Thursday, January 18, 2018

Winter Sunrise
A new year, a new leaf, probably not, but I wanted to post. I've read (or more likely, listened to) so many good books over the last few months and I would like to share my thoughts on them, but not just now. Just now, I am wondering about conferences. I go to several every year. There are two Colorado writers conferences that I enjoy, Pikes Peak Writers in the spring and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers in the fall. I also go to the New Mexico Hay conference, the New Mexico Crop Production Association conference, the New Mexico State University Pecan Conference and when I can spare the time the Presbytery, and Texas Wine Growers Association Conference. I'm still not sure what a wine grower is, but they have changed the name to wine grape grower, so all is well. And yes, I realize there is a disconnect in positioning Presbytery next to wine grape growers. Locally I attend the Joy Writers seminar in August and A Bookish Affair in June.
I relish conferences. I'm not sure why, but it's kind of like festivals, I like them also. There's a hopefulness about gathering with fellows in a field and learning from each other. There's conference food to be enjoyed or detested, and drink, because most of us are awkward in strange settings and maybe need a little something to loosen our tongue. There's new faces and a few familiar ones. There's entertainment and a break from daily life.
I am at the New Mexico Hay Conference. I like how it is scheduled during the winter, well outside of harvest. I look forward to going every year, and that lifts my spirits which are sometimes low after Christmas.
But this year, we had something truly special. Peggy Krantz  had a paint party concurrent with the conference and the conference text and presentations were given to us on a jump drive. I went to the paint party and painted (you guessed it) an alfalfa field. I don't even have to feel guilty for missing the conference, because I have all of it at my fingertips or at least on my computer. Unfortunately my wings will be clipped for the next six months as I am having knee surgeries and will not be able to travel out of state. Sigh.
I have enjoyed my time here, and look forward to the next. Any of you readers have a favorite conference?
As always, thanks for reading. Bev