Monday, September 1, 2008

Lit and Art Afternoon In Baltimore

I like exploring. I haven't been traveling abroad much lately, but I'm finding that I can come across gems even in my own backyard. The Lit and Art Event that I went to yesterday turned out to be just one of those gems.

I love the idea of building and being part of communities, but I thought that internet communities would be too distant and modern for me to connect with. I was completely wrong about that! I've met many wonderful people who I may never have met in real life. In addition, my internet community has led me to some terrific real-life events such as Lit and Art (because as great as the internet is, I think we all need some face time with our friends every once in a while!)

Since I've been following the blogs/tweets/profiles of various members of the writing and publishing community in my area, I've come across many such events. I ended up attending the annual conference for the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group after looking at a calendar of events for Echelon Press Publishing. I received an email about the Stanford Engineering networking event because I'm on their email list. And I came across the information for this latest event as I was learning more about the Maryland Writer's Association, in a roundabout kind of way.

Of course, when you do something new, it never quite turns out as you expected, I ended up going to 1005 Charles Street in Baltimore instead of 100 S. Charles Street... I think I need to work on my handwriting. However, it turned out well as the woman at a cute little clothes shop at 1005 told me how to get where I wanted to be. South Charles Street is also an awesome-looking neighborhood, with restaurants and funky bars filled to the brim on a Sunday afternoon.

When I finally made it to the actual event, I was treated to some real treasures. The event was hosted in the Watermark Gallery in the Bank of America building. Manzar, the owner of the gallery, has gorgeous work displayed there. She's also a classically trained vocalist from Iran, and mesmerized us with a lovely poem/song in Farsi. Lauren Beth Eisenberg read a chapter from a book she's working on. She also encouraged me to attend meetings for the Baltimore chapter of the MWA. Erik Kestler and Rob Waldek performed on the guitar, and Nitin Jagdish read a piece of experimental fiction about a two-timing stalker. One musician even played a real-live lute! A good time was had by all. And I also received a talking-to about how I need to get my butt into gear and get my works into the hands of some agents or publishers. So it was a profitable event career-wise as well.

Have you attended a local art or writing event? I'm always open for suggestions of good ones I'm missing. And if you haven't, get to it!
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