Monday, October 1, 2012


Doraine & me

What a lovely time we had in Columbus this past weekend! Big thanks to my hostess Doraine and all the fine folks associated with Chattahoochie Valley Writers' Conference.

On Friday night I opened the poetry reading, and the amazing Ayodele Heath closed. (These conference organizers were kind enough not to ask me to follow Ayo... wow!) Find out for yourself in the video below where Ayo performs his piece "Etymology of Ain't":

And then, Saturday morning, Georgia author Terry Kay gave the keynote address. Terry said so many things that resonated with me. Here's a few that are sticking with me:

me & Terry Kay
1. Art is something on the outside that you take in. (as opposed to the idea that art is inside us waiting to come out)

2. If you are experience writer's block, add a character and see what happens!

3. A variation of "I Am Third" -- at Camp Cosby, they teach God is first, others are second, I am third. Terry says, Character is first, Reader is second and Writer is third.

4.  Don't tell me how you feel; tell me what makes you feel. (allow reader to experience the feelings)

Terry also said mine was the first poetry workshop he'd ever attended. Afterward, he asked me, "Do you really like writing fiction?" I didn't get a chance to find out why he was asking... but the answer is yes, yes I do!

Thanks to everyone who made this wonderful event possible.


  1. It sounds like a lovely time, Irene. I love the 'ain't' video-so many great voices out there to enjoy! Terry Kay sounds like an inspiration-interesting to think about that 'character first'. It's important to me as a reader to like the character (or dislike sometimes). Thanks!

  2. yea, that blue tick hound is calling my name... building character one flea at a time...hehehehe


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