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Trying to write in these times of uncertainty...

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

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. Read More 
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On the Same Page!!!!!!!!!!!!

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: Read More 
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HAPPENING NOW

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! Read More 
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WORDKEEPERS - Saturday, August 17

Come on out for Wordkeepers on Saturday, August 17, here in beautiful downtown West Jefferson. Hear some always great original prose and poetry from local/regional writers. It's free. We have refreshments (including wine!) and feature original music at 3 and readings at 4:00. Email me to reserve your spot if you want to share a 5-minute bit of your own original writing.  Read More 
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WORDKEEPERS 2013 Dates

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. Read More 
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FEBRUARY WORDKEEPERS!

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! Read More 
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Night of the Spoken Word

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… Read More 
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"wordkeepers" this Saturday

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. Read More 
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The Pressure's On

There is no end to how I can pressure myself. I have successfully done it again royally.

On Saturday, November 20, a couple of writer pals here in the neighborhood are getting together with me to do readings of our latest stuff. Read More 
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Love It!

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 North Pole City, or Fraser Town.  Read More 
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