*Afterthought #74 – One More for Baker’s Dozen

A few days ago, I reached my limit when it came to enduring March weather. I dug into my bag of antidotes for the fickleness of the start of spring and asked readers who suffer from the same impatience to share their ideas to add to my dozen. Then, just when I doubted my spirits would hold up until spring is more predictable, Bruce Botts of Vita’s Wildly Delicious announced the return of Friday Wine-Tasting at this iconic Lopez eatery.

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IMG_1862 (1)Sure, we had to huddle around the fire as we sipped wine and chatted outside, but coming out of hibernation to reconnect with friends warmed me even more. Since its opening in 2001, Vita’s has been a gathering place for locals and tourists alike. Bruce has a knack for selecting delicious, affordable wines for the weekly tasting, and the pours help the week’s stresses fade and the conversation flow. IMG_1861

 

These photos by Sue Roundy give you an idea of the convivial atmosphere.IMG_1859

It’s a sad day in the fall when Bruce posts a notice that Vita’s will close for the winter. But seeing the door open, the lights twinkle around the patio, and hearing the clink of wine glasses gave me more confirmation that winter is behind me—and in just one more month, Vita’s open days and menu will increase.

SALUD!

 

 

*Afterthoughts are my blog version of a practice followed in some Quaker meetings. After meeting for worship ends, people continue in silence for a few more minutes during which they’re invited to share thoughts or reflect on the morning’s worship. I’ve adopted the form here for last-day-of-the-month brief reflections on headlines, quotes, books, previous posts, maybe even bumper stickers.

 

 

*Afterthought #72—Orcas Island Lit Fest 2018

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Sometimes opportunities come along that you never could have anticipated. That’s the case with an invitation I received last spring to join the board of the inaugural Orcas Island Lit Fest.

 

Press_release_1_Collage_DigitalAG_previewThe three-day festival (April 13-15) on Orcas Island will welcome a diverse group of emerging new voices as well as critically acclaimed and award-winning writers, poets, and literary figures from around the world to celebrate the literary arts. How lucky I am to be a part of the planning for this exciting event, just a short ferry ride away.

A couple of years ago I attended the Oakland Book Festival and learned how literary festivals are different from writing conferences. They’re both about books and writing and authors, but festivals, like the upcoming one on Orcas, bring together people who love to read books with the authors who love to write them.

Sam Gailey, author and OILF board member, describes it this way:

“The Orcas Island Lit Festival is doing for literature what the Telluride Film Fest has done so magically and intimately for filmmakers.”

There’s loads of information on the festival website (updates added almost daily), so that’s the place to check for all the details, to buy tickets (only $65 for a weekend pass), and to volunteer or support the festival in this, its first year. Until you click to the page, here’s a quick overview.

Darvills_Bookstore_Eastsound (1)The festival will kick off Friday night with a Lit Walk and open mic readings at locations around quaint Eastsound Village. Saturday morning, Family Lit Fun will host Thor Hanson, readings by characters in costumes, a kids’ coloring station, and readings by award-winning Young Adult authors. That same morning, the Book Fair opens at the Orcas Center for the Arts, featuring book sales by Darvill’s Bookstore, book signings, and exhibits by literary journals, independent presses and publishers. Food and a book arts exhibit will be available at the Center all weekend, too.

For those readers who also are writers, writing workshops will also happen at various locations around the island during the morning on Saturday and Sunday. There’s a workshop fee (scholarships available) to sign up for one of these four workshops by Ana Maria Spagna, Kevin Clark, Write Doe Bay, and Josh Mohr.

Two tracks of moderated panel discussions begin Saturday afternoon featuring invited artists, thought leaders, and publishing professionals. On Saturday evening, the Lit Fest’s marquee event (additional fee) takes place on the Orcas Center’s main stage, with readings by the festival’s award-winning lineup of invited authors. Afterwards, things get a bit more raucous at the Battle of the Genres gala after-party. Sunday morning is day two of the workshop program and more fantastic panels to attend at the Orcas Center, all of it capped off with a final closing event at the Book Fair.

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I hope to see you there!

*Afterthought #70 – Reblog of “It’s Just Nerves” Review

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The release of a new book by an author I know is always a delight, and Kelly Davio’s essay collection, It’s Just Nerves: Notes on a Disability, is no exception. Kelly writes clearly, concisely, and at times with wit about chronic conditions (specifically her own experience with myasthenia gravis) and ableism. She says what is rarely spoken about the ignorance, and at times mean-spiritedness, about people with disabilities. I shook my head in disbelief about some of her experiences of discrimination, exclusion, and disregard, yet, sadly, I know she writes truthfully.

As a retired nurse, my stomach knotted as I had to acknowledge my own limited understanding and complicity in systems that too often focus on the diagnosis and lose sight of the person. It’s Just Nerves is a tough, yet necessary, read.

Sonya Huber, an author and teacher whose “body is also awry,” reviewed Davios’ book recently in Brevity Magazine.  Huber’s opening summarizes Davio’s book well:

As many essayists and memoirists know, poets often stroll into nonfiction and bowl a perfect strike, knocking us all over like so many bowling pins. Kelly Davio’s skill as a poet  in full effect in the pages of her new essay collection, It’s Just Nerves: Notes on a Disability. She’s underselling with that word “notes,” as each of the twenty-five essays contained here is a miracle of compression. And as the best poems and essays do, these works pull upward and outward with taut energy, connecting specific experiences and resonant details to overarching themes relevant to any reader who happens to live in a body. 

Huber’s review conveys how Davio’s collection is a fine example of the power of the essay to reflect and make sense of  life. Even better is to read Davio’s own words about her experience of disability. The book is available wherever books are sold.

 

 

*Afterthoughts are my blog version of a practice followed in some Quaker meetings. After meeting for worship ends, people continue in silence for a few more minutes during which they’re invited to share thoughts or reflect on the morning’s worship. I’ve adopted the form here for last-day-of-the-month brief reflections on headlines, quotes, books, previous posts, maybe even bumper stickers.

*Afterthought #69 – Reblog: Quaker Indian Boarding Schools

Writing companion and fellow Quaker,  Gretchen Wing,  posted an essay earlier this week that needs to be read widely. I’m re-posting it here as we end a month filled with so many revelations about oppressive (and illegal) actions and mis-use of power. The history Gretchen writes of describes Quakers’ complicity in suppressing Native American culture and wisdom through the creation of Quaker Indian Boarding Schools.

I join Gretchen and Quaker teacher Paula Palmer (who recently wrote an article in Friends Journal on this issue) in asking myself the questions being asked by Native organizations:  “Who are Friends today? Knowing what we know now, will Quakers join us in honest dialogue? Will they acknowledge the harm that was done? Will they seek ways to contribute toward healing processes that are desperately needed in Native communities?”

*Afterthoughts are my blog version of a practice followed in some Quaker meetings. After meeting for worship ends, people continue in silence for a few more minutes during which they’re invited to share thoughts or reflect on the morning’s worship. I’ve adopted the form here for last-day-of-the-month brief reflections on headlines, quotes, books, previous posts, maybe even bumper stickers.

 

Facing History and Ourselves, Quaker Style: Indian Boarding Schools are Our Shame, Too

by Gretchen Wing

Facing History and Ourselves is the title of a book and a mini-course in Holocaust Education. I took the course and used the book myself in my high school teaching. But what about that uniquely American, slo-mo Holocaust, the attempted eradication of Native culture? In grad school I learned about the Indian boarding schools of […]

via Facing History and Ourselves, Quaker Style: Indian Boarding Schools Are Our Shame Too — Wing’s World