Home from Kindling Words. Let's venerate our fools!

I'm home. Just got back from Kindling Words and NYC and a few days working on new writing projects. I like travel. I like Kindling Words. I like a bit of adventure . . .

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So sigh. Back.

I guess it doesn't make it any better that there's now laundry to be done, receipts to be filed, and just a lot of plain stuff about. How in the world did I manage to accumulate so much in eight days? Maybe I shouldn't combine antiquing with travel? Yes, it IS dangerous -- and heavy... though traveling does prevent one from coming home with Burpee Seed boxes, mounted Sword Fish, and a happy yellow (but full-size) barrel that I was sure I needed for my office. See photos below of antique shops. 

This is from Sarah Darer Littman. Here's her website: http://sarahdarerlittman.com

This is from Sarah Darer Littman. Here's her website: http://sarahdarerlittman.com

Memories from Kindling Words?

First, there's a rule at Kindling Words: What goes on at Kindling Words stays at Kindling Words. So I didn't take any photos there. (The photo of the world famous Kindling Words bonfire is from Sarah Darer Littman, and yes, I snagged it off Facebook. Please visit her and tell her what a glorious, roaring photo it is!)

Now, though I should say NOTHING (well, that's not completely true -- it just makes the whole thing sound so much more mysterious...) I will say a few things anyway. READ ON: 

  • If you're a published book creator, it's a good thing to get together in a setting of other published book creators and talk shop. There's stuff you can't discuss in any other setting, and yes, we do discuss it. There's a real comfort in knowing you're not alone, and talking everything through. Yes.
  • Gary Schmidt, who taught the sessions on creating books for middle grade readers, did an amazing job discussing how minor characters, setting and language have been used in literature from Charles Dickens to John Green. I don't many people that could do what he did, so I'm not joking when I say that if you're organizing a conference with a track for writers Gary Schmidt is the guy to get. He's the guy I'd want.
  • I sang karaoke for the first time!!!! Holysmokes. You have no idea how groundbreaking that is for me. Growing up, my mom was the best soprano in town and everybody asked me if I sung. I stopped singing at about age 7. But at that magical place known as 'Kindling Words' Sarah Littman agreed to do a duet with me and we sang The Lion Sleeps Tonight and I just pitched my voice up for that counter-melody and went for it. Who knows if I was in tune? And who cares? What fun!!
  • And after that? I was a disaster! You couldn't stop me from singing at the bonfire. And singing loudly. AND with arm gestures. What?!? I sang folk tunes and show tunes and camp songs with everybody else until I went hoarse. One of the themes of the weekend was to VENERATE THE FOOL and after doing it once (karaoke) I just couldn't stop. Try it sometime. You may find it as addictive as I did...
  • White space: What a great idea this is! Basically, the Kindling Words staff puts up a big white board, and leaves some space in the afternoons for anybody (absolutely anybody -- even me) to suggest topics for discussion. So I wrote down "Antiquing and Walking" and three of us went back to those antique stores in Essex Junction, Vermont again. It's called Five Corners Antiques. Check it out if you're in the area. (Yes, I ended up with more "treasures." The Bemis Seamless bag, and the little salt shakers are mine -- ALL mine!) 

By the way, below is a slideshow with enlightening commentary. Or how to get into an Amy frame of mine while in an architectural salvage/antique place...