Noticing Magic Everywhere

Kate Comings' journal

Wordstock 2013

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I’m so glad I went. This is the last year Wordstock will be at the Oregon Convention Center, and the next Wordstock literary festival won’t be until Spring of 2015.

A few photos from around the book fair…

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Saturday, my first stop was a panel discussion with thriller writers, “The Dark Side, Creating Suspense” with Adam Mansbach (The Dead Run), A.M. Homes (May We Be Forgiven), Mark Sullivan (Rogue), and Chelsea Cain (Let Me Go). These guys were having a ball talking about writing thrillers, and I will be reading their new books.

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Jennie Shortridge reading from Love, Water, Memory, about Lucie, a Seattle woman in a dissociative fugue, who “wakes up” knee deep in the San Francisco Bay, remembering nothing. I’m halfway through that book right now; I can’t put it down.

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Gene Luen Yang, author of American Born Chinese, Boxes, and Saints, and Craig Thompson, author of Blankets and Habibiall graphic novels. Creating a graphic novel is hugely time-consuming. Yang said, “Comics have a way of eating your life.”

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Alissa Nutting, Leni Zumas, Tom Barbush, and Benjamin Percy.

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Sunday, I arrived early to catch this panel, “The Short Story vs. The Novel,”  because Benjamin Percy was on it. I had never heard of him before I heard him read from his book, The Wilding two years ago. His stuff is very dark, scary, and creepy, but his writing is gorgeous, maybe the best I’ve ever read. I’m not familiar with the other authors on the panel and will check them out. Alissa Nutting was hilarious– “The good in the world is, like, extinguished daily.”

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Adam Mansbach read from his new book, The Dead Run, and Mark Sullivan read from Rogue. I can’t wait to read their books.

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Tom Spanbauer read a whole chapter from his upcoming book, I Loved You More. It was So. Incredibly. Sad. Wow!

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Benjamin Percy read from his latest book, Red Moon, a terrifying episode that kept building and left me wrung out and shaken even though I had read the book a couple of times. Listening to anyone else after that would be a let-down, so I called it a day. I don’t know when I’ll go to the Convention Center again since Wordstock is moving. I took a couple of farewell shots on my way out.

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Author: Kate Comings

I have written a memoir about my experiences during the Isla Vista riots and and am working on the fourth novel in the "Divine Presents" series. My interests are many and include photography, writing, dogs, sustainable living, gardening, meditation, world music, indigenous cultures, and archaeology.

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