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All the Words and Art Happenings Up in Here

Big Time Friday Night

I'm slowly getting back into the outside world as I recover from my back injury. Sometimes I feel like it's a slow go, but this is actually only week five of the saga, and from all I've heard from others who have dealt with degenerative disc disease and disc ruptures, I've nothing to whine about.

Last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, I got an encouraging boost toward putting writing back in its rightful place in Crazytown by attending a bit of Ashe County's first literary festival, all of which took place within blocks of my downtown West Jefferson home. I especially enjoyed Georgeann Eubanks and her book "Literary Trails of the North Carolina Mountains" which is the first in her three-book series of literary travel guides in NC. Jill McCorkle read from her new short story collection "Going Away Shoes." I loved her general sensibility and her reading was wonderful (she deleted the F words when she read from the book, I noted). She struck me as an absolutely authentic writer and someone whose craft and presentation are most definitely to aspire to.

Which brings me to my upcoming reading on Friday night in Asheville. An excerpt from my MFA manuscript was just published in the "Pisgah Review" and contributors to the issue are reading at Malaprops Bookstore. The reading is at 7:00 p.m. so if you live in the area, come on over! The essay I'm reading is the same one I used for my MFA graduation at Goucher in 2005, and the one I read for an open mic at a NC Writers Network conference. (You can read the essay by clicking on the Working link at the top of this page.)

My audience will include my Henry, my friend and old boss Susan, her husband Bill, and their excellent teenager, Alex. Sam and Anne Knight are also coming up the mountain, and we'll all spend the night at Susan's house Friday night. It should be a fun once I get my reading done...that part will be kind of scary. I find reading to strangers less stage-frightful than to friends and family. But then this group have been given instructions to laugh with gusto at the funny bits, and they are very reliable that way. I think I'll get them tanked up beforehand, just in case.

So, I'm building some momentum here on getting back to work on my manuscript and, just in general, putting my butt back in the seat of the writing life. It seems, in light of my enforced time off, a good time to be doing this kind of reflection.
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