So I spent the weekend in Berkeley, CA reading for the National Writing Project Annual Review. It was an intense, gratifying time of learning (about other sites) and professional satisfaction. Over the years, I’ve decided that writing letters praising people, or in this case, writing project sites, for what they do best, and gently suggesting ways they can improve might be one of the things I was meant to do in life. I find laboring over these letters (and the fact that NWP encourages me to labor over them), searching for just the right words to inspire people in their work incredibly fulfilling. Here are some photos:
A humble welcome.
Mostly, we worked day in day out at the Berkeley City Club, designed by Julia Morgan, the same architect who built Hearst Castle. This was fine, since it poured rain almost every day. Berkeley was thrilled, they’re in a drought. I did get to spend a few hours in the 4th St. District Sunday. Here are some photos from my favorite shop, there, Castle in the Air.
Who doesn’t need a wax doll head?
Or tubes of German glass glitter.
Then, there’s the “Jar O’Babies.”
Good ole, funky ole Berkeley. Ya gotta love it. Besides, the food there is phenomenal. Today was spent on the train with my husband en route to Chicago for the Associated Writing Programs 2009 Conference, a train trip much enhanced by the fact that I just had a rollercoaster flight from Berkeley to Dallas Sunday night. Stay tuned for more news from AWP starting tomorrow! My official “program schedule” is already filling up.
Ah, Amtrak. The only civilized way to travel.