Despite the heat, though, this has been a real buzz for everyone in the lit field. I always leave the UCLA campus kicking and screaming every year, not wanting it to end; yet at sometime I have to take all this enthusiasm and inspiration and translate it into some finished pages. I mean, you can only buy so many books and book bags and bookmarks and... well, you get the picture. I did get into every panel I wanted to attend, too (where, at least, there was air conditioning). Among the many authors I've listened to, chatted with, or just happened to run into (or brush passed) are Mark Acito, Noel Alumit, Gustavo Arrellano, Francesca Lia Block, Charles Bock, Kip Fulbeck, Gina Nahai, Naomi Hirahara, Maxine Hong Kingston, Russell Leong, Steve Lopez, Al Martinez, Walter Mosley, Gary Phillips, Christopher Rice, Luis Rodriguez and Marcos Villatoro (and there's still another round of panels to go).
At least, for one weekend out of the year, there is proof positive (about 250,000 times over) that there are people in Southern California who still have a thing for the written word.
And there's even chocolate. How cool is that?