Picnics, Summer Camp, and Baseball

What do picnics, summer camp, and baseball have to do with books?

PIcture taken at a rotary family picnic found on Yahoo images. Credited to Rotary5280, DSC_0141
Picture taken at a rotary family picnic found on Yahoo images. Credited to Rotary5280, DSC_0141

In my world, everything has to do with books and stories. Are you surprised? Story ideas come from everywhere. I receive a church newsletter that keeps me apprised of all the coming events, prayer requests, and service opportunities. Our annual beginning of summer all church picnic is this weekend at a local park. The meal is catered so we need to sign up early to be counted or just bring our own food. Everyone has a great time. The sounds and smells remind me of family picnics as a kid when we drove across country to get there. Within 24 hours of our arrival, grandparents, uncles, cousins, in-laws and out-laws from multi-generations gathered at Sinissippi Park on the Rock River. We had mountains of fried chicken, potato salad, green beans, home made baked beans, jello salads, and apple pie.  It started at lunch time and lasted until dusk. We swam and played baseball. Some of the more sedate cousins sat under the huge shade trees and read books or walked hand-in-hand with future spouses along the river bank.

My brother and I spent part of our summer at Scout camp and loved every minute of it. We experienced things we never would have other wise — stoning rattle snakes to death and curing their skins, skinny dipping in the moon light, and hiding the camp bell in hopes of getting up late the next morning. Great memories!

When I was growing up in Amarillo, Texas, the library had book mobiles that made the rounds of the city parks. The neighborhood kids could check out books, participate in the summer reading program, and return their books for more two weeks later when they returned. I loved it. My best friends and I would line up with the other kids and then spend the afternoon reading. I’ll bet you have picnics, summer camp, and baseball in your summers past and present. Go out – have fun and make more memories, read a new book, and enjoy yourself.

Fall Writer Conferences

5 AUTUMN CONFERENCES

WritersMarket.com lists hundreds of writing conferences for writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, writing for children, journalism, and more. Here are five coming up in autumn:

 

Austin Film Festival & Conference will be happening in Austin, Texas, October 20-27. The conference portion of it will last October 20-23.

 

The James River Writers Conference will be taking place in Richmond, Virginia, from October 6-8 at the Library of Virginia.

 

From October 21-23, the South Carolina Writers Workshop will be hosted at the Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort.

 

On November 12, Towson University will host the Baltimore Writers’ Conference from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Steve Almond is slated as the keynote speaker.

 

Flathead River Writers Conference takes place October 1-2 at Flathead Valley Community College in Montana.