Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Mary Ricketson, poet, appears in Murphy, NC and Andrews Art Museum

I am always happy to spread the word about what is happening with our poets and writers who are members of NCWN-West. Mary Ricketson is one of the NCWN-West representatives for Cherokee County, NC and has published a couple of poetry books. She is also a columnist for the local newspaper in Murphy, NC. She has some appearances coming up.

April 14 Mary Ricketson will be one of two featured authors at the Andrews Art Museum's 50/50 art sale. It's a free evening, 5-7 PM, of art, food, and music at Valleytown Cultural Art Center on Main Street in Andrews NC. Original art by local and regional artists will be available for $50, music by Heidi Holton, samples of pizza and beer by Hoppy Trout. Mary will talk about poetry and display her books.

May 5
Mary Ricketson will be the featured author at Curiosity Bookstore, Valley River Ave, Murphy NC, during the First Friday Art Walk, 5-8 PM.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

NCWN Spring Conference April 22

NCWN 2017 Spring Conference
Saturday, April 22

MHRA Building and Curry Auditorium, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Register at www.ncwriters.org

Spring conference offers small classes, top writing faculty, and intensive Master Classes and breakout sessions in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, writing for children, choosing the right kind of publisher, and social media for authors. 

Former NC poet laureate and NC Literary Hall of Fame inductee Fred Chappell will give the keynote address. 

Other features include faculty readings, on-site "lunch with an author," publisher exhibits, Slush Pile Live!, and an open mic for conference participants. 

Friday, March 17, 2017

What's Happening? This is happening.

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor for the Writer’s Digest Writing Community. He offers good info for poets who follow him on Twitter or Facebook and who read his blog. http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/poetic-asides


Robert was a guest at Writers Circle around the Table a few years ago, and I have followed him online since then. He is a very nice man, a father and husband, and gives many tips and ideas for poetry on his blog. He generously helps budding poets, and is accessible by email. You will gain good ideas from him. He travels to talk to writing groups, large and small. 

I met him at the Blue Ridge Writers' Conference in Blue Ridge, GA where my friend, Carol Crawford, invited him to speak. And speaking of a wonderful writing event, the Blue Ridge Writers' Conference will be April 7 and 8 in Blue Ridge GA. It is one of the best small conferences I have ever attended. 

Mark your calendar now for this important day in May.

Writers, poets, playwrights and anyone who wants to publish fiction, nonfiction, or poetry will receive advice, tips and motivation at A Day for Writers, a one day conference in Sylva, NC on Saturday, May 6. You will find information about this conference at www.netwestwriters.blogspot.com  
This gathering is sponsored by the Jackson County Public Library and the NC Writers' Network-West. We will meet at the library in the old courthouse, a lovely place. 

Poetry with Karen Holmes in 2017

 Have a Little Fun and Learn Something, Too: The Poetry of Thomas Lux


Karen Holmes will teach a three hour workshop July  15, 2017. Karen is an excellent poet as well as a teacher of  poetry.

I enjoyed a class with Karen at John C. Campbell Folk School earlier this year. We discussed  lyrics, listened to music and then wrote poems or lyrics. She  has taught at my studio in the past and everyone enjoys her workshops. She has been a good friend of mine for more than ten years.

Karen has her own business but finds time to facilitate a poetry critique group in Atlanta where she lives most of the time. She also has a house in Hiawassee, GA on Lake Chatuge. Once each month, except in winter, she holds an Open Mic in Blairsville, GA.

Her poetry collection, Untying the  Knot, has been highly praised with excellent reviews. The knot that Karen was untying was her marriage of over 30 years. I like that this book is filled with the pain she felt and still endures at times, but also includes humorous poems. I was one of many read this book through in one sitting. I could not put it down.

If you Google Karen Paul Holmes you will see page after page of her publications.

Staci Lynn Bell said, "I thoroughly enjoyed Karen's class. Karen was well organized and kept the class flowing. The exercises given were creative, structured and informative. Her passion and knowledge invaluable."

Put this on your 2017 calendar:
Click on Studio Schedule for complete class description

What: Have a Little Fun and Learn Something, too. The Poetry of Thomas Lux
Where: Writers Circle in Hayesville, NC
When: Saturday afternoon, July 15, 1 - 4 p,m

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Abbie Johnson, a person who gives

Wyoming writer, Abbie Johnson, makes me feel like a do-nothing person when I read all she does for others.  Her post today catches her readers up on what she has been up to. It was quiet in her town of Sheridan, she says, but see what she has been doing.

By the way, Abbie is blind.
For those of us who are not blind, are we giving of ourselves as she does? I don't have Abbie's beautiful voice and I don't play guitar, but I have talents to share with others. I do what I can to help writers but I do it from home, from my office and my computer. Abbie gets out and travels to nursing  homes and places where she brings joy to others. 

As I get older, I find more people showing kindness to me. Recently, as I left the grocery store, a former student of mine who published a delightful book, came out with me and asked if  he could put my groceries in my car. Before he left, he said, "If I can do anything for you at your house, call me. I can come over and take care of some chores for you." 

Gene is a sweet man who has always impressed me with his kind heart. I met him just after my husband's diagnosis of cancer. I taught my first writing class and before I dismissed I mentioned my husband's diagnosis. This kind man stood up and spoke to the students. "Be sure to keep this lady in your prayers," he said. "She has a hard time ahead." He didn't know me. I didn't know him.

I  turned to get into my car and then  I remembered. "Gene, I do  have something I need some help with." I asked him if  he would come and install a  couple of water filters for me. He is going to find what kind of filter I need for my pump and install it. 

How many people offer to just come over and do chores or fix things for us? I don't think many people do that, especially without being paid. 

I also have one of the best people on earth as a good friend. Her name is Mike. Sunday night I locked myself out of my bedroom. I never lock that door. I just pulled it shut, but  when I went back to open the door it would not open. I felt so helpless. It was Sunday and a locksmith would charge me extra to come out. I could not wait until Monday as I had to  leave home early for a trip to Atlanta. Also, and more importantly, my medications were in that room. 

After doing all I knew to do, I called Mike. I knew she would have an idea to help me. But after I took the doorknob off and still could not open the door, she came over to my house. Armed with a tiny tool and a spatula, Mike soon had my door opened. She didn't hesitate to take time to drive to my  house and open my door. She told me to buy another door knob and she would install it for me. No, Mike is not a carpenter or builder. She is an accomplished artist and writer. She has talents I could never imagine, and I call her superwoman. She is always willing to  help someone in need. 

But I digress. Abbie Johnson is a great role model for others. She lost her husband after a few years of marriage, and she became a caregiver soon after their wedding when Bill suffered a stroke. She has written about her experience. Visit her website and read her poems and hear her sing. 
You might want to order her books. She is an inspiration. 


Saturday, March 4, 2017

Storytelling at YHC, Young Harris, Georgia

I heard this is an event that everyone enjoys. I hope to go this year.

A Message from storytelling@yhc.edu:

Greetings, friends,
Are you ready for the 2017 Georgia Mountain Storytelling Festival? It will be here in a month! We have a terrific schedule packed with storytelling sessions and workshops. You can see a draft of the schedule online at www.yhc.edu/storytelling or at our ticket site:  http://2017gmsf.eventbrite,com.

  • We also have some special events new to the festival this year, including an open mic hour for anyone who wants to sign up to tell a story (and possibly win a prize).
  • A session on the life and works of Byron Herbert Reece put on by the Byron Herbert Reece Society
  • History's Alive presentation by Sheila Arnold Jones, one of our featured tellers. Sheila will give us an inside look at the early twentieth century through the eyes of famed African American author and folklorist Zora Neale Hurston. 


We're expanding our children't programming this year too with special stories and a workshop for the young and young at heart, a puppet show by the Mountain Regional Puppet Company, and a musical story (Kim Maerkl's "The Snake Charmer") presented in conjunction with the YHC Clarinet Summit.

There's much to enjoy, and we hope you can join us. If you haven't already purchased your tickets, early-bird ticket discounts end at midnight tonight: http://2017gmsf.eventbrite.com.

If you're looking for a hotel, the Ridges Resort (5 minutes from the festival) is offering a discount on rooms; their rate is $99 per night plus taxes and fees.The manager says, "Please ask guests to call 888-834-4409 and state they are with the GA Mtn Storytelling Festival.  Once they do, then the reservationist will be able to give them the rate quoted." 

There is a Holiday Inn Express and Suites in Hiawassee,  GA,  which is 10 minutes from the venue. This is a good option. You might also consider the Comfort Inn in Blairsville, GA (10 minutes from the festival venue in the other direction).

We hope to see you in a month for two glorious days of storytelling!


  



Thursday, March 2, 2017

Writing Class scheduled for June

I have been asked to teach a writing class this summer at my studio. I have given it a lot of thought and decided I could do an eight  hour course over four weeks.

Tuesdays work best for me, so I will hold a class from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. on Tuesdays, June 6 - June 27. 
In this class  we will write fiction or nonfiction, short stories or memoir, and discuss how  to write work that readers want to  read. We want our work to be entertaining and enjoyable. Nonfiction should be enlightening as well. We will learn how to do this. We will have  homework to bring to class to read and get feedback. Those who have taken my classes before know how much they enjoy the classes and how much they  learn. 

If you think you would  be interested in this class, let me know by email: gbmountaingirl@gmail.com

I try to  keep fees very reasonable. Fee for  this class is $35.00 
Minimum for class is five students.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Don't miss this writers conference in western NC

A Day for Writers - May 6, 2017 -
Jackson County Public Library, Sylva, NC
co-sponsored by the  library and the NCWN-West

A one day writing conference for writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, children's literature, and anyone who wants to publish their writing. 
Visit: www.netwestwriters.blogspot.com to learn more.

Click on this page with the Schedule for a Day for Writers. 

Look for the Registration Form on the sidebar under Pages. Copy and print this form. Complete and follow directions on the form. 

Outstanding presenters:
Terry Kay - award winning author whose books have been made into movies
Kathryn Stripling Byer - First woman poet laureate of NC and author of many books.
Gary Carden - playwright, storyteller, author 
Catherine Carter - poet and educator
Deanna Klingel - writer of books for young people
Tara Lynne Groth - writer, teacher, and expert on promoting your work online
Glenda Council Beall - writer, poet and teacher