“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”(Thornton Sully, plagiarizing E.B. White)
This is really to address all those who attended the Sixth Annual Writers’ and Creatives’ Reunion held a month ago in California. I have been basking in the glow of all the wonderful unsolicited emails I received in which you let me know how much you got out of the event. Thank you all for sharing that. Makes it all worthwhile!
I am back in my home in Ceske Budejovice, having first gone with my own true love Eszter to a peninsula in Thessalonika, the island Peraia, Greece to swim in the Aegean, sail in Hungary, and bathe in a waterfall deep in a remote forest in Greece, and visit the grave of Aristotle at the excavated ruins of a Roman fortress, waltz at a gala wedding in the Castle of Cesky Krumlov, and camp in a vineyard in very, very rural Hungary.
But about our June event:
We had about 80 or 100 people attend, and presented our traditional format of allowing everyone time at the mic, to share their projects and aspirations, and accomplishments of the previous year. We had great entertainment, and our traditional raffle and book swap.
For reunion number seven, next June, we’ll do things just a bit differently. We saw that a number of people, once they had their time at the mic, disappeared, the audience dwindling in size to the detriment of those who had yet to speak. So I do ask that next year you excise any competing activities that might cause you to leave early. We are also going to devise a way to limit everyone’s time at the mic to three minutes, or will start much earlier so that if you need or would like more time, we can accommodate that. Almost everyone who signed up to speak entered their name in the column that asked they be among the first to present. Next year, our priority will be to let those with a physical disability go first, followed by expectant mothers whose water breaks, and then the order of everyone else will be determined by a random draw. I remember how they did it at Folk City in Greenwich Village where all the Dylan wanna-bees would gather to perform on Friday nights. Two decks of cards–you draw a card, and then the MC would draw a card from his own deck. Maybe we will come up with something like that. Maybe our cards will be a matched set of famous quotes from writers? The MC reads a quote from his stack, and there will be a match in the audience.
Next year we may cluster the professionals–those who have something to offer in the way of advice or insight towards the end of the event, and perhaps have major entertainment or a keynote speaker as the last item on the agenda, as an incentive for people to stay. The quest for knowledge thingy. Maybe Chip-n-Dale dancers an the Dallas Ohboy Cheerleaders don’t appear until the end. (WHAT? You missed that? That’ll teach you to leave early!) Your suggestions for next year’s event most welcome.
The event is all about inclusion, and I do hope that everyone who wanted to speak had an opportunity to do so, though I know for some, the inspiration to do so fizzled when other participants departed early.
If you did not receive a free hard copy of our anthology 5×5 Keeping the Dream Aloft: Five Authors, Five Stories Each, simply send me a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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And now, back I am to work!