Category Archives: Festivals

Book Festival 2013 in Decatur, Georgia

2-Decatur Book Festival 2013

The eighth annual AJC Decatur Book Festival was held this weekend on August 31-September 1, 2013 in Decatur, Georgia where there were more than 300 national and local authors representing all genres of books with lectures and signings.

5-Decatur Book Festival 2013The outdoor café quickly filled before noon with book festival visitors taking a break.

4-Decatur Book Festival 2013My first stop around 11:00 am was made to the City Hall Stage to listen to a presentation, A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words.   There I learned about Laurie Shock’s book “How to Publish Your Own Photography Book.”  She’s the president of Shock Design Books, an independent publishing house in Atlanta that specializes in finely crafted books covering a range of genres with an emphasis on art and photography books.  You can read more about this on this link.

3A-Decatur Book Festival 2013 copyTo the right is pictured Architect Richard Diedrich’s book “Legendary Golf Clubhouses of the U.S. and Great Britain.”  The designer and publisher for his book was Laurie Shock. The topic of conversation was about what it takes to publish a photography book.

7-Decatur Book Festival 2013A sign on the sidewalk  that read “Free poems On Demand” caught my attention. The topic I chose for the poem the gentleman at the typewriter agreed to write was, the horse in the pasture. And why did I ask him to write about this topic?  Because I had written a short memory story on the subject and thought a poem would be nice. Here’s a link to my posting on The Horse In The Pasture.

Fifteen minutes later, Jon Ciliberto had written this poem:

“When science captured in silver flowing animals, then discovery of the floating aspect of a running horse, and propulsion became flight. Each dirt clod flies from shod leg, skipping grass and hot air over from easy canter. Nay, a fence isn’t a corral on space, neither is human fixing of purpose and a finish line.  Drop the flag on broken earth, each droplet of equine equanimity whisks a lazy tail on history’s fierce placement of a single creature in a single place.”

A  statue by  George Lundeen  of Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States and “author of the Declaration of Independence,” can be found in front of the Old Courthouse on the Square in Decatur, Georgia.10-Decatur Book Festival 2013

The High Museum of Art Atlanta had a booth at the festival this year. When I inquired about their current exhibit they gave me a fan. It has a picture of the “Girl with a Pearl Earring on it.  This Vermeer painting is now on view through September 29, 2013 along with thirty-five Dutch Golden Age masterpieces, Rembrandt and more at the museum.1E-Decatur Book Festival 2013

The end of August is always hot and today was not an exception. The afternoon temperature on Saturday reached a high of 90 degrees, so the fan with the picture of the Girl with a Pearl Earring helped keep me cool from the rising temperatures.

These are a few of the things I saw at the book festival this year where there were more than 300 national and local authors attending.

Written and Photographed by Mary Gilmartin, September 1, 2013


September 2, 2013 · 12:01 am

Yellow Daisy Festival 2012, Stone Mountain Park, Georgia

The 44th Yellow Daisy Festival in Stone Mountain Park, voted one of the Top 3 Arts & Crafts Shows in the Nation, opened this weekend. The 2012 featured artist is Rosa McMurtray with her colorful artwork  showing  off the daisy.

Daisey Festival Stn Mtn 2012 012

What is the Yellow Daisy Festival?

 The Yellow Daisy Festival is held each year in the month of September in Stone Mountain Park, Georgia  to celebrate the blooming of the daisy as this spectacular species grows in bright rivers of yellow on the granite outcroppings of Stone Mountain. The daisy can be seen in its’ natural environment on hiking trails on the backside of the mountain.”

Here’s some things I saw during my short  “One Hour Tour“…

The Pink Van:  It’s too early to eat Yum Yum Cupcakes. Guess I’ll just keep walking.

The Stone Mill Grinder’s display: Stopped and sampled a tiny cornmeal pancake.

Daisey Festival Stn Mtn 2012 027

Large Size Fruit Paintings:  What a statement they seem to make.

Interesting sculptures from found pieces…


Irish Blessing:

May your home always be too small to hold all your friends

Written and Photographed by Mary Gilmartin, September 7, 2012

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Festival of Books 2012, Decatur, Georgia

The 7th annual AJC Decatur Book Festival was held in the square in Decatur, Georgia this weekend.  I arrived an hour early on Saturday morning, September 1, 2012 before the crowds arrived and mapped out all the things I wanted to see. The parade lead by bestselling author Kevin Henkes and his  Lilly, were there to celebrate his new book Penny and Her Doll. The march started on a side street around 9:30 am with the parade scheduled to arrive at the Children’s Stage by 10:00 am.

Things looked different this year because of the construction. The site for all the exhibitor’s booths and performance stages involved a lot of walking to get from place to place. It was impossible to make all the rounds since there were lectures and signings from more than 300 national and local authors, including award-winning and best-selling authors representing all genres of books.

Here’s a restaurant, Out of the Pan, that’s typically Southern cuisine. Perhaps those visiting the tents and booths lining the streets found this restaurant.

While I was there patiently waiting under the trees along with all the other Kevin Henkes’ fans for the parade to arrive at the Children’s Stage, I met a woman waiting for the author of Penny and Her Doll. I found out that her name is “Penny”. Below meet “Penny” waiting for her book and doll to be autographed.

Let me introduce you to another person: She’s “Mara The Helper” pictured below. She was standing next to the line of people waiting to get Kevin Henkes to sign their book, mine included. I chose his book Owen for the one I wanted autographed.  She greeted me with a great big smile and asked “How can I help you?”

That red fan she’s holding in her hand, it’s now mine. Thanks, Mara, for giving me something to help keep me cool. Even though it’s not quite 11:00 o’clock yet, it’s really hot out here. I learned that Mara is all about helping others with a village mentality.  Her mission is speaker, advocate, mentor, parent advisor and helper.  Here’s a link to her Youtube show for her series, marahelper1

Now I’m off to the  Decatur Library to get my new library card and make a donation. The illustrator for this children’s book, James Dean, was there signing autographs. He signed my new library card. The first time I found out about this great illustrator was from the book, Pete the Cat, I Love My White Shoes. My five-year old grandson absolutely loves this book and wears red shoes, just like Pete’s. The book I selected to buy today was Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons. I know a little boy who will be turning six years old this month.What a great birthday present!

My next stop was at the booth of a local author, Michelle Nelson-Schmidt. She’s the one dressed in green introducing her latest book Jonathan James and the Whatif Monster  (the green one). I’m the one dressed in purple sitting next to her. I liked her book, Cats, Cats so I bought it. She autographed it for me. What a great illustrator and author to meet today.

While others walked around… a couple who liked to just sit and rest on a bench were content to watch. I think they appreciated all the company surrounding them today.

The Blue Typewriter on display by Type Rider caught my attention. I didn’t realize how much finger effort it requires to strike the keys. When I finished typing my first line with the beginning words, “The first…..” I  stopped typing and looked down at the keyboard.  Where’s the return key, I asked?  The reply: It’s the bar on the top. I had automatically looked at key that would have been the Enter Key on my computer’s keyboard thinking it was there.  I guess the age of computers is how my mind thinks now.

The Keynote Address for the festival came from Natasha Trethewey,  the U.S. Poet Laureate in Poetry for 2012-13She was present on Saturday at 2:00 o’clock in the AJC Tent signing her bookTHRALL .

Atlanta Writers Photo 086At the  Atlanta Writer’s Club annual booth , it was my pleasure to stop by and say hello to two great writers & members who volunteered to help this year. Tiffany Parks told me that I motivated her to get her first article published on August 9, 2012.   It’s a great story about the Goldwasser Family and The Brooklyn Loan Company.

I first discovered Fran Stewart when she hosted a one-year project in 2009 on Mystery Matters. Every Friday morning she would interview a mystery writer. As an author herself, Fran has written many books. The first line of Chapter 1 in her first mystery book “Orange as Marmalade” is one of my favorites: “There had definitely  not been a body on the second floor landing when I had run upstairs to the attic  earlier in the evening.”

Photo of Josh Russell at the  book festival booth promoting  Kill Shakespeare.The Friday night before the festival I had the pleasure of meeting Josh Russell when I attended his Short-Shorts Workshop at Agnes Scott College. Here’s an excerpt from the overview about the workshop: “The short-short story is, for many reasons, more open than any other narrative form ….”

The City of Decatur, Georgia has many interesting shops and lots of things to do… I wonder what’s inside this shop…. Wild Oats and Billy Goats

One of the reasons I stayed all day was to meet Erin Morgenstern, the author of  Night Circus. I was there before 4:15 pm waiting on the steps of the First Baptist Decatur Church when I saw her being escorted into the church through the side entrance. The  Sanctuary quickly filled with over 200 people who had come to hear her talk about her book. Since I wanted to get a good view I moved up to the front row.  That’s why you don’t see any heads blocking my view in the photograph I took of her on the stage. The other photograph is outside with her signing her book. The couple in front of me who had lined up to have their books signed came dressed as two of the main characters, Marco and Celia. If you haven’t read this story, here’s the script as written on the back of the book: The circus arrives without warning.  No announcements precede it.  It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.  Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazement. It is called Le Cirque des Reves, and it is only open at night.

This concludes my day at the Decatur Book Festival. What a great sunset to end my long day!

Written and Photographed by Mary Gilmartin, September 1, 2012


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