Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A Resounding Success by Margo Hoornstra



 
Take a number of writers eager to share their craft, sprinkle with some enthusiastic book lover volunteers then add several interested readers to the mix and what do you get? A full day to discuss, share, learn and teach writing at the Alpena Book Festival. And, yes, we were encouraged to promote ourselves and sign our books. Stocked on the shelves in a bookstore no less.

You may remember the last time I posted here on September 23rd, fellow Rose Diane Burton and I were just heading off to take part in the event. Blasted out of my comfort zone big time when I accepted her invitation to attend and wondering what to expect, I needn’t have worried.

What a fabulous experience. Everyone was friendly and accepting. The venues, an ‘old fashioned’ bookstore, a charming loft meeting room, an art gallery space all were homey and unique.
 
 

As traveling companions, Diane and I mesh pretty well. She is an excellent driver with a solid sense of direction, qualities I lack on both counts, although I have been known to read a map correctly when pressed. As roommates go, I hit the jackpot. She’s tidy and courteous, who could ask for more? Since we have a lot in common, we had plenty to talk about. Our families, our writing, various author groups we both belong to. The current state of publishing and such. 

Even our individual nighttime rituals and early morning routines seemed to be complimentary. While she reads before bed, lights on as I settle in don’t bother me at all. I’m up early to spend alone time with my beloved coffee, and hopefully don’t disturb Diane as she catches another hour of shut eye.
 
 

All in all, it was a week-end saturated with the who, what, where, when, why and how of the profession we all know and love.

The only down side was the lengthy drive in and around your typical week-end traffic. Easy enough to solve. Next year we’ve decided to arrive earlier and stay longer.

It doesn’t get a whole lot better than that.
 
My days to blog here are the 11th and 23rd. For more about me and the stories I write, please visit my WEBSITE

19 comments:

Leah St. James said...

What a wonderful experience, Margo! So glad you and Diane had such a great time. I haven't been to or participated in a book festival in a while...but I think I need to get back in the groove!

Margo Hoornstra said...

Me either, Leah. I hadn't been part of a writers' and readers' conference as a speaker in a very long time. Talk about getting back into the groove! And then some. And I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Elizabeth Meyette said...

What a great experience, Margo. I was hoping to join you this year...maybe next year??

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

It sounds like you two had a "mahhh-velous" time and made some special memories. That's always a sweet thing to do. Thanks for sharing. Loved the early morning coffee pic. I thought it was me for a sec.

Jannine Gallant said...

I'm that early riser, too. When my local friends and I did our annual Mom's Weekend in the wine country when we had little kids, I was the one up at the crack of dawn to go for a walk while everyone else slept. I've NEVER been to any sort of book event. Pathetic. I can't wait for our retreat next fall.

Lucy Naylor Kubash said...

Sounds like a fun time, and it always helps to have a good roommate. I've never participated in a book festival but might have to make it to this one next time.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Absolutely, Betty. The more the merrier.

Margo Hoornstra said...

It definitely was mahhh-velous, Vonnie. Yep, that's exactly how I feel (and probably look) pre-coffee in the morning.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Oh, Jannine, you have to try it. Hmmm. I'd join you in that early morning walk AFTER coffee, of course.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Come ahead, Lucy. It is a very well planned event. Next year for sure!

Susan Coryell said...

I absolutely LOVE events like this and even hosted one for years (one-day only) at the high school where I taught. Looking for some venues closer to SW VA. Nice post!

Margo Hoornstra said...

Thanks, Susan. The people who run the Alpena Book Festival are actually thinking about expanding it to a two day event. That was one of the things Diane and I noted. As nice as it was, we didn't really feel like we had enough time to do everything and touch on everything we wanted to.

Rolynn Anderson said...

So glad you and Diane had a great time together and at the workshop. You really do need make friends at a workshop/conference and it takes a while to get to know them before conversations deepen. For that reason, I like two-three day conferences. But I've also learned I like smaller conferences...less than 400, say. I'm always recharged after a good conference...that's important for this writer!

Margo Hoornstra said...

Recharged is right, Rolynn. And, I'm with you on the smaller conferences. It's hard enough to get to know people. Crowds make that harder. As I mentioned, this group is looking to expand their conference from one day to two. I hope they do.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Love these kinds of experiences. Great you girls had fun.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Me too, Brenda. You can never get enough!

Diane Burton said...

Thanks for the kudos, Margo. Right back at you! We had a great time. I'm definitely going back next year. I want to see more of the lovely town.

I loved this festival. It was in its 2nd year. I talked to the organizers who say they learn so much each year. They were so appreciative of the authors who came. I learned a lot from the people there. One reader gave me some terrific ideas for a story I'm planning to write. Later, she made a point to come up to me and offer some more ideas. I can't wait to use them in this story.

Alicia Dean said...

Oh wow, sounds divine. I'm envious. Would have loved to make the trip with you ladies. Although, I might have spoiled your zen. :) Thanks for sharing, Margo. I enjoyed hearing about the festival and your road trip!

Maris said...

Thanks for your overview of the event. Sounds like a great group and wonderful weekend. I wasn't able to attend this year, but I hope to make it there in 2017.