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Joyce Kilmer Forest

Managed to squeeze in a hike at the Joyce Kilmer National Forest the day before my class.

In the winter before last I was invited to teach a summer class at Glenda Beall’s writer studio in Western North Carolina at her Writers Circle Around the Table. Glenda fosters a wonderful writing community in her area (not far from the John C. Campbell Folk School) so much so that we had too many people to fit in her studio space last year. Instead, Glenda’s resourceful nature kicked in and she found space in her town that comfortably fit everyone. We made plans at the end of that class for me to come back again…

…and I did earlier this month! Exactly a year after my last visit I taught another class at her studio. We encountered a similar problem again: A growing waitlist. However, this problem occurred in the day or two before the class. You see, Glenda, again in her wonderful resourcefulness, had an article published that week in nine local/regional papers about the class and her phone was buzzing with the press.

writing studio

Another perk of Glenda’s studio – her cute pup Lexie!

This time I elected not to move the class. Why? Yes, it meant less money for me, but it also accomplishes a few things:

  1. Shows others that they should pay attention to the classes Glenda organizes, the speakers she invites, and the time she puts into each event – and they should sign up sooner!
  2. Allows an opportunity for me to have one-on-one personal discussions with everyone present. Before class, at break time, and after class I had wonderful chats about writers’ personal challenges and successes.
  3. Keeps class discussion catered to students’ specific needs. Not only does each student have a chance to share about what they write at the beginning of class – Glenda (in all her amazingness!) also sends me notes before class about every student she knows. Very personalized!
steve mcqueen motorcycle

Wheels Through Time owner Dale Walksler starting up one of Steve McQueen’s old Pierce motorcycles.

Glenda’s studio is becoming an annual tradition for me. The past classes have taken place on the first Saturday of August. Last year my love spent the day riding his motorcycle on the Tail of the Dragon at Deal’s Gap, this year he did the same and then we went to Wheels Through Time – an incredibly impressive motorcycle museum I hope to write more about soon. We had just missed Miatas at the Gap, a gathering of hundreds of Miata owners. (Although I haven’t posted anything about it here, my love’s time is either spent with me or modifying his Miata, which now has 280hp.) Glenda’s date confirmation is pending, but I will be in her neck of the woods on the first Saturday of August 2017 – same weekend as Miatas at the Gap!