Friday, June 25, 2010

What I’m grateful for at the BWRC, Atlanta, June 23-25...

1. REUNIONS: This is the third Black Writers Reunion and Conference I’ve attended. The previous two were in Tampa and Las Vegas – and the real joy is reconnecting with those authors I have met previously. The connections originate from our shared professional interests in the book industry but they are maintained by our common personal belief in that what we do actually matters. Tonight I was reunited with friends from NYC, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Philadelphia and Alabama! The night was saturated with positive energy, warmth, appreciation and excitement.
2. PASSION: I am grateful for passionate people. I have no time for apathy because to me apathy = laziness. I’m grateful that I am surrounded by writers here who pen novels, poetry, screen and stage plays and a host of other fabulous words. Many of these writers are emerging and are here to learn the craft of writing, and also the mechanics of publishing. They have flown from across America, paid registration fees and accommodation costs as an investment in their writing careers. I am impressed by their commitment to being professional writers and I am inspired to the nth degree, not just about writing but life generally.
3. CONVERSATIONS: Sometimes the greatest learnings happens in the ad hoc conversations we have along the way (in the lobby, gym, pool, bar, loo), not in the workshops themselves. I’m particularly grateful for conversations I’ve had with Robin and Jackie about loss, recovery and faith. Not a book in sight!
4. WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS: I’ve been truly blessed by having my own workshops attended by interested / interesting and engaged participants. I always say you’re only as good as your audience. My audiences have been very, very good!
5. UWS: I need to acknowledge the Badanami Centre at the University of Western Sydney who covered some of my accommodation here in Atlanta. Their support for my own professional development is much appreciated.
6. NEW FRIENDS: I have made new friends – don’t panic, the old ones aren’t getting the boot - and I prefer to call them friends as opposed to colleagues, because we share more than a passion for books and stories, we share similar ideas about life and the world. I think I may have to stay here! I wish that Greencard lottery would hurry up already!

Today's photos are of moi with Tia Ross, Conference Director. Then deadly poet Marc Lacy and finally the amazing speaker Ms Patricia Haley!

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