Word of South.
I sat in a conference room in Tallahassee, surrounded by creatives and business people wholly devoted to bringing great music and literature to our area. I was inspired, but their plans -- to launch a literary festival in Tallahassee -- felt so far away. During those initial planning meetings, I'd sigh, wondering if spring of 2015 would ever really arrive.
Now, I'm looking at my calendar, and this weekend, the Word of South festival will premiere at Cascades Park in Tallahassee. My early involvement, as it turns out, has paid off. Your very own local Bookshelf is featured as the primary bookseller at this two-day event.
For the past several weeks, I've been enmeshed in Gretchen Rubin's new book, Better Than Before, a nonfiction look at habits and habit-building. I've been reading it voraciously, and thanks to Gretchen, I've learned: I'm a marathoner, not a sprinter. I tackle tasks slowly and steadily, well in advance. My husband is a sprinter, waiting to complete tasks until the deadline is nearly upon him. He just functions better that way.
Word of South has been a marathon. All the meetings, the book orders (over 1,000 books!), the emails back and forth with event coordinators... And now we're so close. Even the marathoners are sprinting toward the finish line.
Today, I'm asking you to come out and support the festival this weekend, April 11 and 12.
I tell Jordan all the time that we need to support the kinds of events we want to see our community continue to host. First Fridays downtown? We need to be there, because we want to show the hardworking people who coordinate that event: We're on board. We're with you. Let's keep doing this.
Tallahassee, just thirty minutes up the road, is a big part of our community. The more successful events and festivals they host, the better for our businesses and our town.
Word of South is bringing the Avett Brothers, Ann Patchett, Tony Hale, Julia Reed, J.K. Simmons, The Givers, and dozens of other nationally-recognized authors and musicians to our neck of the woods. And they're supporting our local economy by giving our little store the chance to sell books for it.
So here's what I need you to do: Mark your calendar. Show up. Bring your kids. Celebrate music and books and creativity and community and excellence because that's what book lovers do.
I'd love to see you there.