Beau and I got back late yesterday afternoon from our long, lovely holiday weekend in Decatur, where I was fortunate enough to be a part of the Decatur Book Festival. My visit was sponsored by the Atlanta Queer Literary Festival, a fabulous event in its own right. AQLF is having a fundraiser on Sept 10 in anticipation of this year’s event, to be held October 13-26. You should go!
Our drive down to Decatur was fairly boring. Let me tell you: Virginia’s freeway is basically a corridor of trees and nothing else. An asphalt lobotomy. We thought North Carolina was very pretty and marveled over the sudden proliferation of adult superstores, fireworks vendors, and NASCAR bumper stickers we saw immediately upon entering South Carolina.
The Decatur Book Festival is amazingly well run and really well-attended. I listened to David Groff (and Collin Kelley and Franklin Abbot and Cleo Creech and Megan Volpert, among others) read from the Persistent Voices anthology in the morning, and then gave my own reading immediately after. A big group of us went to lunch and had an amazing meal and lively discussion at Leon’s Full Service, and then I wandered around to book fair while Beau got his hairs did at a local salon. After an afternoon nap, we hit up the Author’s Reception for a bit and then hung out with some fancy friends who’d driven into town for the events.
On Sunday, I joined David Groff and Rigoberto González at Outwrite Books, where I had two firsts occur:
a) I read under a spinning disco ball
b) I read while one of the audience members perused a dirty magazine in the back row
It was pretty awesome.
And that afternoon I joined Collin Kelly’s contingent at Java Monkey for a marathon reading that featured the lovely Lisa Allender, Dustin Brookshire, Cleo Creech, and Mike Dockins, among several other talented writers. Afterward, we grabbed another delicious meal, and then Beau and I moseyed back to the hotel for some R&R before our 10 hour drive on Monday morning.
We both love Decatur. The people are so nice and friendly and happy. All the food we had was amazing, and we got to have a bunch of really delicious beers at the Brick Store Pub. Atlanta stole our hearts this trip.
Beau has been speaking with a Southern accent ever since. Y’all.