Stinky and I attended The Nature of Words Author Reading event last night. If you have never been to one of these events I highly recommend going. I wish I could go to the one tomorrow night too, but unfortunately we already have plans for the evening.
Personally, my favorite part was hearing Kathleen Dean Moore read from her collections of essays. I like the way she relates nature and natural events to her life experiences. As she described each scene I could close my eyes and see the coastline, and smell the salt air. It was wonderful.
Stinky really enjoyed listening to the excerpts that Craig Johnson read from his "Western mystery" novel. We laughed as he described the experience of writing his first novel, and then chuckled at the story.
We both enjoyed the other writers; poet Pattiann Rogers (who is also very expressive and a born storyteller) and Timothy Egan (whose introduction was very intriguing, but we missed his reading because Stinky was fading fast - it was after 9pm).
Only one possible criticism comes to mind. I found it interesting that Stinky was one of only two kids in the audience. (Anyone under 21 had to sit in the balcony, because alcohol was allowed in the floor seating area, so I am reasonably sure that I would have spotted other kids.) There was another middle school girl seated near us. And here's the deal: tickets for students are free. Are there really so few kids interested in writing and authors? Other than tiring out because of the late hour, it was a really great experience for both of us. I know the organization sponsors a writing contest for high school and college students, so they do have youth in mind. It's too bad that since they have taken the trouble to bring in these authors from all over that they can't also sponsor a student event in the afternoon, or even get the word out to middle and high school students and their families.
Overall - all of the authors were interesting, and it made me want to pick up a copy of at least one of their books. And I will definitely watch for the event next year and try to attend one night (if not both) of the Author readings.
We realize too late that we never taught our students what ducks know without knowing, that "we must love life before loving its meaning," as Dostoyevsky told us. We must love life, and some meaning may grow from that love. But "if love of life disappears, no meaning can console us."
~Kathleen Dean Moore, The Testimony of the Marsh