Thursday, September 22, 2022

Eastern hospitality.

Writers conferences are making a comeback now that the scourge of covid is somewhat under control. You may recall my recent report on the Southern hospitality I enjoyed while speaking at the White County CreativeWriters Conference in Arkansas. Since then, I was treated to some Out West “Eastern” hospitality while speaking at the Eastern Idaho Writers League Conference in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

A few years ago, the statewide Idaho Writers League disbanded, and with it went the regional conferences around the state. But writers in Eastern Idaho weren’t content with inactivity, so they formed a new organization and this year sponsored their first conference. I was fortunate to be invited as a presenter. I renewed acquaintances with writers I had met at earlier conferences as well as met others for the first—and I hope not the last—time.

Having spent five years or so living in the Idaho Falls area, we also visited some old haunts from our time there as well as visiting family and friends still in the neighborhood.

All in all, as Jim Stafford would sing under different circumstances, it was “A Real Good Time.”

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Southern hospitality.

It took a lot of walking through miles of airport concourses, late flights, missed connections, and hours and hours sitting on airplanes.

But it was worth it.

Last weekend I had the pleasure of speaking at the White CountyCreative Writers Conference in Searcy, Arkansas. They are a fine group of fine writers, and they host a fine conference. I got to meet a lot of folks—most of their names, unfortunately, soon leaked out of my porous brain—and talk with them about poetry, fiction, history, and every other kind of writing you can think of. My fellow presenters, Laura Castoro and Michael Claxton, were informative and entertaining and it would have been worth the trip just to listen to them.

With the nasty coronavirus more or less at bay these days, it is a pleasure to see writers conferences once again show up on the calendar. And if they are all as good as the White County Creative Writers Conference, the writing world will be a better place.