In The Q, the question was posed, “What am I free to do for myself and others because I don’t have to wait?”
I thought a lot this summer about this question and what I don’t need permission to do, what I don’t need to wait for, as a creative woman. After returning from a summer writing conference, I decided to host a gathering of women in Austin, a small gathering. The idea started with this question from The Q and with another AROHO woman sharing an interest in attending the Texas Book Festival the last weekend of October. Then one or two other women mentioned interest in the same event, and I thought, “Why not make it a thing?”
So, it’s a thing. I have, give or take, 14 women – some local and some from out of town – showing up in Austin the last weekend in October to read work, attend the festival, and, hopefully, build more community for each other. Kristi Crutchfield Cox will lead women through an art project, and ire’ne lara silva will be reading for us one morning. I’m excited to be hosting this gathering, and I must give a shout out to my next door neighbor. Among many things, she’s a painter and designer with an incredible yard that houses a large gazebo cloaked in red fabric, yes a red tent. I asked if she would be willing to let us meet there and if she might be willing to host a few writers. It was a big ask, but she generously said yes!
It’s a small step, this gathering. The women who attend will make it what it is, as always happens when we come together, whether virtually or face-to-face.
I’ll leave you with a photo from photographer Katrina Simpson that reminds me of the richness of possibility in not only where we come from but who we connect with in our creative communities. I also hope ire’ne lara silva’s words, from a keynote address on writing and community she recently gave in Dallas, will inspire and give you permission to do that thing you want to do, that thing you don’t need to wait for.
From me to you,