The Fall Season Begins
As I noted last year at this time, when you have kids, the whole family naturally tends to follow the rhythms of the school year. And so when they head back to school, fall begins, no matter what the calendar or mercury reading says. My boys started school at St. Ignatius today. For the first time, they drove themselves to school. My oldest begins his senior year, surely a rite of passage.
Tomorrow, I'm headed to Chicago to begin what should be an intellectually stimulating fall tour of writing-related events. Along with a handful of Cleveland colleagues, I'll be attending the SPJ national conference, and speaking Friday on a panel about marketing yourself as a freelancer. I'm looking forward to visiting my old haunts in leafy Lincoln Park (where I once lived as a newlywed, a very long time ago, and a place that remains in mind always) and other favorite Windy City spots. On September 16th, I'll also be speaking (about publishing on the web) back in Cleveland at Lakeland Community College's 23rd annual writers conference. A few days later, on the 20th, I'll begin a three-session class on column-writing, at the Poets and Writers League of Greater Cleveland. And finally, on October 12th, I'm looking forward to being on a panel at the International Association of Business Communicators (check out their blog) with the sublime Cleveland-based novelist Sarah Willis. Not many details about that one yet (I assume it'll be a lunch session somewhere in downtown Cleveland) but when I find out more, I'll post it.
But needless to say, if you're an aspiring, rookie, intermediate or veteran writer--or even a serious reader--don't for a moment limit yourself to those events. There are so many more worth taking in, if you can. On Friday of this week, you can join my friends Jeff Hess and Mac's Backs Suzanne D at the PWLGC open house. A bit further east, the new Cleveland Heights Library will celebrate its grand reopening with a day of events on September 16th. Our gifted friends Kristin Ohlson (check out her new blog) and Michael Ruhlmann will be among the featured speakers. Meanwhile, Mike will also be the featured speaker at the annual Case convocation, the kickoff to the school year. This coming weekend, the westside-based writers' group Skyline Writers holds its annual writer's conference on Saturday, where Sarah Sphar, editor of Northern Ohio Live, will speak. It's not too late to register for that excellent event, expertly cobbled together by the talented writer Claudia Taller (who just published her first-ever piece today in Cool Cleveland, a review of the recent Tremont Art Walk).
I would be there in a moment to watch Claudia, Sarah and a few other pals and acquaintances in action, if I were going to be around that day. So please consider taking my place, if you can. In fact, let me up the ante. A free registration to that conference awaits the first two readers who email me today at the email address above (just put "Skyline Writers Conference" in the subject heading, please). And enjoy the rest of your week, will you? I'll be back in action here on Monday.