May include book signings, readings, panels, conference events, and the rare “look who I ran into” sightings.
I’ve identified The Handmaid’s Tale as an important book in my life. Margaret Atwood is a personal hero, a literary rockstar, and brilliant creative. I reserved tickets the day registration opened. I spent most of Wednesday alternating between fangirl-esque squeeing and silent anxiety. I bought a shiny green notebook (background in photo above) to mark the occasion. I enjoyed drinks at happy hour and counted down the minutes.
First of all, Atwood is funny. She knows her timing when speaking. She prepared notes, and she knew when to hit her beats and what comments would play well.
She’s also passionate about climate change – not a surprise for an event called “Exploring Climate Fiction.” Still, I was impressed by her knowledge on a variety of topics, like sea bird populations and marine life. One of the things I love about Atwood is how she weaves layers of stories together. The event was like that – with creativity and innovation blended with environmentalism. It was a wonderful talk, one that inspired me to bring new ideas into my work.
She advocates change, asking us that if we don’t want to go where we’re headed, we shift our direction. I think that applies to a lot of areas – the environment, public policy, personal decisions, plot lines.
We can rewrite the ending.
Favorite Atwood books or quotations? Drop ’em in the comments!