After an impromptu lunch gathering of about 17 writers & artists, most of whom were reading sometime during the Festival we got back for the first of the afternoon sessions in Estep Auditorium. If there is a “discouraging word” (as the old cowboy song would have it) about the Scissortail Festival it is that there are frequently concurrent readings, so one inevitably will miss some writers. While I’ve certainly experienced this dilemma of having 2 writers I’ve wanted to hear reading at the same time, as my mother once said to a teen-age me with 2 girl friends, “sometimes you just got to make up your mind.” The other side to this issue is that this Festival has 50 some writers reading in the space of 2 & half days & there is plenty of time to get together between sessions, or after, to meet & talk.
The Tornado that Hit Boggy” in TriQuarterly. It is a compelling memoir/essay about Thursday, April 12, 1945, the day that President Roosevelt died, weaving what happened in her home town in Oklahoma when the tornado hit to what was happening in the Pacific theater & in Europe as World War II was ending, & on to May 2013 & the tornado that hit Moore Oklahoma. Rilla’s latest novel is Kind of Kin (Ecco). She also has a New York connection, living part of the year in the Catskills, with her husband, New York playwright & poet Paul Austin (more on Paul in a later Blog).
+ + +
+ + +
One of the (many) highlights of the Scissortail Festival are the Featured Readers, whose visages adorn the flyer each year. Unlike the other reading sessions which have 3 or 4 readers sharing their work, the Featured Readers who have the stage all to themselves.
From there we walked over to Vintage 22 for drinks & hors d’oeuvres, as well a some music, & a chance to talk with the writers we had been listening to throughout the day.
So, as Uncle Wiggly used to say, “If hail-storms & tornados don’t come through & spill my morning sausage gravy & biscuits, we’ll be back tomorrow when the big-hand is on the 12 & the little hand on the 3 for more readings at the Scissortail Creative Writing Festival.”