Friday, March 18, 2016

Festival of the Book

We are almost finished with the Festival of the Book in Charlottesville Virginia and I am full.  Full of thoughts,ideas,inspiration and words.  

We have heard  8 talks In three days with one more tonight.  Our speakers have included war reporters, novelists, Civil war historians, military historians, Young adult writers,  and lawyers. Tonight we hear three crime writers.

In addition to that we are wandering around Charlottesville looking at shops and thinking about photography, jewelry making, wood working and other creative pursuits.  And i have had some good meals: a fabulous steak and wonderful buffet and my first shrimp and grits, for example.

And at the same time having time - like right now - for rest and reflection. All of which is a real gift to my mind and my soul.

There is something about hearing creative writers speak about their process that really speaks to me.  One woman's book was the result of paragraph written after a writing prompt. One man said that he was told to write what scares you or what preoccupies you. He also said that as he got going on his novel he felt like messages were coming to him like voices on a radio frequency.  Everyone seems to say the same thing essentially: writing is slow and at times almost mystical

I have been learning and thinking about so many things: the Civil war, the War of 1812, Al quaeda and Isis, the importance of the Bill of Rights, Albert Einstein and the clipper ship "the Shenandoah" in the civil war.  I can almost feel my mind being stretched and my curiosity awakened about so many things.  There is still so much to learn.

But finally most noteworthy for me was - not one - but two writers over 60 sharing their first book. So that there may be hope yet for me.

But over and over i hear that writing requires passion - yes- but also discipline, patience, and hard work. Hard to balance that with this carefree retired life where I have the time to go to Book Festivals!

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