Around these parts, we're lucky enough to be close to the Antioch Writers' Workshop. Because that workshop takes place in July -- when the kids are home and during the time when we celebrate Melina's birthday -- I've never been able to take part in it. But the AWW branches out and as of last fall, they've held what they call a LitSalon. According to their website a LitSalon is "a fun way to enjoy an afternoon with fellow literature lovers, hob-nob with a celebrated author, and support Antioch Writers' Workshop." I've gone to all three LitSalons and have had the opportunity to meet authors Martha Moody, Donna MacMeans, and tonight, Erin Flanagan.
Each LitSalon has been fun and informative, and I've come away from them with a better appreciation of the writing process and how it is completely different for different writers. But something about Erin -- her persona, her humor, her I don't know what -- really resonated with me. I sat there, in the cool air of the venue, listening to Erin speak about her background and writing, where she came from and where she planned to go. And I was hit in the gut by her authenticity. She admitted that writing isn't easy, that her process can be messy, and that finding the time to get writing in every day is hard. She spoke about her parents and her children, her students and her writing group. She revealed quite a bit to a group of people she didn't know and would have revealed more, had we asked. It was an honor to meet her, and I'm glad that I signed up to go.
If you have the chance, go ahead and pick up her collections of short stories. She's got two: The Usual Mistakes, and It's Not Going to Kill You and Other Stories. Maybe your local library has them; if not, I bought them and you can borrow them from me.
And, as usual, I wasn't paid to write this.