It works well. Fire and writers. Bonfires and readings.
Friday night, we — Currie, Chance, Susie, Colleen, Neil, and I — met in Neil’s pasture around a fire pit he carved out in July. We roasted hot dogs and ate them with potato salad, slaw, and beans. Then Neil made each one of us a s’more.
It was dark. Cold. We heard an owl, we heard coyotes, close, screaming. “That means there was a kill,” I said. Colleen brought her dog, Jazz, and for five hours, we took turns throwing sticks and branches for Jazz to retrieve.
We took turns adding logs to the fire — even Jazz threw a few in, we roasted marshmallows, we warmed our hands, we drew our circle in tighter. We even sang “Happy Birthday” to Chance and ate cupcakes and listened to musical cards. Mine had the song “Hot Diggity Dog.”
Then we pulled out our stories. And we took turns. We read by firelight and flashlight. We talked about storylines and word choices and novel first chapters and memoir segments.
It was quiet in the country, but for our voices and the words we’d put together, but for our laughter and sharing.
Susie taking a picture
Dark, in the country, under a half moon was a perfect setting for Chance’s description of death — as one meets darkness and sees something like a thousand fireflies in a field before him, and each glow is a memory.
This night will be one of those glows.
Today was the long-awaited book signing for Gathering: Writers of Williamson County. I have to admit I was very excited — more excited than I have been in a long time about anything. It just felt good and right to be in Barnes and Noble with writers and friends and readers and guests. Sixteen of our 31 authors participated. We didn’t break the store record, but it was a fantastic showing.
Gathering contains 42 stories — fiction and creative nonfiction — by new, noted, and famous authors. Gathering is a celebration of CWW‘s 10th anniversary. Gathering showcases the talent and voice of Williamson County.
Gathering on the Display Table
Co-editors Kathy Rhodes and Currie Alexander Powers
Kathy Rhodes, Robbie Bryan of B&N, Currie Alexander Powers
Authors and Guests
Kathy Rhodes and Chance Chambers
Sally Lee, Tom Robinson, Suzanne Brunson
Chance and Currie chatting with Robbie