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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Highlights Chautauqua 2011 Day 1

     You know your in New York when you see Lake Erie, the miles to Buffalo are decreasing, and you see billboards for the welcome center for Niagra Falls.  It was about this time that I let go of my traveling thoughts and began to think what an incredible gift I had been given in having this opportunity.  The lady who gave me my ticket at the entry to the NY Thruway wished me an amazing weekend.  Do you think she knew what I was getting into?

     This is my home for the next week. I am staying on the top floor in a small corner room with my writer roommate from Texas, Katherine. We are lucky to have 2 windows and a ceiling fan. I can get a wireless connection from the balcony which I think I will spend a lot of time on when it is not in sun. The good news about being on the top floor is lots and lots of stairs and rationalization about burning off calories with all the stairs and walking everywhere for the week.
The Ashland Inn

When I arrived, I was given a bag with many books in it. It was like Christmas or a birthday pulling them out one by one and looking at who the author was and what it meant for me to receive these books. I’ll be sure to let you know if I find out.

     Tonight at our opening banquet, Kathryn Erskine gave the keynote talk. Kathryn won the 2010 National Book Award, Young People’s Literature for her novel Mockingbird. Kathryn spoke about her 2004 Chautauqua experience. Here is her top 10 magic list that makes Chautauqua a very special experience.

• The Cooking

• Chautauqua the Place

• Creative Outlets (many)

• The Classes

• The Critiques

• The Confidence

• The Community

• Charging up

• Clarity

• Career Changing

Kathyrn Erskine

     In her closing statement, she reminded us that we were chosen to come because of our talents and that everyone in that room knew that and was rooting for us and wanted us to reach our goals. 
     I walked home to the Ashland listening to the Opera going on 3 blocks from my room thinking that this truely is going to be an amazing weekend and week, just like the ticket booth employee said.

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