BrooksBlog: The Beach Got Lit
Spent this last weekend (April 13-15) doing something besides taxes. Did an event called Get Lit At The Beach. No, it wasn’t a drinking contest; it was a celebration of writers and readers and books at Cannon Beach, Oregon. Got roped into helping organize this about 3 or 4 months ago when Mike Morgan, Mayor of Cannon Beach, said, “Don’t you think an arts conscious community like Cannon Beach ought to have a literary festival of some sort?” I should know by now never to say ‘yes’ to that sort of question, but i let down my guard and suddenly Judine and I had a new undertaking. So we followed up. Got a grant and a coordinator (Valery Vines-Magee) through Tolvana Arts Association. Got lots of help from Cannon Beach Books owner, Val Ryan. Called up Elizabeth George and Susan Wiggs and Jamie Ford and got them to volunteer to come down for the weekend. For nothing. That’s the kind of writer friends they are. We did a Meet & Greet Friday night, three talks on Saturday during the day, a banquet with a speaker Saturday night, and a panel of all four of us on Sunday morning that was open to the public. What matters about all this to me is how much fun everyone had. It wasn’t a big event. We might have had 50 people at each of the talks and maybe 90 at the dinner. But everyone got to talk to the authors face-to-face and one on one if they wanted to. Everyone got to participate in a meaningful way. It wasn’t about teaching writing or how to be a writer. It was about how we all love books and how writers and readers come to books and make them central to their lives. It was about sharing a passion and a way of life. How often do you get a chance to do that? Not often enough, says I. We will do it again next year.