Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Writer's Festival at Tunxis

Well, I'm kind of back. Still am stuffy, but not as bad. Still a little fuzzy brained, but am getting better.

I had a nice day off today. I went to the Annual Writer's Festival at Tunxis Community College. I discovered this last year and enjoyed it so much that I stayed the entire fourteen hours! This year I did seven hours. The speakers were better last year, but this was still enjoyable.

First speaker was Lauren Baratz-Logsted, a small Jewish woman, who has written nine books. She was very informative about the writing process and she was also entertaining. One piece of trivia that I learned from her was that the teacher in "Dead Poet's Society" (one of my favorite movies) was modeled after Samuel Pickering, a teacher from UCONN.

The second presenter was Danny Cahill, a motivational speaker, author, playwright, etc. He gave a reading of his new play--let's say it was not my cup of tea and only could be put on in a liberal setting--pretty vulgar.

M. William Phelps was a crime expert, author and investigative journalist. He's written about that nurse in a nursing home who killed many of her patients and some other true life crimes. He had insight into the differences between male and female murderers. He also was entertaining and informative about the writing process. An author of 8 books to date, he is a high school drop out!

The movie, "Riding in Cars with Boys" with Drew Barrymore was based on the memoir of Beverly Donofrio, the next author. I thought she was pretty good. She was disappointed how different the movie came out from her book and her biggest disappointment was that the movie did not say that she went on to college. Unlike the speaker before her, she encouraged everyone to go to college. She was lucky enough that someone was able to work it out so that she could be on welfare (a single mom) and go to college too. I liked one of her quotes when she was talking about getting older and not writing. She said it dawned on her, "This is the ballgame, it's not the warm-up any more." Words to live by no matter what you want to do.

The final thing I stayed for was an impromtu panel when one speaker couldn't make it. I could have left earlier.

I was glad to have my son accompany me on this day. He enjoyed the cultural outting and wanted to stop at Border's on the way home for research material for a book he wants to write.

I have to also add that the newly renovated campus at Tunxis Community College is BEAUTIFUL! We were quite impressed.

So, this is a new annual treat for me. My only regret is that I didn't know about it 5 years ago when they started it.

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