This is a transitional week for me.
First, I’m transitioning from working on the 2013 Arts and Crafts Conference to planning the 2014 Arts and Crafts Conference, which will be our 27th gathering at the soon-to-be restored Grove Park Inn. Over the weekend I met with some of the Grove Park Inn’s management team and worked on exhibitor contracts before actually leaving my office at noon, getting my Kubota tractor out of the barn, and driving around picking up limbs and debris left from our winter storms.
Second, I’m transitioning from coaching the six seminar speakers who appeared at the podium at the Grove Park Inn to being one myself. On Saturday, May 4th, I will be speaking before the American Art Pottery Convention at the Crowne Plaza Hotel near Philadelphia. My topic is “1901: The Year That Set the Arts and Crafts Movement in Motion.” I always urge my speakers to start with a one-sentence thesis, then prove it to your audience in 50 minutes. My thesis is stated in my title, and I’ve been collecting information and planning my images for a couple of months. Now, however, I get to complete the transition.
One transition that I am not looking forward to is having Alex, my conference assistant and website manager for the past three and a half years, transition from working for me to a real career at the Asheville Art Museum. She has agreed to squeeze in a few hours each week during the coming weeks, training me to do everything she has been doing.
Like that is going to happen….
My writing is going to transition as well. While I will continue writing for this website, Minwax has asked me to start writing a weekly blog (I hate that word!) for their website. I’ve got a list of home improvement projects I’ll not only be undertaking, but also documenting and photographing for my weekly column (sounds much better, even if it is Olde School).
I’m also anxious to get started on a new book. Nearly all of last year was spent working on my non-fiction collection of Tales of the Grove Park Inn, which got off to a great start at the Arts and Crafts Conference, but now its time to put these pre-dawn hours to a greater purpose. Completing my first historical novel, An Unexpected Guest, two years ago checked one item off my Bucket List, but I know I can do a better job on my second one. I’m moving forward from 1918 to 1936, a year when a whacked-out Zelda and a drunk and despondent F. Scott Fitzgerald spent much of their time lurching around the Grove Park Inn and Asheville, with favorite son Tom Wolfe hulking in the background, still a bit dazed over the anger and bitterness his autobiographical novel Look Homeward, Angel stirred up among the local citizens he had lampooned.
What former English major and historian couldn’t have fun with that cast of characters?
Until next Monday,
Have a great week!
For more information and the agenda for the American Art Pottery Association Convention, which includes tours, shows and an auction, please go to http://www.aapa.info. I would love to see you there!