The Big Tent

BookMarks comes back to Winston-Salem on Saturday, and these days it's downtown in the Arts District. This makes for an interesting melange of books, art, and good food (check out Sweet Potatoes!)
The first time I participated in BookMarks, it was set up on the fields of Bethabara Park, sharing space for the day with a gathering of Porsche aficianados. Booklovers walked the gravel paths and enjoyed views of the foundations of a Mennonite community. Readings and panel discussions pulled people into tents that offered shade from the late summer sun but allowed the literature to leak out!
I'll miss some of that "big tent" atmosphere, because it was a visual reminder of where we are as writers. Whether we write historical fiction or contemporary short stories, paranormal romance or poetry, accounts of worlds grittily real or loftily imagined, we are all under that big tent of the word.
And it's the word that matters. There is a lot of discussion about "platforms" and "ereaders," and loyalists for both Nook and Kindle - but those are just delivery systems, new and elegant but not different in the most basic of ways from papyrus scrolls or hand-lettered manuscripts. They are conveyances, so that the eye can take in the word, and the word can open unexpected vistas in the mind.
Hope to see you Sept. 10 in Winston-Salem, or down the road.

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