YALLWEST #YALLSTAHOME DAY 2: The American Experience 2.0, Juvenalia

  • The American Experience 2.0
    • I explained the slight chaos with this panel in yesterday's post, but in case you didn't know, this panel had to be done over again the next day, due to moderator Lauren Myracle being pretty ignorant and reducing everyone's comments, as a white-hetero- cis woman. Yeah, the Twitter timeline was not happy about that.
    • Let's just say the second try was way better. This version was way more in depth, and everyone was more involved. 
    • Favorite Moments:
      •  Angie Thomas - "You're expected to love a country that doesn't necessarily love you back. We see it through this pandemic...expecting more from poor people than we give them back."
      • Bill Konigsberg - "Pull yourself by your bootstraps but what if your brain doesn't work [enough to pull them up]?" "Sometimes we just have to realize that today is a tough one, and stay here." 
      • They dicussed different family dynamics in America. "Families are not traditional," Bill said. 
      • Angie shared a story when she was writing her novel The Hate U Give when someone made a comment to her, "I'm so glad that Starr has both of her parents." Where it's not normally seen in YA literature where the main character has both parents alive or around their lives in the story. But Angie remarked on the panel, "There is no default family. White is not the default. Straight is not the default. There is not default. Just because everyone's family is different, that doesn't make that family any less than a white family."
      • Advice for teens in quarantine: 
        • For people who are on lockdown with abusive people at home, George - "Reach out to a friend or guardian to find a safe space."
        • Nic - "You don't have to do anything." Meaning, you don't have to be in a creative space right now when the world is telling you to be.
        • Bill - "It's ok to struggle."
        • Natasha - "Talk to people you don't get to see often. Have those conversations if you're in a safe environment."

  • Juvenalia - Sharing teen/childhood writing
    •  Description: Everyone starts somewhere. These authors prove that with their often hilarious, always heartfelt, and occasionally awful teenage writing. 
    •  Hosted by Maureen Johnson with Cassandra Clare + surprise guests Ransom Riggs, Holly Black, Amie Kaufman, Marie Lu, Somans Chainani, Maureen Johnson
    • Juvenalia definition - "items usually associated with children, such as toys, dolls, teddy bears, etc.
    • So many kid drawings and stories! So cuteee!
    • Why is it that they get the fun topics, but we black authors/POC colors get to discuss our issues and struggles and complications with living and life? I understand that panelists/moderators don't pick and choose their panel topics. Why can't we get our time to share younger versions of ourselves? To let younger/teen writers know that just because it's "cringey" now doesn't mean you should stop writing and keep moving.
      • The Beautiful Cassandra (no pun intended)
      • Maureen reinacting Cassandra's story lmao!
      • "Anyway, Jaydrien died." - Cassie Clare // "Ok, Richie died." - Ransom Riggs reading his story. These dramatic exits as they leave the scene lol 
      • "Come on, you slow puddle of water!" - Marie Lu
      • Melissa de la Cruz is here yay!! 
      • "You have to write it badly before you can write it well." - Amie Kaufman
I'm glad that the producers and organizers of YALLWEST created this virtual event in place of a physical one, according to COVID-19 precautions. I hope this isn't the first and last virtual bookish event we have, and not in the midst of a pandemic. I also hope events like this can happen regularly for those who are not able to attend these things. I've always wanted to go to at least one big book event, but I was never able to go because of distance or expenses. But now, thanks to YALLSTAYHOME, I can at least say I've technically been to one. 

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