Skip to main content

wotd: erudite, brought to you by The Tucson Festival of Books

erudite \AIR-yuh-dyt; -uh-dyt\, adjective:
Characterized by extensive reading or knowledge; learned.

Tucson Festival of Books

How I wish this event could span more than two days, and that I had all the time I needed to see everything I wished to see. A hearty thank-you to the developers and organizers of this well-run celebration of literacy. I spent the whole day there and felt electrified with positive energy the entire time.

A youthful Mariachi parade opened the festival, escorting Skippyjon Jones, the Siamese cat convinced he's a chihuahua.

After marching with them to the UA Mall Tent, I settled in to listen to Lenore Skenazy, the world's worst mom, syndicated New York Daily News and NY Sun columnist, author of Free Range Kids: Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had without Going Nuts with Worry, and owner/operator of the blog by the same name. She developed this free-range philosophy after dealing with the aftereffects of allowing her then 9-yr-old son to ride the NY subway alone. I agree with her philosophy, and asked her after her talk if she often found herself preaching to the choir. She told me she'd recently talked to a group who disagreed with her entirely and how uncomfortable it had been. She said she liked to have at least a few choir members in her audience.

After I got my free McFrappe I headed to the Pima County Public Library's Nuestras Raices tent, where I purchased Kathy Cano-Murillo's first novel: Waking Up in the Land of Glitter. She read from it, as well as from two previous books, and ate up most of her time that way. There was no room for the advertised Q&A.

I jumped in line for the book signing, though, and asked someone to snap my pic with the Queen of Glitter herself, the Crafty Chica. She's as effervescent as her writing suggests she would be. A real honor, Kathy. Thank you!

Michael's craft stores donated a boatload of Crafty Chica product for the project in the art tent. I sat between two children and we all painted and glued, snipped and glittered, till we'd each created our own personal shrine. Working for an intense hour on a single project usually doesn't happen for me. My brain was positively electrifried when I was finished.

I left the tent and set my shrine down on a table while I organized my gear in my backpack and tote bag. When I went to pick it up I knocked it over, and left a glitter print on the table, where I hope it remains forever.

Had lunch with Dave and Jack, Mandy, Evan, and Brazey, then played a bit. Here I am with Little Critter, one of my favorite storybook characters to dramatize. Kids love him. I love him, too.

Brazey was a bit trepidatious about Pat the Bunny and finally went in for a high five.

In the Bookman's tent we each decorated a tote bag: another frenzied artistic interlude that exhausted and exhilarated me simultaneously.

Earlier in the day I chose to hear the Crafty Chica read, rather then listen to Luis Alberto Urrea in an interview. At the end of the day, then, I went to his workshop: Southwest Inspiration. Again: blown away. Recently I read In Search of Snow, which was unlike anything I'd been reading lately and, in fact, unlike anything I've ever read, but so authentically flavored, so real, I had to listen to the man who wrote it. At his workshop I discover he's well-known, though I hadn't known of him. A Pulitzer Prize finalist, in fact. Extremely erudite, he'd take a participant's question and spin this lovely tale around it, answering the question fully so as to distill it to its very essence, without being academic or ostentatious. The hour evaporated. I could have stayed for two, three, or more.

I'm grateful for the one day I got to spend there, but one day just wasn't enough for The Festival.


Unknown said…
it was so nice to meet you, i LOVED your shrine - and then you left a glittery imprint behind!! thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to come and hear my reading and make the project!!
shy_smiley said…
whoo-hoo! Thanks for visiting my blog, Kathy. Don't get many visitors around these parts... but I haven't been a regular blogger, either. No time like the present!

Popular posts from this blog

expanding my culinary horizons

After last night's culinary debacle, today's culinary surprise was particularly welcome. My dear friend Rukmi brought me lunch! Rukmi is Sri Lankan. She cooks the best food. I ate a fish and egg croquette, lentil curry, saffron rice, all with delicious chicken and what I thought might be tuna. I asked Rukmi what the meat was, and she told me it's all chicken. "The flat, triangular meat? With the spices? Is it tuna?"

She laughed lightly. "That's a wegetable," she said, in her lovely Sinhalese way.

"Oh, yeah? Like a beet?" That made sense, because it flaked like tuna steak or like beets might.

"It is jackfruit."

Jackfruit? Jackfruit! I ate jackfruit today. Rukmi told me all about it: she used canned young jackfruit she bought at G & L Market on 22nd St.; fully grown jackfruits are gigantic and if one fell on your head it could kill you. When fully ripe, jackfruit is full of big pods that each have a seed in the middle, like a po…
Jack doesn't have many "activities." I don't relish the thought of driving him to soccer, piano lessons, gymnastics, tae kwon do, KidzArt, swim team, T-ball, so on, and so forth. Not to say that I don't recognize the value of these activities, but I witness firsthand the toll a full schedule takes on little ones. On Monday nights Jack and his cousin participate in Young Champions of America Karate, which is more about learning discipline, respect, and self defense than it is about martial arts.

Recently we've picked up a new activity, which is also about learning discipline, respect, and creativity: Tucson Lego Club.

He was invited to join by Nathan and Lucas, friends from church who also attended the preschool a few years ahead of Jack. Here he sits between them, at a table surrounded by 6 other boys, each of them building a lavish Lego creation.

Members spend an hour building and fraternizing, sometimes more fraternizing than building, but at the end of the h…


Six days ago I griped a bit about exercise and body image and resolved to walk more and eat better food. Since then I've walked 22 miles, which is 10 more miles than I usually log in the same amount of time. Though I haven't been a food angel, I haven't been a little devil, either. I've resisted chips and Cheetos and eaten more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. I did have a Dairy Queen, though, which is totally fake but totally tasty.

So I got some goals for this week. There's just one week left before I go back to the preschool and I'm ashamed that I haven't attended to some things over the summer. I'd meant to finish up my NAEYC classroom portfolio, as well as plan out afternoon activities for the year (I'm lead teacher between 1:00 and 3:00 for all ages other than kindergarten).

Goal 1: I'm 20 criteria away from completing my classroom portfolio. If I do four each day, I'll be done on Friday.

Goal 2: Each day this week, I'll plan one…