Shadow Mountain Writing Workshop Coming Up Again This Friday 10/23/15

Desert/Mountain writers looking for a workshop? Or unsure when the next workshop begins? Read below, from workshop leader Jean Waggoner:

Shadow Mountain Inlandia Writing Workshop 10/23/2015 with Jean Waggoner

We meet in the Meeting Room at Palm Desert Library from 10:00 am – noon.

Theme for this Friday’s Workshop: Artistic Synergy

Given this inspiration, I guess I’ll have to bring my laptop for sharing:

Minimalist Duets in Sculpture and Dance (from Hyperallergic)

Where Sculpture and Dance Meet: Minimalism from 1961 to 1979 is an exhibition at the Loretta Howard Gallery that explores this overlap. Curated by dancer–turned–dance critic Wendy Perron in collaboration with historian Julie Martin, the show pairs videos of historic performances of dances by Merce Cunningham, Lucinda Childs, Trisha Brown, Simone Forti, Yvonne Rainer, and (surprisingly) Robert Morris, with sculptures by Ronald Bladen, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Morris, and Andy Warhol, exploring the dialogue surrounding concurrent ideas of minimalism in dance, performance, and art.

“Musee des Beaux Arts” by W. H. Auden (read by Tom O’Bedlam) + “The Fall of Icarus” by Pierre Breughel.

Villa Lobos & Ballet

Love in Damascus [music as antidote to conflict]

PROMPT: Think of an artistic event or work that has inspired your creativity in writing or in another form of expression–or see what comes up as you look at these bits that captivated my attention recently. I particularly like the comment cited in the Hyperallergic article, “Sitting in on a rehearsal, the-soon-to-be-sculptor Robert Morris…commented that the best moments were when they weren’t dancing.” I think I feel a poem coming on.

Literature in Idyllwild by Jean Waggoner

The words of a good story jump off the page to charm, cajole, reason and wrestle with the human imagination. They carry us away, while anchoring us more profoundly to our world. In summer, libraries entice young readers with prizes for significant amounts of any kind of reading, as adults, too, search for new flights of brainy experience.

Riverside readers live in one of the largest counties in the country. When joined with San Bernardino as the Inland Empire (Inlandia, as some of us prefer), our locality is about as big as the state of Rhode Island. We have plenty of places to go and things to see, as well as a huge library system to draw upon for reading, listening and viewing material. Nonetheless, those of us in the county’s rural parts, like Idyllwild, don’t have easy access to a good book store without driving some distance, or as Mount San Jacinto’s people say, “going off the hill.”

Sure, there’s online shopping, but what can a literary-book or CD-gifting auntie do at two O’clock on a Wednesday afternoon to get a birthday present mailed to a thirteen-year-old in the county seat by Friday, when no such virtual store delivery has arrived?

Idyllwild readers know how to find good reading material, of course. Our library offerings include used book sales and several of the town’s thrift and “junk-tique” shops carry old books. The Nature Center or Forest Service offer selected new books on topics of outdoor interest, including publications by Inlandia members Myra Dutton and Sally Hedberg.

For Mackenzie, who turned thirteen on July 10th, this auntie broke from tradition and selected writing, instead of reading materials: a journal and a booklet of flowery sticky-notes from Idyllwild Gift Shop (whose proprietor has often posted Inlandia workshop fliers on her bulletin board). Tactile and old tech, the gifts brought back teen memories, a spiritual link from one generation to another.

The shopping excursion also elicited some community appreciation of what we do have in Idyllwild. We’ve got organizations that promote the arts in our schools, often drawing on retiree talent. In the literary arts, we have theater, writing and book club groups. The Idyllwild Arts campus, a fine arts high school, also offers summer classes for kids and adults.

Although we have no literary laureate who writes specifically about our mountains, quite a few published writers work or vacation here, and luminaries like Ann Rice have stayed awhile, somewhat incognito, among us. Local stories have been collected, showcased and archived by our highly acclaimed Idyllwild Historical Society and Idyllwild writers continue to add local color to literary writing. The literary climate is alive and well, here!

Sadly, long-time Idyllwild resident Myra Dutton will no longer serve as co-leader of our Idyllwild Inlandia Writing Workshop, after this summer. We understand, and we value the gifts she has inspired us with, including her “daughter of the plains’ meditation” on the Andrew Wyeth painting Christina’s World, which she shared in this beautiful poem:

Riding the Sacred

I have heard the secrets here,

felt the breath and beat of wind

across the grass-maned prairie,

and I climb on the back of this Earth,

as if I had journeyed centuries before,

her wild hair twined in my hand.