I'm not new to talking, sharing ideas, or stating my opinion, especially stating my opinion! After all, I taught elementary school for 30 years! However, my audience has typically been smaller,just family, the classroom, or just talking to myself!

My blog has two goals: be an outlet for sharing thoughts on writing children's books and the path to publication (got my fingers crossed that I'll get there) and a place to chronicle my journey of losing my sight. Sometimes I imagine these two paths will overlap .

Monday, July 11, 2011

                               Less Than a Week

          I signed up 6 months ago. In May, I joined the discussion board and started meeting other people. It didn't seem quite real that I was going to the Highlights Foundation Chautauqua Writers Workshop. Three weeks ago, I started cleaning up the manuscripts, making revisions, collating copies. Two days ago, I placed all my clothes and notebooks, pens and mosquito spray out on the guest room bed; I opened up the suitcase to 'let it breathe.' 
                  Today, it hit me... in less than a week I'll be in western New York, surrounded by writers, editors, publishers, and illustrators. An entire week  of talking, writing, eating, breathing, sleeping children's literature and writing.
Oh. My. Gosh.                                      

          I have met some incredible people on the discussion board, They feel like friends I've known a long time. One moved back from Germany to Nebraska last week, another lives in the Jemez Mountains in New Mexico. Someone actually lives just across Lake Chautauqua. I want to bring them all home with me and form another writers' group.

            Anyone who has been to the workshop says it's exhilarating, exhausting, and mostly extraordinary. Can one person handle that many exs in a week?????????

If all that isn't exciting enough, there's one more little thing to think about. Bats. You heard me, bats. It seems that western New York has a massive bat population in the summer. I'm told you can see them hanging in the eaves of buildings, and if you see one on the ground, DON'T reach down to help it. Yeah, like that would EVER happen.  I'm also told that no one at Chautauqua has ever been attacked by a bat. That's real comforting to know. The bats do 'appear' to be diving right at you occasionally, but only if you're in the path of reaching an insect. Great, so I need to avoid insects and bats.

I can see it now.... mosquitoes (who LOVE me by the way) following me for a smoothie a la Gail and a pod? swarm? crew? of bats going in for the kill (literally). Until one bumps into my shoulder, freaks me out and I start swinging my cane in the air, like a bat (baseball variety) to keep them away. I have two things to say about that: 1) not a pretty sight but certainly an attention-getter and 2) I hope they move like 'a bat out of hell' and leave me alone!!!                                             

Maybe I should practice whipping that cane around my head! I could partially fold up the cane and swing it like those nunchucks you always see in the martial arts movies, however, that would involve coordination - of which I don't have much- especially eye/hand coordination. Since I'm a little short on the vision spectrum, I'd just end up whacking myself in the face. Try to explain those welts the next day!         

Well, I know I'll have one or two posts from the serious side of Chautauqua. Here's hoping there are no incriminating pictures of the less serious side!

Saturday can't get here soon enough! (Oh yeah, it's my birthday too.)                          

1 comment:

  1. Yeah! And a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!