The Hubbard Hall Writer’s Workshop came to the farm this afternoon to plan the first public reading of our works at Hubbard Hall on Friday, May 21st. There will be a reception at 6 p.m. – you can see their photos, videos, poems, and then at 7 p.m. a reading of our works. You can order tickets from Hubbard Hall, the Cambridge, N.Y. arts center. That night, I will read from my next book “Second Chance Dog: A Love Story,” and the writers will show their blogs on video screens and read from their works. The Writer’s Workshop began last year and was supposed to last a few weeks, we are going to keep going indefinitely. It’s too creative a group to disband. This is a remarkable group of writers, bloggers, animators, poets and thinkers, one of the most talented and enthusiastic and supportive group of creative people I have meet.
The writing workshops I have heard about are rarely fun. We are having a blast, and moving forward with our work.
I asked each of the writers to start a blog, and boy, did they ever. Diane Fiore (from left) began writing about her extraordinary relationship with her father, who she did not got along with until he got Alzheimer’s. They had ten wonderful years together. Her’s is a love story told on her blog every day. Her mother has Alzheimer’s now and Diane has moved into her home with her husband to help care for her. Home is where the heart is. People all over the country are finding her poignant writing about her family helpful and riveting. John Greenwood started his career as a milkman and now runs Stewart’s milking operations. His blog, Raining Iquanas is colorful, honest and amazingly creative, a spectacular explosion of writing, video, photography, a powerful new kind of memoir from a creative warrior.
Kim Gifford is a brilliant artist, photographer, writer and teacher. On her blog, she celebrates her quite wonderful art and her all encompassing love of pugs and her search for a meaningful life. Jen Baker-Porazinski is a compassionate and dedicated family physician struggling to keep her humanistic view of medicine in the midst of a complex and sometimes dehumanizing health care system. She writes about her determination to help people heal with great clarity and passion and her perspective as a doctor is very powerful. The writing workshop has helped give Jen a voice about her life in medicine.
Rebecca Fedler is a young poet who grew up on a Washington County farm (she works on the farm and also is a waitress and bartender.) Her blog is new, her poems are powerful, wrenching and honest. I call Rachel Barlow the sustainable Erma Bombeck. She writes about motherhood, family life, and life itself with great humor and insight and especially her two sons, Thing 1 and Thing 2. Like so many fine writers, she is open and eloquent about her own struggles with depression on her increasingly popular website. Rachel is a talented animator as well as a writer. She will shortly publish some of her original stories as e-books from her website. She and her family are committed to environmental consciousness and living.
I hope you will check out and follow the work of these very gifted and determined people, and if you can, please come and meet all of us (Red, too, he is the workshop dog) at Hubbard Hall on May 31. There is a suggested donation of $20 a person to benefit the Hubbard Hall Scholarship Fund. You can order tickets on the Hubbard Hall website. This is a celebration of the creative spark, in fact that’s what we are calling the evening “Creative Sparks.”