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Everybody Likes Water
Or, at least I hope they do.
'High and fine literature is wine, and mine is only water;
but everybody likes water.'
I’m not sure these days that everybody likes water, but I’m willing to bet that more people like water than wine. Just considering the options for bottled water at the convenience stores, and the limited options for wine at the local liquor store, I feel it is a fair assumption.
Mark Twain is one of my favorite authors, a great American writer. He worked to become known not only as a humorist‚ but also as a political commentator‚ family man‚ international diplomat‚ philosopher and all-around American. Mark Twain was his pen name. Born Samuel Clemens, he is famous not only due to his writing but also because he was a character himself.
Like Twain, I do not claim to write “high and fine literature.” I’m quite aware that my ramblings and reflections are mere water, tossed out into the world without much review or revision, absorbed into the ephemeral “out there” nourishing a reader or two perhaps.
No one out there is getting drunk on the amazing arrangements of my words and phrases. No critics are impressed by the structure of my sentences or the flavors of my amazing word arrangements. If my graduate degree in creative writing taught me anything at all, it’s that I write water, not wine.
And yet all the greats tell us to “write what we know.” I know a great bit about water. I’ve been described as a “good” writer, and recently a “prolific” writer. I’ve been told that my writing is “interesting.” Frankly, I just sit down and write. Even I don’t know what the results will be. Sometimes, I will write something amazing. I turn water into wine. But most of the time, I’m writing water.
Mark Twain also said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.”
Oh yes. Me too.
And I have a very busy two months ahead.
JUNE 9, 10, 11 - WV Writers, Inc. Spring Conference, Cedar Lakes Ripley
For more than twenty years, I have longed to be more involved with WV Writers, Inc. However, I was either too busy, too scattered, or too involved otherwise to make any commitment. The entire organization is run by volunteers. I’ve been a regional rep for them the past few years, and this year was nominated and just stepped in as 2nd Vice President. This year, I’m serving as an intern for the conference, and like many others, will be reading on open mic night, and will have my books available for sale. In fact, other than the WV Book Fair, I would say it is the best time/place in the state to pick up copies of books by WV authors. You need not be a conference attendee to pop in and grab some great books.
I’m excited and nervous. I have no clue what I’m in for as an intern, as a 2nd VP, as an author attempting to sell my books. But I’m happy to be a part of it all.
JUNE 15, 16, 17 - West Virginia Folk Festival, Glenville WV
I’ve been planning to present my books and creations at the Folk Festival since 2019. And then 2020 knocked us all onto different paths and plans. Finally, this year, I have come back around to this goal. Of course, there will be vendors, crafters, events all along Main Street, and I will be located in the dining room of The Holt House, home of the Gilmer County Historical Society.
I’ll be signing books all day, and doing public readings each evening at 6:30 p.m. And I’m quite excited about that.
But I am also a bit scared. I have presented my books and writing to the public before, but I don’t have any idea if folks will think my vintage typewriter creations are as cool as I do, if they will spend money on my writing and my art. The creative process requires you to forget about marketability, but in the end, if you cannot market it, you’re left with a house full of creations that never find a forever home besides yours.
And, you have no financial boost to allow you to continue creating.
Mark Twain could live for two months on a compliment. My first serious show as a creative/crafter/author could carry me for months — or serve as a giant disappointment and let down. I know other vendors and crafters have the same doubts and concerns.
These are the only two public appearances I have planned for the summer, with a private event in July, a new client coming on board this week, and a garden that will need my attention and energy whenever I can make it available.
I do hope to see you at one event or the other, hope you will pop in and peruse my creations, and perhaps even adopt one or two to take home or gift to another.
In the meantime, I have been thinking that a “like” or “share” is like a compliment, and can likewise give me a boost of endorphins. Creatives and writers, like me, and even Mark Twain, can live from your support - financially, digitally, and spiritually.
Is there someone you can think of who might enjoy a drink of these waters?
Or, perhaps you would like to enjoy the full Two-Lane Renaissance experience by upgrading to a paid subscription. Paid subscribers get full access to The Renaissance site, including Two-Lane Livin’ Magazine Archives, are the only ones who can comment on the site, and receive special discounts. For example, paid subscribers will receive a special email with a code for $1.00 off any purchase from my booth at either of these events. And if you subscribe NOW, you’ll get 15% off our normal annual rate.
Have you ever enjoyed fresh mountain spring water right out of the mountainside? Sipped it from cupped hands and splashed your face with it? I hope someday to write like that — clear, fresh, refreshing, and full of minerals and nutrients. No smashing, curing, or aging required.
Thank you for being with me on my creative journey, and thank you for supporting my work with likes, shares, subscriptions, and participation. I’d love to see you at one of my Folk Fest author readings.