Sunday, March 13, 2016
by Beckie Carlson
Yesterday I visited a virtual wonderland of excellence. No, I didn't go to Disneyland or Harry Potter world, I went to Tucson. You may scratch your head and wonder what wonders lie in Tucson, Arizona. Normally, I would do the same. True, my brother and his family live there, but other than that is just another dusty Arizona town.
My recently returned missionary son is on fire about his future. I am in awe of his focus, drive, and determination to reach his goals. He daily evaluates his progress and tweeks his direction as needed. I love it. I wish a bit of that would spill over onto my other children.
In his pursuits, he is already working on choosing a college for his Bachelors degree. He is on a super charged course to finish is AA in a year and a half and move on from there. He discovered a Physics lab tour in Tucson going on yesterday and asked if we could go. When I asked my sister in law about meeting up with them in Tucson, she mentioned there was also a book fair of some sort happening at the same time.
Oh. My. Goodness. What I expected to be a glorified school "book fair" turned out to be The Festival of Books. The physics tour was a small, hidden byline we had to hunt for. There were rows upon rows of booths featuring, books, authors, publishers, artists, books, ......I love books. I love writing. I love authors (most of them), so basically....I was in heaven.
I did manage to go on one tour with my boys where we got to play with lasers and burn things. It was super cool and reminded me of the days Brad worked in the physics lab in Texas. There was even a lab worker with a heaven Indian accent...just like our old friend Venai. Memories washed over me as I watched my son take his father's place in the world of science. I'm so glad he takes after his dad. It not only keeps his memory alive, but ... frankly, pays more than being a teacher like me.
I had the opportunity to talk with several authors during the day. I love hearing their stories and seeing their excitement and terror as they pedal their hearts. Writing is much more than just putting words down on paper. It digs the deepest loves, fears, and dreams out of ones soul and lays it out on the pavement where strangers can dance or stomp on them. Writing is not for the faint of heart.
I tried to pace myself and remember my limited reading time...but I still came home with about 15 books. Most of them are self-published, but a few were from the big company under the tent. I'm a sucker for middle grade/YA stuff for my students and Ben. I'll try and remember to post reviews for the newbies to help them along. You know, writers helping writers.
All in all, I felt like a kid in a candy store, spinning with delight as my money flew hither and yon. I'm afraid to look at my bank account, but when I do...you know I'll be writing these off as a business expense....cause I said so.