THE LOVE OF BASEBALL

October 1, 2015

Tags: reading, writing, On the Same Page Literary Festival, West Jefferson, North Carolina, Ashe County, Ken Waldman, Wendy Welch, Jack Beck, Kathryn Stripling Byer, Ann Pancake, Edward Kelsey Moore, Georgann Eubanks

Oh, I hope you didn't miss it...we had such a wonderful time. I would have written more about it right after, but I got sick as a dog and like others who have contracted this "crud" it's been a couple of weeks knocking it back.

It would be hard to pick out just the highlights, but you can see lots of pictures from the Festival on the On the Same Page Festival website (onthesamepagefestival.org) or join the Festival's Facebook page.

It's hard sometimes to spend all year putting something like a literary festival together and then step back from it after -- or even during -- to understand what kind of experience has been crafted for the attendees. We can look at numbers; we can look at comments and evaluation forms...but it's hard to capture what went "right" and where we can improve, where we can make next year even better.

The even better part is the hardest when you've had such a wonderful experience. I'll just keep working on that.

Don't miss this dynamite line-up of writers, story tellers, and musicians.

September 8, 2015

Tags: literary festival, West Jefferson, Jack Beck, Kathryn Stripling Byer, Angela Davis-Gardner, Georgann Eubanks, Amy Greene, Edward Kelsey Moore, Ann Pancake, Dan Pierce, Ken Waldman, Wendy Welch

On the Same Page Literary Festival happens here in West Jefferson in September. It's a nice time of year here -- the trees are just beginning to turn, the weather is generally cool-ish. In its 8th year, we have developed an excellent and professional little event, and I DO mean little. Big names in books, but a "little" feel to the thing -- intimate numbers, a chance to really talk to the authors, workshops with workable numbers of participants and a cooperative, rather than competitive, spirit about it.

We'll have a big "Reflections on the New River" event, too, on Saturday morning at the Farmers Market. It will be a great next-to-last event for the Festival. I'm expecting 20 or so of the writers to show up to share their work and sign books.

By that afternoon, I'll be face down. I think this is my 5th year of working on the coordinating committee for the Festival. We work all year long putting it together, and it's an exercise in stamina for us to make it all happen in those five days.

If you're in our neighborhood, be sure to come. Check out the schedule I've posted here or go to the website. We've got a wonderful line up - you won't be sorry you came.

On the Same Page!!!!!!!!!!!!

September 15, 2014

Tags: Literary Festival, West Jefferson, Wilton Barnhardt, Georgia Bonesteel, Kathryn Stripling Byer, Wiley Cash, Georgann Eubanks, Philip Gerard, Alan Hodge, Robert Inman, Daniel Wallace, Allan Wolf

It's that time, folks, for the stupendous, glorious, feast of words that is known in these parts as ON THE SAME PAGE LITERARY FESTIVAL. I will be at everything, seriously, everything, and I will enjoy all of it.

Hard to believe, but this whole thing gets done by a volunteer coordinating committee and the library and county arts organization. And, every year, I swear to god, it gets better. We work hard all through the year to make the whole thing possible and by the time this week arrives, I am so psyched I could just about pee myself. (I'll try not to.)

One of the very best things about the Festival is the quality of the authors we get to come here. NO DIVAS. No d-bags. No people who have to be babysat. Just generous and talented and plain delightful writers, one and all.

I mean who doesn't love Danny Wallace. C'mon? Who did not laugh their heinie off reading "Lookaway, Lookaway"? Is Wiley Cash a star, or what? Bob Inman? He's a prince. And Philip Gerard, well, ok, so I'm definitely prejudiced about him -- he was one of my first-rate teachers in the Goucher MFA program.

You will not find a better setting or a more intimate treat than On the Same Page. Here's a quick schedule of who's coming and when you can see them: (more…)

HAPPENING NOW

May 10, 2014

Tags: Literary Festival, On the Same Page, Ashe County, West Jefferson, Philip Gerard, Daniel Wallace, Wiley Cash, Gerogann Eubanks, Donna Campbell, Wilton Barnhardt, Georgia Bonesteel, Alan Hodges

Hey friends, sorry to be gone so long. So much happening that I've gotten behind. Since my last post I've been to El Salvador and Jerusalem. Can you believe it? I'll be catching back up on my posts in the coming weeks, because it's all hitting the fan again right away. Emma and Steve are coming from England at the end of the month and then we're going back to Jerusalem to work on the Mt. Zion archaeological dig at the end of June. I know, right?

But today, I'm asking for a favor. Please read below and go vote for the On the Same Page Literary Festival so we can get some fab air time on our local NPR station. This year's Festival is going to be gangbusters. Here's who we have coming: Daniel Wallace, Philip Gerard, Wiley Cash, Wilton Barnhardt, Georgann Eubanks, Donna Campbell, Alan Hodges… That's some serious literary talent, folks!

So, please, read and vote:

The Arts Council needs your help. WFDD (fabulous NPR radio station in Winston Salem) is having a contest called ARTS AWARENESS, to win $4000 worth of marketing. There are 44 community organizations in the region that were accepted into the competition, and ON THE SAME PAGE LITERARY FESTIVAL is one of them!

We have until May 31st to garner as many votes as we can. You can vote every day and you can vote for 3 organizations each time, if you want. Catchlight Gallery is the other “local” group in the running.

It’s easy to do. Click on this link: https://polldaddy.com/poll/8025788/ (or copy it into your browser), then scroll down to On the Same Page (it’s all listed alphabetically), click on the little box, then go to the bottom of the page and click on “Vote.” That’s it! After you vote, you can see how many have voted for us and what percentage we are of the total votes cast. We’re not doing too well yet! So get on the computer EVERY day and vote for the Literary Festival. It is great exposure for us and if we were one of the winners, the bonus of the free advertising would be wonderful.

Please share this with family members and friends. We’ll only win, if we get the numbers up and the votes in. Remember, you vote every day!

Thanks for your help and support!

Changing Times

July 17, 2013

Tags: West Jefferson, North Carolina, College Avenue, moving, packing, downsizing, 1938

Well. Whew. In a matter of 10 days we've sold our existing home and signed a contract for a new one, right down the street, literally a few blocks away. I'm excited about moving to a more appropriately sized place for two people, and, to have figured out a way to remain in our small town where we can walk to so much of what we do. I'm also very excited about having no more 5 baths to clean. Thank you. I'm old and too lazy to take care of this much house.

All this will happen in the coming 6 weeks, so I'll likely not revisit this blog again until I'm sitting in my new office. Do be in touch with me via this website to supply encouragement and to share any news!

WORDKEEPERS 2013 Dates

January 4, 2013

Tags: writing, salon, reading, West Jefferson, NCWN, Mountain Memoirs, Chris, Arvidson, Scot, Pope, Julie, Townsend

We're on the books again for 2013 WORDKEEPERS at the Arts Center in West Jefferson, NC. The highly successful (we think!) writers and listeners salon, now into its third year, continues to bring new writers and readers together.

Coming off our wonderful success with the book, "Mountain Memoirs," Scot, Julie and I are back at it. Once again, we had more new readers and more new listeners in December, and I've already received emails from new folks wanting to join us and read their work.

Here are the dates for 2013: Feb 23, April 13, June 15, Aug 17, Oct 19, Dec 21.

Come on out. It's casual, fun, and we have refreshments to get your courage up if you need them. Email me via this website if you want to sign-up for your 5-minutes of Wordkeepers fame.

FEBRUARY WORDKEEPERS!

February 6, 2012

Tags: writing, reading, salon, poetry, prose, non fiction, fiction, West Jefferson, NC, Arts Council, music, Henry Doss, Scot Pope

The next Wordkeepers salon is Saturday, February 18, at the Ashe Arts Council, 303 School Street. Henry and Scot will warm the crowd up with their singer-songwriter magic at 3:00 p.m. At 4:00 p.m. writers will begin the open mic readings. Refreshments will be provided. For February's Wordkeepers, writers should email Julie Townsend at finally@skybest.com to reserve your open mic spot. I will miss this month's salon because I'll be in El Salvador with my Charlotte Habitat for Humanity crew. Pictures will follow!

Night of the Spoken Word

May 15, 2011

Tags: writing, arts, Ashe County Arts Council, West Jefferson, All My Children, General Hospital, One Life To Live, Soap Operasa

Ashe County Arts Council holds a "Night of the Spoken Word" each year. They invite area writers to read the latest of their work to a very nice audience of 100 or so. The event, which is very well-received, and which I participated in last year as well, was the inspiration for me, Julie Townsend, Scot Pope to create "Wordkeepers" writing salon during the winter months, which I've posted about here on my blog.

Last night was 2011's "Night of the Spoken Word" and as in years past, we all had a wonderful time listening to area writers. I read an essay about Soap Operas, the reading version of which I'm posting here. (Those of you who know me will have to imagine me reading it aloud.) Sorry I don't have any pictures of any of the writers, once again, I forgot in my nervousness, to bring my camera.

NIGHT OF THE SPOKEN WORD MAY 14, 2011

I see many of you here tonight who have joined Scot Pope, Julie Townsend and other writers from around the area at Wordkeepers – a reading salon we started over the winter months at Bohemia coffee house. Back at January’s Wordkeeper’s, I read a confessional essay about watching soap operas. At the time, I WAS a reformed soap opera watcher – a bone fide member of ABC Daytime Anonymous. I’m sorry to have to report back to you all now that I have fallen off the wagon – but it’s for a really really good reason… (more…)

"wordkeepers" this Saturday

January 12, 2011

Tags: writing, reading, listening, West Jefferson, Bohemia, Ashe County, Watauga County, Avery County, Allegheny County

Come on out to Bohemia Gallery in West Jefferson, NC, this Saturday (1.15.2011) for our next "wordkeepers" salon, 4:00 p.m. See our groovy poster at right.

We'll be featuring Julie Townsend reading from her new novel "Seafood Jesus," which is coming out in March. We'll also hear from me, Scot Pope, and folks on our open mic portion of the program.

Love It!

December 20, 2009

Tags: snow, West Jefferson, snowshoes, cross country skis

Broke out Michigan winter clothes this morning - even gaiters. I found Henry's snow boots in the bag with the snow shoes and poles. A hike around town, while it was snowing this morning, was Christmassy to the maximum. In fact, I think they should change the name of this town to Christmastown or (more…)

Snowstorm - Definitely.

December 19, 2009

Tags: snow, West Jefferson, New River

My Henry made his way to Beckley, WV, yesterday morning. He and Ben and Carol from National Committee for the New River went to close on the largest ever conservation easement (1400 acres!) for NCNR, and our first in West Virginia. They made it back to beat the main part of the snowstorm, although they (more…)