The quiet zone (in pictures)

A Saturday at the Griffith Observatory.

The Hollywood sign from the Griffith Observatory.

The Los Angeles Festival of Books at the University of Southern California (FOB)

FOB tents with venders selling all kinds of books—tiny presses, big presses, and everything in between. 

Kaya Press held a "publishing" activity at their tent where you were given three minutes at a typewriter. This was my first time using a typewriter. My friend and I plopped down and banged out a little impromptu fiction. Needless to say, it was 10% typos, 90% nonsense. 

I smell a Nobel. 

Then we took our pages to another table and combined them with copies of other's pages and made a book. This was my cover. 


FOB had book trucks in addition to tents. 

The Penguin Truck. 

Besides all the book shopping, FOB held dozens of panels and interviews with authors, editors, and agents. I snagged tickets to listen to Rainbow Rowell, John Green, and Lemony Snicket/Daniel Handler. I waited in line for Snicket amongst cosplayers in their 20s, middle schoolers, all sorts. I waited in line for over an hour, and I had been in the first quarter of a very long line. When I finally reached him, I had no idea what I should say to him.
"Hello," I said. I gestured at the long line. "Thank you for sticking it out..."
He chuckled and leaned over to make some joke to Ransom Riggs, who was signing next to him, about not committing suicide. And/or about continuing to write.
"Well, I'm glad you didn't commit suicide," I said. "And you that you continued to write."
"I'm against suicide," he said pointedly. He had made a lot of hilarious, dark jokes during his panel.
We both awkwardly acknowledged that I had been talking about the book-signing line.
No one had given me a sticky note to label my name so he could address it to me. He asked me if I wanted the book addressed to me and what my name was. I told him.
"Emily, spelled traditionally?"
"Yes, spelled traditionally." A beat. "My parents thought they were being very creative choosing Emily the year I was born. Not many Emilys then."
"How is your relationship with your parents?"
"Excellent. I love my parents."
"Good." Snicket signed the book.
I wring my hands and my sense of anything has been completely thrown out the window.
"This might sound creepy, but when I was younger I used to have dreams about new books of yours coming out. I mean, I'm still glad about you writing books. I like the new series." I might have been stuttering. "Anyway, thank you."
"I don't think that's creepy. I think that's charming."
I might have thanked him again. I fled the signing table clutching my book.

It's strange, meeting someone after having an intense imagination-oritented, one-sided relationship with them for over a decade.