Hello and welcome to my blog about The Gathering 2009. The Gathering is a literary conference "plus" that's taking place this weekend (July 16-19). In fact, it might be more accurate to say that it's a celebration of creativity that merely starts with the written word. It's held every year at Keystone College in La Plume, Pa -- an absolutely gorgeous region of rolling hills, quiet streams and refreshing woodlands near Scranton/Wilkes Barre.
Although this year's event is the 3rd Gathering, it will be my first. I'm really looking forward to it, especially since the featured speakers include one of my all-time literary heroes, Salman Rushdie, as well as Gregory Maguire, the author of Wicked, Loung Ung, who has written a riveting autobiography about her childhood in Cambodia, and Nancy Willard, a poet and author of children's books.
I'm not really sure what to expect, though. I've never been to any kind of literary conference before, so I'm guessing I'll feel very much like a lost puppy, at least at first. But from everything I've heard, The Gathering is a very mellow and welcoming scene -- I picture it as a range of people discussing books, big thoughts and bold ideas, but without being pretentious. There are workshops as well as lectures, and apparently some really good food, too.
Whatever happens, I'll try to bring you along for the ride with posts to this blog throughout the weekend. Please be patient with me though -- in addition to this being my first literary conference, it's also my first blog. So I guess you could say that The Gathering is also about learning to exercise your creativity in new ways (well, for me, anyway). I think it's going to be a lot of fun.