Keynote speaker Barbara Kingsolver and an intensive writing workshop led by C.M. Mayo drew my daughter Kate and me to the San Miguel International Writers’ Conference this past February. The conference sessions were so great, we did not even skip out once to wander the streets of San Miguel de Allende. Given the allure of San Miguel, that’s amazing; although a visit a few months earlier helped keep us focused.
As I walked past Sandra Cisneros‘ house on the river this morning, I thought: Can I really justify traveling all the way to San Miguel to hear keynote talks by someone who lives right here in San Antonio?
I think the answer is a definite maybe. A five-day concentrated dose of writing workshops is an incredible experience.
Plus, the writers’ conference is to blame for this blog. I am hoping they are planning on prescribing an antidote, a session on how to keep prolific blogging from interfering with working on your novel.
Note Added: Button Boxes http://www.sandracisneros.com/buttonbox.php
Exploring Sandra Cisneros’ website led me to her memories of button boxes. Never figured out what happened to Nana’s button tins. I wanted to inherit them so badly. They were magical. Seemed to contain buttons from two generations back. Buttons so complex to assemble that there is no wonder there were buttonmaker unions. I’d sit for hours creating button collages in her sewing room overlooking the giant fig tree in the backyard; yet, to this day, have absolutely no interest in replacing a commonplace button on a shirt.
Note Added on September 11: Which, in turn, led me to the consummate button artist, San Antonio Art League’s Artist of the Year - Marilyn Lanfear. She is being honored with an exhibit opening on Sunday, September 12, from 3 to 5 p.m.
“Billie Patterson Moore died in the school explosion in New London TX”
by Marilyn Lanfear
Mother-of-pearl and bone buttons on linen,
2005-07, 54” x 95.25”
Update on October 20: Read about Marilyn Lanfear’s exhibit at Glasstire
Update on November 29: Marilyn Lanfear’s exhibit, “What Is Lost; What Is Found; What Is Remembered,” opens at Blue Star on Thursday, December 9. She refers to herself as “a storyteller” who creates:
a visual language that depends on and invites elaboration. I want the viewers to have associative memories and make my history into theirs.