Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Nose to the Grindstone and Other News

I have been right at it this week, getting my ducks in a row for next week's Creative Writing Workshop I'll be teaching in Marlinton, WV for the Allegheny Echoes Music and Writing annual series.
Not a photo of me working! Just an old lizard hanging out on the garden fence.

Not this this is really work; it's actually a lot of fun pulling my ideas together, searching out resources, deciding what we'll write about and planning field trip activities. And I am looking forward to all the music too, as musicians will be everywhere during the week.

Last Saturday I was in Morgantown, WV to lead a workshop for scientists--teaching storytelling so they can learn how to use storytelling techniques to help them tell the story of global warming. It was a diverse and interesting group of people and I came away hopeful for our planet. Topics these scientists were working on ranged from flooding in Botswana and West Virginia to vector-borne diseaases (like tick and mosquito-carried). 

While in Morgantown we stopped (of course) at the Salvation Army thrift store, and wouldn't you know it, ran into friends there! West Virginia really is one small town. We met up with them later to have dinner and hear about their trip to England and Scotland. These two are born storytellers and kept us in stitches throughout the meal.

So green! The plants are literally falling out if the flowerbeds.

Rain continues to stymie Larry's efforts to keep up with the grass, and I am trying to turn a blind eye to the string-trimming and weed-burning I need to do. Perhaps this evening--right now the sun is out for the first time in days and some of the puddles have dried up.

Our old dog Otis, enjoying one of the few dry spells this past week.

The ground is terribly wet and soft, and that probably caused the power outage we experienced yesterday; no doubt a tree fell on the line somewhere, or a pole toppled over because of the soft ground. It put a smll kink in my work as I was trying to print handouts, but we shifted to Plan B pretty smoothly. Living without electricity for 15 years or so makes it easy to be flexible. Having free gas helps too, as we can cook and the fridge keeps working (sort of--it's still giving us trouble).

I did get a little painting done this week, and have a few pieces almost ready to go. We'll take them to our Ravenswood booth tomorrow morning. A dresser I started will have to wait to be finished when I get back.

I was delighted this morning to hear that Joy Harjo has been named the US Poet Laureate. She is a Native American and an excellent poet. To learn more about her, click here. Oddly, just yesterday I printed out one of her poems to read during the workshop next week, and ordered one of her books. Then this morning I saw that she'd been named Poet Laureate. I love such coincidences.

Maybe my herb plants have dried enough for me to cut some to bring in to dry. I think I'll go check!

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.


jcm said...

Always busy!! I know you'll have lots of fun next week. Enjoy some downtime, if any comes your way.

Quinn said...

I was also thrilled about Joy Harjo! Things she has said about poetry, song, and dance, remind me of the parallels in the Welsh and Irish oral traditions. Some aspects of being human transcend space and time, don't they?
And what a GREAT idea for a workshop for scientists! Excellent! Some scientists are natural storytellers, but many more of them could benefit from leaning how to tell a story in order to convey info in a way that truly reaches listeners. You are doing important work there, Sue!

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