Sunday, February 15, 2015

20th Annual South Coast Writer's Conference - Gold Beach, Oregon

It was a four day, Valentine's Day weekend, with a no student Friday the 13th followed by President's Day.  It could have been a perfect weekend to spend with my husband of 31 years, but we both had plans, 1,000 miles apart.  While he gathered his Choir students and flew to Spokane for the all Northwest Music Festival, I was headed only an hour from home, to the 20th annual South Coast Writer's Conference.  With a few miles of extra driving just to take advantage of the incredibly warm weather and gorgeous beaches between my home and 50 miles north of Gold Beach near the Bandon Cheese and Ice Cream at Facerock Creamery
 and Old Town Bandon and the best divinity and fudge ever at the Big Wheel 

Lighthouse from the Art friendly fishing Docks at Bandon

finding a valentine message on the beach

at face rock beach

 Prehistoric Gardens between Gold Beach and Bandon

 One of my favorite places is an actual wave crashing beach inside this cave
 The seaside hot tubs at my motel were dark and steamy and only me by the time the keynote address finished and I made it back.  What an indulgence.

 The view from my room, they have a lot better views in the more expensive cabins but I knew I'd mostly be out of the room, and this was only $49.00
 Here is the High School track and football field where the conference was held.  For lunch I just ambled down to walk the track.

 Book sales and conversations were plentiful after the workshops Saturday evening.

 and then I escaped just in time to catch the sunset off the jetty

 Yes th conference is great and a wonderful place to learn from other people in the book world, and the workshops I took, flu of them for an hour and a half each, were all interesting and helpful, and the contacts I've made will be good to follow up on, but this conference is over until next year around Valentine's Day.  It is inexpensive, fun, professional and worthwhile if you ever get a chance to participate

here is the post from my other blog about how I learned to overcome writer's block

Monday, February 2, 2015

Groundhog's Day

 Mostly, I want to say that I can't believe it is already one full month into 2015 and once again one of those almost forgotten holidays that still means a lot to me.  Here we have not even had winter yet.  My April flowers are blooming and there has not been one morning that I had to scrape the frost on my car window.  The grass is green and the weather ranges from high forties to mid seventies.  While I enjoy that, it makes the idea of next Autumn a bit worrisome and makes it feel doubly strange to bewitching Happy Groundhog's Day to anyone.
 But Groundhog's Day has too much meaning in my life for me to ever forget it.  My great Grandmother was born on Feb. 2, 1875 and my Nephew was born on Fev. 2, 1972 and I loved them both intensely and sobbed broken heartedly when they died, Little Grandma at 98 and Cody, far too young.  So there is a shadow on this day every year now, but also the joy of having loved so well.
 Here is the weather we have been having in one picture.

 and the skies and flowers are so, very spring-like already

 But this last weekend I did get to get on the road with a bus full of Brookings Harbor Music Students and go up near Portland, Oregon for the International Competitive Collegiate A cappella, West quarterfinal.  It was a lot of bus time but on beautiful roads and a lot of concert time, but so talented and varied that we had a great time.

 I have also just finished a nearly 3 month, long term Substitute teaching job with really wonderful students and a chance to be creative with paint and writing and kids.  My favorite kind of way to spend time.
and even though I haven't finished a new book recently, I have been back at the typing and dreaming and there has been progress on Duffy's Third trip to Uhrlin.  He still has a lot to do but this time he isn't as young or as alone.

So there you have it.  My life has been fun and creative and semi-productive.  I hope yours has as well.  Welcome to February.  And to Cody, and Little Grandma, you are remembered.