon.

  3. Kiva – Too bad you’ll be out of town and have to miss the Festival. I’m not familiar with that comic, but I’ll look around.

    Amy – Are we yay-ing the festival or the zombie chickens :-)? They’re both worthy, of course!

    Jill – That’s a belated birthday zombie chicken for you :-)!

  4. The Remainders still do things, Dave Barry will usually post something when they have a gig. And I use that term loosely. 🙂 I think it would be fun to see them, even if I’m not much into the music they play.

    Have a good time.

  5. Mike – That’s good to know, but I wish someone would tell their website :-). They’re a lot of fun to watch, and they’re even somewhat musically proficient. The music’s pretty much baby-boomer standards, a/k/a classic rock and oldies, but it’s a good time.

  6. Serena – I most certainly did meet them! I had lunch with Trish, Lisa (Books on the Brain), Natasha (Maw Books), Amy (My Friend Amy), Jill/Softdrink (Fizzy Thoughts), Wendy/Literary Feline (Musings of a Bookish Kitty), Ti (Book Chatter and Other Stuff), and Tracy (Shelf Life) – and dinner with everyone except Tracy, who couldn’t stay. There’s more about it here.