All week, among commenting on haiku and tanka in my online Brave Writer poetry class, teaching my boys about the Industrial Revolution in our home school (along with all other elements of our daily lessons), frantically putting up our new community garden blog, working on my Boomerang deadline for Brave Writer, and reading aloud The Hobbit each morning (and writing a poem or two), I have been working on getting the publicity done for our arts and writing conference in May.
Our town is tiny (pop 1200), so having an arts council at all is an accomplishment. A monthly writing workshop is icing on the cake. Then turning these two small groups into a huge arts and writing conference is quite a daring thing. But our founder, Judith Dupree, has long rocked such workshops/conferences. She first secured Dr. Dean Nelson, founder of the journalism department at Point Loma Nazarene University, with whom she is a long-time friend. I also know Dean well from my student days at PLNU as well as my time there as an adjunct instructor when Dean graciously shared his office with me. Judith has deemed Dean "The Ringmaster" of the conference.
Judith also worked her magic in calling in Jim Schaap from Iowa, professor, writer, and photographer. Then she rounded up local talent in our dear friend Kathryn Belsey (my darlingest Kitty!) who just received her MFA in Poetry, harpist Susan Raimond, artist Norm Daniels, and many other local artists, including my dear husband Keith Barrett.
The conference is entitled "Beauty and the Beast: Art in an Age of Adversity" and will take place Friday, May 7 through Sunday, May 9 at the Pine Valley Bible Conference Center in our beautiful town of Pine Valley, California.
For more information, available workshops, and registration, please see one of our blogs: Mountain Empire Creative Arts Council (MECAC) or MECAC Writers' Workshop. I am the official registrar, so feel free to contact me for more information, and I can e-mail you an agenda and registration form, if you are interested in attending.
So for all these reasons, and lately, the latter, I have been a bit scarce here. But I hope to be here more often and writing about more stuff.