Sedona is still a small town. It’s not uncommon to bump into someone you know, whether it’s at the Post Office, grocery store, or an art opening. It’s especially true when you have interests in common and attend an event concerning that activity. This was especially true for me during the 2nd annual Sedona Book Fest.
On Friday, Jeff and I attended their afternoon workshops. The first one was on “It’s Easy To Publish Your Book” with Richard and Sharon Hooper of Sanctuary Publications and Wib and Jane Middleton of Thunder Mountain Design.
The only 2 chairs available when we got there just happened to be beside my original writing teacher, Bennie Blake. She’s no longer teaching, but is still editing manuscripts. It’s always such a joy to run into her. The last time was at a Jerome Art Walk a few months ago.
I greeted a couple of other people I knew. One of them had been a member of the writer’s group where Jeff and I met. It’s been a long time since I’d seen her. Jeff and I stopped attending the group over a decade ago.
The second workshop was on nonfiction, “What’s So Special About Nonfiction,” with three panelists: Maia Kincaid, Barbara Mayer, and Terri Marie. Maia’s a friend and author of four wonderful books about her communication with animals, plants, insects and the earth. I’ve reviewed two of her four books, and plan to review the third one soon.
The three panelists discussed their writing process and how writers must listen to their muse. One of them said something that sparked a solution to a problem I’ve been wrestling with for a while. It’s always inspiring to be around so much creativity.
On Saturday, Jeff and I went to the Bookfest, with over 60 exhibitors. Again, I saw Bennie, which really wasn’t a surprise. But I also ran into one of the students I knew from her class, Barb Hahn, who now conducts classes in creative writing. I haven’t seen Barb in almost two decades, so it was an unexpected pleasure to bump into her.
One of the exhibitors was the owner of Red Coyote Press and contributor to the anthology “How Not To Survive A Vacation,” Sue Flaig. I’d met her about 18 months ago, when I spoke to an association she belongs to in Tempe, AZ.
In another room, I spotted Ross Hawkins, of the Hummingbird Society. Ross is a professional member of the National Speaker’s Association and belongs to our Arizona Chapter as I do. I was surprised to see him there, but he was representing his wife’s book, “Word Pearls…Seeing Into Meaning.” We chatted about speaking and his favorite topic, hummingbirds. He has some wonderful stories about the antics of these magical creatures.
When I got to Maia’s table, I realized that I knew her editor, Debbie Dobson, who was sitting with Maia. As I said, it’s not unusual to see people you know in Sedona, even when you’re not aware of a close connection. This one was a 2nd “degree of separation” connection.
Over the years, so many people I’ve known have left the area. It was refreshing to reconnect with some of the folks I’ve known who are still here. And it was wonderful to immerse myself in one of the passions that I share with those friends. I look forward to attending the 3rd Annual Sedona Book Fest next year and seeing who else is there.