Saturday, June 18, 2011

Writing with Friends

This afternoon about twenty residents of Pine Valley and environs gathered in the Community Room of the Pine Valley Library for a presentation by journalist and author Joe Tash on his book Dear Guests, Beware of Wild Monkeys.

Joe, his wife Alicia, and their daughter Salome traveled around the world in 2005, home schooling then fourth-grader Salome as they traveled through South America, Europe, India, Cambodia, Thailand, and Japan over a nine-month period.

Joe's book gives practical advice on traveling with a family, dealing with insurance and medical needs, plus what and how to pack and prepare for such a trip. The book is sprinkled with journal entries written by nine-year-old Salome as Joe re-created his own journal and e-mails. In more recent trips to Africa and other places, Joe has blogged along the way at Beware of Wild Monkeys

We very much enjoyed seeing the map of their travels, watching a slide show of their spectacular photographs (taken with a compact point-and-shoot digital camera), and hearing both Joe and Salome read from the book. Joe was generous with his time, answering questions that ranged from home schooling to specific locations to language barriers to types of food eaten (crickets were rather weird!). Joe and his family were warm and personable, and although I couldn't afford a book at the moment, I hope to read one of my friend's copies when they finish...not that I don't already have a sizable reading stack building up for this summer! Joe cheerfully signed books and chatted with attendees, even staying late to take a look at one of our writing group member's illustrations for her book.

After the Tashes left for the long drive back home to Oceanside, our Writing Workshop held a rather impromptu build-your-own-blog workshop on the library computers as I helped Betty and Teresa start their own writing blogs. If you would like a peek and perhaps follow them as they continue their journeys as writers, you may check them out here: Betty's Blog and The Silver Shell. It took us about ninety minutes to build both blogs, one of them on each computer with me hanging over their shoulders, directing them through the process.

So today was a lovely writerly day, admiring a local author's completed project and helping two writing friends into the blogosphere as they continue on their journey to publication.

Wishing you many writerly days,

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