Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Who's Growing in Your Backyard?

The Cameron Village Library in Raleigh, NC held its fourth annual Authors in Your Backyard: A Celebration of Local Writers event on Sunday afternoon. I attended with my daughter Cyndi and my friend, Pam. This is an event I look forward to every year.

We started with a keynote speaker, Michael Malone. Malone is a writer extraordinaire, having won the Edgar award and O. Henry Award. His books include The Four Corners of the Sky, Handling Sin, First Lady, Red Clay-Blue Cadillac, and many others. He’s probably best known for being the head writer on the soap opera One Life to Live for a number of years for which he won an Emmy. His manner was humble and droll while his remarks were informative and helpful for writers.

After Malone spoke, six local authors had a few minutes each to read from their current book. We in the audience were treated to excerpts from fiction, historical fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and a stand-up comic's hilarious take on the not-so-hilarious subject of infertility. 

When all had read, we were invited downstairs for refreshments and to display and, hopefully, sell our own books. As usual, I didn’t sell any books, but, as usual, I bought someone else’s book.

If you live in this area, I would recommend you come by next year for a good time and a good way to get your creative juices flowing. If you don’t live in this area, I would suggest you find out if your library does something similar, or if not, ask them to. It’s a great way to learn, sell, and above all, network.

Now I must get busy on my latest book in progress and pray for inspiration! In my last book, Saving Lou, I was a male sailor in WWII although I've never been a man nor in the Navy. I did, however, live through WWII, as a toddler. Now my protagonist is a Jewish fireman in Buffalo, NY! Oy vey! I've never been Jewish, a fireman, nor have I been to Buffalo. So much for "Write what you know!"

Quote of the Day“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” Ernest Hemingway

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Do You Hear That?

There’s a breath of fresh air happening in the country right now. And it’s in the new term, Listening Meeting. I don’t care which party you belong to, you have to admit that a politician, or anyone, arranging a meeting to listen is a rare occurrence.

The more President Trump’s listening meeting gets talked about, the more the phrase becomes part of our culture and hopefully will take root.

Listening isn’t something we do well or do much of. I’m as guilty as the next person when it comes to waiting for an opening to voice my opinion. Listening is a lost art and the thought that President Trump is reviving that much-needed conversation tool, is refreshing indeed!

His listening meetings have been aired and talked about for a few days now. My hope is that we people will absorb that thought and make a conscious effort to do more listening. We already know what we have to say; isn’t it time we heard what others have to say?

Elijah listened to the still small voice of God. Seems to me that’s a pretty good precedent that’s been set. If that isn’t enough, remember that we’re born with two ears and one mouth, so we should do twice as much listening as speaking.

And our president is leading the way. 

Quote of the Day: Listen my children and you shall hear . . .. H. W. Longfellow