Sunday, October 10, 2010

What I Learned Reading and Tabling at Wordstock: 10/10/10

What I learned tabling at the Wordstock Festival in Portland, OR this weekend --- and reading at the festival with Kelli Rusell Agodon.

1. The world keeps getting smaller. Thank you Kelly L, Judy, and Deb for coming out to our reading. Having virtual friends via this blog become face to face friends was incredibly eye-opening. This makes traveling for book readings far more appealing.

2. Audiences appreciate readers who like each other. Kelli and I are good friends and I think this shows in the give and take with which we approached our reading. Audience members told us the warmth that we created together filtered out to our listeners and made a palpable difference to their experience of our work.

3. A retro suitcase makes a dynamite display case. Kelli found this vintage suitcase at a local antique store. Not only is it useful for bringing books to events, but it made a great display case for our table. Unusual displays are a way to connect with an audience.

4. Tabling is an art. We were located next to the ultra cool Copper Canyon Press and admired how their display looked more like a many textured bookshop with wooden shelves than it did a convention center display. This was our first venture into tabling and there's lots to learn.

5. I wish I had included a few recipes in The Alchemist's Kitchen. Several browsers picked up my book, but then put it down again when they realized it was not a cookbook. I wonder if my recipe for halibut would have helped cinch the sale.

6. Road trips with friends are fun. Annette, Kelli and I  laughed and talked all the way from Seattle to Portland and back again. We had amazing meals as well as pretzels and animal crackers for dinner. Without their friendship, navigational skills, and intriguing conversation, the trip wouldn't have been much fun.

7. Readings and events beget more readings and events. Kelli and I received invitations to do more readings and events together. We are looking forward to having our Crab Creek Review table make its second appearance at AWP this February-- this time with more chocolate.


  1. So pleased the event went well for you. You offer some wonderful tips here.

    Love the suitcase.

  2. Love the suitcase and the chocolate! Maybe recipe bookmarks?!

  3. Kathleen,

    That is an inspired idea ~ thank you!